Wall Street pay to reach a record high

WALL Street pay is expected to reach a record high this year, for the second year running.

The 35 top public securities and investment-services firms expect to pay staff $144bn (£90.4bn) in compensation and benefits in fiscal 2010, up four per cent from the $139bn paid out in 2009, a new Wall Street Journal study has found.

Of the firms surveyed, 26 anticipate compensation will rise this year.

The companies, which include investment banks, hedge funds, banks and securities exchanges, expect to pay about 32.1 per cent of revenues to employees.

This is the same level as 2009, but lower than the 33.9 per cent of revenue paid out in 2008 and 36 per cent of revenue paid out in 2007.

However pay increases appear likely to outstrip growth in revenue, which is forecast to rise three per cent from $433bn to $448bn.

Though profits are recovering, the $61.3bn total anticipated profit in the firms surveyed is still about 20 per cent lower than the $82bn generated in 2006.

The survey projects Goldman Sachs’ payout will lift 3.7 per cent from $16.2bn to $16.8bn, despite a forecasted 13.5 per cent revenue drop.