Houlihan Lokey is sending its bankers on all-expenses paid vacations and bumping base comp and bonuses for junior employees, as perks keep flowing on Wall Street

  • Houlihan Lokey is sending its corporate finance bankers on all-expenses paid vacations.
  • The bank is increasing base comp by $5,000 for first-year analysts, and offering $10,000 special bonuses.
  • The news was first shared on social media by the financial-meme account Litquidity.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Wall Street is keeping the perks coming.

Houlihan Lokey is the latest financial services firm to offer perks to junior talent, as Wall Street contemplates how best to reward employees’ efforts after a difficult year of remote work.

The boutique investment bank, which is known for its industry-leading restructuring business and its banking services largely oriented toward the middle-market, announced internally that it is offering first-year analysts in the US who sit in the firm’s corporate finance division a $5,000 base compensation increase, a $10,000 spot bonus, and an all-expenses paid vacation to a destination based on a list of options the firm has presented them.

A person familiar with the company’s plans said that other analysts at other levels or business lines could receive similar perks, but it could not be determined how large their bonuses or salary bumps would be, nor could Insider verify the locations where analysts would be able to travel to.

The person familiar also said that everyone in the corporate finance division, from analyst up through managing director, would be eligible to receive the all-expenses paid trip.

The news was first made public on Wednesday in a post on Instagram by the financial-meme Instagram account @Litquidity. The person who runs @Litquidity, whose identity is anonymous, also posted an associated memo from Houlihan Lokey containing more details about the compensation and bonus news to Twitter on Wednesday morning.

“We recognize that the remote work environment, coupled with the accelerated and sustained pace of market activity, has created unique challenges for our industry and our team members,” Scott Adelson, co-president and global co-head of corporate finance, and Bob Hotz, vice chairman and corporate finance co-head, wrote in the memo.

“If we were in the NFL or NBA, we would be handing out rings. If we were a Formula One team, we would be spraying champagne,” they wrote. “Instead, our team, is going to celebrate our achievements with a global getaway!”

Adelson and Hotz also confirmed in the memo that the perks would have no impact on the Houlihan’s annual bonuses to employees. 

Plus, they hinted that the destinations would run the gamut from warm-weather escapes to cold-weather locales.

“Whether you choose a secluded beach or a ski adventure or a culinary experience, the choice is yours,” they added. Employees would be able to select their perk through a special web portal, according to the memo.

Banking’s record year has run some junior employees ragged

Recent reports from March, and leaked analyst presentations from junior employees at Goldman Sachs, have cast a light on the strain that younger talent in financial services have felt this year, with crushing deal volumes exacerbated by a protracted period of social isolation.

In addition to the perks, the recent Houlihan memo also noted three new policies put in place for associates and analysts effective April 19: no work past midnight without prior approval from a group head; one day a week where no work would be expected; and a minimum of 10 working days of vacation. 

To be sure, junior talents’ efforts haven’t been in vain, at least for some banks’ performance this quarter.

Indeed, when Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan reported their 2021 first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, both banks notched record investment-banking performance across equity capital markets and mergers and acquisitions.

The earnings serve as verification of the sky-high deal volumes and intense grind that young talent have invested in banks’ output over the past year.

Meanwhile, other financial services firms, including the investment-banking units at Credit Suisse and Bank of America, as well as the private-equity firms Warburg Pincus and Apollo, are also taking steps to provide base comp raises or bonuses for junior employees.

We have all the perks that Wall Street firms are rolling out here.

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