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Morning Coffee: If you leave banking for a corporate, this is how much you’ll earn. HSBC’s bonus warning

What’s life actually like in the big blue, blue-chip world of large corporates? Once in a while, there are reports back from former bankers who’ve tried it: they say the hours are shorter in corporates, the culture is kinder, the work can feel more rewarding. On the flipside, there are also claims that emails take a while to get answered and that corporate colleagues are “less impressive.”

The real question though, is the pay. If you leave a bank to work for a corporate, will you face a life of comparative impoverishment? A new study by the Bank of New York Mellon, suggests you won’t, unless you’re a woman – in which case you’re probably better staying in banking.

The BNY study applies to investor relations – a popular escape route for disaffected equity researchers in investment banks. BNY says average mean pay for men in investor relations is $275k (£208k), which isn’t bad, although is probably around a third lower than compensation for the average mid-ranking to senior equity researcher in a bank. By comparison, the average female investor relations professional earned an average of just $190k (£145k), well below the banking average.

What’s behind the discrepancy? BNY thinks it might be because corporate boards are overwhelmingly male and that male boards pay their male investor relations professionals more. Or because the pay differential pre-dates corporates and that equity researchers join with different levels of pay baked-in from banks. The biggest reason, however, is likely to be the fact that female investor relations professionals often work for small and mid-cap corporates, while men go for the large and “mega” caps.

In other words, if you want to quit banking for the corporate world and earn good money, choose a behemoth. If you want a pay cut, go to an SME.

Separately, beware taking your bonus complaint to court if you’ve worked for HSBC. Bloomberg reports that HSBC is counter-suing Rajesh Parmar, a former member of its private bank who himself is suing HSBC for £1.8bn in unpaid bonuses and damages. Parmar says HSBC owes him the money. HSBC, however, says Parmar helped a client evade taxes and is counter-suing him for wasting the bank’s time.


Morgan Stanley hired a senior syndicate banker from Deutsche. He won’t start until February. (Reuters)

Morgan Stanley’s head of commodities trading, Nancy King, is beating Goldman into submission with revenues of $400m to $500m so far this year. (Bloomberg)

John Cryan says European banks could benefit from merging, especially German ones. (Financial Times)

Credit Suisse just poached two top analysts from UBS. (Business Insider)

The headmaster of one of Frankfurt’s most popular international schools was once an MD at Credit Suisse. (Guardian) 

The cities you can afford to live in in the U.S., given your salary. (Marketwatch) 

Founder’s pay calculator. (ChristopJanz)

Irrespective of how much you actually exercise, if you think you exercise less than your peers you will die younger than they will. (BPS) 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com
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Photo credit: Jonah and The Train by Troy Tolley is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


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