Balancing Loyalty to your boss and Money

Currently work in London as an equities analyst in an LO shop.

I've been offered an opportunity that is a real step up in terms of responsibility but not as interesting work (less equity research and more fund selection). However the base of the new offer is a lot higher, as in my current base + bonus and then some (60% raise total) and I'm considering whether to take it or not.

I really like my boss and we get along very well, he's mentored me and really helped me push my potential which is a main reason I've been offered this new gig. I don't want to screw him over but also seems silly to pass over an opportunity like this.

What do you guys think?

PS I wasn't looking for a new job prior to this, a recruiter reached out to me.

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Comments (48)

Nov 5, 2021 - 10:46am

Sounds like you were reached out to because of a specific skillset, you are not a commodity. That means you can negotiate a later start date, that should allow your boss fair warning to prepare. Nobody can be surprised by people moving up in the world in this business, and unless your boss is a lifer, he also moved into this position. so a later start date with fair warning to him should be considered great courtesy.

Nov 5, 2021 - 10:55am

Appreciate your input and will take your advice regarding start date onboard, my boss is a lifer - worked up to a senior PM. But I agree with you that it should be expected people move onwards and upwards. Do you think me negotiating a counter offer with current boss is worth it?

Nov 5, 2021 - 12:53pm

you can if:

a) this is not a large organization with set salary bands that will make this impossible.

b) you frame it the right way, i.e. tell the truth: 

- you were not actively looking

- were approached with this lucrative offer - don't shop the offer, but disclose truthfully you have one (there is a distinction there in my opinion)

- would rather stay onboard with an offer that makes your compensation in your current shop more competitive (other factors come into play: WLB, perks, interest, but it is your call as to how you weigh them)

- IF boss is going to have a shitshow on his hands without you (I was thinking from an IBD perspective here, could be irrelevant in AM), you say that you will try to push out your start date there.

Finance is an industry where comp has a somewhat hyperbolic shape if you seek it. That is a big part of why we are all here. 

Nov 5, 2021 - 11:03am

Good question, answer is probably not but I don't see a reason why I couldn't move from the new role into something more senior again. They're both AM businesses just one is a more senior role but will focus less on equities and more fund research.

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  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Nov 5, 2021 - 1:42pm

I wouldn't count on being able to switch back. This is just based on my experience in finance (mostly RE funds).

Highly coveted jobs (like long only AM), get tons of applicants. There's no reason to hire someone who spent the last two years working in fund research when I can have someone who spent the last 4 years doing long only AM.

Fund research is totally different from company research. If you are able to switch back, you won't come in at a more senior level. Unless you see yourself committing to manager selection long term, I don't see why you would do this. I know 60% seems like a lot of money, but your earning potential in finance is so high, it doesn't make sense to sacrifice the long term potential for a short term salary gain

Nov 5, 2021 - 11:07am

60% base jump is not worth loyalty to me. I have loved my bosses in the past, but if they can't match, then sayonara. I trade my time for cash. Whatever gets me off this hamster wheel faster is where I go. I certainly haven't built up an PTO, but I have doubled my salary in 5 years. If I had stayed, I'd still be making like 90k like the poor bastards in my onboarding cohort that stuck around after I left. They've been shafted and dont even realize. I'm back and at least 1 level higher, if not 2, making over 50k more than them. 

It's business yo. Time for money does not allow for loyalty except in extreme circumstances where you're on the track for P/L $$$.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 5, 2021 - 1:35pm

Why not talk to your boss? If you're close and he trusts you, just approach him honestly and explain you got this offer. Either he'll a) realize you're value and offer to match their offer, explain promotion track, etc b) realize this is a better offer and encourage you to take it or c) be a dick and get pissed that you'd consider leaving, in which case you shouldn't show him any loyalty back

If he truly respects you he'd encourage you to either a or b, and an honest conversation should help with that

Nov 6, 2021 - 5:55am

I think I will have a chat with him next week, I think his response will be a or b as we do have a mutual respect and generally have a lot of openness between us. Promotion track has already been explained to me, the salary I've been offered at the new place will most likely be in 18ish months time at my current place

  • Associate 1 in ER
Nov 5, 2021 - 3:29pm

Talk to your boss if your relationship is as good as you say it is

also, I know this is anon but curious what that 60% really means. Are we talking 100k to 160k, or 200k to 300k+?

people talk about long term earning potential and I get that, but I also want to maximize income NOW in case I die of a heart attack in 10 years. But your call. 

Nov 6, 2021 - 5:57am

I'm going to have a talk with him and see what can be done.In terms of numbers we're talking a base of PS50k -> PS80k at the new place excluding bonus. Not as salacious as the numbers you posted but lower salaries in London compared to the US haha.

Nov 6, 2021 - 12:22pm

Yea that makes this a non starter. Dont think of this as an extra 50%, think of it as an extra 30k, or ~18k after tax. In that frame, it's basically nill - stick with the revenue generating skillset.

"one for the money two for the better green 3 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine" - M.F. Doom

Nov 6, 2021 - 3:58am

This is actually a good question. My honest answer is that you should pursue the opportunity you want. At the end of the day, you career is what you make of it and if you think this new role you've been offered will get you further along to what you've set as your goals then don't look back and take the gig. While I do think loyalty to a workplace / individual has its place, I do believe that acting in your own interest is the best option given you're in this game for you. Furthermore, while loyalty is great, imagine if things at your firm went to shit and you were fist to get let go. At some point, loyalty will never save you and you can just as easily be booted from an org even if you commit yourself fully. Just something to think about..

  • 4
Nov 6, 2021 - 6:00am

Thanks, I mostly agree with you about loyalty and I'd be gone if firm was struggling. My boss fought really hard for me to get hired during covid which is why I have respect and loyalty for him, he's been a great mentor so far.

Goals wise I want to be able to retire and manage my own money as soon as I can - higher salary will obviously help with that.

Nov 11, 2021 - 1:46am

Yeah I mean obviously super subjective given your relationship but in general I stand by what I say. If you feel super strongly about your relationship then even talk to him about what you're thinking if you're comfortable with it. It won't be an easy conversation at all but it's best to get it all out there if you have that kind of bond with whoever it is.

  • 1
Most Helpful
Nov 6, 2021 - 2:47pm

First of all congrats on the offer. Pat yourself on the back, OP.

You have to think about your future career path with said boss and your earnings potential, happiness and interest in asset class etc. The importance for each factor may change as time goes on.

That said, In the end this business is all about money. And the more you make in the next job, usually the more you make at the job after that. You can absolutely leave and maintain a great relationship with said boss. If you say, hey, I have this potential life changing opportunity with a big pay bump and are honest about it, and the boss is an honorable guy then he will understand. Most people understand when you are offered a lot more money and take it, especially if they can't match.

Can't tell you what to do, but I have done the "loyal" thing early in my career. It certainly crushed my pay and prospects and that shizzle compounds, believe me.

I cannot tell you what to do since I do not know you, but I hope that this perspective helps.

Good Luck

I used to do Asia-Pacific PE (kind of like FoF). Now I do something else but happy to try and answer questions on that stuff.
  • 6
Nov 7, 2021 - 3:10am

Really appreciate your response, I'm talking to boss next week to see if they can match it or get close. What you mentioned about loyalty early in your career hurting you later on is what I'm trying to avoid without selling myself short in the future.

Nov 7, 2021 - 6:56am
  • Talk to him like father and son (a mentorship is like this, you treat him with the same respect as you would with your father and he would reciprocate. At one point in life, a man's got to let his son go to "obey" aka listen to the command of another man/woman aka his boss.)
  • See the opportunity costs
  • If you do go don't burn bridges and keep in touch with people and help the people at the old job
  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Nov 7, 2021 - 11:27am

The question isn't even loyalty here. It's whether you want to be a direct investor or an allocator. A bump in pay vs. building career experience is what you should think about. It's fine if you want to move to any role that pays more but know that is not how you build a valuable CV because eventually you'll realize that you need to obtain deeper experience in whatever path you choose. You can't be hopping back and forth and expecting future employers to recognize less relevant experience. I've personally turned down two jobs that would have bumped my pay by 50% because they wouldn't help build the experience I wanted.

Also I can't imagine a negotiation going well if you went to your boss and said you wanted to go into an LP role and using it to get a raise. If I were your boss, I'd think you lack direction and it would reflect poorly even if you somehow obtained a raise. It's a different career path. It's almost like saying you got a software engineering offer and then using it as leverage for more pay - an extreme example but hopefully you get the point.

  • Associate 3 in HF - EquityHedge
Nov 7, 2021 - 12:53pm

Do you actually understand how different manager research is from stock picking? I would only do manager research if 1) I couldn't find a stock picking job and needed to earn a living; 2) I were at the tail end of my career and wanted to do something chill and still get some money; 3) the manager research offer set me up so well that I'd be happy never getting a raise again in my career e.g. 500k like others mentioned.

All the people saying it doesn't make sense to switch because you'll earn multiples if you stay in stock picking long enough - they would be generally correct. But the fact that you've done stock picking and are willing to switch to manager research signals that you don't particularly enjoy stock picking. And conditional on that data point, I'd venture your odds of enjoying that "rocketship" trajectory by staying in stock picking are lower than average.

If you decide you really do enjoy stock picking (more than I've assumed) and want to stay - don't even raise this to your manager.

Nov 8, 2021 - 9:03am

If your boss has pushed, mentored and developed you this is a great way to make them proud. You should talk to your boss about it, explain what attracts you to the opportunity and the compensation structure. Get their advice and perspective on the position. Then choose what you think is best for your career and goals. My own view is that an opportunity to get a 60% bump and more experience is a great way to get ahead early in your career - and it will compound. Even if it doesn't interest you quite as much, maybe you give it a go for a few years and then move on. 

Nov 8, 2021 - 10:30am

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