Is Luxembourg the best country for finance professionals?

With its business-friendly legislation, its alleged big paychecks and its culture of confidentiality, Luxembourg is viewed as a financier's safe-haven by the rest of Europe.


How is that reflected in finance professionals' earnings in Luxembourg?


In our latest study, we found that even though Luxembourg's relatively high base salaries and attractive work-life balance makes it an alluring location for finance professionals, Switzerland is one step ahead when it comes to pay. Findings are based on 3,082 European finance professionals.


Asset Management earnings

CountrySalary (EUR)Bonus (EUR)Total (EUR)
Switzerland 130,000 23,000 153,000
UK 94,000
 37,000 131,000
Ireland 100,000 23,000 123,000
Netherlands 90,000 33,000 123,000
Luxembourg 99,000 14,000 113,000
Germany 92,000 19,000 111,000
France 76,000 25,000 101,000
Belgium 79,000 17,000 96,000
Italy 70,000 23,000 93,000
Spain 75,000 15,000 90,000

Not an incentive-based pay structure. In the asset management industry, Luxembourg rank only 5 out of 10 when it comes to pay. While employers in Luxembourg offer very competitive base salaries (Luxembourg ranks third in Europe at EUR99,000), bonuses only account for 12% of total compensation, the lowest percentage in Europe.


Middle & back office earnings

CountrySalary (EUR)Bonus (EUR)Total (EUR)
Switzerland 116,000 10,000 126,000
Luxembourg 93,000 7,500 100,500
UK 82,000 10,000 92,000
Netherlands 83,000 7,000 90,000
Ireland 67,000 4,500 71,500
France 55,000 7,500 62,500
Belgium 55,000 7,500 62,500

Middle & back office : a Luxembourg speciality. Thanks to its business-friendly laws, Luxembourg has historically been a place where banks have located their clearing and support functions. In countries where front office jobs and back office coexist, the latter is often poorly considered. In Luxembourg, however, most of the banking jobs are middle and back office functions: Luxembourg's middle & back office professionals are doing well at second place behind Switzerland.


Accounting & audit earnings

CountrySalary (EUR)Bonus (EUR)Total (EUR)
Switzerland93,000 4,500 97,500
Luxembourg 48,000 2,500 50,500
UK 50,000 0 50,000
France 47,000 2,500 49,500
Belgium 48,000 0 48,000
Netherlands 43,000 1,400 44,400
Ireland 43,000 0 43,000
Italy 34,000 2,000 36,000
Spain 31,000 0 31,000

#1 in the EU? Accounting & Audit firms are well implemented in Luxembourg, with all of the Big 4 (PwC, EY, KPMG, Deloitte) competing to attract the best talent, pushing up compensation packages: Luxembourg accountants and auditors rank second in Europe, with a total compensation of EUR50,500.


...But not in Europe. Even though Luxembourg is ahead of most European countries when it comes to paying accountants and auditors, it lags behind Switzerland and its strong currency, which crushes competition: at EUR97,500, total compensation in Switzerland for senior consultants are almost twice as high as in Luxembourg.


How about work-life balance?

CountryAwfulSatisfactoryGreat
Luxembourg11%78%11%
Belgium18%46%36%
France29%44%27%
Switzerland33%45%22%
UK38%42%20%
Ireland38%44%18%
Italy44%50%6%
Germany45%45%10%
Netherlands47%20%33%
Spain55%30%15%

Undisputed victory for Luxembourg. With 89% of Luxembourg professionals marking their work-life balance as great or satisfactory, Luxembourg is the clear European leader when it comes to quality of life in finance. A powerful statistic, especially considering the high ratio of middle and back office employees in this sample, which are professionals usually highly dissatisfied when it comes to work-life balance, having to stay behind after markets hours and bear huge pressure from their front office colleagues.


Rich in life. Despite a lack of aggressive bonus culture, and therefore few hopes of 'making it big' for Luxembourg finance professionals, relatively high and predictable salaries, as well as a healthy attitude to work-life balance, make Luxembourg an attractive European location, far from expensive financial centres such as London, Paris or Geneva while still offering extensive professional access to global employers in the financial sector.

 

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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