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To Ru$$ia, With Love Of Bonus Money

Investment bankers are rushing out of some of the biggest names in the financial services industry and into the money-filled arms of Russian banks and other financial entities.

Investment bankers are rushing out of some of the biggest names in the financial services industry and into the money-filled arms of Russian banks and other financial entities. The Times of London reports that the key to the exodus is the size of the bonus. “The problem with Western banks is that while they sometimes have generous fixed compensation, the bonus system is rather stable,” Elena Birenberg of Pyne & Moerner, a Moscow headhunter, told the Times. “It doesn’t matter if you had a great year or a bad year, the bonus is similar.” And the bait it takes to draw talent is working. For example, Merrill Lynch just lost Mike Eggleton to Russia’s Trust Investment Bank and Dresdner Bank watched Matthias Warnig walk out the door in December for a consortium building the North European pipeline. As one Moscow banker said in a Times interview, “Citigroup is complaining that is it is leaking staff to local firms because the Moscow pay scale is right off the end of the global pay scale and Russian firms are offering crazy packages.”

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