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by Sarah Butcher 2 days ago

 

Today is the day. JPMorgan and Citi are the first banks to divulge just what went on in the three months to October and in the first nine months of this year. If you’re an employee in JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank (CIB) or Citi’s institutional client group (ICG), the message from both banks is strangely similar. – You are being sweated more than before.

Both banks have squeezed costs and achieved an increase in profit margins in their investment banking units in the first nine months of the year.

Coincidentally, the squeeze has had an identical effect: at both banks, profits now account for 33.5% of revenues, where last year they accounted for 31%. At JPMorgan’s investment bank, profits were up an impressive 15% in the first nine months of 2018 versus the same period last year; at Citi they were up 10%. Revenues were up by a lesser 8% and 2% respectively.

The cost squeeze reflects an ongoing attempt to keep a handle on expenses which is likely to make itself felt in the 2018 bonus round, particularly for front office staff. Citi doesn’t break out headcount in its institutional clients group, but J.P. Morgan has been doing some heavy hiring this year, adding 2,652 people to its corporate and investment bank in the third quarter alone. It’s safe to assume that a large proportion of these hires (many of them likely recent graduates) will be joining the technology team, which already employed 50,000 people at the end of last year, and is in growth mode.

 

Salespeople, traders and investment bankers can expect to have their compensation held steady to help accommodate all these new programmers – and indeed, pay per head at JPM plateaued at an average of $150k in the first nine months.

 

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