Wall Street bonuses could fall more than 10 percent this year after declines in fixed-income trading revenue and China’s currency devaluation hurt profits, Stifel Financial Corp. Chief Executive Officer Ronald Kruszewski said.
“I think they could be down more,” Kruszewski said Tuesday in an interview on Bloomberg Television when asked about estimates that payouts could drop 5 percent to 10 percent. “I’m not sure people have factored in the debacle that occurred in fixed income in the third quarter.”
Revenue from trading bonds, currencies and commodities has declined industrywide, which puts pressure on companies to push down compensation and find ways to reduce costs. Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse Group AG are among global firms considering reducing bonuses, with the German bank weighing a 30 percent cut, and the Swiss one considering 60 percent.
Stifel, which is known for acquiring regional rivals and Wall Street castoffs, has expanded its wealth-management business and also advises on mergers. The St. Louis-based firm’s third-quarter profit was below analysts’ estimates as expenses increased.
“It was a tough summer,” Kruszewski said. “People forgot about China and the devaluation and all that was going on, so this is not necessarily a year to write home for.”
He said he thinks the industry in general is doing just fine. “Let’s not cry about it,” he said.