Zurich is Paradise

Hey fellow WSO hardos! Gather around as I unveil the hidden gem of the finance world: Zurich, the land of chocolates, watches, and yes, investment banking! Picture this: you've just landed a coveted role as an Investment Banking Analyst in the local Bulge Bracket's M&A team. Let's take a delightful journey through the wonderland that is Zurich, where finance meets Swiss precision and the alpine breeze carries the scent of success.


The Salary Mirage:

Who needs the concrete jungle of New York when you can bask in the glory of Zurich? Feast your eyes on the base salary: a staggering CHF 130k (that's approximately USD 145k), easily outshining your peers across the pond. Those poor souls in New York can only dream of such lavish paychecks. But wait, there's more! Thanks to Switzerland's low taxes, you can stuff those extra francs into your Swiss bank account while humming 'Money, Money, Money' by ABBA.


The M&A Oasis:

Zurich, a city renowned for banking, offers a unique twist for aspiring M&A bankers. Here, we have a rare phenomenon: a few banks actually bother to have Swiss M&A teams! Yes, you heard that right, a true novelty. While the teams may be small in numbers, your chosen bank boasts a decent-sized M&A division. You are a member of the elite squad of M&A bankers at the local top dog, UBS. And let's face it, the exclusivity makes it all the more special.

You almost joined Goldman Sachs. But poor Goldman missed the memo on the Zurich paradise. With no dedicated M&A team in Zurich, they have to cover the market from their offices in London. But fear not, fellow bankers, for we have chosen the true path. While Goldman's siren call may have tempted you, you stood strong and proudly declared, 'I shall not abandon Zurich!' Who needs London when you have the breathtaking Swiss Alps as your backdrop?


Working Hours Swiss-Style:

Ah, the sweet harmony of work-life balance resonates in Zurich's investment banking realm. While our comrades in London and Frankfurt toil away under the fluorescent lights, our hours are relatively civilized. Sometimes, just sometimes, you even find yourself leaving the office before midnight. The nights you do get to experience the sweet embrace of your bed before the clock strikes 12, you can't help but feel like you've won the lottery (well, at least a scratch-off ticket).

It's Sunday and you are enjoying a leisurely stroll along Lake Zurich. You sit down to enjoy a refreshing Swiss beer. No 100h weeks for us, my friends! Life is good.


So there you have it, my fellow finance enthusiasts. Zurich, the hidden paradise where investment banking dreams come true. Enjoy higher salaries, lower taxes, scenic beauty, and the satisfaction of being part of a select few in the M&A landscape. Let Zurich be your haven of success, where the sound of cowbells mingles with the sweet symphony of financial triumph. Zurich is paradise.

 

Goldman may have the glitz of London, but in Zurich, we're too busy enjoying the view and counting our Swiss francs to care.

 

Most certainly yes. After all, the country has four national languages so it is international by nature. Outside of work, you might run into some language barriers, especially in non-urban areas, but this shouldn't be a serious problem.

 

litquiditty

Can you work in Zurich IB as an English speaker?

No, the German side does not tolerate native English speakers. It will be almost impossible to break into IB in Zurich as a native English speaker as the swiss and Germans are fluent in English and smarter.

 

Visited Switzerland as a child, still have very fond memories of how beautiful Zurich / Geneva are. I still vividly remember the streets of Geneva by the water / mountain area.

One of my distantly related uncles used to live in Zurich (used to work for an industrial conglomerate in Europe at the VP / Director level and lived in quite a few places with his family).

 

Serious question, why don't more banks base their DACH coverage teams in Zurich? Seems to have way more advantages over Frankfurt (which from what I've heard is infested with drug addicts, not to mention the higher German tax rates) and is still a somewhat local presence on the ground.

 

I guess it's because of the high salaries. Why locate coverage in a place where you have to pay your A1 a base of 130k when you can have them do the same work for 80k in Frankfurt? But agreed: Frankfurt can be awful sometimes.

 

Is the cost of living higher than New York? 145K would be great especially with lower taxes. As a watch enthusiast I’ve always had switzerland on my list to visit and this post bumped it up in the queue a bit. It seems beautiful.

My high school econ teacher was a Swiss banker in his first career. He might have been what sparked my interest in finance. Really interesting guy though I’m not sure why he decided to teach at a high school in the US.

 

Zurich is regularly among the most expensive cities in the world. Yet I don't think it's more expensive than NYC. You can easily get a nice 2.5 room flat in the city centre for CHF 3,000/month. Services (e.g. hairdresser, cooks,...) are extremely expensive though.

 

johnny-mnemonic

Is the cost of living higher than New York? 145K would be great especially with lower taxes. As a watch enthusiast I've always had switzerland on my list to visit and this post bumped it up in the queue a bit. It seems beautiful.

My high school econ teacher was a Swiss banker in his first career. He might have been what sparked my interest in finance. Really interesting guy though I'm not sure why he decided to teach at a high school in the US.

Having lived in both, i can say with no hesitation that zurich is WAY cheaper than NY. Switzerland is expensive for tourists visiting but when you live here and learn how to optimize expenses, zurich is cheaper than london even and more in line with Paris

 

I've lived in London and Switzerland myself: 'touristy' things (aka. gastronomy, travel etc.) are extremely expensive in Switzerland, but rent, groceries, education and everything you need to live are cheaper than in London. So I think the high salaries in Switzerland are a good deal!

 

The vast majority in Zurich High Finance come from HSG (St.Gallen). Occasionally LSE, Bocconi, HEC Paris, HEC Lausanne and UZH.

Due to the high salaries, the ratio between applicants and positions is somewhat off. But with the right profile, it’s certainly doable!

 

Zurich is definitely the Swiss centre of high finance, though it shares the role of a WM hub with Geneva. While there are also many corporates in the region (e.g. Google, Glencore, Swiss Re, etc.), pharma concentrates in Basel. I have no idea about special packages, but expats usually have no problem providing for themselves and their families. Also, the public school system is one of the best in the world, so I wouldn't worry about schooling.

 

My family is from Zurich, and I’ve spent a lot of time there for work and family. I’d say that as an outsider the culture can be quite insular. I love it and have a great time because I have some local context. Friends of mine have struggled to find connection.