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奖金多少怎么定

发布者: shunitang | 发布时间: 2008-9-5 13:42| 查看数: 1146| 评论数: 2|

The bonus season rapidly approaches. Soon enough Wall Street will be flooded by tears of fear and rage from unhappy bankers. 'How can you do this to me?' the banker will cry when given his number. 'There is not enough money to go around,' his boss will reply.

Which will be the truth, but not the whole truth. The whole truth is that Wall Street's bonus system isn't working the way it's supposed to. It's supposed to be a meritocracy. And it's supposed to align the interests of the individual employee with the bank and the shareholders.

But increasingly, the system is breaking down. And this year, the bonuses of most bankers will have little to do with merit and everything to do with the very steep credit losses incurred by a handful of their senior colleagues.

Negotiating bonuses on Wall Street was always a painful and political process. But twenty years ago, when investment banks were only a few thousand people, it was easier to figure out who deserved how much at bonus time. A few days in a conference room and bonuses were set.

As Wall Street grew into a colossus, so did the investment bank compensation system. Today, it's a bureaucratic monstrosity manned by scores of human resource professionals, ruled by committees and governed by thousands of pages of rules and regulations.

The apparatus is there to ensure fairness in pay. But that's mostly an illusion. The bonus a banker receives is still arbitrary and subject to countless forces beyond his control.

About this time of year, the bonus season kicks-off with the 360-degree reviews from peers, superiors and subordinates. The amount of detail is enormous. And so are the exaggerations and lies bankers stuff into the reviews.

It's astounding that 90% of all bankers are among the 'hardest-working and most talented bankers at the firm.' But that's the answer you get when everyone is gaming the system.

Bankers are graded and ranked on these reviews. Department heads review the reviews, re-grade and re-rank. A committee or two then does the same. Then the division head has his go at it.

Why the time-consuming rigmarole?

Money, of course. The division's bonus pool is divvied up - in large part - on the basis of the rankings.

But the process also underpins the bank's claim of meritocracy. It's proof that a banker's individual performance and contribution matters. And it serves as the fountainhead of the firm's culture. Want to foster teamwork? Punish the banker who doesn't practice it, drop his ranking and let him know it.

At least, that's the theory.

In practice, the review and ranking process is a sideshow to give executives cover for internal maneuvering and future lawsuits.

Other factors matter much more to a banker's bonus, especially a senior banker's; the two or three-year guaranteed contract, the threat to hop to a hedge fund, a close decade long friendship with the division head, and of course, super- outsized profits earned by his team.

Years ago, a banker had a long career at a firm. Nowadays, he has a good run. Almost nobody trusts the bonus system. The banks are just too big and the role of the individual is too small. To trust the system is to leave yourself vulnerable to the uncertain fate of an uncertain bonus. Today, it's every man for himself.

Which brings us to the credit mess and this year's bonus season. Of course, it was Wall Street's bonus system that practically begged the credit traders and bankers to take huge risks in search of those super-outsized profits. And $150 billion in losses later, there's not much left for the shareholders, much less the bonus pool.

Today, the grinder Lehman M&A managing director may be having his best year ever. He'll be happy to get a paltry bonus. But how does he sleep at night having passed on that offer of a fat guarantee from Deutsche Bank a year and a half ago, choosing to stick with Lehman for his entire career?

That was a mistake. He was living on the Wall Street of twenty years ago. Not the Wall Street of today.

最新评论

shunitang 发表于 2008-9-5 13:42:45
奖金季节迅速临近。很快,华尔街就会淹没在不满银行家们担心的眼泪和满腔怒火之中。一旦得知自己的奖金数目,银行家会大喊:“你怎么能这样对我?”而他的老板会回答:“资金不够。”

这是实情,但不是全部的事实。全部事实是,华尔街的奖金体系没有发挥应有的作用。它本应属于精英阶层,应该让员工的个人利益与银行和股东的利益保持一致。

但这个系统正日趋崩溃。今年,大多数银行家的奖金跟他们自身的功劳都不会有什么关系,而与他们一些高层同事所造成的严重信贷损失的程度密切挂钩。

在华尔街,讨论奖金的过程总是痛苦不堪而又充满政治意味。但二十年前,当投资银行还只有几千名从业者时,决定谁该拿多少奖金要容易一些。开几天会问题就搞定了。

随着华尔街发展成庞然大物,投行的薪资体系也随之膨胀。现在,它成了繁琐拖拉的庞大官僚主义程序,由数十名人力资源专家运作、有委员会进行管理,并有长达数千页的规章制度作出种种限定。

层层机构都是为了确保薪资的公平。但那多半只是幻想。银行家获得的奖金依然没有一定之规,且受到无数因素的影响,不在自己的掌控之内。

差不多每年这个时候,奖金季节就开始了,每个人都会得到同级、上司和下属的全方位评估。评估会有大量细节,银行家还会加入许多夸大之辞和谎言。

按照评估结果,有90%的银行家都在“公司里最努力、最有才干的银行家”之列,这也太惊人了。但当人人都在玩弄标准的时候,你只能得到这样的答案。

公司会根据这类评估为银行家们打分、排位。部门负责人会审查评估结果,重新打分和排名。接下来会有一两个委员会再次重复这一过程。然后公司的头头还要再来一遍。

为什么要进行这种极其耗时的冗长程序呢?

原因当然在于钱。部门的奖金总额很大程度上是按评估等级分配的。

但这一过程也支持了银行所宣称的精英体制。它证明了员工的个人表现和贡献很重要。它还是企业文化的源泉。想鼓励团队合作?那就惩罚不这么做的员工,降低他的等级,并让他知道这一点。

至少,理论上是这样的。

而实际上,评估和评级过程只是为了让管理人员有借口进行内部操纵,并避免将来的纠纷。

其他一些因素对银行家的奖金来说更为重要,尤其是资深银行家的奖金:两年或三年期保证合同、跳槽到对冲基金的威胁、与部门头头的老交情,当然还有自己的团队赚来的巨额利润。

数年前,银行家会在一家公司待很多年。现在,竞争十分激烈。几乎没有人相信奖金制度。银行规模实在太大,而个人的角色太微不足道了。要是相信制度,就等于让自己承受奖金数目不确定的无常命运。现在,人人都得为自己打算。

这一点让我们遭受了信贷危机,也迎来了今年的奖金季节。当然,正是华尔街的奖金制度令信贷交易员和银行家为了寻求巨额利润而甘冒巨大的风险。整个金融行业冲销1,500亿美元后,能给股东的分红已经没多少了,奖金更是少得多。

如今,雷曼兄弟(Lehman Brothers)负责并购交易的董事总经理或许赶上了自己有史以来最好的年头。他会很高兴地接受一份微薄的奖金。一年半以前,他拒绝了德意志银行(Deutsche Bank)丰厚的保证合同,选择在雷曼度过整个职业生涯,有了这样的经历,他晚上还怎么睡得着?

那是个错误。他似乎是活在二十年前的华尔街,而不是今天的华尔街。
丹妮 发表于 2008-9-5 14:08:12
偶的奖金季节何时到来昵
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