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The Annual/Performance Bonus in Investment Banking

Bonus in IB is an important component of the annual compensation to the investment bankers.

The terms and the size of the bonus are pretty critical and important to know.

They are based on firm performance, division level performance, group performance, and individual performance. There is a pool and everyone gets a piece of it (well almost!)


The more that is paid to those lower on the ladder, the less is left for those at the top. And this drives the process at all levels and hence there is a big room for subjectivity


Tools that justify these subjectivities include


1)     360 degree Feedback Systems


2)     Bucketing into “Exceeds Expectations”, “Meets Expectations”, “Does not Meet Expectations”, or


3)     Tracking the number of completed transactions in the year that involves you


Performance along with perception plays a sizeable role in deciding the numbers. To put it simply, it reflects how badly your manager wants you in their team


It always is a good idea to be nice to people especially your managers/bosses. But do not overdo (read it again!), it can be easily spotted


Your manager is your representative when the performance meetings take place. The more valuable you are to this person, the harder he/she may push for a better number for you (mostly!)





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