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Wall Street bankers enjoy a £104bn pay bonanza as deal frenzy sparks war for top financial talent










Wall Street’s biggest banks hiked their pay by nearly 15 per cent last year as a frenzy of deal-making sparked a war for top financial talent.

JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup collectively doled out just over £104billion in pay and benefits in 2021 compared with the £91billion paid the year before.

JP Morgan was the biggest payer, shelling out £28.2billion, followed by Bank of America which paid out £26.5billion.

JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup collectively doled out £104bn in pay and benefits in 2021 compared with the £91bn paid the year before

JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup collectively doled out £104bn in pay and benefits in 2021 compared with the £91bn paid the year before

Citigroup paid £18.4billion in compensation, while Morgan Stanley doled out £18.1billion and Goldman Sachs £13billion.

The boom in pay, bonuses and other benefits came as banks looked to retain their workers following a record year that saw them rake in record profits amid a surge in mergers and acquisitions as well as more companies listing on global stock markets.

Deal-making last year hit its highest levels since records began, with over £4.3 trillion worth agreed during the year as low interest rates and cash injections into the economy from central banks provided easy access to debt to fund acquisitions.

The surge was a 64 per cent rise year-on-year and 54 per cent higher than in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. 

It also sparked a boom in fees for investment banks, which last year totalled a record £115billion.

Most of the increased pay last year came in the form of fatter bonus cheques, rather than increased base salaries, which allow banks greater flexibility to cut back payments if earnings begin to decline, a scenario widely expected this year as the pace of deals begins to slow.

However, the ever-expanding wage bill and costs have been worrying investors, with Goldman’s profits for the fourth quarter of 2021 falling short of forecasts after its expenses jumped 23 per cent in the period to £5.3billion.

The bumper pay packets also follow growing frustration and protests about working hours at Wall Street institutions.

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At the height of its power the USSR spread out for more than 8.6 million square miles (22.4 million square kilometres) and the whole region was dotted with monuments and statues promoting Soviet ideology.

While some of the most famous of these monuments have now been toppled, hundreds still exist and a brand-new photobook has been released by French snapper Jason Guilbeau that showcases some of the most surreal.

Soviet Signs & Street Relics (Fuel Design & Publishing) features more than 70 snaps of everything from plinths topped with trains, tractors, buses and Soviet symbols to colossal concrete sculptures of fighter planes frozen in flight.

Compiling the book during lockdown, when travel was restricted, Guilbeau ingeniously enlisted the help of Google Street View to virtually scour Russia and the former Soviet Union for the signs.

The foreword to the book, written by Clem Cecil, explains: ‘Relics of the Soviet past transport us in time and space. Those featured in this book are far from the beaten track, in places it is unlikely we will visit. Each one is a minor monument to a Soviet vision of the future, the foundation of which crumbled some 30 years ago.’

Scroll down to see 14 of the fascinating images presented in the book.

This shot showcases a monument in the mining town of Vorkuta in Northern Russia. The foreword to the book, written by Clem Cecil, explains: 'The minor pieces of street art, monuments and insignia shown in this book, were foot soldiers to the major monuments, such as Mother Russia outside Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad)'

This shot showcases a monument in the mining town of Vorkuta in Northern Russia. The foreword to the book, written by Clem Cecil, explains: ‘The minor pieces of street art, monuments and insignia shown in this book, were foot soldiers to the major monuments, such as Mother Russia outside Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad)’

This locomotive-topped monument is located in the city of Shepetivka in western Ukraine. In the first few pages of the photobook, readers learn: 'Life for the pioneers of the first Soviet republic was peripatetic. The road system assumed huge significance: an entire nation was perpetually travelling towards a bright future at which they never arrived. Like bystanders cheering on marathon runners, roadside propaganda served as a morale booster in the exhausting collective endeavour'

This locomotive-topped monument is located in the city of Shepetivka in western Ukraine. In the first few pages of the photobook, readers learn: ‘Life for the pioneers of the first Soviet republic was peripatetic. The road system assumed huge significance: an entire nation was perpetually travelling towards a bright future at which they never arrived. Like bystanders cheering on marathon runners, roadside propaganda served as a morale booster in the exhausting collective endeavour’

'Monuments of tractors, steam trains, trucks, cars and aeroplanes (later to be joined by space rockets), helpfully reminded citizens that, in its efforts to reach new peoples and places, the Soviet authorities had conquered movement in all its forms,' the book reveals. This particular shot shows a monument in the city of Slavuta in western Ukraine

‘Monuments of tractors, steam trains, trucks, cars and aeroplanes (later to be joined by space rockets), helpfully reminded citizens that, in its efforts to reach new peoples and places, the Soviet authorities had conquered movement in all its forms,’ the book reveals. This particular shot shows a monument in the city of Slavuta in western Ukraine

This image of a Soviet monument in the coal mining town of Vorkuta, just north of the Arctic Circle, was snapped as a woman carrying a shopping bag walked past. Cecil's foreword to the book explains: 'Around the static Soviet relics, scenes of everyday Russian life are captured by the all-seeing Google Street View'

This image of a Soviet monument in the coal mining town of Vorkuta, just north of the Arctic Circle, was snapped as a woman carrying a shopping bag walked past. Cecil’s foreword to the book explains: ‘Around the static Soviet relics, scenes of everyday Russian life are captured by the all-seeing Google Street View’  

This photograph shows a jet fighter that's anchored to the ground by its concrete exhaust plume. It's located in Primorsko in Russia

This photograph shows a jet fighter that’s anchored to the ground by its concrete exhaust plume. It’s located in Primorsko in Russia

'Commissioned by local authorities, the desire of the regime to signpost all parts of its empire corresponded with the desire to keep everyone employed, including artists,' the book reveals. This photograph shows a monument in Krasnodar Krai in the North Caucasus region of southern Russia

‘Commissioned by local authorities, the desire of the regime to signpost all parts of its empire corresponded with the desire to keep everyone employed, including artists,’ the book reveals. This photograph shows a monument in Krasnodar Krai in the North Caucasus region of southern Russia

This huge monument of a fighter plane frozen in flight is located in Vasylkiv in Ukraine. In the book, Guilbeau deliberately keeps the locations of the monuments vague. The foreword to the book explains that removing the navigational markers strips the signs of their practical use, allowing Guilbeau to present 'his own vision of the Soviet shadow still present in modern Russia'

This huge monument of a fighter plane frozen in flight is located in Vasylkiv in Ukraine. In the book, Guilbeau deliberately keeps the locations of the monuments vague. The foreword to the book explains that removing the navigational markers strips the signs of their practical use, allowing Guilbeau to present ‘his own vision of the Soviet shadow still present in modern Russia’

This star monument in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) dwarfs the onlooker captured on the left-hand side of the shot. The book explains how the 'visual language' developed by the Soviet empire was 'an effective way to communicate among a predominantly peasant population'

This star monument in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) dwarfs the onlooker captured on the left-hand side of the shot. The book explains how the ‘visual language’ developed by the Soviet empire was ‘an effective way to communicate among a predominantly peasant population’

'After the fall of communism, images of statues being toppled proliferated, becoming as iconic as the monuments themselves. Lenins were reduced to rubble, Communist heraldry stripped out. But as we can see from these photographs, the remnants – the flotsam and jetsam of the Soviet era – are still sloshing around the former Empire,' the book explains. This monument is located in Chelekhov, Russia

‘After the fall of communism, images of statues being toppled proliferated, becoming as iconic as the monuments themselves. Lenins were reduced to rubble, Communist heraldry stripped out. But as we can see from these photographs, the remnants – the flotsam and jetsam of the Soviet era – are still sloshing around the former Empire,’ the book explains. This monument is located in Chelekhov, Russia

This is a monument in Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine. The book says: 'As well as serving a practical purpose, a street sign was an opportunity to promote Soviet ideals and victories'

This is a monument in Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine. The book says: ‘As well as serving a practical purpose, a street sign was an opportunity to promote Soviet ideals and victories’

Shot in Volgograd Oblast in Russia, this image showcases a massive tank monument. The foreword to the book reveals: 'Using limited materials and a prescribed vocabulary of symbols, the anonymous creators of these works strived for originality. Although their work is propaganda, the imaginativeness and dynamism they exhibit echoes down the decades'

Shot in Volgograd Oblast in Russia, this image showcases a massive tank monument. The foreword to the book reveals: ‘Using limited materials and a prescribed vocabulary of symbols, the anonymous creators of these works strived for originality. Although their work is propaganda, the imaginativeness and dynamism they exhibit echoes down the decades’

This photograph showcases a monument in Novorossiysk, Russia. According to the foreword, some of the monuments featured in Soviet Signs & Street Relics have already disappeared. It says: 'Victims of progress, they now only exist on these pages, the loss of their physical presence made apparent by the constant updating of views [in Google] to reflect the current landscape'

This photograph showcases a monument in Novorossiysk, Russia. According to the foreword, some of the monuments featured in Soviet Signs & Street Relics have already disappeared. It says: ‘Victims of progress, they now only exist on these pages, the loss of their physical presence made apparent by the constant updating of views [in Google] to reflect the current landscape’

A red tractor crowns a plinth in Dornod, Mongolia, in this shot. The book explains: 'These lonely markers defined the ideology and territory of an enormous empire'

A red tractor crowns a plinth in Dornod, Mongolia, in this shot. The book explains: ‘These lonely markers defined the ideology and territory of an enormous empire’ 

The foreword to the book reflects that the Soviet Union 'could not have predicted that within a few generations of its inception, the entire edifice of Soviet Russia was to collapse, stripping them [the artworks] of their meaning, or that within years an American technological company would be micro-mapping every inch of their country'. This shot was taken in Ust-Ordynsky in southern Russia

The foreword to the book reflects that the Soviet Union ‘could not have predicted that within a few generations of its inception, the entire edifice of Soviet Russia was to collapse, stripping them [the artworks] of their meaning, or that within years an American technological company would be micro-mapping every inch of their country’. This shot was taken in Ust-Ordynsky in southern Russia

Soviet Signs & Street Relics by Jason Guilbeau is published by Fuel Design & Publishing (£24.95)

Soviet Signs & Street Relics by Jason Guilbeau is published by Fuel Design & Publishing (£24.95)

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New Selfridges owners plan a luxury hotel on same site as its flagship Oxford Street store










The new owners of Selfridges are planning to open a luxury hotel as part of a major revamp of its flagship store.

The 113-year-old business, whose UK stores are in London, Manchester and Birmingham, was sold by the Weston family for £4billion on Christmas Eve. 

The buyers – Thai retailer Central Group and Austrian property firm Signa – now want to overhaul the Oxford Street site in London.

Room and board: The new buyers of Selfridges buyers – Thai retailer Central Group and Austrian property firm Signa – want to overhaul the Oxford Street site in London (picture

Room and board: The new buyers of Selfridges buyers – Thai retailer Central Group and Austrian property firm Signa – want to overhaul the Oxford Street site in London (picture

Part of it has been empty since 2008 when the old Selfridges Hotel was closed.

Central and Signa plan to develop a luxury hotel as well as serviced apartments. Signa executive chairman Dieter Berninghaus said such a move would mean ‘significant upside potential’ for the new owners.

‘The purchase price merely reflects the valuation of the main Selfridges building and its retail utilisation,’ he told the Financial Times.

Central and Signa, which already jointly own Swiss department store chain Globus and Berlin department store Kadewe, will also focus on food. Berninghaus said: ‘We plan to trade up the food hall of Selfridges. 

That is one of our core competencies we have in the group. We operate the best fine food delicatessen business in the world.’

Selfridges was founded by American Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1908 and has 25 shops worldwide including in Dublin, the Netherlands and Canada. 

It was bought by the Weston family for £598million in 2003 in a deal spearheaded by Galen Weston who died in April aged 80.

Central Group is controlled by the billionaire Thai Chirathivat family while Signa Group was founded by the Austrian property magnate Rene Benko. The pair will share ownership of Selfridges in a 50-50 joint venture.

The proposed redevelopment in London comes amid a wave of change on Oxford Street that has already seen Debenhams, Topshop, French Connection and Gap shut.

House of Fraser is expected to leave soon while younger rivals such as Primark go from strength to strength.

Selfridges is not alone in planning for the future on Oxford Street.

Marks & Spencer’s Marble Arch flagship store is set for an overhaul. The retailer plans to raze the building and build a new site with half the selling space and several floors of offices above.

The development is set to include a shopping arcade, a small park and possibly facilities such as a gym.

John Lewis is also planning to convert its upper floors into offices, as shoppers go online.

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