Pay in industry vs. pay in banking. Who gets the most?

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Maybe you should have gone into industry instead of hanging about hoping to work your way up to managing director in an investment bank? After all, today's report from the UK's High Pay Centre and the CIPD suggests that the highest paid people in industry are very well paid indeed.

The number to focus on is £5.66m ($7.19m). This was the mean average pay for CEOs of UK FTSE 100 companies in 2017. The median was £3.93m ($5m), but many of the FTSE 100 CEOs got far more. None of the ten highest paid FTSE CEOs in 2017 worked for finance companies.

The chart above details the 10 higher earners in the FTSE. The £47m ($58m) package of Jeff Fairburn, CEO of housebuilder Persimmon, far outweighs the $29.5m paid to Jamie Dimon at J.P. Morgan last year. The £3.9m Jes Staley received as CEO of Barclays was a pinprick by comparison.

Needless to say, there's only one CEO per company. And just because 100 CEOs are making an average of £6m each, there's no reason to presume that other senior roles in industry are equally well paid. In London banks, meanwhile, there are over 4,000 "material risk takers" earning $1m+, as per the chart below. - Even if banking CEOs aren't paid as much as CEOs industry, banking lieutenants are well rewarded several rungs further down.

The High Pay Centre focuses only on compensation at the very top and doesn't provide information for senior industry professionals beyond the CEO. However, last year's pay figures for new MBAs going into banking and industry from the London Business School suggest that - for MBAs at least - pay in industry is far more similar to pay in banking than might be expected. - The mean package for an LBS MBA going into an investment bank last year was £80k. And the similar package for an LBS MBA going into industry was £81k. Ever thought of going to work for a listed housebuilding company instead of finance? It might be worthwhile.

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