How much am I worth? MD, European Corporate Finance and M&A, US investment bank

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A panel of specialist headhunters give their assessment of typical pay packages:

Salary of MD, European Corporate Finance and M&A, US investment

bank: 120,000 - 150,000, total package 700,000 - 1m

Corporate finance and M&A is the glamorous end of investment banking and

offers pay packages to match for those who reach the upper echelons.

People who reach MD level in this sector in a US bank tend to come from

traditional backgrounds with a top flight academic record from Oxbridge or a

redbrick university, followed by a steady climb up the greasy pole in a

handful of big name banks.

An MD in this position would probably be in their 40s, and a sector specialist

who has previously headed a specialist team. Once at this level, the role

centres on generating new business and pressing the flesh with existing

and potential clients.

Sam Dewhurst, a consultant with the firm recruitment Odgers, explains: "Reaching this level is a gradual process of gaining the experience of doing deals and then moving towards a more relationship-based role."

"In US firms, people tend to do origination later," he says. "At a

European bank you get more origination experience earlier." There are also

likely to be more people who move into corporate finance from accountancy or

industry, bringing sector knowledge but not deal experience, in a European bank

compared to a US bank.

Bonus rates this year may not be quite as healthy as a year ago, although an

individual who has a good year, even if their bank has done less well,

should not suffer, says Dewhurst. There is always an element of retention in

an MD's bonus, as well as of performance.

Hiring, however, is pretty quiet. Twelve to 18 months ago the sector was

buzzing, but as the downturn bites, banks are holding or reducing

headcounts. Nevertheless, says Lena Baillie, consultant in corporate finance

at the recruitment firm Longbridge, if anyone is building up right now in

corporate finance, it will be within European sectors.

Figures and commentary for '"How much am I worth?" are provided by the following firms: Alexander Mann, Longbridge and Odgers Ray & Berndtson.