Wag the dog: Wall St. bonuses jump in 2013

Bigger payouts likely to lead to a boost in real estate buys

TRD New York /
Mar.March 12, 2014 04:03 PM

Brokers better gear up for a rush of new clients. Bonuses paid to employees in the securities industry jumped by 15 percent to $164,530 in 2013, according to an estimate released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

That’s the largest average bonus paid out since the 2008 financial crisis. Given the strong connection between Wall Street bonuses and real estate sales, it’s likely to lead to some trophy buys.

“Wall Street navigated through some rough patches last year and had a profitable year,” DiNapoli said. “Securities industry employees took home significantly higher bonuses on average.”

Employment in the securities industry stabilized in 2013, DiNapoli added, though at 165,200 jobs as of December 2013, it’s still 12.6 percent lower than pre-crisis levels. The industry is a major contributor to the city’s tax coffers – about 8.5 percent of the city’s tax revenues in 2013, or about $3.8 billion, were from activities directly attributable to the securities industry, according to DiNapoli.

That’s a year-over-year increase of nearly 27 percent.

In 2008, six of the top 10 priciest residential deals in Manhattan Involved Wall Street buyers, as TRD reported. Douglas Elliman’s Frances Katzen estimated in January that about half her buyers were involved in the world of finance. And Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Jason Pruger told TRD in July that the city’s real estate market danced to the tunes of Wall Street.

“Real estate is the tail and Wall Street is the dog,” Pruger said.

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