Which city for bankers after Brexit?

We analysed 4,475 salaries and bonuses from front-office bankers working in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Milan to find out how a post-Brexit re-location could impact compensation. We also surveyed 1,065 bankers working in these cities to know how they feel about their workplace. Results show that European cities all trail behind London when it comes to pay, but Frankfurt may well offer bankers an attractive work environment.

Front office remuneration by city

Total compensation (salary + bonus)

Front office remuneration by city

Job title London Paris Frankfurt Milan
  Salary Bonus Salary Bonus Salary Bonus Salary Bonus
Analyst £57,000 £9,600 £48,000 £7,400 £56,000 £9,000 £30,000 £5,400
Associate £79,000 £30,000 £57,000 £24,000 £70,000 £19,000 £41,000 £11,000
VP £117,000 £57,000 £90,000 £64,000 £108,000 £31,000 £85,000 £38,000
Director £170,000 £110,000 £109,000 £81,000 £135,000 £40,000 £112,000 £48,000
MD £250,000 £228,000 £159,000 £153,000 £190,000 £108,000 £180,000 £153,000

Brexit means... lower pay. If London banks were to move their workforce to other European cities, average compensation packages would decrease. From Analyst to MD, London offers the highest salaries and bonuses in the market.

Different countries, different remuneration structures : In Paris, bonuses can account for as much as 49% of a banker's total compensation (MDs earn bonuses of £153,000 out of £312,000 total compensation). Frankfurt however pays lower bonuses (twice as low as Paris for VPs at £31,000) but higher base salaries (£108,000 in Frankfurt vs. £90,000 in Paris for VPs).

No obvious winner: For Analysts and Associates, Frankfurt provides the highest compensation levels (£67,000 for Analysts and £89,000 for Associates), except for London. When it comes to senior bankers though, Paris is more attractive (at VP, Director and MD level).

It's not just about pay...

Question London Paris Frankfurt Milan
Do you have a good work-life balance? 61% 59% 70% 67%
Do you think your company's culture is open-minded? 49% 33% 31% 33%
Does your performance impact your pay significantly? 26% 29% 31% 0%
Would you give your 110% for your company? 49% 47% 57% 75%

Results show the percentage of employees who answered positively to each question

  • Work-Life Balance
  • Best: Frankfurt 
    Worst: Paris


  • Most open minded companies
      Best: London 
      Worst: Frankfurt

    • Correlation between pay and performance
        Best: Frankfurt
        Worst: Milan

    • Most engaged employees
        Best: Milan 
        Worst: Paris

    Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & CMO at Emolument said: 'All pervasive in banking is the belief that pay is not linked to performance. Opacity when it comes to bonus payments has created intense mistrust of reward processes, which is why Emolument believes in pay transparency: employees should not only know where they stand in terms of compensation, but also have better feedback to explain the correlation between their pay and performance. As regards moving away from London to other EU capitals, while pay may be lower, pain points such as schooling and generally higher quality of life should compensate bankers transferring to the continent.'


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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