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How much you will earn after three years in M&A, capital markets, electronic trading, sales, trading and research

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If you’re deciding between a front office investment banking graduate job, it’s worth considering where you’ll be in three years’ time. This doesn’t just mean looking at the exit opportunities and career paths available to you, but what you’re earning potential will be after a few years.

Most entry level roles across sales, trading, advisory and research tend to pay the same – in the UK this is a starting salary of around £45k while bonuses were an average of £22k – but after the first couple of years, compensation starts to diverge depending on your specialisation.

We have received figures from executive search firm The Options Group, which outline the global averages for associate level positions across M&A, equity and debt capital markets, electronic trading, equity cash sales, equity cash trading and equity research. These figures are for 2013, which is the latest period when performance-related bonuses were available, but associate salaries have increased in most investment banks since then.

The Options Group figures suggest that in the early stages of your career, electronic trading and equity or debt capital markets are the place to be, while equity research offers the smallest packages.

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