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League table of banking pay: 2008

Wondering why all those people are leaving big houses for boutiques? Here’s the answer…

1. Greenhill & Co.:

Average total comp per head: $477k

Headcount: 214 (Dec. ’08)

Total compensation expenditure 2008: $102m

2. Lazard

Average total comp per head: $456k

Headcount: 2,474 (Sept. 30th ’08)

Total compensation expenditure 2008: $1.1bn

3. Evercore

Average total comp per head: $435k

Headcount: 320 (314 at Sept. 30th ’08, six senior bankers added subsequently)

Total compensation expenditure 2008: $139m

4. Goldman Sachs

Average total comp per head: $364k

Headcount: 30,067 (Dec. 08)

Total compensation expenditure 2008: $11bn

5. Deutsche Bank (Corporate and Investment Bank)

Average total comp per head: €257k ($328k)

Headcount: 15,033 (4Q08)

Total compensation expenditure 2008: €3.9bn

5. Credit Suisse (investment bank)

Average total comp per head: CHF364k ($311k)

Headcount: 19,700 (4Q08)

Total compensation expenditure 2008: CHF7.2bn

6. JPMorgan (investment bank)

Average total comp per head: $276k

Headcount: 27,938 (4Q08)

Total compensation expenditure 2008: $7.7bn

7. Morgan Stanley

Average total comp per head: $262k

Headcount: 46,964 (4Q08)

Total compensation expenditure 2008: $12.3bn

8. Merrill Lynch

Average total comp per head: $256k

Headcount: 58,500 (4Q08)

Total compensation expenditure 2008: $15bn

9. UBS

Average total comp per head: CHF245k ($245k)

Headcount: 17,171 (4Q08)

Total compensation expenditure 2008: CHF4.9bn

Comments (24)

  1. Would be very interested to see the next 10

  2. Who or what is Greenhill? Excuse my ignorance.

  3. It’s a boutique/independent investment bank, actually called Greenhill & Co. Text has been amended to reflect this…

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  4. Greenhill is a M&A house. Check out the website.

    I would like to know the average salaries at various levels for the industry as a whole with bonus.

  5. This looks fallacious to me as the average comp per head of large banks is very likely affected by the number of support staff, which is potentially higher than in boutiques and who earn lower comps than bankers. Would be interesting to see the evolution of this figure – probably it looked similar in the “bubbly” years.

  6. How about showing the average comp per head at various levels i.e the average for an analyst, VP and ED?

  7. “Average total comp per head: ”

    anyone with a basic understanding of statistics will realise how irrelevant this measure is.

  8. Chris: Average comp per head is never a popular measure, but it’s the only measure that’s widely available.

    Pay at different levels and for different business areas is accessible, but only through benchmarking companies like McLagan, which don’t release the data publicly.

    While mean comp per head is evidently not a representation of how much a bank pays particular individuals, it does give an indication of pay levels within an organisation.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  9. This is good – the sooner the “talent” leaves the “too big to fail banks”, the better it will be for the taxpayer. Just one warning for the boutiques – just like equity – past performance of “talent” is not necessarily a good indicator of future performance.

    Now when the “talent” fails, they will just take the boutique with them. However, we must decrease the dependencies between institutions, which means simpler products, and a disincentive for complex non-transparent products. Time for a cull for all these quants and their ring-masters, I think too.

  10. quite right giles, banking is a business not rocket science. Therefore anyone with a PHD in physics but know basic business skills is not qualified to work in banking. The fact that banking has become about the quants is more a factor of them having invented products that only they, or their ilk, can be reasonably said to fully understand, rather than any real need of it. If I here one more quant tell me that he assumes derivative pricing can be looked at in terms of a lognormal distribution im going to scream, its just not true. Give me the opinion and judgement of an experianced trader over the quantitative analysis every day of the week.

  11. RW Hamilton, try writing English…

  12. rwhamilton, I think you overstate the case a little here. The recent experience has shown us that not even the quants understand their products, nor for that matter any economics. The generation of such products is the same as what any bog-standard manufacturer does to attract customers – differentiate their products. The consideration of all risk inherent in these products is lamentable, but that’s not what they create them for. Good luck to them if they can be highly paid for it, but I agree – someone who has knowledge of behaviour in the market is more likely to know when turning points (the things that matter) actually occur.

  13. Want to know breakdown of sales of PE associates
    Does anyone posses it?

  14. As said for the big banks this is obviously diluted down by people in lesser roles bringing the average down. I’m at one of those banks and all senior associates, and all VPs, ie anyone age 26 and above, got more than the $300k average given above.

  15. Fair enough Jonathan, I’m sorry the last comment I left was in pigeon English. However, you should take into account that I don’t bother to proof read stuff I post on efinancial because I don’t really care that much if it’s not spelt correctly. Also it would be good if you could use correct grammar when you are commenting on someone else’s use of the English language. Like you tried to say, I should try writing in English.

  16. rwhamilton,

    Jonathan care as much as you do.

  17. PE associates get big hugs, a card and a firm handshake.

  18. “If I here one more quant tell me that he assumes derivative pricing can be looked at in terms of a lognormal distribution im going to scream, its just not true”

    Either you probably employ really really bad quants or the statement implies you, yourself know absolutely nothing about derivative pricing. I very much doubt anyone came to you with the comment above. It’s just too dumb

  19. re: bc

    what can you do, ignorance is a bless these days…
    ppl just regurgitate whatever the popularist says… without the understanding of any basics of the subject matter

  20. BODude – it’s just getting annoying though. constant attacks by people who don;t even work in banks about stuff they know nothing about or from people in areas where there is no need for quants etc (usually teh places that caused most of the mess in the first place).

  21. Successful 21:

    Which bank are you at then??

  22. any idea what the numbers are for Barclays, HSBC, BNP, Calyon, Soc Gen

  23. I’m an MD in investment banking at a global ibank which has not been supported by any government and probably doesn’t need to. Worked my ass of in ’08 (just as in any other year), pulling 80 hours per week on average, virtually no private life/weekends/vacation, doing successfull M&A transactions for my clients, kept the team I run motivated and intact — and got total comp of USD 650k. I think it is time to resign, enjoy life, earn USD 50k on 40 hours per week and relax…

  24. Greenhill is a top US advisory firm, which was founded, and taken public by Mr Greenhill – a former Morgan Stanley M&A banker. Yes, you are ignorant.

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