Top Paying Associate Firms

A lot of info about where firms stack up in terms of analyst pay, but how do the boutiques stack up against each other? A little hard to find updated info.

Comments (78)

Controversial
Jun 29, 2022 - 1:47pm
ExpensiveCashFlow, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Can provide a few figures for some of the boutiques. These were from 2021 so bonuses are probably going to be a lot less.

Qatalyst ($640k for AS1, after 2 years). Qatalyst is highest paying investment bank hands down. Heard that VPs there clip 7 figures.

CVP ($600k for AS1, after 3 years)

Moelis ($500k AS1, after 2 years)

Lazard ($430k AS1, after 2 years)

Have heard conflicting comps from PJT and Evercore, if others can chime in. Peak frameworks made a video on YT about this btw that you should check out

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jun 29, 2022 - 3:11pm

These numbers are starting to pretty firmly cement in the fact that banking pay now is higher than you'll get from any exit opp, even MF PE. The PE associate comp thread for 2023 starts had a bunch of UMM / MF comp numbers for AS1s and most were 300-350; not a single one broke 400. When staying A2A at an EB outpays even Apollo, you're gonna see a ton of kids choose to stay in a job they've gotten good at and a group they're familiar with rather than a paycut to chase the mystical buyside jobs. Maybe once that happens, there'll be upward pressure on PE comp at the junior level. 

  • Prospect in IB - Treas
Jun 29, 2022 - 3:42pm

Kind of why I was interested in this info. Interning at EB next summer and have questioned if the buyside is the slam-dunk it's made out to be on this forum. If I like the people at the firm and can make more money staying, doesn't seem like an easy decision to leave.

Jun 29, 2022 - 3:29pm
Top Bucket, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Anyone knows if you still can ask for sign on or A2A bonus, if I'm lateraling from a MM to BB or EB? If so, what's a good amount?

  • Business School in CorpStrat
Jun 29, 2022 - 4:09pm

What's considered "street" pay nowadays?

Jun 29, 2022 - 4:22pm
jay_ay_why, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Feels like AS1 ~mid $300k and moving up to ~low-to-mid $500k at AS3 seems about right

Wouldnt be surprised for a few EBs to pay $50k+ above that 

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jun 29, 2022 - 9:36pm

A lot of these comments imply that high junior comp in the last year has happened as a result of heightened deal volume and that this year comp will decrease to pre pandemic levels -- while more money made for the firm definitely makes it easy to pay juniors more, I don't think that's the main driver of why juniors got paid more. If banks wanted to reward junior employees for high firm revenue (which doesn't make sense since they're not revenue sourcers like senior employees), this would be reflected in high bonus numbers for the year (which did happen -- record full year bonuses + spot bonuses, etc.), But a base bump is a signal of a permanent shift in compensation philosophy -- it's not one time, reversible, etc. A bonus hike means the pie got bigger; a base hike means you're getting a larger share of the pie. At EBs, which don't really bucket, analyst and associate pay is literally treated like a fixed cost. During the pandemic, that fixed cost line has been permanently marked up. From 2010-2020, banks had some good years and some bad years. Analyst and Associate bonuses wavered only by +/-10-20k as a result. Yes, total pay at banks is gonna come down next year, but mainly at the VP, MD, and Partner level, not more than 20-30k at the Analyst or Associate level.     

Jul 2, 2022 - 11:44am
pihyper, what's your opinion? Comment below:

High quality thinking here. Would still push back a bit though. If the juniors got a larger share of the pie, someone else (in this case, it'd be the seniors) must be getting a smaller share of the pie. Yet we haven't heard any MD's complaining about pay cuts; in fact, they were comped as generously as ever. The reason? All the extra bank revenue went to giving seniors HUGE bonuses, even if their base salaries went down (which by your logic, must have happened, as the pie is constant sum and revenue independent). So the blowout revenues that a bank earns ultimately does flow down to junior comp through a reshuffling of the base+bonus structure, which implies that in coming years when deal flow tapers and revenues fall back to pre-pandemic, it's reasonable to see junior comp taking a hit. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 29, 2022 - 7:38pm

Definitely jealous 

  • Associate 2 in IB - Restr
Jun 30, 2022 - 12:02am

Gugg actually pays slightly more than PWP does at the associate level

Jun 30, 2022 - 12:15am
nychimp99, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't think this is true (and not specifically for Gugg vs PWP): as far as I know, EBs (except for Centerview) come in approx. ~10k of each other at mid-bucket level, so there's hardly any difference. Usually, EVR announces the numbers first, and rest of them fall in line within a week. No bank will ever lose out on talent by underpaying, particularly at EB which are more focused on retaining talent, than the wider banking firms

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 30, 2022 - 6:54pm

For people thinking that a large cut in bonuses is possible, at least in EBs where 100% or more every year is normal, a large bonus cut would be interpreted as a "I need to leave" signal ie either the firm/market is tanking or they're going to fire me at some point. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jul 1, 2022 - 12:31pm

Why the hell do MBAs even go to BB's? As1 comp at my BB was like 325k last year

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 6, 2022 - 10:41am

Why the hell do MBAs even go to BB's? As1 comp at my BB was like 325k last year

For a slew of reasons.

1) At the MBA associate level, people tend to think slightly more long term ( 2yrs out for analyst vs 3-5 yrs for associates) and BBs tend to have better WLB. I work in M&A and I have never including my summer worked past 11pm. Looking at my classmates who went to other banks, boutiques work much much longer hours. Long-term sustainability of the job is definitely one in most MBA-associate's priority list, so this is definitely an important criteria, but I've rarely met an analyst who talked about such things.

2) Better brand name globally, visa sponsorship and internal mobility. A huge chunk of MBA hires are internationals who need visa plus prefer mobility to move back to their region/countries down the road, and BBs obviously have greater global presence (meaning they've got offices everywhere mainly). A lot of candidates, especially those from Asia, want to go back after a few years and being at a BB makes that process more easy. 

3) Recruiting & lateraling is incredibly easy at the MBA/associate level. Unlike the hyper-competitive analyst recruiting, associate recruiting is (I'm not gonna lie) incredibly easy, as long as you go to a decent program and follow the recruitment process. I'm sure there are a few banks and groups that will disagree with this, but there is really no concept of a "CONVERSION" rate at the MBA-associate level. Summer offer is in 98%+ of cases I'd say, equal to getting a full time offer. What's more is that opportunities to lateral to a different bank at the associate level is overflowing. Take a look at how many Linkedin job postings come out for an associate role every week. Multiply that by 3-5, and that will give you the approximate number of IB lateral job offers I get from HHs. 

  • Business School in CorpStrat
Jul 6, 2022 - 12:46pm

Have also heard good things about MM post MBA. Can always lateral upstream to BB/EB after 1-2 years if you're in a hot coverage sector or lateral within the MM.

Totally agree on the last point, my school career center confirmed that nearly 100% of the summer bankers got FT offers. The ~90% conversion rate from summer to FT were almost always summer associates who choose to re-recruit for a different industry. And this is at a T20-T25, not a M7/T15. 

On the other hand, consulting recruiting at my school comes off as brutal but many who re-recruit 2nd year after failing to get consulting 1st year tend to do fairly well (mostly T2/B4 and 1-3 at each MBB). The majority of those candidates who re-recruit for consulting 2nd year get it. On the other hand, IB recruiting is apparently less competitive but more intense of course since it's usually done by winter break.

Jul 1, 2022 - 1:51pm
jay_ay_why, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Another thing to point out. These firms (esp EBs) tend to pay very well but they could be ruthless too

I think Evercore had very public layoffs in 2019 right before COVID and slashed mostly As3s. You might see more layoffs rather than comp coming down substantially if things slow down too much. The hours and lack of job security really make it a grind; you will probably still work your ass off as you move up the ladder at these places and then they do pay you for it

Jul 1, 2022 - 3:22pm
nychimp99, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Indeed, but all the banks across the street (not just EVR) cut people leading to the COVID slowdown- so I think cost cutting is a real thing across all banks.

EVR historically cuts between 3-7% annually (by cut it also includes mostly people who are told there is no promotion for them/paid low bonuses as a way to show them out of the door); I was told that early 2020 was the first time MOE/PWP had cuts, and a big range of those cuts came at A2-A3/VP1-VP3 levels.

Also to note, EVR is generally considered more "ruthless" when it comes to cuts, but it's also because EVR recruits heavily for MBA associates- they have a steady stream of A0s (or A1s as they call it) coming in every year from B-schools - so its easy for them to replace non-performing A2s/A3s - which is exactly what happened in late 2019 publicly - but also happens every year in that A3s are told there are no VP spots for them. PWP does not recruit for MBAs, and MOE has historically had lower conversions from offer - > acceptance for MBAs compared to most other EB firms.

Jul 1, 2022 - 3:30pm
jay_ay_why, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yes - I meant all EBs are like that with EVR being one of the largest and most public recent examples. Probably a lot of threads on it on this forum

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Restr
Jul 1, 2022 - 3:35pm

Ducera pays quite well. A1 430 - 490k, A2 530 - 590k, A3 620 - 650k. During a slow RX year as well.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 4, 2022 - 10:17pm

Gotta drop the bank name

  • Business School in CorpStrat
Jul 4, 2022 - 11:50pm

+1 to dropping name of bank. I heard this rumor too. Wasn't it a HC coverage banker too?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jul 4, 2022 - 2:33pm

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