non-FO Director/MD comp

manbearpig's picture
manbearpig - Certified Professional
Rank: Neanderthal | banana points 3,229

How much does a director/MD make all in in a non FO role (i.e. corporate treasury, technology, operations, etc.)?

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Comments (9)

Aug 2, 2011

The easy answer is that it isn't standardized like it is in i-banking, and it depends on the specific role, product, responsibility level/type, and the number of people managed. There is a lot more variance as you move along the chain in operations. The only specific data point I can provide is an ED at Morgan Stanley that is making about $600k/year. He is more or less in charge of a specific product's entire middle and back office ops team (as I understand it anyways). He has been in the industry for about 10 years. If you are willing to stick through the grind, you can make a good amount of money in a relatively low risk position.

Aug 3, 2011

Thanks for the info - the reason I ask is because a HH approached me for an Associate Director position at a Big5 Canadian Bank in Corporate Treasury/Cash & Liquidity Management. I'm not going for it right now because I want to stick it out in MC for another few years at least. But what he said was interesting. He said my path would be like this:
Associate Director (5 years) - Average comp ~ 175-200K all in
Director (5-7 years) - Average comp ~ 275 - 300K all in
Managing Director - Average comp ~ 400K all in.

The best part, it's basically a 45 hour a week job. I just found it very difficult to believe because it sounds like a much sweeter deal than any FO position I've ever heard of. I guess your post sort of confirms that it's realistic.

Aug 2, 2011

I have never understood all of the hate that Ops gets on this board. I started my career there before later transferring to IBD. The work was painful at times, but I was on a cool product and sat on the desk with the traders so it was a good learning experience. The work isn't really that much more mundane than turning some 100 page pitch book 35 times to change font sizes, serial commas and double spacing at the request of 4 different people who refuse to communicate with one another...

The numbers that you provided don't seem to be unreasonable, although, if anything, maybe a little low. Like I said, it depends a lot on product and a number of other variables. I know there are MDs that make less than my friend does within his firm.

If you are willing to grind it out, the comp and lifestyle at the management level in Ops is pretty hard to beat by the time you hit your mid to late-30's.

Aug 3, 2011
TechBanking:

I have never understood all of the hate that Ops gets on this board. I started my career there before later transferring to IBD. The work was painful at times, but I was on a cool product and sat on the desk with the traders so it was a good learning experience. The work isn't really that much more mundane than turning some 100 page pitch book 35 times to change font sizes, serial commas and double spacing at the request of 4 different people who refuse to communicate with one another...

The numbers that you provided don't seem to be unreasonable, although, if anything, maybe a little low. Like I said, it depends a lot on product and a number of other variables. I know there are MDs that make less than my friend does within his firm.

If you are willing to grind it out, the comp and lifestyle at the management level in Ops is pretty hard to beat by the time you hit your mid to late-30's.

Because ops/MO is treated like the cost centers they are. I worked in ops (trade settlement) at a BB and yeah, directors can make $125-200 (depending if in NYC or not) and MDs 200-600 (depending on their role, the size of the group, the importance of the group, etc and the locale).

The trouble is that most people don't make director after 5 years. At the BB I was at, you needed a minimum of 7 years, with 4 in management, before you could even be considered for director. MD was more nebulous, but it had a 10 minimum year tag on it - altho no MDs in my office in ops were under 35, with most being 45+.

The ceiling is pretty firm and only 1 out of probably 50 will get a shot at director level in ops. There aren't many lateral options in operations and people don't get skills to leave, so they stay in their roles. That means little upward mobility and LOTS of competition.

That's why people who've done ops bang on it.

Edit: In my group of roughly 75 at my old job, there was 1 MD (who oversaw my group plus 2 others), 3 directors (who oversaw different smaller teams within my group), 7 VPs, about 30 associates and 35 analysts (even split roughly). The average age of the associates was about 28 and 24 for analysts. VPs about 35, directors about 38-40. The MD was 39 when I left (he was with the firm from his first day out of college and had a pretty quick rise to MD at 36...still 14 years in the firm).

I don't know all of the pay structures for sure but I can speak directly to VP, associate, and analyst pay:

Analysts: $50k + 5-10% bonus
Associates: $65k + 10-15% bonus
VPs: $75k + 25% bonus

Directors, I'm told (but no first hand knowledge): $100k + 30% bonus
MD no idea, but I'd guess in the 400k, all-in range.

This was for a major, but not NYC, city at a BB in a trade settlement team.

Aug 3, 2011

What about numbers at non-FIGs?

Like f500 pharma, biotech, clean tech?

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Aug 3, 2011

NorthEastIdiot, I think your comment about 1 in 50 people making it to Director/MD is true for people starting as analysts in such a group. I think if someone were to lateral in at VP (Associate Director), they would have a much better shot at getting there and 5 years doesn't sound so crazy (it's only 1 promotion). The numbers you're posting for Directors sounds awfully low though - maybe because its trade settlement vs. corporate treasury?

Aug 3, 2011
manbearpig:

NorthEastIdiot, I think your comment about 1 in 50 people making it to Director/MD is true for people starting as analysts in such a group. I think if someone were to lateral in at VP (Associate Director), they would have a much better shot at getting there and 5 years doesn't sound so crazy (it's only 1 promotion). The numbers you're posting for Directors sounds awfully low though - maybe because its trade settlement vs. corporate treasury?

I mean, it could be. My group is the only frame of reference I have.

Treasury, especially if they have an active hand in investing the firm's own capital, is generally considered a level above trade settlement (which is considered a step above fund accounting, compliance, etc. in some places). I'd put it up there with Risk if it manages investments. If it's just cash management with liquidity vehicles (money market funds, discount notes) then I'd say it's not much higher. At a F500, treasury jobs are harder to get than FP&A, for example, and I think that's generally true in FIG.

Re: lateraling in - I just didn't see a ton of this happen, in my group or the other groups with which I worked. Senior level openings were few and far between and were mostly filled internally. People hold on to them for dear life because, really, they have no exit opportunities generally.

Aug 2, 2011

My experience in Ops was quite awhile ago now (almost 10 years, yikes!), but it didn't appear to be that hard to move up back then, at least in our group. We were in a very new and quickly developing product area. Our product had such little volume that it was previously wrapped under another group. My friend (the ED) and I were among the first 4-5 people put on the product once it was moved into a dedicated Ops product group. This may help explain his relatively fast rise and (possibly) high compensation. I doubt there are many people out there (definitely less than 10 globally) that have his experience and understanding of operational risk as it applies to this product set.

Out of our original small group, he is the only one that stayed in Ops. I left for IBD at another firm, and the others stayed with our firm and moved into FO roles. I have no idea how easy it is to make that move now, but it was pretty common at the firm I was at back then for the people that had a lot of exposure to the desk.

The good people were pretty easy to identify, and they were provided with opportunities to move up in Ops or jump to FO. The rapidly changing environment we were in made it easier to stand out as everything we were doing was new, and there was no set of long-term line managers to stand in the way of progress, new ideas or keeping to doing things the old way because that was how it was done. This may not be the case for older/more mature products. Also, the turnover in Ops was pretty high. Most people wanted to move to the front office. Those, who were clearly not going to make that jump, didn't usually stay more than a year or so. The high attrition, which I'd guess still exists, makes it easier to move up, if you are so motivated. My friend never wanted to go to the FO, and he now makes more than a lot of people in S&T with a lot less stress.

Everyone in our division of Ops had the same base compensation as S&T and banking, but our bonuses were much lower. The numbers mentioned above are lower than what we were getting in the early 2000's.

Aug 3, 2011