Debt capital markets (DCM) bankers work in the front office of an investment bank. They are paid accordingly - namely very well - but there may be a slight inferiority complex when compared to their colleagues in other advisory roles.
It's all in the bonus. DCM bankers receive pretty much the same base salaries at all seniority levels as those in ECM and M&A, according to figures from executive search firm Options Group. First and second-year associates earn $100k-$125k and if you make it to MD your pay can reach up to $600k.
Senior bonuses in DCM, although still large, aren’t quite as impressive as those elsewhere in investment banking. The maximum bonus for an MD in DCM is $1,400k – $100k and $200k less than an MD in ECM and M&A respectively.
Part of this may be down to the seasonality of the role, however. While M&A and ECM bankers received total compensation uplifts of 12% and 15% respectively in 2014, pay for DCM was, on average, flat.