Deutsche staff suffer as shares issued for bonuses slide 40%

The losses underline how in the post-crash era, with payouts increasingly linked to company and individual performance, bonuses can quickly lose value.

The German bank’s shares have been hit by fears that it could be fined billions of dollars in the US over charges of mortgage bond mis-selling a decade ago – the fall in the share price has turned into a market rout and triggered concerns that hedge fund clients are pulling away from doing business with the bank.

In its annual report, published in March, Deutsche Bank said it had awarded staff deemed material risk takers – 3,005 employees that the bank describes as having “a material impact on the risk profile” – shares worth €745 million as part of their bonuses.

The bank did not specify a reference share price for the awards. A bank spokesman declined to provide one and did not comment further on the bank’s compensation. At the close of trading on March 11, when the annual report was published, Deutsche Bank shares stood at €18.34.

If shares were awarded at that level, then at a share price of €11.57 as of the market closing on September 30, the €745 million of bonus shares are now worth about €470 million.

It is not known whether Deutsche Bank staff have sold any of their shares since the bonus awards were made, but much of the total sum will be deferred. Deutsche Bank raised the minimum deferral period for bonus payments from three years to four in 2016.

Deutsche Bank’s 2015 bonus pool for all employees was €2.4 billion according to the annual report, down 17% on the total for 2014. Of that total, 49% was deferred and 33% was in the form of shares.

Deutsche Bank’s management board did not take any bonuses in 2015.

This article was updated on September 30 to reflect the closing share price

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