Am I permanently screwed in terms of salary...?

Hi all, I work at one of non-HK countries in Asia.

Recently I interviewed one of PE firms at HK (HQ in US) for analyst position (AUM: +10bn).

In the middle of process, they asked what my expected salary range, and I replied I am willing to take the market rate.

But then, they asked me what my current salary level was, but they don't ask this type of question in Asia so often, so I was little off guard... 

I replied it was about 50-60k for base... After the interview, I realized that revealing salary range is not advisable...

SO my first question is..

1) By disclosing my current salary level, will the new PE firm lowball me by offering a low base salary? I heard that for IB and PE at least for Analyst position, there is standard average pay level that each firm follows. My fear is that by disclosing my current salary level which obviously is much lower than 80-85k, I might have given them chance to set base salary level that is much lower than the market rate (like 60-70k...)

2) If my salary obviously is going to be lower, then would the variation be huge compared to other analyasts ? (like 30k difference something like that) 

I really want this job, but at the same time I am starting to get really worried because I might not be able to afford with low salary...

I would greatly appreciate your inputs!

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Comments (7)

Jun 7, 2021 - 1:24pm

I've no idea about your question I'm afraid.

Why are you leaving AM? I was looking into doing AM in HK. Are salaries not that great or is the work not exciting for you?

Jun 7, 2021 - 1:27pm

Haha, yeah I guess my question a bit vague.

To put further details, I was wondering if it is possible for the employer to offer me much lower base salary than other peers purely based upon my previous salary. (Those from IB might get paid 85k base, but I might be paid 70k... Do you think this sort of variation in terms of salary can happen at Analyst level?)

I liked AM so far, but I always wanted to try PE before, so I gave it a shot!

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  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Jun 7, 2021 - 2:07pm

They may give you the range you suggested but I think you should push back hard with a revised number.  I think it would be odd for them to pay you differently than other analysts, especially if it's a formal analyst program. 

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