Magazine article Management Today

MT Learning Curve: Bonuses

Magazine article Management Today

MT Learning Curve: Bonuses

Article excerpt

- What are they? You find a fiver on a country path with no one else about - bonus! You get to the bus stop and your bus comes straight away - bonus! At least, that's how most people use the word. But in the City of London a bonus is something different. It has come to mean an almost automatic payment over and above (and often a good deal larger than) your salary. The so-called 'bonus culture' is not exactly business at its best, but it has for some time been business as usual. For some, bonus season means champagne, fast cars and big houses.

- Where did they come from?

Merchant banking used to be a rather discreet activity. A gentleman's word was his bond and well-meaning chaps would underwrite flotations and rights issues, arrange mergers and acquisitions, and head home happily on the 5.54 to Weybridge. But then came 'Big Bang' in 1986 and the opening up of the Square Mile to foreign owners and competitors Powerful US, Japanese and continental banks changed the City for ever. …

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