London salaries rise as Paris stagnates

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Corporate finance salaries in London increased across the board last year while French bankers' salaries were frozen, according to recruitment agency Robert Walters.

London vice-presidents enjoyed the biggest increases, with basic pay up by 20%. They can expect to earn between 75,000 (€107,250) and 120,000 before bonuses this year, against 70,000 to 100,000 a year ago.

Managing directors' basic pay rose by 11% to between 120,000 and 200,000 this year. Basic salaries for analysts, who include graduate trainees, increased by 6% to between 35,000 and 50,000.

Andrew Chancellor, managing director of financial services at Robert Walters, said bonuses for all levels in London rose more modestly than salaries, going up by between 5% and 10% last year against 2003. He said star bankers would have enjoyed much larger payments.

Basic salaries were frozen in Paris, despite a good year that included Europe's largest deal - the takeover by Sanofi-Synthélabo of Aventis. Chancellor said French bonuses rose slightly, but not by enough to compensate for the salary freeze.

The figures combine information on mergers and acquisitions, debt and capital markets bankers.

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