Bonuses are poised to recover on Wall Street this year, fueled by strong equity market gains and recovery in investment banking, according to financial services compensation firm Johnson Associates.

Investment bankers helping companies issue debt are expected to have the highest raises in bonuses this year, from 15% to 25%, as companies sell record volumes of debt.  As initial public offerings come back, bonuses for equity underwriters are expected to rise 10% to 20% this year.

“We are seeing almost all segments on Wall Street raising compensation”, said the firm’s founder Alan Johnson. “This should be a good year, although there are risks stemming from elections in the U.S. and global conflicts”.

Although improving, incentives in investment banking are still far from their peak in 2021. The only segment where pay is above the 2021 level is private equity, but the workforce at these companies is considerably smaller than in banks, Johnson said.

Reuters / May 7, 2024