Equity Research: Wall Street's Best Kept Secret
Monkeys, I am convinced that Equity Research may be the best gig to start your finance career. Let me explain:
Post, literally every single investment bank raised base salaries to $100k in effort to keep juniors from leaving before their 2-yr program ends. Know so many IB analysts who jumped ship < 1 year into the job because the work life balance is non-existent and it still shows no signs of stopping.
But at the same time, the majority of banks have raised base pay to $100k for thedivisions as well. Given that bonuses tend to be 25-40% of base pay (where IB stretches 50-70%), a first year easily is clearing at least $130k after signing bonus and performance bonus.
Keep in mind, $130k for a first year ER associate is literally the same amount of pay that a middle-bucket first year IB analyst would expect to make two years ago. But you can expect to work only 55 - 70 hours per week on average in ER whereas a typical week in IB is 80-90 hours. That said, its clear you get better pay for work-life balance in ER.
But you might be thinking well, IB isn't just attractive for the pay, it's also attractive for the exit opps. Guess what? ER gives you high quality exits into/AM and fair opportunity for Corp Dev. Only exit you'd be giving up with the is PE (a.ka. IB 2.0). That said, unless you're set on PE, ER looks like the clear winner in my opinion. Worst-case scenario, you can lateral from ER to IB coverage for a year if you really wanted to do PE that badly.
Love to hear your take on this.