Corp Strategy - where are our raises?

I work in Corp Strategy/M&A at a major BB (posting anon, as BB strategy world is very small).

Currently a 2nd year associate. I make a base of $95k with bonus of ~$20k.
 

It is killing me seeing all of these blanket raises across the industry in IB. Every first year ANALYST across the industry is making more than I am. It is especially painful given my team is a sweatshop putting in in 80-90 hour weeks consistently. Realize it is not FO, but (at risk of sounding like a total douche) our work is extremely value add for the firm and our CEO leans on us heavily.

I don't know what to do. I love the work we do, and the growth opportunities are significant, but I am being priced out of living in New York. 22 year olds who have never stepped foot in an office are pulling in more than me. It hurts. 

Any other strategy guys feeling the same way? Am I simply underpaid? Have any strategy/CF folks gotten pay raises along with the FO guys? Where the hell are our raises?

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Comments (10)

  • Associate 1 in CorpStrat
Aug 8, 2021 - 1:35pm

Recently moved internally from FP&A to Corporate Strategy without a paybump and suddenly I'm feeling underpaid... I chalked it up to me being internal and not exactly in a position to negotiate but as you said Corporate Strategy is a pretty darn important function in the org.

I'd love to hear input from some other folks with more experience in this area.

  • Associate 3 in CorpDev
Aug 8, 2021 - 3:49pm

Recently moved internally from FP&A to Corporate Strategy without a paybump and suddenly I'm feeling underpaid... I chalked it up to me being internal and not exactly in a position to negotiate but as you said Corporate Strategy is a pretty darn important function in the org.

I'd love to hear input from some other folks with more experience in this area.

Yeah, and the peculiar thing to me is that in my group at least, most VPs and above are former IB / HF guys, so I'd imagine the pay gap between internal Associates / VPs and external VP+ is massive, assuming the former FO guys didn't take 80%+ pay cuts (I know they are probably making less, but not THAT much less than before)

Aug 9, 2021 - 10:26am

From an outside perspective, honestly just sounds like you have a sweaty job that you should get out of. Corp strategy is supposed to be less pay and be way less hours. If you're company is working you that hard, I would either go to another company or just jump into IB if you don't mind the hours. Recruiting market is so hot you should find a good position at an A2-A3 level easily.

I can't really see any argument for corporate strategy roles to follow IB roles except to be attractive as an exit opp, but most people exit from IB to a corporate role for WLB not similar comp.

Aug 11, 2021 - 6:57pm

I was pissed because we were understaffed in my IB group and talked to a few folks hiring for strategy roles on the west coast. Once I became aware that roles offered anywhere from $100-130k base and $15-25k bonus, I appreciated banking much more. Especially when my yearly bonus is larger than the all-in comp rage stated above. 

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  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 11, 2021 - 9:59pm

As fancy as 'corporate strategy' sounds at the end of the day it's a cost center.  Not sure what you expect

Aug 12, 2021 - 11:36am

Such is the life of us folks who chose to go into corporate/non-revenue generating roles. That being said, corporate roles should never be that sweaty unless you are getting compensated for it. I would look to exit as someone above mentioned.

Aug 22, 2021 - 10:21pm

In the same boat as you - working in Corp Dev at a BB on $95k base and ~$20k bonus with ~80 hour weeks consistently. Not fair at all that people with no, literally zero, experience will make much more than me.

People have a deep misconception about roles at BB banks other than IBD. I have noticed that most of my peers who are in finance / strategy in BB banks are consistently putting in IBD hours, sometimes even worse. At my BB, we're also not on the same accelerated promotion timelines. So now you're out 3 benefits of working in IB (higher base, higher bonus, accelerated promotion) while working the same hours given most of your managers and executives at the BB will be from an IBD background and bring the same culture over.

I think at this point, it's either lateral to a F500 corporate strategy role (working ~40-50 hours) or IBD for the better everything.

Surprised your pay as a 2nd year associate is only $95k - does your bank call analysts - associates. If not, you're severely underpaid.   

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Aug 23, 2021 - 12:43pm

Posting anon since the OP is correct that this is a small world. FWIW I work at a BB that has a CD and CS arm in a similar org structure. Adding a data point that our Associate 1 comp is ~110k base + 25-30k bonus. I think bankerbuddy is correct - at the end of the day we're a cost center and while we do "important work" it'll always be subject to various pay bands / etc. Unlike FO functions, difficult to "make us whole" via larger bonuses.

From what I've heard best bet is converting this experience into a CD / CS role at a tech company. Don't have many first hand data points but have heard from others coming in at a Manager level in FAANG can get you close to 200k+ all in comp given generous RSU packages.

  • Associate 1 in CorpFin
Aug 24, 2021 - 4:44pm

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