$550 Million in Fees for One Merrill Lynch Banker

Wall Street Journal – Some numbers are so big you just have to stand back and admire them. An investment banker claiming $550 million of fees in a single year is just such a number.

The number is staggering for an industry in which a great year means an investment banker brought in $25 million in fees and $40 million of fees makes a Wall Streeter a star.

Then there is Merrill Lynch banker Andrea Orcel laying claim to bringing in more than 13 times that for his firm, or $550 million in fees, according to this Wall Street Journal article by our colleague Susanne Craig. That earned Orcel a 2008 bonus of $33.6 million–down just a smidge from the $38 million he received in the M&A boom year of 2007.

Investment bankers’ bonuses are based in large part on the credit the individual bankers claim for the deals they worked on. As today’s Page One Journal article notes, Orcel won a big one-time bonus of $12 million in 2007 just for advising the Royal Bank of Scotland Group-led $101 billion acquisition of Dutch bank ABN Amro.

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