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Time and again there is talk of enormous bonus payments. This triggers outrage in some people, and in others the desire to pursue this profession themselves. Our statistics show how the bonus pools and average bonus payments for investment bankers in New York develop.

The bonus pool reached its all-time high in 2006 with 34.3 billion dollars. In 2007 it slumped a little, then sharply in 2008 to 17.6 billion dollars. This is not surprising, since 2007 was the beginning of the financial crisis.

A similar development can be seen in the years 2000 to 2002. While the bonus reached a temporary high of 19.5 billion dollars in 2000, it then collapsed first to 13.0, then to 9.8 billion dollars. This coincides with the bursting of the dotcom bubble, during which technology companies in particular saw their share prices plummet.

It is striking that 2017 is almost back to the level of 2006. The bonus pool amounts to 32.1 billion euros in 2017. This coincides with the good economic development in the USA.

After a decline in 2018, not least the good stock market year in ensured a slight increase in the bonus pool again. However, a sharp drop is expected for 2020 due to the Corona crisis.

The average bonus payments to investment bankers in New York largely correlate with the size of the pool. After a temporary peak in 2000 with bonuses averaging $100,530, it initially collapsed to reach its all-time high of $140,630 just before the financial crisis.

In 2017, bonuses recovered. 184,300 dollars was estimated to be paid to investment bankers in New York. As with the bonus pool, it declined in 2018, followed by a slight increase in 2019.

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How did the Dow Jones compare to bonus payments?

The Dow Jones can also be seen to have plummeted around 2000 and 2008. However, unlike bonus payments, the Dow Jones' all-time high is after the financial crisis

More facts about New York investment bankers

After the financial crisis of 2008, investment banking lost importance in New York - in favour of other industries. Many jobs were cut. In the meantime, however, the industry has recovered. The most important facts:

  •     Within three years, 11,100 new jobs were created in the investment industry in New York. In 2016, there were 177,000 employees there. This is the highest level since the financial crisis.
  •     In 2007, there were 11,900 more employees in the investment industry than in 2016 ( 6 percent).
  •     The New York investment industry accounted for 19 percent of the total investment industry in the USA in 2016. In 1990, the share was one third.
  •     The average salary of a New York investment banker is five times higher than the average salary of other employees in the New York private sector.
  •     Investment bankers earned one-fifth of the salary in New York's private sector despite making up only five per cent of jobs.
  •     In 2016, 38 per cent of New York investment bankers were commuters, almost twice as many as in other industries.
  •     Just under a quarter of New York investment industry employees earned more than $250,000 in 2016. In the US as a whole, it was one-tenth of investment industry employees.
  •     In 2016, one-third of employees in the New York investment industry were immigrants.