Which city has better prospects: London or Frankfurt

Next year I will start studies at one of the best universities in continental Europe. Although I know that it is very difficult and requires a lot of effort, in the future I would like to work in Private Equity (with several years of previous experience in IB or possibly MBB). Which city do you think will offer me a better WLB, a higher salary (at each level), a greater chance of accumulating a lot of wealth and better exit opportunities in the future? I'm mainly considering Frankfurt and London. Do you think London will slowly lose ground to Frankfurt in the next 10 years? Which city would you choose? It is worth remembering that I will start working full-time after graduation, so in 3-5 years.


What about the pay difference between London and Frankfurt? Is it big (and to whose benefit)? How do you see the rivalry between London and Frankfurt in 20 years? Will Frankfurt be as good as London?


What rivalry? London is one of only two global AA cities (alongside NYC) and a financial, legal, and in many ways cultural capital of EMEA. Frankfurt is a great place but it's one of very many major cities in continental Europe, there's no comparison

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Obviously biased as I'm living in Frankfurt:

London offers significantly more opportunities but also competition is significantly higher, as you basically compete against the whole world. Junior pay is often pretty similiar (e.g., in my fund exactly the same apart from currency conversion) while cost of living is obviously way higher in London. So I'd say while London is of course the better city, even my well-paid peers struggle to afford nice flats and all the nice things that the city offers. In Frankfurt, I can live extremly well and do whatever I want. If you have money, almost every city can be nice -> I rather be "rich" in an average city than "poor" in a top city (obviously exaggerated).

Also mid-cap PE in Germany is very strong, frankly because the Germany economy is the largest and likely strongest. 

Conclusion: If you want to have more options and live in the better city, go for London. If you are fine with Frankfurt as a city, it is certainly an attractive option. 


Do you think that in the future (10-20y) Frankfurt will be as good as London? At higher levels (VP/Principal) in PE, do you think there is a big difference in salary between the two cities?


not a chance, German bureaucracy will continue stifle everything. Paris is the city to be if you want to stay in euro zone for ib (depending on elections ofc). If you want to do PE in Germany you want to be in Munich anyway


Do you know what the difference in pay in IB/PE is between London and Frankfurt as an Analyst and what as a Principal? Don't you think that in the next 10-20 years these cities will be at a similar level?


I mean, London experience is also seen favorable in Frankfurt so in a worst case scenario if Frankfurt ends up surpassing London (but I doubt it) you'll have no issues lateraling or getting something in Frankfurt.


You’ve repeatedly made this assertion that London is on the way down, and Frankfurt is its natural successor. It’s incorrect. I would venture as far guessing you’ve got this preconceived pro-EU mentality and cannot fathom how a post-Brexit London can survive. Regardless of the benefits/drawbacks of Brexit, one thing is clear: London has not ceded its status to Frankfurt, nor will it ever do so. Now stop worrying about it.


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