Buy-Side Comp Canada

JT.Marlin's picture
Rank: Baboon | 164

Hi guys,

Hoping to discuss buy-side comp in Canada, would be curious to hear everyone's opinions/personal experience.

I spent a few years in retail banking prior to starting as a first year analyst at a boutique firm. My base was 75k + bonus with no set % target.

Since, I have shifted (was laid off, packaged out) to one of Canada's bigger money managers (think large, publicly traded money managers, big 5 bank money managers). My base is now 65k with a target bonus of 10%, I feel this is quite low and wanted to hear what others think. Full disclosure- I do not have my full CFA and have less than 1 year of formal buy-side research experience.

Comments (27)

Dec 5, 2017

bump..from what i hear it sucks in canada

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Dec 5, 2017


Dec 5, 2017

Are you in equity research or sales?

Best Response
Dec 5, 2017

Base is in-line but bonus is definitely low. I've never seen firms with that kind of scale pay bonus that low tbh (someone please confirm this as well).

I'm at a small firm in Montreal (<$1bn) with about 1-2 years of experience and my base is way lower than yours. This is a cold reality check. Things are much much worse at a smaller shop. Consider yourself lucky for landing a gig at a big fund in Toronto.

From what I've gathered, the Toronto/Montreal consensus seems to be "you're lucky to have a seat". This makes it very difficult to negotiate salary or bonus since they see you as a commodity/easily replaceable.

If I were you, I'd take the job and work your ass off. Hopefully, they'll recognize the hustle and pay you more.

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Dec 8, 2017

Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.

I have a few friends with 2-4 years of industry experience. Consensus with them seems to be base in the 80k range with bonuses fluctuating a lot from 20-50%.

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Dec 4, 2018

I'm at a Canadian buy-side ER. large shop $10bn-$35bn (I don't want to get too explicit here).
Entry-level CAD 65k-75k seems to be in the right range. Bonus depends. I haven't seen 15%+ whatsoever.

Dec 5, 2018

That's really hard to believe. When you say you've never seen bonuses higher than 15%, how many data points are we talking here? Because I haven't seen anything less than 20%.

Dec 26, 2018

I'm only talking about the situations at my firm.

Dec 15, 2018

I've seen/heard 75-80k with all-in at 100-110, give or take, for first year.

Dec 27, 2018

I've heard 65k base with increments of 5k for each CFA levels passed. No idea about bonus (not my field). This was for a ~1B buy-side fund based in Montreal a few years back.

Dec 27, 2018


Dec 27, 2018

My thought as well. Not sure how compensation progresses but it sure starts off low...

Dec 29, 2018

My all-in entry level comp is just above $70K CAD, including a small bonus. I'd be curious to hear about typical progression in Canada 5-10+ years out..

Dec 30, 2018

$150k-$200k all in for associate (assuming entry lvl is analyst title).
that's about 3-5 yrs i think.

Dec 30, 2018

Comments in this thread are accurate. Comp in Canada is generally much lower than the US. Most quality candidates tend to migrate down to the US for this reason as well.

Jan 8, 2019

I'm looking at ~$90k all in comp this year, still feels very low to me (I have full CFA) but then again grass is always greener. I'm in my second year at a large firm, with ~1 year a small shop prior and 2 years in retail wealth management prior to that.
A part of me regrets not starting on sell side- I've heard ~$130k all in comp for 1st years with no CFA!

Jan 9, 2019

Confirmed data point of my buddy: started on the sell side with $75k+28k. Now into the 3rd year he just made $90k+55k. The bonus was floating and last year was a good year for his bank/team.
He was a chartered CFA+2 yr buy-side experience+some random finance coop exp to start with.
I doubt $130k all in 1st year with no CFA is normal though.

Jan 8, 2019

Are we talking all buy side? If so, it really depends on what you are doing.

I have seen direct lending 1st years out of Uni make 100k+ (Stream in Calgary for example).

If you consider pensions buy side, then their pay can exceed 100k as well (CPPIB in Toronto for example).

HF and PE comp is >100k as well (there are countless examples here).

I mean, of course buy side ER for a boutique, never mind with only retail experience, is going to be terrible pay.

Definitely not as good as down south, but not as bad as you all are painting it. Additionally, unless you are at Onex, Canadian hours are known to be considerably better.

Jan 9, 2019

Buy-side equity analyst at a t-10 asset manager buy AUM. Just starting my 3rd year of research experience.

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Jan 14, 2019

Pension funds outside of Toronto pay more than $100k all-in for buy-side analyst roles, so I'd hope that folks in Toronto earn more.

Jan 14, 2019

Agreed! Outside of some roles at AIMCo..... but that's back to the CoL argument. Get paid less to live in a shittier city. Lose-lose IMO.

Jan 9, 2019

I hope you guys at least work considerably less hours with the pay being that much less compared to the US.

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Jan 9, 2019

How many hours a week do AM analysts log in the states?

Jan 9, 2019

no idea honestly, someone else here can tell you I'm sure.

Jan 12, 2019

From what I have heard, the hours in Canada buy-side ER are about 50/week, which is probably a bit less than in the US although I could be wrong.

I also know of quite a few people in PE at the pensions/small shops and yes they get paid more in general. Hours are also quite a bit longer (55-65+) and usually these jobs are in higher CoL cities.

Jan 12, 2019
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