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U.S. Financial Services Professionals' Bonus Outlook and Job Confidence Deteriorates

Survey Finds Those Expecting Lower Bonuses Increased from 12% in January to 23% in March 34% are Less Confident in Job Security since Bear Stearns Bailout

NEW YORK, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey by eFinancialCareers, the leading network of career sites for financial services professionals and the firms seeking to employ them, found U.S. financial services professionals' outlook on their 2008 bonuses has deteriorated over the last two months, along with confidence in their job security as Wall Street's financial troubles have intensified.

eFinancialCareers conducted a survey in late March of more than 1,200 U.S. financial services professionals, after conducting a similar survey in late January. The number of respondents that expected their 2008 bonus to be lower than their 2007 bonus swelled from 12 percent in January to 23 percent in March. This change was driven mainly by a decrease in the number of professionals who were previously unsure about their 2008 bonus which fell from 27 percent in January to 16 percent in March. Also, respondents not expecting a bonus in 2008 rose from 4 percent in January to 10 percent in March.

"While troubles in the capital markets have been making headlines since the summer of 2007, the reality of the potential effects on 2008 compensation are now really starting to resonate with financial services professionals," said John Benson, founder and Chief Executive Officer of eFinancialCareers.

The survey found there is still a degree of optimism on the 2008 bonus outlook, which could reflect the diversity of financial services jobs. Twenty-five percent of respondents expect their bonuses to climb this year (vs. 27 percent in January), while 27 percent believe bonuses will be about the same (vs. 30 percent in January).

Although 48 percent of respondents did not believe the bailout of Bear Stearns will have an adverse impact on their ability to maintain their jobs, 34 percent are less confident in their job security, while 14 percent have already lost their jobs.

"Over the first three months of the year, the number of resumes posted on eFinancialCareers in the U.S. has nearly doubled versus the same period in 2007. However, those worried about job security and compensation can take some comfort as hedge funds, asset management institutions and even investment banks, are still recruiting talented professionals," Mr. Benson noted.

Job Seeking

It appears recent events did not compel U.S. finance professionals to either jump into the job hunt, or take themselves out of it. The percentage of professionals intending to look for jobs in 2008 remained essentially unchanged from the January survey with approximately 58 percent of March respondents seeking new jobs in 2008. Seventy-two percent of those seeking a job were already looking for a new position before the latest Wall Street troubles.

However, bonus dissatisfaction could be motivation for finding a new job. In January, 54 percent said they planned to look for new jobs in 2008. Asked whether their 2007 bonus was driving them to look for a new job, more than half answered yes or partly.

2007 Bonuses

eFinancialCareers' January survey of U.S. financial services professionals found that contrary to media reports of widespread bonus cutbacks, more than two-thirds of respondents reported an increase in 2007 bonuses compared to 2006. Notably, 19 percent reported their bonuses jumped more than 50 percent compared with 2006. Another 9 percent reported receiving 31-50 percent more than the previous year, while 17 percent received 11-30 percent more. Twenty- one percent said their bonus declined from 2006, while 11 percent said they received no bonus in 2007.

Respondents' total compensation for 2007 showed a median of $140,000 and a mean of $205,158.

Survey Methodology

The January eFinancialCareers Bonus Survey was administered online throughout the month with more than 1,600 registered U.S. eFinancialCareers users responding. Registered users were invited to participate in the survey through e-mail. The follow-up survey was administered online during the two- week period subsequent to the bailout of Bear Stearns in March using the same methodology with more than 1,200 registered eFinancialCareers users responding.

For March and January comparisons, only respondents who indicated they received a 2007 bonus were included. Inconsistent responses were removed from the analysis and data presented.

eFinancialCareers currently lists more than 2,500 permanent, contract and consulting jobs nationwide for financial professionals and more than 12,000 positions worldwide.

Table 1: Do you expect your 2008 bonus to be higher or lower than your 2007 bonus?

                     January 2008    March 2008
      Higher              27%           25%
      Same                30%           27%
      Lower               12%           23%
      Not sure            27%           16%
      What bonus?          4%           10%

Table 2: Has the recent bailout of Bear Stearns and the news of Wall Street's financial troubles changed your confidence in keeping your job?

                                               March 2008
      I am more confident                          4%
      It has had no effect on my confidence       48%
      I am less confident                         34%
      I've already lost my job                    14%

Table 3: Do you expect to be job hunting in 2008?

                     January 2008    March 2008
      Yes                 54%           58%
      Maybe               24%           20%
      No                  18%           15%
      Not Sure             4%            6%

Table 4: How did your 2007 bonus compare to last year?

                                     January 2008
      51+% higher                         19%
      31 - 50% more                        9%
      11 - 30% more                       17%
      0 - 10% more                        23%
      1 - 10% less                         6%
      11 - 30% less                        6%
      31 - 50% less                        4%
      51% less                             5%
      Received no bonus in 2007           11%

About eFinancialCareers

eFinancialCareers, a Dice Holdings, Inc. company, is the leading global career site network for professionals working in the investment banking, asset management and securities industries. The website provides financial services professionals with job opportunities, job market news and analysis, salary surveys and career advice. Recruiters and employers can post jobs targeting specific sectors within the financial services industry, both buy-side and sell-side, and can search the resume database for highly qualified and specialized professionals. eFinancialCareers has a network of co-branded career sites with industry-leading trade publications and offers local websites in 14 markets and five languages across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

ICR Inc.
Stephanie Sampiere, 646-277-1222,
Matt Lindberg, 203-682-8214,