Do you work in M&A, ECM or DCM in Hong Kong? Do you want to know how your investment banking salary and bonus stack up to help you decide whether you might be better off at another firm?
We’ve averaged out Hong Kong investment banking salary surveys from four recruitment agencies to produce the table below, which shows annual base pay from analyst to managing director (MD) level.
Although directors and MDs remain well paid in Hong Kong investment banking – earning at least HK$2,215k (US$282k) on average – they have not enjoyed significant salary rises over the past 12 months. “The experienced people are now facing the toughest pay squeeze as some banks in Hong Kong have implemented pay freezes for their bankers at this level,” says a Hong Kong investment banking headhunter.
The drive to hire more junior investment bankers has also helped to push down senior pay. “Those above VP are facing a tough time as younger, hungrier and cheaper alternatives are available in greater quantity," he adds.
Whatever the seniority level, US firms in Hong Kong tend to pay the best investment banking salaries. By contrast, Chinese banks – which are increasingly dominating investment banking league tables in Greater China – typically below-average salaries. “But in the current market your bonus may make up the differential due to the higher volume of deals Chinese banks are now involved in,” says Stanley Soh, a Hong Kong-based regional country director of financial services solutions in Asia.
Investment banking bonuses in Hong Kong
Mainland banks aside, investment banking bonuses in Hong Kong were generally poor when paid out earlier this year, with an increased number of people not receiving any sort of payment. For Hong Kong bankers who did receive a bonus, however, the table also shows average bonuses (as a percentage of salary) across the five levels of seniority.
You'll need to make it to MD in Hong Kong to earn a bonus that exceeds your base salary. Even at director level average bonuses fall below 100%.
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