New Wall Street pay leaves co-op boards befuddled

Brokers work overtime for finance industry buyers with complex compensation packages

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From the April issue: As Wall Street pay grows more complex, brokers are facing an even tougher sell to co-op boards these days. Stock options — sometimes deferred — can be a particular sticking point. “[Boards] do not look on [deferred stocks] as real money,” said Alicia Gany, a real estate partner at Wollmuth Maher & Deutsch. “Anything that has a value that can’t be immediately realized, they’re going to look at as barely nothing.” Spurred by the financial crisis, Wall Street has moved from basing bonuses on short-term, risky performance to basing them on long-term performance by way of stock options, which, according to New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office, accounted for the top executive bonuses at most of the largest financial firms. Though those forms of deferred compensation were left off a recent study of 2009 Wall Street bonuses, DiNapoli found that bonuses were up 17 percent, to $20.3 billion. [more]