Comments (69)

Feb 3, 2020

Pay: NYC - the pound just depreciated a lot recently, however COL is lower than NYC

WLB: London - 25 days of holidays (and people take those) + ski/other team trips (depending on team) + public holidays

Culture: Team dependant and depends on what you are looking for, but would say NYC due how networking works compared to London where placement is a bit more random and you have multiple nationalities that split teams in sub teams

Exit Opps: NYC - there is simply more PE shops and HFs so getting to the buyside seems easier, also no need to speak different languages which is annoying to get to the buyside in London

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Feb 3, 2020

Exit opps is misleading. Of course NY has more opportunities but if you are not in one of 15-20 teams you are fucked, which is not the case in London

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Feb 4, 2020

I mean yes if you are in the cookie cutter route but it's not as linear as this forum makes it out to be. The hustle you use to get into banking can still be applied to PE

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Feb 4, 2020

Not true - if you're aiming for MF PE then yeah u need to be in the top groups but MM/LMM PE can be done from pretty much any BB/EB banking group.

Don't forget there are plenty of excellent corporate exit routes that pay MUCH better than London corporate jobs, and if you're in SF I'd argue some of the exits into tech startups/unicorns pay better than many London PE shops.

Feb 3, 2020

Pay
NYC: $85K USD Base Salary
LDN: $64K USD (50K GBP) Base Salary

Very similar COL, this is what makes London a deal breaker for a lot of people- ridiculously low compm, but still more than most everyone else.

Work-Life Balance
London by a landslide, see Pan Euro's comment.

Culture
Stupid thing to rank because it is subjective, but it seems fair to say that groups in NYC are much more diverse and accepting of various backgrounds. A lot of groups in LDN are like 99% Purebred Brit/Italian/French/German caucasian guys.

Exit Opportunities
NYC if you're looking to follow the conventional path (2 + 2), also significantly more options and dealflow.. LDN if you want more flexibility (more common to see people exiting to PE later on in their careers vs. NYC where that is an extreme minority and most moves are made after A2/A3).

Array

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Feb 4, 2020

Had no idea base salaries in London were this low. Why is this the case?

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Feb 4, 2020

Good comment agreed with all but one: definitely wouldn't say London is better hours by a 'landslide' tho, finishing most nights at say 2am in London vs 3am in New York isn't a real improvement.. Although hours here are marginally better than the US, it definitely isn't enough to notice a difference for analysts.

Feb 4, 2020

I think the fact that you guys get legitimate vacations/forced leave is what makes it a landslide. I know too many dudes that didn't have a single day off as A1s in NYC.

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  • Prospect in HF - Other
Feb 4, 2020

Heard Hong Kong is the worst in terms of hours among the three.

Feb 5, 2020

Imagine being surprised European groups are... European.

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Feb 5, 2020

It's not a surprise, but means that there are surely instances of cliquey/homogenous culture that can potentially leave individuals feeling left out.

I've heard too many times from peers and even on this website that certain groups are too "Italian" or too "French." Whether that is good or bad is not for me to say, I can only say that definitely hints that culture is less diverse in London. You will not find such a monocultural group anywhere on Wall Street among the big banks or well-established boutiques.

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Feb 6, 2020

Yes I'm sure there is no group in the US that's too American...

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Controversial
Feb 7, 2020

WRONG, London is the most diverse place that you can work in banking. Literally every team of decent size have at least 10 different nationalities. NY is not as culturally diverse as London. Tons of Asians, Indians, Europeans from CEE to Nordic to Mediterranian in every team over here (except for the country / regional coverage teams, which shouldn't be relevant for you unless you are from that country or speak that specific language).

So surprising the amount of BS some people here like to spew out just to write a comment. If you have no insights to offer, you don't have to make up stuff just to put a comment...

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Feb 5, 2020
lakerbanker:

A lot of groups in LDN are like 99% Purebred Brit/Italian/French/German caucasian guys.

This is really, really accurate.

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Feb 7, 2020

A lot of groups in LDN are like 99% Purebred Brit/Italian/French/German caucasian guys.

Except Barclays and GS

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Feb 3, 2020

What's the living situation like in London with that salary? Living with a roommate in a nice area or living by myself in a rough area? These are just points of reference, any insight?

Feb 3, 2020

You can get a decent studio or 1BR in a 2BR flat with a roommate for anywhere from ~900-1500 gbp/mo.

Array

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Feb 3, 2020

Thanks

Feb 4, 2020

From what I've seen people don't tend to get studios in London since they're generally pretty awful and depressing here (unless it's a new build maybe). It's far better having roommates and a proper living space than trying to go it alone if you can't afford the 2000 GBP it'd cost you for a non-decrepit 1BR. For reference the vast majority of the people I know (early/mid 20s) are flatting with others and paying between 800-1200 GBP per person.

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Feb 3, 2020

Ease of getting a visa: London

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Feb 4, 2020

So fucking true - legal immigration is incredibly difficult in the US, esp with the new administration. Miss the days when America was supportive of skilled immigration - now it seems republicans hate legal immigration, and the left only seems to want to support illegal/unskilled immigration.

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Feb 4, 2020

May change with a change in President or in London because of Brexit, you never know these things are quite volatile.

Funniest
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 4, 2020

What skills do you think you have? Aligning logos? Changing the color of powerpoint decks?

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Feb 4, 2020
Analyst 1 in IB - Gen:

So fucking true - legal immigration is incredibly difficult in the US, esp with the new administration. Miss the days when America was supportive of skilled immigration - now it seems republicans hate legal immigration, and the left only seems to want to support illegal/unskilled immigration.

1.) The left supports legal immigration
2.) The right (the politicians) loves illegal/unskilled immigration, they just pay lip service to their supporters. What they don't want is to ever let said unskilled people vote, they are perfectly fine with them being underpaid servants for corporations. How do I know this? Because if they really wanted to limit/end illegal immigration they'd go after companies that hire swaths of illegal workers rather than spouting off nonsense about walls

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Most Helpful
Feb 4, 2020

London used to be amazing - pay, opportunities, lifestyle. I would have said London hands down ten years ago. This has changed a bit.

NY has just blasted through. The pound devaluation means you are getting paid less comparatively. COL, I don't go out as much anymore in London - but FUCK it's become expensive if you want to flash. You can always go low key, which is not an option in NY so London has that going for it.
You live with flatmates and can get good deals, I never lived alone until I bought my flat, but my now wife moved in with me on day one. So I can safely say I actually never lived alone in my entire life. I have a house in one of the nicest area of London and rent it out to a bunch of young professionals who share - they are averaging PS800 per person, it's a super sweet deal for them as I never raised rent on them for the last five years - but then it's never void and I keep getting cash from it and they don't complain and they just change tenants when one of them moves so it's basically rented out for life. If they were to rent in that neighborhood a one bedroom it would cost them PS2000. When I was young I was also renting in that area, as I was the only banker in my flatshare I had the biggest room and paid PS750 (maybe PS1,000 in today's money?)

Holidays are sacred in Europe, unlike the US you will get to take those and you have more days. This is a deal breaker for a lot of people.

Exit opps, in the US it's a cookie cutter model, in Europe you'll find all sorts so a lot more about hustling. If you are good at hustling go to Europe.

Culture I don't know, I am from one of the tribe described above - don't feel like it particularly helped but I might be wrong. Alumni relationships unless you went to Eton don't help here as much as they do in the US - here everyone went to Oxbridge, LSE, Stockholm SE, HEC, Bocconi so nothing special about you and people from your Uni really won't care that you went to it as well. That's something that I am a bit disappointed about. I did my MBA at H/S/W and I can feel how much more powerful the network is, even in London!

What it comes down to to me is: I don't particularly like the US, I lived there when I was young and it was OK - did my MBA later in life and now every one hates each other and are spouting absolutely horrendous things at their president, it's a nasty place to live in. The skyscrapers in Manhattan stops you from seeing the sun and you'll never live in a house and you won't be able to raise your kids correctly. London you can live there for your entire life and as you grow older unless you want to send your kids to Eton, you can get away with not paying too much. If you make billions you'll be fine everywhere, I am talking about most bankers and finance peeps who make $300-$500k throughout their career and at some point get let go and have to take a less well paid job.

The nightlife although having suffered a bit, is still absolutely unbelievable in London. New York nightlife is also amazing. You are in two of the best cities in the world so you will find great stuff to do regardless. When I was younger you could meet girls from every corner of the world in London and do your own little sex tour of the world while sitting at home, not so much in NY. That said if you have a bit of chat and are half decent looking both cities have more women than men so you'll be fine in both places.

All the Americans I know who come to London just love the travelling to a bunch of different countries all the time. That's a plus. But then Austin and Miami etc... are pretty cool places to visit, but far compared to countries in Europe.

I love London - I had the choice to be in NY late twenties, early thirties - I chose to go back to London. Caveat: I also bought my first flat when it didn't cost a life time of salaries to buy a flat, this makes my life a lot easier compared to anyone of the younger generation starting out.

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Feb 4, 2020

you're a saint for not raising those rents

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Feb 5, 2020

Haha thank you - it's also selfish in that I don't have to worry about that house and I have no void periods. There is a girl who has been there since the starts and she is just great to deal with and has seamlessly replaced tenants in her house as they move in and out. They know they get a good deal as well, so they don't call me out for mundane stuff (I let and manage all my properties myself to save on agency costs). Also it's just an ass hole move to raise the rent constantly on your tenants! Happy tenants happy life, that's all I can say :)

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Feb 5, 2020

Great post - plus London looks so much better than NY, the architecture and history is just amazing. I think one underrated part of the US is that in the UK you're basically stuck in London for life whereas in the US you can always move to Tier 2 cities that have good opportunities and comparatively much lesser COL. Dealflow/opportunities are also much better in the US and I think outside finance (esp in Tech), the salary gap becomes much wider.

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Feb 5, 2020

Interesting comparison with the Tier 2 cities. I think the equivalent of a Tier 2 city is what a lot of my friends have done: gone back home. You do a few years in banking in London and then go back home to either stay in banking or go in corporate in your respective Germany/France/Sweden etc... If you are English you are definitely right in that you don't really have that option as the economy in the UK is so London centric in the financial sector (unless you are back office, in which case Birmingham and Manchester are also options, but I'd take most US cities over those two!!!)

Also I think that if you were in the US over the last ten years you probably got better experience in bank as you mentioned due to the dealflow - but that's just my nonfactual opinion. Salary gap in tech is humangous, I'll definitely give you that, that's the reason I lived in the US when I was younger as my dad was in tech and essentially was on double in the US what he was on on the continent.

Bottom line is I think New York is extremely exciting, and I love going there - but it's not for me. For my lifestyle etc... London is preferable. If I was born and raised in the US, I think you'd also have an easier time in New York than London. Most US friends who come to live in London always end up missing home at some point.

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Feb 7, 2020

Highly underrated point here..

At least in the US you have multiple "London equivalents" of varying extents (i.e. SFBA, LA, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, etc), not so much in the UK. If you want to have a successful career in business/finance/tech, you're more or less relegated to London and the South East.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Feb 6, 2020

Is Eton like the Andover/Exeter of the UK?

Feb 7, 2020
Prospect in IB - Gen:

Is Eton like the Andover/Exeter of the UK?

Not exactly, kids go there much earlier and board. It's outrageously expensive, but it produces really well rounded people. A lot of the kids who graduate from Eton can rely on an extremely strong alumni network here in the UK and a lot of prime minister etc... went there. You get the usual hatred for people who went there by anyone with a chip on their shoulder - I've met and I am friends with a couple of people who went to Eton, they just received a kick ass education and are usually very good at what they do.

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Feb 5, 2020

The cost of living in London is becoming problematic and unlike in NYC, salaries have not massively increased over the past ten years. If anything comps are massively down.

On a related note, an anecdote that may be f interest. A few weeks ago I sat down with other friends and we decided to compare what we had made over the past decade. In this group, there were among other things five investment bankers, two of which work for a BB in NYC, the other three have always been based in London.

Massive caveat, there are so many factors to take into account when looking at someone's net worth including but not limited to lifestyle, personal obligations (e.g. Kids, parents, loan), investments made, etc. Last, they have all graduated from Tier 1 European schools and started working full time in 2010 or 2011.

  • Tier 1 BB UK-based banker: net worth of PS750k / $1.0m
  • Tier 1 BB UK-based banker: net worth of PS440k / $570k
  • MM UK-based banker: net worth of PS1.1m / $1.4m
  • Tier 2 BB US-based banker: net worth of PS1.5m / $1.9m
  • Tier 1 BB US-based banker: net worth of PS4.9m / $6.4m

(3) and (5) have have invested a huge chunk of the money they were making in buy to let properties and stocks.

(1), (2) and (4) are more comparable.

They all are Directors / EVP and none of them got money from their parents.

Hope you will find these numbers interesting. At the end of the day, this mainly shows the power of investing and compounding as taxes in these two cities are fairly similar.

Camondo

Feb 5, 2020
Camondo:
  • Tier 1 BB UK-based banker: net worth of PS750k / $1.0m
  • Tier 1 BB UK-based banker: net worth of PS440k / $570k
  • MM UK-based banker: net worth of PS1.1m / $1.4m
  • Tier 2 BB US-based banker: net worth of PS1.5m / $1.9m
  • Tier 1 BB US-based banker: net worth of PS4.9m / $6.4m

(2) and (5) have have invested a huge chunk of the money they were making in buy to let properties and stocks.

(1), (3) and (4) are more comparable.

Camondo

Fascinating.
But I must be missing something..
How is the net worth of (2) so low if he invested so heavily? Massive losses?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Feb 5, 2020

Thank you for the frank and open information - do you have any further detail on how (5) managed to do so well? i.e. early promotions and top bucket every year - or is his success largely driven by his personal investing and speculation?

Feb 6, 2020

Sure, let me provide a bit more information below. Also worth clarifying that I am talking about net worth (assets - liabilities)

(1) is a very well ranked banker, pretty risk averse, owns her flat
(2) is a big spender, travels a lot and doesn't own a flat or any investment. Sits on lots of cash which has never been invested (#Crazy)
(3) is far from being the best paid, but has invested all his money in the stock market every single month since 2011. Has a nice flat in central London and a small rental property
(4) is very well ranked, has a normal yet very enjoyable lifestyle, a young family, owns a house in Brooklyn, few investments
(5) not the best paid, but invests every single cent made. Half of the money made is invested in the stock market, the rest in rental properties in NJ (14 in total). Uber leveraged, but the average yield achieved on each property is very high and he could genuinely retire with his passive income. Incredible business acumen.

I hope the information shared here is motivational!

Camondo

Feb 5, 2020

Good shout, I have moved things around and now edited the message

Feb 5, 2020

I heard that London can have absolutely crushing workloads at the EBs fwiw. No actual experience there

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Feb 6, 2020
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