Amid Intense Criticism, Wall Street Firms Are Now Giving Junior Bankers 6-Figure Bonuses in a Desperate Bid to Retain Them

The announcements come as junior-level analysts and associates have raised concerns about their overwhelming workloads.

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By Justin Chan

As an increasing number of junior bankers air their grievances about their work environment, a number of Wall Street firms are taking steps to retain their disgruntled workers, Insider reports.

Last Sunday, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon promised — in a voice note obtained by the New York Postthat he would try his best to give exhausted employees at least one day off per week. The CEO made the announcement in the wake of a viral PowerPoint presentation that claimed several workers were working as many as 100 hours per week.

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"What is not ok to me is 110-120 hours over the course of a week!" one alleged employee wrote. "The math is simple, that leaves 4 hours for eating, sleeping, showering bathroom and general transition time. This is beyond the level of "hard-working,' it is inhuman/ abuse."

Other firms appear to have followed Solomon's footsteps, as they have similarly come under fire for overtaxing their associates. Investment firm Apollo Global Management, for instance, saw seven of its 30 private-equity associates leave its New York City office in three months. Employees have accused the firm of piling on work on Saturday nights despite being told that the firm would forbid work calls and emails from Friday to Saturday evenings.

Insider reports that Apollo is now attempting to retain its associates — many of whom get paid $450,000 in their first year — by offering more money. The firm is purportedly offering six-figure retention bonuses (ranging from $100,000 to $200,000) to first-year, second-year and third-year associates, as long as they stay until September 2022.

Investment bank Credit Suisse is similarly offering a financial incentive, telling junior and midlevel staffers that they should expect bonuses and salary raises in the next few months. According to Insider, the firm will not only give $20,000 bonuses but also implement a relaxed dress code when employees are not meeting with clients.

In place of bonuses, another firm, Jefferies Financial Group, told its analysts and associates that it would send them a gift of their choice as a thank you. The options are a Peloton bike, a Mirror Home Workout system and a number of Apple products.

Justin Chan

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Justin Chan is a news writer at Previously, he was a trending news editor at Verizon Media, where he covered entrepreneurship, lifestyle, pop culture, and tech. He was also an assistant web editor at Architectural Record, where he wrote on architecture, travel, and design. Chan has additionally written for Forbes, Reader's Digest, Time Out New YorkHuffPost, Complex, and Mic. He is a 2013 graduate of Columbia Journalism School, where he studied magazine journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @jchan1109.

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