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GMP, Bay Street’s (struggling) version of Goldman Sachs, cuts salaries and charitable giving

With Canada’s biggest banks becoming ever more dominant, Bay Street’s independent brokerages are finding it harder to keep up. Last year, GMP Capital—a Canadian indie brokerage that aspires to be the next (and, hopefully, less hated) Goldman Sachs—has had to cut salaries and charitable giving in a desperate effort to eke out a profit. Of course, GMP has also been afflicted by factors beyond the slump in trading activity on Bay Street: founding partner Brad Griffiths died in a bizarre fishing accident in Muskoka last July; long-time CEO Kevin Sullivan moved on in 2010; and hard-partying head trader Mike Wekerle left last summer with a $5 million severance, and $2.5 million more to come when his non-compete period is completed. We know golden handshakes are part of the biz, but wouldn’t it be easier to pay current employees if firms didn’t still have to pay former ones? Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »

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