Options Group Press Releases
Press Releases


2013/2014 Global Financial Markets Overview and Compensation Report

Options Group, a leading global executive search and strategic consulting firm, announces the release of its annual global report on hiring and compensation trends for financial services professionals. Michael Karp, co-founder and CEO of Options Group, said, "This is the year of divergence. Many banks have made significant progress optimizing their balance sheet, implementing greater efficiencies and adjusting headcount. However, this will not translate into larger bonuses for most professionals, as a portion of the cost savings will be used to offset rising costs associated with legal, regulatory and compliance issues."

The results of the 2013/2014 Global Financial Markets Overview and Compensation Report indicate that average compensation will increase 4% in 2013 from 2012. Declines in FICC (fixed income, currencies and commodities) revenues will be offset by higher revenues in equities, investment banking and private wealth management. Options Group forecasts that average global compensation will decrease 10% in FICC, increase 12% in equities, increase 6% in investment banking, and increase 6% in private wealth management. In the US, rates, securitized products and emerging markets professionals, on average, are expected to experience the largest compensation declines; while equities, equity derivatives, prime services, investment banking and private wealth management professionals are forecasted to see the largest average compensation increases.

Karp continued, "It has been a very challenging operating environment for the past four consecutive years and each bank has chosen to invest more in some areas and scale back in others. They no longer follow a uniform trend, as some groups within banks are reporting record years, while other groups are reporting record losses. For these reasons, we believe the most relevant theme for this year is divergence, as there are wide differences in compensation trends between banks, groups and individuals. Additionally, bulge-bracket banks used to consistently pay higher than other sell-side firms, but this is no longer the case. Non-bulge bracket banks and boutiques are attracting top-talent by offering compensation packages at levels equal to their bulge bracket competitors."

This 150-page report contains over 1,200 compensation data points and over 50 placement examples across six major financial regions from associate to managing director levels. It provides in-depth analysis of hiring trends and the competitive landscape within key geographical regions, as well as compensation projections by asset class and product category.
The report is available for purchase exclusively to clients of Options Group.

Estimates in the report represent expected total compensation for the top 25% of professionals in their respective roles or specialties, and exclude the top 1% of compensation ranges. Total compensation is defined as base salary plus cash and non-cash bonus awarded for 2013. Unless otherwise noted, estimates are in U.S. dollars.

Forecasts incorporate general market conditions from January 1, 2013 to September 31, 2013. In the event that market conditions change dramatically subsequent to this date, Options Group claims no responsibility for the accuracy of this information. This report provides an in-depth analysis of compensation data gathered through our discussions with candidates, consultants and clients and offers forward-looking compensation projections by product and geographical region. Percentage changes in compensation are based on employees' expectations and Options Group's perspectives on current compensation and hiring trends. OGIU also hired an independent source to gather compensation information at all levels for every product in the global financial markets business.

The Options Group 2013/2014 Global Financial Markets Overview and Compensation Report is the culmination of twelve months of work contributed by over 120 global consultants and research professionals. It is intended to help our clients make informed compensation decisions for 2013 and to develop their human resource management plans and policies for 2014. Our Options Group Intelligence Unit (OGIU) has captured information on global business performance, key talent moves, recruitment trends and compensation practices through its extensive global database of over 500,000 industry professionals, interviews with senior executives across the industry and various other data sources.

Options Group is able to provide thorough assessments of expected compensation for 2013 by product, asset class, region and banking institution. As 2013 draws to an end and institutions begin the process of allocating bonus pools and 2014 budgets, these estimates may be used by hiring managers and business unit heads as a guide to employee compensation expectations.

Founded in 1992, Options Group is a leading global executive search and strategic consulting firm for the financial services industry. Since 2000, we have maintained a local presence on five continents and have placed thousands of mid- to senior-level professionals in all areas of the financial services industry at a range of institutions. With over 120 consultants and market intelligence professionals worldwide, Options Group has a thorough knowledge of key competencies in the financial industry and is at the cutting edge of global hiring services and compensation trends for securities, investment banking, hedge funds, asset management, and information technology. Options Group possesses a track record of consistently providing expeditious and comprehensive executive search and market intelligence services to clients.

Options Group Intelligence Unit is the business information and research arm of Options Group. Through its extensive global network of analysts, consultants and client relationships, Options Group Intelligence Unit is uniquely equipped to assist senior executives in making more prudent business decisions by providing timely, accurate and reliable analysis on financial firms and market trends. Options Group is committed to delivering value-added market intelligence and strategic consulting in addition to our executive search services.


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