Bay Street VS Wall Street Investment Banker

It's been a while since the latest blog posts on Bay Street VS Wall Street have been up to date, so I decided to refresh the trend to get better information reflecting the current market condition.
I know Wall Street bankers will undoubtedly close more big deals, have better exit ops, and be in the second largest global financial hub, but I'm mostly interested in the salary and life quality aspects of both cities.

Say that we leave aside small firms, and we do not count in boutiques (because TO boutiques would distort our numbers); let's focus on bulge bracket firms. I'm talking Goldman Sachs, RBC Capital Markets, JP, BMO, etc.
Here are some questions on my mind:

Do Toronto bankers working in a BB take home as much as NYC bankers? Do you make as much at GS in TO as you would at GS in NYC? And would you make as much at RBC in TO than you would at GS in NYC?

**Are salaries similar in both cities only for junior bankers, diverging once you reach a more senior position? **
Because I'm guessing that if you can close more deals in NYC, you might receive a higher bonus at the end.

**If salaries do diverge reaching a senior position, how much of a discrepancy is expected? (I know performance is a critical aspect to consider, but let's try to generalize) **

**Can Directors and MD's in TO bring in 3M+ per year? **

Lastly, what would choose if you had to decide and why ?

Hope these questions can provide as much insight as possible for others seeking to discover the IB world in TO & NYC

Here's what I have in mind when I think IB salaries in TO (correct me if I'm wrong)

  • Analyst : Base: 85K + Bonus: 55K-115K
  • Associate: Base: 150K + Bonus: 115K-175K
  • VP: Base: 200k + Bonus: 200K-320K
  • Director: Overall: 500K to 1.5M
  • MD: Overall: 1M to 5M (3M + for top performers)

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Comments (10)

Dec 26, 2017

Toronto BB/EB (Big 5 isn't BB) offices do not close many deals as the execution tends to be done out of NYC. It's mostly just coverage. Calgary does the majority of large deals and execution work in Canada. As a result, hours tend to be better in Toronto, but pay is less in senior roles.

At the junior level, Toronto is in-line with NYC pay, but in Canadian dollars. At the MD level, you're going to make a lot more at a bank like BMO or Canaccord over GS/MS/JPM in Toronto.

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Dec 26, 2017

Does RBC match with BMO and Canaccord? And do you have an idea about the total compensation that a typical MD could receive at these banks?

Best Response
Dec 27, 2017

I don't know where you're getting your info cause this is not true. The BB / EB satellites in Toronto all operate differently from each other. Some very small satellites, such as JPM Toronto probably outsource most of the work back to NYC offices, but this is not the case for larger Toronto satellites. Barclays, BAML and CS all run deals from start to finish in Toronto. As well, the Calgary team for the satellites only do Oil & Gas / Energy - this does not necessarily mean the Toronto satellites do jack all. There are other industries besides Oil & Gas.

At the Analyst level, I agree, the pay is mostly in-line with NYC. But certain BBs may pay 5-10k more in the Analyst years. You begin to see a more major divergence starting in the Associate level, and it continues to grow there. The pay difference is more substantial in US BB / EB offices, but generally the same standard holds true for salaries in the Toronto satellites. Seniors in Toronto satellites generally speaking do make more than the 5 Canadians (unless they pull no deals at all)

As to correct your salary estimates OP, good guesses but pretty optimistic. This is what it looks like for the 5 Canadians. Generally speaking, the Toronto BBs and EBs pay slightly more than the 5 CAD, but depending on the EB, you may get substantially more

1st Year Analyst: 80-85k (base) + 40-60k (bonus) + 5-7.5k (signing bonus)
1st Year Associate: 100-120k (base) + 100-140k (bonus)

Senior numbers are more obscure but in this ballpark:
VP: all in roughly 400-650k
Directors: all in roughly 650k-1 mil
MDs: 1 mil to 2 mil (maybe 3 mil max if you're a complete rainmaker)

You have to realize that the US is a totally different and bigger market. The volume of capital markets activity in Canada is a fraction of the US. However, that comes with more competition, so the BBs and EBs compete on a different level compared to the 5 Canadians. If you compare the 5 Canadians to the US banks, the 5 are really just MM firms (open to debate about RBC but thats for another time). As well, there are tons of more buyside and corp dev opportunities in the US. If I could do things differently, I would work in NY at a BB or EB instead

Source: Going full-time at 1 of the 5 Canadians. Also have friends going full-time at BBs / EBs in Toronto and NYC

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Dec 27, 2017

Thank you very much for adding this.

Why do you think senior at satellite firms in TO get more than seniors at 5 CAN ?
I'm guessing since RBC closes more deals in TO than GS, you're better of being at RBC.

Finally, to have a clearer picture, which firm would you want to work at if you had to stay in TO, considering you're a talented banker and will perform much better than the average?

May 4, 2018

Do you think Bankers in Montreal make much less than bankers in Toronto?

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Dec 31, 2017

If you are a good senior at a satellite in Toronto you are making more without a doubt. Lets just think about this logically - the team you have in Toronto is much leaner, so there's more to go around. Plus, the firm's main office in the US pays more generally - typically this salary increase is reflected in C$. Even Analysts at satellites in Toronto are paid slightly more than the 5 Canadians (base is C$95k vs C$80-85k)

That is not a bad assumption, but do not discount the GS brand - exit opps are way better, plus comp is slightly higher.

Definitely not a talented banker (at least yet) haha, but given that the team and culture at the shop is all else equal, I think MS, Evercore and GS are the best IMO

Jan 1, 2018

Thanks for your input!
What do you think can be the salary of a senior banker?
Vp, D, and MD at a satellite vs at Can big 5?

Jan 2, 2018

Would be interested in hearing how top BB (GS/MS) pay compares at the analyst/associate level in NY vs Toronto.

Aug 20, 2018

Close friend of mine at the Director level at Scotiabank reported the following to me for salaries on the "floor" (i.e. DCM, ECM, S&T, not sure if IBD included in this):
Associate Director (aka VP) = Base $130K / All-in $325-400k
Director (aka SVP) = Base $145K / All-in $450-700k (highly tied to overall revenue brought in)

In both cases 30% of bonuses are paid in shares w/ 3 year vesting periods (i.e. you get 33/33/33 over next 3 years).

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Sep 17, 2018