Senior private bankers in family offices are earning £590k, but there are deferrals – and clawbacks

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Working for a rich family can be lucrative

Working for a rich family can be lucrative

If you‘re a private banker, there are advantages to working for a family office:  you don’t have to sell a suite of the bank’s investment products to your client, you have a good lifestyle, you have a higher than usual amount of job security, and – you might think, you’ll get a cash bonus.

Unfortunately, the final point isn’t strictly true. A new salary and compensation survey for private bankers working in family offices reveals  that while pay is high, it’s also subject to the usual clawbacks and deferrals.

CEOs of UK single family offices can earn anything from £150-£390k according to Sulger Buel & Co, a wealth management and private banking search firm. This is supplemented by a 20-50% bonus.  Single family office CIO’s are paid £100-£250k, plus a bonus of an unspecified amount which is either wholly discretionary or benchmarked to an index, or both.

Interestingly, Sulger Buel found that family offices tending families who made their money in the financial sector tend to pay the most. He also found that, even in family offices, bonuses are now deferred over three to five years and subject to clawback if necessary.

The dynamic is slightly different in a multi-family office. Here, it seems you’re much more likely to be paid in stock and less likely to be paid in the form of salary and bonus.  In all forms of family office, senior staff may be obliged to invest alongside the family, which could be bad news if you’re considerably less wealthy than they are.

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