Contemplating compensation might seem trite at a time when - as Goldman Sachs' co-head of investment banking Gregg Lemkau notes, people in banking are having to "deal with the reality" of testing positive for COVID-19 - but bonuses for last year have only just been paid and numbers are now surfacing, so we'll indulge in contemplation briefly.
A new compensation survey from London-based recruitment firm Arkesden Partners suggests that mid-ranking bankers working in M&A, equity capital markets and debt capital markets are still paid handsomely for their work. Six years into an investment banking career (as an associate three) Arkesden says you can expect to earn over £200k ($248k). Nine years in, as a third year vice president (VP), you can expect to earn over £300k ($371k).
Arkesden's salary and bonus figures, which are broken down by bank and position in the banking hierarchy, are shown in the tables below.
There are a few key points to note. Firstly, Bank of America is a consistently good payer: it generally ranks in the top three for combined salaries and bonuses at associate and VP level. Secondly, American banks generally pay more than Europeans (and Barclays seems to pay the worst). Lastly, don't presume that a high salary automaticaly means high overall compensation: Morgan Stanley is generous in salary terms, but it all evens out in the bonus.
Salaries and bonuses for first year associates:
Salaries and bonuses for second year associates:
Salaries and bonuses for third year associates:
Salaries and bonuses for first year VPs:
Salaries and bonuses for second year VPs:
Salaries and bonuses for third year VPs:
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