SoftBank’s hired gun takes high road to ownership

August 20, 2015

Nikesh Arora will invest $483 million in the Japanese tech group, cementing his place as successor to founder Masayoshi Son. It’s a refreshing change from the complex awards handed out by many U.S. companies. It should also help the ex-Googler push through more bold investments.

Goldman pulls every lever to make machine run

October 16, 2014

Bankers and traders helped the firm increase profit 50 pct from a year ago. Investments like Tesla supplier Mobileye contributed, too. Socking away less for pay, though, provided the real fillip to 11.8 pct return on equity. In tough times especially, that’s how it should work.

Goldman bankers rank ahead of shareholders again

January 18, 2012

Lower taxes and compensation helped the firm run by Lloyd Blankfein to beat Q4 estimates. But 2011 return on equity was still a sad 3.7 percent. Applying JPMorgan’s pay rate would have boosted investor returns by half. Instead, Goldman bankers retain a dubious league-table crown.

Top hedgies show Wall Street how it’s done

March 1, 2012

The $3 bln paycheck for Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio, as calculated by Forbes, hasn’t generated the outrage directed at investment bankers. The message seems pretty clear: Create your own business, reward investors, too, and don’t go public. Oh, and skip the government bailout.

Bigger bucks come to Supreme Court clerks who wait

October 3, 2012

Top U.S. law firms are offering $280,000 signing bonuses to lure the best young lawyers. But many do stints with the government first. A new Breakingviews calculator shows how that path can be financially smarter over the long run. Uncle Sam gets to hire the best talent, too.

Tip bankers like waiters

March 1, 2013

Forget Europe’s bonus caps for bankers. Why not put a ceiling on salaries and let clients reward good service, just as they do in restaurants? Banker pay could shrink to a more realistic level. After all, this is a business that likes to boast about serving its customers.

Orcel bonanza shows how far banks must go on pay

March 14, 2013

UBS stumped up $26 mln to prise investment-bank head Andrea Orcel from BAML - making a mockery of so-called retention packages. Switzerland may be clamping down on high pay. But it takes only one firm to perpetuate the financial sector’s compensation problem.

Is Goldman rebasing comp at a lower level?

By Hugo Dixon
July 20, 2010

Is Goldman Sachs rebasing compensation at a lower level? For the second quarter in a row the investment bank's compensation ratio has been only 43 percent. In the past, Goldman paid out around 50 percent of revenue to staff. For ordinary mortals, the numbers are still staggering: on an annualised basis, $545,000 is being set aside for each of the firm's employees. But it does look like Goldman may finally be listening to its critics.

EU bonus-cap vote puts fund managers in hot seat

July 3, 2013

Asset managers may feel relief after the European Parliament rejected proposals to limit bonus payments and outlaw performance fees. But the ideas have not gone away. Managers should admit that the debate on pay is pertinent - and reform themselves.

Bankers should be in bonus penalty box

By Hugo Dixon
February 3, 2010

Bankers have earned themselves a cut in pay.