At securities firms this year, it will be the traders' turn to look enviously at the investment bankers.
While trading revenues are off sharply from 2009's incredible levels, taking bonuses with them, investment banking revenues from activities such as merger advisory work are at their highest since 2007.
According to estimates from Thomson Reuters/Freeman Consulting, even after a slow fourth quarter, global investment banking advisory fees so far this year are $74.4-billion (U.S.), up from $70-billion last year. It marks the hottest year since 2007.(Though it's well short of that year's $109.5 billion).
Who's doing all the business? Geographically, the answer is bankers in emerging markets. Their fees are a record share of the pie.
Emerging Markets fees reached $13.5-billion year-to-date and at 18 per cent of overall fees. The share of Emerging Markets IB fees has never been higher, Thomson said.
European bankers meantime are struggling, with fees at an eight-year low.
In terms of business lines, it's M&A bankers and those who organize stock sales have 37 per cent and 32 per cent of the fee pie, respectively.