We looked at the CVs uploaded to the eFinancialCareers CV database over the past year, and at the percentage of them containing the words "managing director" or "MD" for different levels of experience. The results are shown in the table below.
If you want to become a managing director (MD) in an investment bank and to earn the big pay associated with that big job title, our data suggests you ought to be working in either M&A or capital markets. In these sectors, 20%+ of the people in our database with more than 15 years' experience are MDs. This compares to just 5% of our very experienced technologists and just 6% of our very experienced compliance professionals.
For all the publicity surrounding people who make MD young, our data suggests you have next to no chance of reaching the rank before you're much beyond 36. - And still very little chance of reaching it when you're older than 36. If you do get promoted within 5-7 years of joining, however, you're most likely to be in trading or research.
The data also confirms that you've got far more chance of making MD when you're in a revenue generating role. - It's not just technology and compliance professionals who don't get promoted: the odds aren't that high in operations and risk either. This may be changing, however: 32% of Goldman Sachs' 2015 MD list was comprised of people from its 'federation' (infrastructure jobs). Curiously, it also seems that you have slightly more chance of making MD in compliance when you have 5-7 years' experience than when you have 5-10 years', suggesting banks might be promoting new joiners more quickly.
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