Trading Places: BlackRock’s 8% pay bump; Barclays hires JPMorgan’s Ward in trading push

As the world of finance still struggles with the fallout from the pandemic, a clear trend has emerged; big players are determined to keep paying top staff for their efforts.

The Wall Street salary wars continued again this week. BlackRock put its stake in the ground with an 8% increase for lower ranks. Goldman Sach’s staff comp pool has shot up by an incredible 50% in the first half of the year, its results revealed, with the bank’s chief executive saying that we shouldn’t be surprised to see it keep paying juniors “appropriately”.

The pay rises come as banks such as JPMorgan remain undeterred about the gradual march of those staff back into physical offices, as it gets ready to lift the 50% capacity cap on its London base.

We have a long-read here though on why these $100,000 might just not be enough to keep the best and brightest around once the world moves further back to normality.

The world of law has also been far from immune from its own pay wars in recent months.  Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy reported that profit per equity partner has increased 17% to £1.9m on the back of a global M&A boom.

The firm boosted profit-before tax 19% to £822m in the year ended 30 April, while client revenue climbed 5% to £1.77bn.

Who might not be getting a pay rise then? Women, unfortunately, as new research showed that progress for female representation at the executive level has stalled during the pandemic. It is now projected to take until 2036 for boardrooms to reach gender parity.

The big people moves news of the week surrounded the continued troubles of Credit Suisse after the Archegos and Greensill affairs. The bank’s Swiss compliance head exited after just four months in the job, heading out of the door with immediate effect.

Faring slightly better, Barclays scored the hire of Peter Ward, an 11-year JPMorgan veteran, to lead its global electronic trading team.

Meanwhile, Abrdn, the asset manager formerly known as Standard Life Aberdeen, has reshaped its top team ahead of chief investment officer Rod Paris’ retirement at the end of the year.

The firm has created a real assets franchise to be headed by Neil Slater. Devan Kaloo will take on the role of head of public markets and Craig Macdonald will be deputy head, Robert McKillop will continue to lead the global product and solutions business, while Archie Struthers will oversee investment execution and the firm’s investment platform as head of the central investments teams.

Fellow asset management giant BlackRock also shuffled its ranks, creating a new head of sustainability role for its Europe, Middle East and Africa business. The move leaves Christian Hyldahl in sole charge of its European operations as Stéphane Lapiquonne takes up the mantle.

Lapiquonne was previously co-head of continental Europe with Hyldahl and country manager for France, Belgium and Luxembourg at the world’s largest asset manager.

Over in the world of law, Linklaters will have an all-new top management team following the election of corporate head Aedamar Comiskey to the role of senior partner in May, as it appointed head of finance Paul Lewis as its new managing partner.

Lewis succeeds former banking head Gideon Moore who has held the role since January 2016.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Justin Cash

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