When is it the appropriate time to discuss comp (experienced analyst)?

Posting anon because in a bit of a unique situation. I have a verbal offer from a larger fund to work under a PM that I respect. I have a couple years of experience and went straight to my current fund out of undergrad. Current base salary is ~$100k with a discretionary bonus. Didn't really do any comp negotiation for my current firm, so not familiar with how that process would look.

I'm wondering when the appropriate time to have a more detailed discussion about compensation might be. I've already told them how much I currently make (perhaps a mistake, but whatever) and they told me they would be able to "easily exceed" my current comp. It seems like they're excited about hiring me and called me a "high-potential candidate."

One of my concerns is that I would be moving from a relatively LCOL city to a HCOL city and I'm concerned that any increase in comp will be eaten up by a higher cost of living. I've done some basic research and it seems like the new city will be about 50-60% more expensive.

Another concern is that I do consulting/research on the side (that my current PM is ok with), and the fund I'm going to would like me to stop. I wouldn't normally bring this up or bother with it, but this brings in additional ~$50k per year (so total take-home is ~$150k + bonus) and it's a pretty significant % of my total take-home.

All-in, it looks like I would need approximately $225k base for everything to be equivalent.

For the more experienced users on this board, how would one go about approaching this situation? Am I needlessly worrying? Should I wait until I get the offer and have a discussion then, or is that too late? How much negotiation room do I really have as a junior hire?

I've been very, very cautious thus far as I don't want to seem like I'm being entitled, and the PM I'm going to work for seems like a pretty honorable person, but I can't help but worry. I don't want to seem like I'm being "short-term greedy" at the expense of having a great long-term career under a good mentor, but I also don't want to be quasi-broke for my first year until I get my bonus (which also isn't guaranteed obviously) as I was planning on getting married next year (therefore getting a cheap place to rent and having roommates isn't really an option). My S.O. doesn't work in a particularly lucrative career, so won't be getting much help on that end.

Comments (13)

Most Helpful
  • Trader in HF - Event
Jun 25, 2022 - 3:36pm

When you get to the offer stage, ask if you can have a 15 minute discussion about compensation. I would keep it to these points

- I'm very excited to work under you and learn

- For this to work, this is the comp range I am targeting. Does this work for you, and what would you need from me to see the high and low points of this range?

- I am a professional/adult, and I am here to play on the team no matter what is asked of me. I am not a hired gun out for a certain range, then out to lunch. 

I would not discuss:

- All of this consulting salary buildup/wife/whatever. No one cares. You should get paid a market range based on your performance, doesn't matter what's going on in your personal life. You are there to do a job

- "I need this to be equivalent" - your firm/PM is not solving for what works for you. They are going to pay you what they think is fair and that is entirely up to them. 

Anyone who is an experienced PM/manager on the street has had countless comp discussions and negotiations - I'm sure this guy knows how to do it. If he isn't willing to discuss or meet your range, you probably should look elsewhere as that is a very strong adverse signal. 

  • Analyst 2 in HF - Macro
Jun 25, 2022 - 8:27pm

Thanks for the no bullshit response. I'm planning to sit tight for a week or two until I get the official offer. Was thinking about waiting see what they come up with before mentioning anything, so I don't shoot myself in the foot. If they come back with something too low/out of my range, then maybe we can have a discussion.

  • Associate 1 in CorpFin
Jun 27, 2022 - 3:55pm

not sure if this applies to HF space, but when i got my offer at a BB, i started discussing signing bonus, to which they responded "learning point: you negotiate compensation before you receive the official offer. this offer is in the books and will not change at this point" - again not sure if different for you but that's where i get nervous for you, waiting for official offer

  • Analyst 2 in HF - Macro
Jul 2, 2022 - 11:30am

OP here with an update for anyone curious or who might be following. They offered higher than I expected and told me to basically "name my price" in terms of ancillary benefits (signing bonus, moving stipend, etc.). I didn't even have to bring anything up. 

I think culture seems pretty good at this firm and my future PM is pretty excited to work with me (the feeling is mutual), so I don't know how representative this is of the average experience but thought I would throw this out there for anyone curious.

  • Research Analyst in AM - Other
Jul 11, 2022 - 11:48pm

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