UBS dangles $40,000 bonuses to slow exodus of overworked junior bankers
Payout roughly double what competitors like Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo reportedly offering to keep new employees
Swiss bank UBS will offer its junior banking analysts a $40,000 bonus when they are promoted to the associate level — the latest bid by financial giants to retain younger workers amid an explosion in dealmaking.
The payout is roughly double what competitors like Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo are reportedly offering to keep rookie employees amid increasingly grueling routines, and amounts to roughly 30 percent of the annual base salary of a new associate, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news on Monday.
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The move comes as banks are scrambling to keep young talent from fleeing amid a dizzying workload from a spike in deals. In March, a leaked slideshow presentation compiled by 13 junior Goldman Sachs analysts detailed complaints about 100-hour workweeks. Some griped of shifts as long as 20 hours that left them little time to eat, sleep or shower, claiming that the grind damaging their physical and mental health.
After such complaints spilled onto social media, banks including Goldman and JPMorgan vowed to hire more staff, with the latter pledging to boost its headcount by 200. Private equity firm Apollo Global Management has reportedly offered some associates as much as $200,000 to stick around.
Elsewhere, Citibank CEO Jane Fraser told employees she was banning Zoom meetings on Fridays to address Zoom fatigue. Investment bank Jefferies even offered its junior staff the primo Peloton bike as a "thank you" for working long hours.
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But not everyone is getting a big payout. Even as UBS is offering more money to bankers, its shaving staff in other areas of the business. It’s unclear what the new headcount will be or where the cuts will be focused, but the bank has announced it plans to save about $300 million in restructuring costs.
A UBS spokesperson did not immediately respond to request for comment.