US - Asset managers can expect slimmer bonuses this year as firms continue to struggle from the downturn, according to a new report by recruitment firm Russell Reynolds Associates.
The firm found that bonus pools at asset and wealth management firms will likely be down by up to 35% at year end.
Russell said the firms that managed to pull up investment performance, hold on to assets under management and trim costs during the past year will be likely to report fewer cuts in bonus levels.
Russell managing director Cornelia Kiley said: "Even though accruals are now moving in the right direction, unless firms were able to align all three factors, bonus pools are likely down 20% to 35% from last year."
Asset management firms will likely allocate the bulk of their bonuses to the best performers in an effort to boost retention of top talent, Russell said.
"Not wanting to disappoint top performers for a second year in a row, many firms will skew bonus payments to retain ‘keepers'-but the deep personnel cuts of 2009 means that there are fewer employees to ‘fund' those top performers," Russell said in a release.
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