Japan’s bankers received higher bonuses but remain unimpressed

Lionel Kaidatzis 01 Apr 2019

Morgan McKinley’s Financial Services Bonus Survey 2019 shows that while more bonuses were paid out this year, the majority of Japanese bankers remains unimpressed. The same can be said about their outlook on Japan’s economy with the majority expressing feeling ‘neutral’ about Japan’s economic prospects. 

Key Findings of the Japan Bonus Satisfaction Survey

  • 41 % received a higher or significantly higher bonus compared to 2017 - 2018 while 34 % received approximately the same as the year before
  • 48 % received a bonus of 10 - 40% of their annual salary, followed by 24 % receiving over 40 % of their annual salary and 11% receiving 0 - 10%
  • The number of people receiving a bonus stayed at 86 % as the year before
  • 46 % feel ‘neutral’ about the economic outlook in Japan 
  • 46 % felt neutral about their bonus payments; only 19% were satisfied with their bonus payments

Morgan McKinley Japan’s Managing Director, Lionel Kaidatzis comments, “The results of this year’s survey for bonus payouts were actually more favourable than we had anticipated. The mood in the market seemed to be suggesting that bonus levels were going to be down on the previous year. “

Higher Bonus Payouts 

34% of financial services professionals received a higher bonus payout compared to the previous year. Over 24 % of respondents said that their bonus made up over 40% of their annual base salary.

Cautious Optimism about Japan’s Economic Outlook

The percentage of bankers feeling positive about Japan’s economic outlook has dropped significantly compared to the previous year with only 22% expressing they are feeling ‘positive’ about the outlook compared to 43% last year. 

Lionel Kaidatzis explains that this is not necessarily centred to Japan but rather a type of “cautious optimism”.

“The ongoing US/China trade wars and Brexit has put enough uncertainty into the markets for hiring managers to exercise caution before signing off on new hires. The economic outlook is therefore not necessarily centred to Japan, where the Olympics and the Rugby World Cup have created so much positive sentiment in recent years, but it has meant a switch from optimism to caution”. 

The survey further shows that respondents considered Japan’s local performance to be strong, however noticing a pull back on a global performance level. 


About Morgan McKinley

Morgan McKinley is a global professional services recruiter connecting specialist talent with leading employers across multiple industries and disciplines.
With offices across Ireland, the UK, Canada, Asia and Australia, the company’s professional recruitment expertise spans banking & financial services; commerce & industry and professional services. Morgan McKinley is a preferred supplier to many of the major employers in its specialist sectors and thousands of smaller local firms. 

Bonus Survey Methodology

Morgan McKinley Japan conducted its Bonus Satisfaction Survey in March 2019 and surveyed 289 financial services professionals. The poll was conducted through interviews, e-mails and phone calls with professionals from front office, middle office and back office functions.

To view the full Bonus Survey Report, visit the Morgan McKinley Japan website.


Further press information:

Yumi Kanazawa
Marketing Executive
Tel: +813 4550 6560

Alternatively, please contact the Press Office at pr_apac@morganmckinley.com  

Lionel Kaidatzis's picture
Managing Director