Absurdly high pay at Qatalyst, any truth to the rumors?

Heard that Qatalyst pays $500k+ to first year associates and VPs are regularly pulling in a million. The numbers in the WSO comp database and Glassdoor seem to back this up.

If this is true why would their analysts ever leave to PE or VC? I know comp isn't the only factor but if you're at a place where you can make seven figures a year in your late 20s I would think that's hard to turn down

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Comments (47)

Controversial
  • Associate 3 in IB - Ind
Apr 28, 2021 - 10:41pm

Don't be ridiculous. Have friends there and those numbers are not even close to actual. Comp is comparable to or slightly higher than street. Why are these college kids pumping up Q lol

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 28, 2021 - 11:14pm

Typical base + bonus is a bit higher than street, but I know for a fact that there is a profit-sharing system there for associate and above when deals close. On good years (like last) comp does reach those numbers. Analyst comp however is just a little higher than street (180-220k) and they don't get to participate in profit-sharing. Not trying to pump the firm, just trying to give accurate info. 

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Apr 29, 2021 - 12:17am

Qatalyst is by far the best firm on the street in terms of comp. 250k+ for analysts, 500k+ for associates easily. They are more selective/prestigious than any other banks on the street, and nobody leaves to pursue buyside opportunities because they pay better than any MFs.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 29, 2021 - 12:20am

The few people I know that have left, left because of WLB or lack thereof. Profit-sharing system is real, and like some of the other industry boutiques that have it, when the firm has a good year employees benefit greatly. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 29, 2021 - 12:24am

I spoke with a few VPs at Qatalyst and they told me that they pull $1-2 million (all cash) consistently. MDs there make $10-15m from what I heard. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 29, 2021 - 1:33am

Can confirm - George Butros took home more than $400mn last year and MDs $30-50mn each. Shouldn't be surprised if analysts took home $4-500k.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Gen
Apr 30, 2021 - 12:19am

Can confirm. I've seen several Qatalyst analysts driving Aston Martins and Ferraris to work

Apr 30, 2021 - 3:47am

have a friend who's an analyst there, pay is definitely above street. In terms of "why would you ever leave," the people there are incredibly passionate about tech (unsurprisingly), so exits to growth equity/VC are not that uncommon for people looking for exposure to different skills/experiences.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Ind
Apr 30, 2021 - 6:16pm

Just a fun and shocking fact but it's actually not uncommon for exec assistants for management at medium-size start-ups to make $100K+. Knew a girl in her late 20s who was one of two exec assistants for the CEO of the company I was working for and she showed me her contract. She also noted that exec assistants normally don't get a raise though so she might be stuck at that amount for a long time. 

  • Associate 2 in PE - Growth
May 1, 2021 - 2:20pm

Serious reply from a former analyst that left for a top VC: this was many years ago and the top first year analysts cleared $200K+, so I wouldn't be surprised that it is higher now. Associate base and bonus is above street, but not that much higher than EBs. The difference is that you get to participate in the firm's profit sharing, i.e. "partnership" program that the firm will give you a loan to buy into at the associate level and above. In a year where Qatalyst is generating $300-500M revenue with a small handful of employees (you can go count it on the website), you can do the math on profit sharing. $500K for associates and close to $1M for VPs all in is certainly possible and wouldn't be surprised if overall cash comp has gone up as well since then.    

  • Business School in IB - Gen
May 20, 2021 - 10:28pm

Most of you are probably going off total hearsay but I did have a classmate who got an offer from them (post-MBA associate) with 200k base for stub year, and other associates had said expected 125-150% bonus. Not saying it happens every year, but early associate years should at least sometimes be 450-500k.

  • Associate 3 in HF - EquityHedge
May 21, 2021 - 11:08am

Serious reply - a close friend was an analyst there years back (has since left for VC). Comp is definitely well above street and there is a profit sharing system for employees. First year analysts regularly make above 200k. You answered your own question for why analysts leave for other roles. Many of the analysts there are passionate about tech/investing and the exits available are top notch. So they either leave because of their interest in other roles or because they believe long-term they can outperform those who stay in banking

  • VP in IB-M&A
Jun 9, 2021 - 1:19pm

I don't know where people get numbers or what people have heard from a friend of a friend of a friend but here are ranges for a solid year. Believe it or not but these are the numbers for folks that are actually interested 

associate 1: $175 base + $200-250ish bonus + $50-75k profit sharing, all cash

Associate 3: $225 base + $400-450 bonus + $150-200 profit sharing all cash

VP base is $275 across all levels.  Mid level Vp last year got around $600-650 bonus, 275-325 profit sharing all cash

I would imagine MDs are $2.5-3.5 a year all in and the huge upside really comes in as a partner where I imagine partners are Making $5-20+ Based on contributions for a given year, excluding George of course who makes a lot more

for the question on WLB, you're going to work hard obviously.  There are no weekend policies and it's not uncommon for analysts and associates to be working both Saturday and Sunday.  I would say culture is still better than a BB and the quality of work is a night and day difference. You're not sitting around at the office all night for FaceTime or waiting for comments but there is a lot of real, stressful work to do most of the time and you will run on lean teams.  Just look at the number of deals done a year, and assume that at least 3-4x the number of announced transactions were worked on and look at the size of the team. You can do the math.  I would argue a skill set an analyst develops at Qatalyst is second to none on Wall Street, you will just see and be exposed to a lot more than your peers elsewhere, and you will get paid for your work but you're going to work around the clock for 2 years or longer if you stay.  Think you would be hard pressed to find a current or former analyst that would complain about consistently doing busy/ mundane work or lack of solid experience.

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Total Avg Compensation

June 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (202) $234
  • 2nd Year Analyst (115) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (97) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (27) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (420) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (338) $82