Salaries and bonuses at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong: the reality

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Salaries and bonuses at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong: the reality

Not everyone starts a career at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong because of its reputation for paying good salaries and bonuses – there’s also the kudos of having the GS logo on your business card to impress clients, friends and family. And there’s the small matter of Goldman’s deal-making prowess across Asia – last year the US firm topped Dealogic’s ranking for APAC (ex-Japan) IB revenue.

Nevertheless, it’s good to know how much your Goldman Sachs salary and bonus might be if you take a job at the bank in Hong Kong. To uncover some details about local compensation at Goldman, we analysed the bank’s employee data from Glassdoor to produce the table below, which shows low and high-range pay figures, alongside average cash bonuses.

We did this for the four job ranks that the website had enough data for (there was no information, for example, about MD-level salaries at Goldman in Hong Kong). The comp numbers are across job functions, so they don’t tell you how much you would earn working in, say, ECM. However, it’s safe to assume that the top-end salaries would apply to Goldman’s front-office investment bankers, while the low-level ones are more likely to be for its back-office staff.

How much does Goldman Sachs pay in salaries and bonuses in Hong Kong?

If you’re an analyst-level investment banker at Goldman in Hong Kong, expect to earn a salary of about HK$760k a year. This will more than double to HK$1,460k by the time you’re an associate, but pay rises after that aren’t as dramatic – front-office executive directors at Goldman take home about HK$1,750k.

Bonus time is when you’ll feel the true benefits of having a more senior job at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong. Across all job functions, average cash bonuses for associates are HK$263k, but they jump to HK$350k for executive directors (bonuses for front-office EDs would be higher still). Separately, as we’ve previously reported, stock bonuses at Goldman are typically deferred over three years, with amounts vesting equally on the first, second and third anniversaries of the award date.

If you take a Goldman Sachs job in Hong Kong, however, be aware that the bank is trimming pay globally. This means now is probably not the best time to try to negotiate aggressively with Goldman about your compensation package. Goldman’s first quarter results suggest that pay per head within its 35,900-strong workforce was down nearly 24% year on year for the first quarter 2019.

Some of this decline can be pinned on Goldman’s hiring of more (comparatively cheap) technologists for its low-cost Indian tech hub in Bengalore. But it’s also likely that declines in front-office bonuses would have contributed to the overall fall. Goldman's year-on-year revenues fell significantly in percentage terms across equity capital markets (ECM), debt capital markets (DCM), equities sales and trading, and fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) sales and trading. 

How high are Goldman Sachs salaries in Hong Kong? And how high are Goldman bonuses?

Image credit: Gang Zhou

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