IB to Wealth Management?

IB has not offered what I thought I could pull from it. How difficult is it to make as much money in wealth and asset management in NYC as one does in IB?

I understand the wealth manager is the acting MD per say within the group. When do you get to begin building your own book, and when is it finally liveable? How many millionaire pure wealth managers are there?


I am currently in talks with multiple PWM teams to join as an advisor and leave IB. From what I'm being told and negotiating is you start building your book from day 1. You want to join an established team who will immediately give you revenue share from day one, that is how they show they are committed to you and your success. Prior to joining a team you will have somewhat of a business plan ready to go and use day 1. Building a book of business is hard and many fail. Since it's up to your to build your book, that means you are in control of your schedule. Want to leave the office at 5pm everyday? Never work the weekend? That's all up to you. Your success is in your hands.


The starting comp at a BB is around 125-200k and you’re on salary until you bring in enough business where you’re salary is covered from your revenue. If you take too long to do this, you’ll be fired.

You find these teams by interviewing around. Most these teams will shove you to the end of their desk and not give you the time of day until you bring in a client or two.


You will be thoroughly laughed at if you ask for revenue share day 1. These MDs get a new advisor associate every two years and 90% don’t make it.

These MD advisors are very busy and you’re not in a support/analyst role so they don’t need you. The best advise is to hustle and network until you have gotten a client on your own or at least have gotten a few big meetings on your own. Once you have done that bring in a senior MD to help you close and start building your book. Most people fail but if you make it you typically make 750k-1.5m at a top bank.


Just finished a WM internship at a BB. For advisors who have been there 10+ years, both the average and median take-home pay are above $1M annually.

Because you have to build your own book of business at my firm, it is much more difficult to succeed. Many people self-select out due to the challenges of cold outreach over a few years. If you are smart about it, willing to put in a ton of work to get through the first few years, and truly love the work, the question of whether you'll be a millionaire shifts from if to when.

Best of luck!


In regards to your internship. Was it at a BB? if yes, what type of restrictions were there on personal trading accounts? If they asked you to use a special platform, how were the commission/trading fees?  Also, were you able to receive mentorship for the investments side of the business?

Was a part of the internship also to build a client book?

Thank you!

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Posted this elsewhere:

Wouldn't do it unless you know for a fact you can bring in $30m+ of assets in your first 1-3 years and $100m+ long term. Even if you're charging 1%, that will equate in real comp to $120k and $500k respectively MAX.

I was an FA for 3 years and it is a near impossible business unless you have a built in client base / pipeline. Intelligence and finance acumen gets you next to nowhere. Of the largest producers at my firm, ones dad was a successful CPA and referred clients all day, one's brother was a big time Hollywood agent, and one had a corporate relationship with a few of the large law firms and was fed business through educational seminars.

You will not spend much time developing investment theses or even creating financial plans. You'll be cold calling, networking, spamming LinkedIn requests, and harassing your friends and family. Give it some serious thought, because there are also zero correlated exit ops aside from sales roles.

There are obviously exceptions, and UHNW Private Banking is a little more regimented in terms of up or out, but at the end of the day it will eventually be eat what you kill and it is NOT easy to eat.


Also, wealth and asset management are two very different things. Take some time to do some research before making a hasty decision. You can quite literally always go into Wealth Management, and some would argue it becomes easier the further along in your career you are.

For example, imagine you cold calling a millionaire business owner to invest his money versus your MD being introduced through a tax attorney he’s known for 20 years. In my honest opinion, moving from IB to PWM in your first few years without surefire large clients is a very very bad decision.


I’ve been at a PWM shop for 3 years at a top BB and this is spot on. Everyone wants to try PWM and it’s easy to get into until you realize you’re cold calling your ass off your first 5-10 years until you got a solid book (750mm AUM).


Successful wealth managers make more than bankers with a hell of a lot more stability and better WLB (though the most successful ones generally work just as hard as senior bankers). Unsuccessful wealth managers make a few hundred k or worse can never get a book big enough to be really making much at all. It really depends on you.

In a past life I worked in WM with UHNW people - my bosses were worth well over >$50M each (I traded their accounts and went to their houses) and unlike bankers their fees are recurring.


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