Life Is Hard on Wall Street Right Now, Unless You’re a Tech Analyst

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The summer of 2011 hasn't been the cheeriest one for the average Wall Street employee. The market has been ... tempestuous, to put it kindly. Several firms were hit with layoff news — HSBC, Barclays Goldman Sachs, Bank of America. Reuters reports that shortly before Credit Suisse lowered the ax on 2,000 employees, it spent some cash on internal advertising, apparently meant to boost morale. "Museum-quality prints" of happy-looking employees with slogans like "proactive" were hung on the walls and in the elevator, only to be taken down just before layoffs hit. Not quickly enough for Credit Suisse-rs to contemplate the amount the firm had dropped on the short-lived project, even while figuring out how to trim the fat on payroll. Add to that the longer hours and lower bonuses, and you get strategies like this one:


"People are leaving resumes on the printers, hoping someone picks it up," the Credit Suisse employee said.


Subtle?

But life has almost never looked better for one flavor of Wall Streeter: Tech analysts haven't been such a hot property since the halcyon days of the late nineties when Henry Blodget, pre-securities-fraud charges, made a name for himself forecasting Amazon's growth. This time around, it's the interest (or bubble, depending on your perspective) in social media driving analysts' salaries higher. In 2001, average salary was somewhere north of $1.4 million for an analyst; it's since dropped to $700,000–800,000, after a 2003 regulatory crackdown stipulated that "analysts be paid based on seniority, experience, quality of research and the demand for their services in the marketplace — not on the deals they help wrangle." There's more demand these days (with about half as many analysts focusing on the web as there were during the Blodget era), and so for stars, it's been a good climate recently to make a jump, or feint at one, reports Dealbook.


Douglas Anmuth was lured to JPMorgan Chase earlier this year with a pay package valued at roughly $2 million. He had been making about $1.3 million at Barclays Capital, an arm of the British bank.

Heather Bellini landed at Goldman Sachs with a remarkable pay package worth almost $3 million. And Mark Mahaney, whom JPMorgan tried to hire with an offer of about $3 million, stayed on at Citigroup — after getting a raise.

Still, this analyst boom-era is unlikely to approach dot-com levels. For one thing, the information analysts are peddling is less difficult to find than it was a decade ago — investors often turn to blogs these days for (free) insight. The Internet! We hear it's going to be huge.

Layoffs sweep Wall Street, along with low morale [Reuters]
Star Analysts Are Back (No Autographs, Please) [Dealbook/NYT]