Best and worst paying jobs in Finance

In its latest study, Emolument.com analysed 4,000 salaries from senior finance professionals (directors) working in London, to find which are the highest and lowest paying jobs. Results show that investment banks are still home to most of the City's best paying jobs, while rating agencies and research firms cannot compete with asset managers nor banks when it comes to pay.

Salary and bonus by job

Rank Industry Job Salary Bonus Total
1 Bank M&A £168,000 £140,000 £308,000
2 Bank Trading £175,000 £120,000 £295,000
3 Bank Institutional Sales £175,000 £113,000 £288,000
4 Bank Structuring £164,000 £105,000 £269,000
5 Bank Origination & Syndication £162,000 £103,000 £265,000
6 Bank Company Research £160,000 £95,000 £255,000
7 Bank Corporate Broker  £130,000 £125,000 £255,000
8 Bank Quantitative Research  £155,000 £98,000 £253,000
9 Bank Sales Trading £160,000 £85,000 £245,000
10 Bank Quantitative Structurer  £148,000 £95,000 £243,000
11 Bank Research Generalist  £158,000 £84,000 £242,000
12 Buy side VC Investment £140,000 £102,000 £242,000
13 Buy side Trading £125,000 £115,000 £240,000
14 Bank Execution  £155,000 £82,000 £237,000
15 Bank Broker  £175,000 £55,000 £230,000
16 Bank Prime Brokerage Sales  £170,000 £55,000 £225,000
17 Buy side Fund & Portfolio Managers £124,000 £90,000 £214,000
18 Bank Product Strategy  £168,000 £45,000 £213,000
19 Buy side Asset Gathering/Fundraising  £118,000 £90,000 £208,000
20 Bank Economist  £155,000 £50,000 £205,000
21 Bank Project Finance & PFI  £138,000 £55,000 £193,000
22 Buy side Company Research  £120,000 £70,000 £190,000
23 Bank Product Developement / Management  £150,000 £30,000 £180,000
24 Bank Corporate Banking £128,000 £50,000 £178,000
25 Buy side Deal Execution  £86,000 £90,000 £176,000
26 Buy side Relationship Management  £115,000 £60,000 £175,000
27 Buy side Product Specialist  £110,000 £65,000 £175,000
28 Rating agency Data Vendor  £115,000 £58,000 £173,000
29 Bank Custody  £138,000 £33,000 £171,000
30 Bank Asset Liability & Management Sales  £125,000 £44,000 £169,000
31 Bank Coverage / Relationship Management £125,000 £42,000 £167,000
32 Buy side Product Development & Marketing  £107,000 £49,000 £156,000
33 Bank Risk & Actuary £125,000 £30,000 £155,000
34 Bank Trade Finance  £133,000 £19,000 £152,000
35 Buy side Institutional Sales £109,000 £43,000 £152,000
36 Bank Asset Finance / Leasing  £115,000 £36,000 £151,000
37 Buy side Risk & Actuary  £118,000 £24,000 £142,000
38 Rating agency Rating Analysis  £111,000 £28,000 £139,000
39 Rating agency Research / Economist  £110,000 £24,000 £134,000
40 Bank Middle & Back Office £102,000 £26,000 £128,000
41 Buy side Middle & Back Office £92,000 £20,000 £112,000


Banking is still the place to be: Despite regulatory constraints on bonuses following the 2008 financial crisis, bankers still earn more than those working for asset management firms or rating agencies, with median pay packages of £308,000 for Mergers & Acquisitions professionals.


Is the bonus era definitely over? Bonuses used to represent the bigger part of a banker's annual compensation packages. Over the last ten years, base salaries have progressively increased partly to allow for larger bonus payments (which should rarely exceed 100% of base salary). In line with regulation, bonuses are now lower than base salaries.


Is there money outside banking ? Away from banking, the most profitable jobs are VC investors (£242,000 per year) or a buy-side trader (£240,000).


Poor, poor back office: In both of the asset management and banking industries, back office directors trail far behind front office professionals at £128,000 at investment banks and £112,000 at asset management firms, i.e, less than half the amount earned by M&A bankers(£308,000).


Same industry but vastly different revenue - and pay - models: Two of the five lowest paying jobs in finance are at rating agencies. And the highest paying one (data vendor) only ranks 28 out of 41 overall.


A matter of perspective? The lowest paid professionals (middle & back office working for buy side firms) earn £112,000, which still places them among the UK 's top 2% earners1


Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & CMO at Emolument.com said: 'While base salaries have increased in the last few years, regulation has squeezed banking bonuses. Meanwhile, buy-side firms, especially those not subject to pay regulations such as hedge funds and VC firms have been looking increasingly attractive for bankers looking to retain top paying positions in the industry.'


1- https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/percentile-points-from-1-to-99-for-total-income-before-and-after-tax#history

 

Emolument provides bonus and salary statistics based on data submitted directly by professionals like you. It is free, anonymous, and already a trusted tool for thousands of professionals worldwide. Are you paid enough? Click here to find out now.


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