Changing Wall Street's ethos as Citigroup looks at alternate compensation


In the face of TARP restrictions on executive pay, Citigroup is considering several ways to generously compensate its highest-earning employees. Ranging from increasing base salaries to offering commissions to spinning off successful divisions, the company's goal is to find ways to retain the most effective employees, many of whom will be lured by other banks that are able to offer more money.

On Wall Street, the question of executive compensation is directly linked to survival, as the brain drain caused by superstar employees running for the hills could delay recovery efforts. Some banks, including Goldman Sachs, are exploring ways to rapidly pay off their TARP debt in order to escape the government's restrictions on executive pay. Most, however, will continue to owe the government for a very, very long time, which means that they will either need to pay their executives less or will have to find alternate forms of compensation.

Originally published