Canada IB vs PE Comp Megathread

I've seen lots of questions on IB vs. PE comp in Canada.  Thought it would be helpful to post what I know.  Full disclosure - I am a longtime lurker posting from a throwaway account.  10 years in the industry working at one of the places below.

Canadian IB Comp (Big 5 Bank)

Base Salary:
Analyst $90k
Associate $120k
VP $150k

Analyst 1 $150k
Analyst 2 $170k
Analyst 3 $200k
Associate 1 $250k
Associate 2 $300k
Associate 3 $350k
VP $400k - $650k
ED $700k - $1m
MD $1m+

Comp will vary slightly from above based on ranking ie. low, mid or top bucket for Analysts/Associate and and revenue generation for VP/ED/MD.  I can't comment on BB or boutique comp, so will let others chime.

Pension Fund PE (CPPIB)

Analyst $140k - $200k
Associate $200k - $300k
Senior Associate $300k - $400k
Principal  $400k - $600k
Senior Principal $600k - $800k
MD $800k+

OTPP comp is comparable to above.  Keep in mind that their titling is a bit different because OTPP doesn't have a "Sr Associate" position.  In other words, a CPPIB Sr Associate = OTPP Principal.  Similarly, CPPIB Principal = OTPP Senior Principal.  CPPIB Senior Principal = OTPP Director.  MDs are the same. 

Smaller pension funds like PSP, AimCo, IMCO, HOOPP, OPTrust, BCI will pay less.  Onex/Altus pay the most - inline with US megafunds.

One final word of caution when comparing IB vs. PE comp.  Investment banks typically promote on a 3 year cycle, whereas large pension funds like CPPIB promote on a 4 year cycle.  In other words if you were 6 years out of undergrad and a direct promote from Analyst>Associate>VP in IB, your comparable tenure at a place like CPPIB might only be Associate or Sr Associate.  

Feel free to chime in below if you have other datapoints.  

Editing post to add a few confirmed datapoints from the comments below:

All-in comp:
OMERS Rotational Analyst 1st year - $120k - $130k 
CPPIB PE Analyst 1st year - $140k - $160k
Big 5 Bank Capital Markets Rotational Analyst 1st year - $100k
Big 5 Bank ER Associate 1st year - $130k
Big 5 Bank IB Associate 1st year (direct promote from analyst in 2 years) = $220k

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Comments (92)

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Jan 1, 2021 - 9:40pm

1st year associate out of undergrad will make 80-100k all-in. 1st year associates with 2-3 years prior experience eg. Big 4 accounting take home 120k (90k base, 30k bonus). By your 4th or 5th year you'll be in the low-200s. Super experienced ER associates will top out in the high-200s.

Promotions are unpredictable since you're basically waiting for your analyst to leave so you can take their seat. New VPs with coverage of a few names will start in the low-300s. There are MDs on the street making $1m but that's more the exception than the norm these days.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 1, 2021 - 9:45pm

How is ~80k total possible? ER, for example, is part of RBC's Global Rotation Program and the base alone is 80k for that. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 1, 2021 - 8:22pm

One of my friends claims OTPP pays less than CPP. 85k base + 5% bonus for analysts. How true is that? 

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Jan 2, 2021 - 1:34am

Yeah, I've heard the same thing for OTPP's new analyst program (direct placement into a group). From what I've heard, less that 100k all in for a first year analyst. Anyone else confirm? 

Also not sure if the CPP numbers are true for 1st year analyst in the rotation program; I've heard that CPP ranges from 100-110k all in first year. OMERS Rotational pays the best (120-130k all in). Can anyone confirm?

Jan 1, 2021 - 8:46pm

If you're not at a huge fund the drop off in pay is huge compared to the US. 

  • Associate 3 in PE - Other
Jan 2, 2021 - 2:11pm

Just adding on to this comment with an anecdotal datapoint:

My firm (current invested + dry powder of c. $5bn; global mandate) recently greenlit a Canadian office. Pay will be the same dollar amount as USD positions, but in CAD. So if associates in the American offices are paid target US$250k, then Canadian associates are paid target CA$250k.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 1, 2021 - 9:40pm

Does anyone have info on the mid-market PE funds, i.e. Birch Hill, Imperial, ONCAP (pays like Onex?), TorQuest etc?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 12, 2021 - 1:32pm

Torquest was hiring an analyst out of undergrad 2 years ago. Heard base was $60k and they didn't end up finding anyone at that comp. 

Jun 2, 2021 - 2:37pm

PSP pays 82K base for a first-year analyst. This was 2019 tho so could've changed. As for bonus I've heard 30% but not sure as to how legit that is. 

  • Research Analyst in PE - Other
Jan 2, 2021 - 11:52am

Any insight on buyside public equities in Canada? Thinking Mawer, Waratah, Gluskin, Turtlecreek, etc

Jan 3, 2021 - 3:21am

I've heard Mawer pays 1st year Equity Analysts 120k all-in (80 base + 40 bonus).  That's on par with buy-side public equities shops in Toronto.  Lots of variance between firms though as you move through the ranks since progression isn't as structured as say IB or PE.  

Jan 2, 2021 - 10:54pm

When you say that Onex/Altas pay inline with US MFs, does that mean equal in USD or CAD? 

To clarify, I believe US MFs pay their Associates 300-350k USD, is Onex/Altas paying their Associates 300-350 USD or 300-350 CAD? If USD, that's a steal, you are looking at converted comp at 380-445k CAD.

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Jan 3, 2021 - 12:50am

Comp is same for direct PE and funds for same title, but promotion cycles could vary between the two groups (probably firm dependent)

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jan 3, 2021 - 3:47am

You would for sure have a discount working at a satty with how bonuses are allocated. Usually with an uptick in "lifestyle" re: less hours worked. The exceptions would be Calgary banks when energy markets are / have been hot

  • NA in IB-M&A
Jan 10, 2021 - 8:51pm

BBs and EBs in Toronto generally pay above the Canadian banks at pretty much every level pre-Director/MD. Top-bucket analysts can make $20-60k more per year (vs. analysts at big-5), with the top end being the firms that straight convert their USD analyst comp to CAD. At the associate/VP level the premium is probably around $50k+ but with more variability depending on performance and deal flow. At the MD level, performance matters way more than platform and strong MDs can get paid on either platform

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Jan 5, 2021 - 3:50am

Would maybe put a disclaimer that these numbers are for "good ish" years. Past few years CPP has been overperforming their benchmark so the comp is reflective of that. If they underperform, it would be less. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 7, 2021 - 12:59pm

I can tell you with absolute certainty that the Calgary BB offices did not pay "literally no bonus" this year and was actually relatively in line with prior years despite covid. Yes WFH hours have gotten worse but to say that they paid out no bonus is a total lie. 

Source - close friend works at one of the BBs in Calgary you named.  

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 6, 2021 - 12:16pm

Has anyone successfully been able to negotiate a slightly higher base for a new grad IB/PE Analyst role or would recommend atleast trying to negotiate? Obviously these are standard across the board which is why I would imagine the answer to the above is no but thought I'd see if anyone had other opinions

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Feb 24, 2021 - 12:56pm

Corp. banking comp for analysts is typically 80-85k base, with 20-50% bonus. Desjardins would likely be at the lower end of this spectrum, although I don't know anyone in CB there.

Mar 7, 2021 - 12:05am

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Total Avg Compensation

December 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (40) $360
  • Associates (236) $235
  • 2nd Year Analyst (145) $156
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (34) $154
  • Intern/Summer Associate (107) $146
  • 1st Year Analyst (514) $136
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (394) $84