A JPMorgan analyst accumulated wealth equivalent to more than 10x his current compensation over the course of his career. Is this still possible?

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One of the downsides of a divorce that drags through the courts is that every detail of your income and asset accumulation is made public. This, unfortunately, has happened to 47 year old Peter Lawrence, a buyside analyst on JPMorgan's Pan European funds, who was ranked second by Thomson Reuters' Extel survey last year.

Lawrence's case is receiving undue attention because his is the first high profile dissolution of a civil partnership: he lived with actor Don Gallagher for 11 years. Gallagher had been awarded a large settlement which Lawrence disputed.

The judge's verdict, released yesterday, reveals how much Lawrence earns at JPMorgan (£390k a year). It also reflects the extent to which financial services professionals in the past were able to accumulate wealth by investing in property, and the degree to which they are called upon to bail out other family members.

With his £390k, Lawrence has accumulated £4.2m in assets. However, any junior analysts hoping to replicate Lawrence's good fortune may struggle. Much of his wealth is in housing, which appreciated dramatically in the past but seems less likely to do so in the future.

Hence, Lawrence has: a flat in Clink Wharf, currently worth around £1.4m, but purchased in 1995 for £285k; a house in Amberley West Sussex, currently worth £822k, but purchased for £618k in 2002 using £136k of profits made on a previous house sale, savings and investments (£640k), deferred compensation (£200k), a pension (£580k), pianos and art work.

As has been noted before, it's not unusual for bankers to help family and friends who are in financial trouble. Lawrence is no exception. Yesterday's ruling shows that he re-mortgaged his flat in order to lend his brother £308k and his father £155k.

Junior bankers working in financial services now seem a lot less likely to become property multi-millionaires and a lot more likely to have to bail out friends and family. Asset accumulation like Lawrence's will require a far higher income in future.

 

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