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Half of Wall Street Expect Bigger Bonuses

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Half of Wall Street certainly views the recession as over, at least with regard to their bonuses, according to a survey released Monday. The eFinancialCareers Global Bonus Expectations Survey, conducted between Sept. 15-28 in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, found that 50% of U.S.-based financial professionals expect bigger bonuses for their 2010 performance than they got for their work in 2009.

Those at hedge funds, commercial banks, independent trading or research firms and professional services companies are less likely to expect more money in their bonus envelopes, but those who do, whatever their company, list personal performance and firm performance (34% and 33%, respectively) as the chief reasons for their expectations. Nine percent chalk up expected bonus increases to job-hopping.

The “greed is good” crowd, for whom money is the most important reason to work in finance, is alive and well at 37%, although they’re outnumbered, at 61%, by those who say that money is important, but not the most important reason they work in financial services. A paltry 2% say money isn’t important at all. Of those Gordon Gekko wannabes, 10% expect a more than 50% increase.

Interestingly, those in Asia expecting a bigger bonus significantly outnumber U.S. financial professionals of like mind. They come in at 71% (Hong Kong) and 69% (Singapore). U.K. professionals also lead the U.S., with 57% looking for more, while Germany trails the pack at 47%. Asia and the U.K. also outnumber the U.S. in believing those bonus raises will come in at more than 50%, although Germany and Australia hit the same 10% as the U.S.


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