You don't go into financial services for the money, right? Millennials want feedback, rapid promotion and a sense of worth. Maybe. But entry level roles in financial services are highly sought-after and it just so happens that they are also they are among the highest paying jobs out there.
Hedge funds are now all about developing talent in-house and this means an increasing number of large funds are rolling out graduate programmes. Man Group, CQS, Point72 Asset Management, Bridgewater Associates and Brevan Howard now all hire graduates. This is in part a reaction to investment banks shuttering their prop trading businesses, leading to a dearth of talent coming out of the sell-side. Figures from headhunters Glocap suggest that entry level salaries come in at $90-125k, with a potential bonus of $90-170k. It's unclear whether this means junior hires from investment banks or graduates, however. Figures on Glassdoor suggest that Bridgewater Associates pays its analysts salaries of $80k.
Again, private equity firms are adding to their junior ranks increasingly through formal graduate programmes. The route from investment banking associate to private equity is still a common career path, but the likes of Blackstone, Terra Firma and KKR all hire graduates directly from university. Figures from Preqin suggest that total compensation for a private equity analyst in the U.S. is $114.1k, falling to an average of $82k in Europe and $62.5k in Asia.
Traditionally, investment banking has been by some distance the highest paying entry level role in the UK. If you work in IBD, you certainly earn it. Despite efforts to curtail working hours for juniors in investment banking, it's rare to get out of the office before midnight. Figures from recruiters Dartmouth Partners suggest that total compensation comes in at £78k ($98k) at the upper end in London. However, the weak pound currently distorts this figure when converted to dollars - our sources in New York suggest that average compensation is closer to $125k for first year analysts in IBD.
Entry level front office jobs in investment banks tend to pay the same regardless of which division you end up in. If you choose markets instead of IBD, compensation for first and second year analysts on Wall Street comes in at $125-135k, according to figures from recruiters Selby Jennings.
Risk management salaries within investment banking and the broader financial services market have been on the up in recent years, with firms battling over a limited supply of senior staff who have reportedly named their own salary on switching positions. At the junior end, however, salaries have also been on the up and the pick of the bunch in terms of banks’ different risk functions is quantitative risk. Salaries alone start at $80-100k in New York, according to research by recruiters Robert Walters.
Any record of accounting pay tends to start at the newly qualified level, but by this point most accountants have around three years’ work experience under their belt. Accounting and professional services salaries across the board average at £29.5k ($49.5k) at entry level, according to High Fliers. However, within financial services, and when a niche skill-set is added, accounting salaries for those who have freshly earned their stripes are decidedly higher – regulatory reporting salaries come in at $92k, according to Robert Walters, rising to $125k after two years.
Internal audit is another area where financial services firms are struggling to attract talent currently. Salaries for newly-qualified accountants in this area start at $92k, according to Robert Walters, rising to $110k after two years.
Singaporean private banks once famously started hiring hairdressers as relationship managers, such was the scarcity of talent and demand for employees in this area. This may have slowed, but banks in the region struggle to hire enough people to deal with the ever-growing pool of wealth and have had to start offering generous salaries at the junior level. Robert Walters’ figures suggest that salaries for junior relationship managers hired with no experience can nearly reach six figures, at $65-96k.
Starting salaries for middle office employees have generally lagged those in the front office, but as banks are forced to invest more and more into control and compliance staff, pay has started to rise. The highest paid entry level compliance position is within the product advisory field, says Robert Walters, with salaries coming in at $60-100k.
The path to becoming an actuary is a gruelling one, with training typically taking anywhere between three to six years and which is usually provided by employers to the best and brightest maths graduates. Starting salaries of £24-35k ($40-60k) may not seem that appealing, but once you’ve earned your stripes this can swell to $75-110k, according to figures from recruiters Reed.
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