Are Investment Banking Salaries Outside NYC Signficantly Lower?

First time poster here.

The largest number of investment banking jobs are obviously located in NYC. But investment banks are also located in other cities such as Boston, Chicago Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Hypothetical Question: In terms of investment banking jobs right out of undergraduate from a top 25 university (based on U.S. News and World rankings),
are the starting salaries as well as salary progression significantly lower outside of Wall Street/NYC metro area?

Any helpful insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Comments (59)

Apr 3, 2017 - 7:35pm
m3shuggah, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just one data point, but I'm heading to a non-NYC MM bank for my internship, and getting paid prorated street. Bonus figures from Glassdoor seem to confirm that bonuses are in NYC range, maybe marginally lower (less than 15k difference). I'm also definitely not from a top 25 undergrad -- try top 125.

I think that the consensus from this site is that MMs, EBs, and BBs in all of the cities you mentioned pay street.

Apr 3, 2017 - 7:47pm
PE_Reaper, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No - I can vouch for my BB at least being uniform. I always thought of it as the bank compensating you for lower urban amenities

Apr 3, 2017 - 10:37pm
BigMac007, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you for the helpful replies.

So if investment banking salaries are generally similar in each of these above cities, is the appeal of working in NYC due to greater odds of landing a job because of more companies to apply to?

Or is it more the prestige of saying one works in NYC, the financial capital of the world?

Does working at an investment banking job in NYC (vs elsewhere) look better on a resume when looking down the road for future opportunities such as transitioning from IB to a hedge fund outside the NYC metro area?

Thank you for your insights in advance.

Apr 4, 2017 - 3:39am
Gbanker74160, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Everyone has his own reasons for wanting to work in a specific city. For instance, one that you probably never considered, but that holds true from what I've seen from my friends, is that somewhere between a third and to half of incoming analysts are originally from the NYC itself or its suburbs (Rye, Scarsdale, Greenwich, North Jersey, occasionally LI). They want to be by their family and friends, so they work in NY even if they receive incredible offers from top groups out west. But as for why most people end up in NY, it's because there are considerably more opportunities in IB in NY than anywhere else in the country, and possibly the world (London and Hong Kong might be ahead not sure).

I'd highlight, though, that the NY prestige thing isn't really valid. There are many prestigious groups outside NY: Moelis LA, Qatalyst SF, MS Menlo Park, HL RX LA, GS SF, a small number of strong energy groups in TX and industrials groups in Chicago that I don't know much about but likely place well in their niche. For resume purposes, you'd be better off with any of the aforementioned than some random, undistinguished DB/UBS/MM Bank group in NY.

That isn't to say that there aren't strong long term career benefits to working in NY IB. Namely, there are ton of financial opportunities in the metro area. In other places, the financial community is smaller and exit/lateral ops might be harder to find. This isn't a huge issue in large cities (SF, LA, Chicago, Dallas/Houston, Boston). But if you're in, say, Charlotte, Atlanta, or Denver, then there's definitely a sizable drop and your prestige point holds true.

You can move from NY IB to a HF outside NY. That said, there aren't too many HF's outside NY, relatively speaking, and moving across coasts can be challenging. And being at a NY IB wouldn't specifically help you with this, and would probably hurt you compared to someone at a leading group already in the HF's location. So if you want to end up at Oak Tree or Ares or Value Act or Farralon or what have you, you might be better off starting on the west coast, and the same goes for funds in TX.

Apr 5, 2017 - 6:30pm
Just The Tip, what's your opinion? Comment below:

In the case of London, the BB i am heading to pays in ibd, first year analysts around £50k base with £20-30k bonuses, compare it to how much they pay first years in NYC which I believe ot be around $85k base with $50k + bonuses... it is significantly lower

Apr 7, 2017 - 2:44pm
heister, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Relatively speaking banks pay the same in NYC as they do everywhere COL adjusted. Some of the larger banks just pay everyone the exact same but others will pay analysts in places like NYC and SF more because the cost of living is more but relatively speaking it is similar.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

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Apr 7, 2017 - 3:27pm
Mark Hanna, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Comp is the same in the large cities that you named. However, if you are considering high end exit opps (PE or HF) in NYC, then you essentially must do IB in NYC. There is such a high concentration of top analysts in NYC that buy-side firms located in NYC typically don't go outside that geography to recruit. However, the opposite does not hold true; I see IB analysts from NYC go to Chicago, SF, etc. for buy side gigs all the time. So I would say if you want to do NYC buy-side, your best bet would be to do IB in NYC as well.

The fool thinks himself to be a wise man, while the wise man thinks himself to be a fool.
  • 2
Apr 7, 2017 - 7:50pm
Communist, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Comp in Houston is the same as NYC. I know guys at GS or Evercore Energy M&A and making 85k+70k first year. There's also no income tax in Texas. Straight pipeline to Energy PE. If you don't mind living in a shitty city with mediocre quality women, lousy night life and terrible weather, Texas isn't too bad.

Apr 8, 2017 - 7:49am
GoldJacketGreenJacket, what's your opinion? Comment below:

SB for the laid back Houston aggression. Tell us what you really think! Love it.

Apr 9, 2017 - 10:07am
sailorman2439, what's your opinion? Comment below:

New York vs Regional IB Salaries (Originally Posted: 08/09/2010)

I'm curious as to how much difference there is in salary between a BB in NY and a regional boutique (ie. Raymond James) as an IB Analyst. I'm particularly interested in what an IB salary at Raymond James might be as this is a fairly prominent firm where I live. Thanks

Apr 9, 2017 - 10:10am
81928, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Analysts who started at RJ this summer in ATL get 70k base. Don't know about what bonuses they'll get in a year.

Apr 9, 2017 - 10:15am
Jacob Moore - Trader at KZI, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Are IB salaries the same in every city? (Originally Posted: 11/25/2016)

Are salaries in investment banking the same across the globe? For example: will an analyst in Moscow earn the same as an analyst in London or New York? If no, how big is the difference?

Array
Best Response
Apr 9, 2017 - 10:21am
SSits, what's your opinion? Comment below:
JacobMoore8:

CoL?

He's referring to the adjustment for colorectal surgery & the colostomy bag subsidy, commonly referred as "col-adjusted" or just "col" for short.

Analysts have to work hard for long hours and don't get time for toilet breaks. Most banks provide a subsidy to pay for analysts to get colorectal surgery, with an ongoing subsidy to cover the cost of colostomy bags. Net net, what they pay for the operation, they save in improved analyst productivity. Toilet breaks take time and time is money.

Not all banks provide the subsidy, so it's common to assess compensation on a colostomy-adjusted basis. Otherwise, it's not a like-for-like comparison.

This is why WSO has the "monkey shit" system for down voting posts. It comes from the industry practice where analysts (referred to as monkeys) would literally disconnect their colostomy bags and "throw monkey shit" at any analyst who said something dumb.

This is also why col-adjusted salaries are better in Frankfurt. Germans really dig their scat/scheisse play. A busy deal room in a German investment bank is literally a shit-fest.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.
  • 10
Apr 9, 2017 - 10:24am
blas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Ibanking salaries outside financial centers (Originally Posted: 12/06/2006)

Hi! I am new in the forum. I wanted to share with you how frustrating are salaries in ibanking in my country, Spain. Note that I have always been working for mid-market companies. But as far as I have heard big banks' salaries (as well as their working hours) do not differ very much.

Here it goes: 1st year analyst: 25,000 euros + 6,000 bonus 2nd year analyst: 30,000 euros + 12,000 bonus 3rd year analyst: 35,000 euros + (do not know yet :P)

Quite frustrating, uh? At least here things are allegedly cheaper (I have a comfortable appartment for my own for 700 eur/month).

Are salaries in your countries comparable?

Apr 9, 2017 - 10:26am
Gordon_Gekko, what's your opinion? Comment below:
blas:
1st year analyst: 25,000 euros + 6,000 bonus 2nd year analyst: 30,000 euros + 12,000 bonus 3rd year analyst: 35,000 euros + (do not know yet :P)

that's bad, but the weather is much better in spain

__________________________________________________________________ Don't even try to complain about my grammar and spelling mistakes!
Apr 9, 2017 - 10:28am
aspiringmonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well how many hours per day do you work? I mean if you work a 9 to 5, with a 2 hour lunch break, that salary isn't that bad. + you are in spain, its not like you have to shell out 2 grand for an apartment, like you would at NYC


Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

  • 1
Apr 9, 2017 - 10:29am
Gordon_Gekko, what's your opinion? Comment below:

1st year analyst at a us bank in frankfurt germany - 50.000

__________________________________________________________________ Don't even try to complain about my grammar and spelling mistakes!
Apr 9, 2017 - 10:30am
aspiringmonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

would help if people used this currency converter to convert to US salaries http://www.xe.com/ucc/

31,000 euros =41K USD 42,000 euros =56K USD

56,000 euros =74K USD(+ end year bonus)


Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

Apr 9, 2017 - 10:31am
holymonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Apparently analysts get paid a ton in Toronto...or wait is that a financial center?

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-
Apr 9, 2017 - 10:33am
EuroMonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Speaking from what mates across Europe tell me, Germany seems to be a good deal. Starting salaries are among the highest in Europe (base on par with London - above UK if you look beyond banking). And life's not that expensive either. Everything in Frankfurt is so much cheaper than London. So purchasing power there is pretty high. I won't give numbers since this info isn't all 1st hand.

Don't think Madrid's that much cheaper than Germany, you just get ripped off on pay (I confirm the numbers blas gives). However, London working hours are mad and Frankfurt's are similar, but you easily work 2/3 hours less a day in Spain. And I'm not factoring in the lunch breaks. Guys I know in Madrid also spend much less time in the office on weekends...

Budlight, this is all from a IBD point of view. I hear you on the 4hrs a day... you're probably not that far off for S&T guys in Spain!

How about Milan? Prob not much banking going on there since so many Bocconi grads come to London, but how's pay?

Apr 9, 2017 - 10:34am
yesforone, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Toronto is a solid Tier 2 financial center. There is a lot of activity (and bankers) given the size of Canada. Pay is good and living is reasonable.

Apr 9, 2017 - 10:35am
BudLight, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Actually Spain (even though the pay seems terribly low) sounds like the better place to be since you get the option of taking life easy. But I hear Madrid is surrounding by one big desert, I'd rather be in Seville (or something similar).

Is it easier getting an i-banking job in Europe compared to the United States?

Apr 9, 2017 - 10:36am
lakerlax, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Stephens Inc

sounds like they are right around the 60/10 1st year mark and they are in Little Rock, AK. Basically pennies to live there compared to NYC

Apr 9, 2017 - 10:37am
Sunlounger, what's your opinion? Comment below:
blas:
Hi! I am new in the forum. I wanted to share with you how frustrating are salaries in ibanking in my country, Spain. Note that I have always been working for mid-market companies. But as far as I have heard big banks' salaries (as well as their working hours) do not differ very much.

Here it goes: 1st year analyst: 25,000 euros + 6,000 bonus 2nd year analyst: 30,000 euros + 12,000 bonus 3rd year analyst: 35,000 euros + (do not know yet :P)

Quite frustrating, uh? At least here things are allegedly cheaper (I have a comfortable appartment for my own for 700 eur/month).

Are salaries in your countries comparable?

Apr 9, 2017 - 10:40am
blas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Wow!! You really have an exotic image about Spain!! (that makes me happy I guess).

About working hours in general: a recent statistics says that the number of working hours a day in Spain is the highest in Europe... but at the same time we are the European country with lowest productivity, he. Usual working time is from 9,00 to 20,00 (two hours lunch time) About working hours in investment banking: I usually work from 9,00 to 22,30. I may stay until 2 or 3am whenever I have an urgent project (once every two months maybe). I work two or three weekends a month (no more than 6 hours a day on weekends). Ah! An important note very different from US: we have 30 DAYS HOLIDAYS a year!!

When I am not working, yes, it's true, Spain is all about party, good weather and sexy boys (we girls are quite nice, too ;) ).

Apr 9, 2017 - 10:42am
blas, what's your opinion? Comment below:
petetong:
blas,

BB stands for "bulge bracket", the large global investment banks (i.e., Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, etc.). Its a subjective term though.

I have no idea. Actually, I would dare to say that there are no analyst positions in BBs here in Spain (??). Those collegues from my university who got an offer to work for a BBs had to go to London; the chance to stay in Madrid simply did not exist for them. However, all of them participated in deals with Spanish companies, along which they were sent to Madrid keeping their London salaries (!!).

Apr 9, 2017 - 10:44am
EuroMonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As blas says there are hardly any analyst roles here. And it's much less open to "outsiders" than London and US markets...

The only foreign analysts I know in IB Madrid are either in middle/back (following successful internships). My situation (experienced UK employee sent to Spain) is quite unusual and I applied significant leverage to get here.

Your best bet if you're an analyst would be to network (as usual) and impress Spanish colleagues while working on Spain-linked deals (utilities and construction are big here) and becoming fluent in Spanish.

Apr 9, 2017 - 10:45am
Gordon_Gekko, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Vienna - Austria, max. 35.000

__________________________________________________________________ Don't even try to complain about my grammar and spelling mistakes!
Apr 9, 2017 - 10:46am
JohnyD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Apr 9, 2017 - 10:47am
nauru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Apr 9, 2017 - 10:48am
JohnyD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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