Sales in S&T - What's the catch? (best job in banking)??

So I interned in sales in London over the summer cycling through various desks at a mid size bank - think RBC/Macquarie/Evercore/Nomura.

Hours were good, even for graduates they were around 7 am to 6 pm (5 pm at the earliest) and the few times I ended at 8/9 was because a VP took me to some dinner sales calls.

Overall, MDs weren't at the office that much (mostly meeting clients) but even lower level Associates and Analysts spent a pretty healthy amount of time outside/pitching to clients and meeting them at various restaurants/pubs/conference rooms around the city.

Total comp was literally only ~10% lower than IBD and from my other university friends interning in M&A at the same bank, and the general consensus was that everyone in Sales really loved their jobs and genuinely found it interesting. A few people in IBD did too, but lots seemed bored/depressed/tired and really just chasing B school/PE, etc.

I know it might be a cliche with sales but salesmen did genuinely spend a lot of time eating/drinking at nice places, taking clients out to outdoor concerts, even going to Paris one time, and below VP level, salespeople didn't really seem to do much at these places other than literally making small talk?!?

The job was engaging and interesting, talking to clients on the phone sometimes literally felt like talking to a friend, and sure some sales pitches were tense, but in general, the whole internship seemed quite relaxed, and the amount of work done and the amount of time spent commuting within London to other firms just seemed to give the work a really nice balance between being stuck in the office getting out for fresh air.

I got a return for a FT offer...I'm just wondering have I had an unusually good experience or is Sales just this good? The work is genuinely interesting, varied, and really not too strenuous. I am aware some groups are stagnating/declining a bit, but despite this, the lifestyle just seems really good, and you get to actually talk to people and build relationships for a job

Why don't more people chase it? Jobs like this should not pay £70k comp lol

...Oh and actually being really creative and generating sales ideas/cross sales is so fun. I could go on and on.......

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Mar 30, 2021 - 11:08am

Evercore doesn't have S&T beyond research sales etc in their ISI research division. 

Array

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Other
Mar 29, 2021 - 9:54pm

At the higher levels you have to be really great. Or you get fired. 

I know every prospect here is going to say: "But I'm a great salesman, I can win over multi-billion dollar clients better than 99% of others." 

In most instances, you will not be the top 1% of salesmen. On paper, jobs like tech-sales where you can land a similar compensation ceiling sound great too. But the same issues arise (personally think S&T is more stimulating though). 

  • Associate 1 in S&T - FI
Mar 30, 2021 - 4:26am

What you're saying is correct and the job is interesting and you can add a lot of value and enjoy some nice diners etc. There's no catch. Traders that enjoy managing a book can say the same, and a lot of them have better hours than some sales desks.

You are just omitting one side of being a sales in a bank: you need to make money and add value, and need to get clients. This is the part you don't see when you are interning. Some desks give their analysts/associates small accounts to work on but the majority of the work is supporting seniors managing revenue generating clients. At some point you need to get clients. And even when you are senior, you need to defend your clients/mandate from other sales. Banks have volatile structures, you need to make sure you keep your mandate and make sure you make enough money. Some senior sales are experts when it comes to show that trades are only done because they are there. These are the ones you need to look up to.

Mar 30, 2021 - 6:59am

In all areas of FO banking (or any industry really), at senior levels it's about bringing in revenue and managing relationships almost exclusively. The lower levels are about developing skills and knowledge that you will leverage to acquire accounts.

One of the reasons many on this board  despise WM roles (as an example) is not just that it is sales, but essentially is sales at the front end of your career. The metaphoric eat what you kill is frightening to them because they don't have confidence in their ability to kill anything. A long  structured career in banking (should they stay) kicks the sales can down the road for a good 10-15 yrs. But make know mistake, if the goal is to be a senior banker, you are in sales 100%. That is the role. Just because you have years under your belt doesn't mean you'll like it or be good at it.

So within S&T, remember the S stands for sales and that's what it's about when you get to a certain point. If you can't do that, you'll need to change careers. If you can, as in just about any sales position, it's a great life with lots of impact. 

Apr 18, 2021 - 10:27pm

BB PB Analyst here. Looking to pivot internally to an S&T role as i need an upgrade across the board. BB PB still is around 70+ hours a week, without nearly as much earnings potential.

Base is standard ($85K) but i do not think the end of year bonus comp will sniff the lower end of S&T. They can be $20K-$30k if you are a Q1 analyst - which is incredibly difficult as you are ranked against an analyst class of 200 across the US. The value proposition isn't there for me the longer i sit in the seat. 

Anyways, what i will say about PB is that you are totally right, it is expected that you start in the seat and the emphasis is always on sales skills and client service. 

Any thoughts here from the group on a switch? unrealistic? Not worth it? A ton of the senior guys i support are former sales traders...

  • VP in S&T - FI
Apr 19, 2021 - 11:59pm

I think you take a shot at it, you can always go back to the PB at a higher level and your "markets experience" is becomes something you can market to clients.  A lot of firms are seeing the analysts quit early so I think there are some openings for junior level people who have client facing working experience and licenses.       

Mar 30, 2021 - 11:11am

Not necessarily saying there's a catch but I've heard that traders can bring in clients too and that they just need a salesperson on the line when they talk to them. 

Array

Most Helpful
  • VP in PE - Other
Mar 30, 2021 - 4:13pm

I used to be in an S&T program, and here are some of the reasons why some of the sales analyst would leave:

1.) Its not a particularly stimulating role.  You're not taking risk or investing (which is why most of us got into finance).  And you will soon realize that those 'pitches' to clients is all for naught, as they typically know more than you, or at least they think they do.  So your day to day role eventually gets limited to i.) Small talk or IB's with clients, or ii.) Rehashing whatever 'idea' your traders may have.  

2.) The night life gets tiring.  Dont get me wrong, going out for a nice dinner/drinks, sporting events is certainly fun.  But the novelty wears off soon.  Also keep in mind that there is huge difference between taking a date to Nobu, or going to a Football game with your buddies, vs. taking a client.  Shave off at least 50% off the fun meter.

3.) Hard to prove value-add.  A trader has a bit of an easier time pointing to how much $$ they earned for the desk.  Sales people? Not so much.  How much of your sales credits were driven by your relationship, or simply because of the banks brand name?

4.) Status.  On the trading floor, the traders are considered the gate keepers / kings of the jungles.  The analysts were the sharp, introverted guys.  And the sales people were perceived as slick and/or smarmy.  It sounds like a stupid stereotype, but you will quickly see how much weight an analyst or trader's ideas has compared to a sales person. 

5.) General decline in the S&T space.  But this is not really specific to sales.

Mar 31, 2021 - 12:19am

I used to be in an S&T program, and here are some of the reasons why some of the sales analyst would leave:

1.) Its not a particularly stimulating role.  You're not taking risk or investing (which is why most of us got into finance).  And you will soon realize that those 'pitches' to clients is all for naught, as they typically know more than you, or at least they think they do.  So your day to day role eventually gets limited to i.) Small talk or IB's with clients, or ii.) Rehashing whatever 'idea' your traders may have.  

2.) The night life gets tiring.  Dont get me wrong, going out for a nice dinner/drinks, sporting events is certainly fun.  But the novelty wears off soon.  Also keep in mind that there is huge difference between taking a date to Nobu, or going to a Football game with your buddies, vs. taking a client.  Shave off at least 50% off the fun meter.

3.) Hard to prove value-add.  A trader has a bit of an easier time pointing to how much $$ they earned for the desk.  Sales people? Not so much.  How much of your sales credits were driven by your relationship, or simply because of the banks brand name?

4.) Status.  On the trading floor, the traders are considered the gate keepers / kings of the jungles.  The analysts were the sharp, introverted guys.  And the sales people were perceived as slick and/or smarmy.  It sounds like a stupid stereotype, but you will quickly see how much weight an analyst or trader's ideas has compared to a sales person. 

5.) General decline in the S&T space.  But this is not really specific to sales.

This post. +SB. My thoughts having been on the other side with brokers...

1. A lot of sales isn't that stimulating. Usually the pitches are half hearted at best. We (or their traders) usually know a lot more than they do and that's the nature of the game rather than a comment on intelligence. Where sales can help is literally moving paper to or from me and make the connection. For instance, maybe I want something and have an interest at x price. He/she can locate that from another client or from internal inventory. In this case I get what I want, the desk makes its spread and the other client is happy as well. Maybe I need to dump something. The good salesperson can find the other side. This skill is seriously underrated.

2. Spot on regarding nightlife. Some clients are super introverted or need an excuse to go out and the Salesperson delivers it. Others kind of do it to keep some kind of relationship but don't really enjoy it. It gets tiring and is definitely not that fun since there is always some kind of ulterior motive.

3. This is true but good salespeople are known in the market and by funds. Clients will try to help out coverage that they like to get them a job at another bank if they can. The favor is often returned the other way as well. But yes the politics of a bank and fighting for PnL credit...

4. Can't comment on status on the trading floor. But I know plenty of traders that envy the sales guys since they feel sales is much more transferrable. Sales is sales and a good salesperson can pivot. An exotics derivs trader may be smart but it will be a much tougher shift. I can't specifically comment aside from the fact that I have seen sales people pivot quite a bit within a bank or outside and much of that is their network since their whole job is to meet people, be liked and move paper.

5. Truth.

I used to do Asia-Pacific PE (kind of like FoF). Now I do something else but happy to try and answer questions on that stuff.
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  • Associate 1 in S&T - FI
Mar 31, 2021 - 2:27am

I agree with some of these thoughts but you're pushing it a bit:

1) The job can be interesting if you're into originating new ideas/trades. Need to make a difference between a sales in flow desk (say FX or rates) and structured/solutions desk where you might get to do a chunk of structuring. Most of clients don't know more that the sales guys, and again a lot of sales in challenging desks have been in trading/structuring before they switched to sales.

2) Agreed, doesn't make sense to go into that career just because you fancy nice dinners/events. You get tired of it after a couple of years.

3) Again need to make a difference between desks. Banks brand name doesn't help a lot when you're not trading flow products. Traders are well aware of sales that are bringing the big trades, and these guys are good at owning the trades. That's probably the biggest challenge for a sales, build a relationship with the traders. Need to be a sales inside and outside the bank.

4) Status is defined by your work and the money you bring. It also depends a lot on the management. If the management is coming from sales, then sales will be driving the business. if you're a senior sales, bringing in xx millions each year, you don't have to worry about status.

5) General decline have been around for the last decade and people are still around making decent dollar. But yeah it's not the golden era anymore.

Mar 31, 2021 - 8:34pm

I have some room to compare a flow desk and a structuring desk.  My $0.02: I found the flow desk much more stimulating.  Market activity was much more connected to macroeconomics, which was my area of interest.  On the structuring desk, the rigor in pricing options was incomparably higher than on the flow desk, but being long or short gamma really didn't address why I got into financial markets in the first place. 

The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.
Mar 31, 2021 - 8:30pm

This.  I also had a start in S&T and realized that as much as I enjoyed it, it was better to leave.

The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.
Apr 10, 2021 - 11:06am

Great insights especially because I'll be interning in S&T and am thinking of Sales. One thing I was wondering if I could ask you about was the exit opps available to Sales as most people seem to be of the view that there are significantly fewer exit opps esp for someone in Sales. How has your experience been like and how were you able to switch from S&T to PE (if you did so directly)?

Apr 21, 2021 - 8:40am

Couldn't have said this any better (particularly point #1). You work in the markets all day but don't even feel like you're watching the markets. Sure, the breadth of product knowledge is cool, but does it matter when every trader/structurer/client knows the depth of the product better than you?

I'm at a BB on a derivatives-based sales desk and looking to leave ASAP. Where do I start? Do I pivot to trading, do I try and move to the buy-side given that I'm still recently out of school? All I know is that after 1 year of experience, I'm struggling to write down how I (or any junior salesperson) added value in any way. Essentially, I need to get out before it's too late.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

  • VP in PE - Other
Apr 21, 2021 - 1:21pm

You should be fine if you are at the analyst level (1yr to 3yr).  The fact that you were able to land a FO seat at a BB is a positive signal that you are intelligent, and you should be at least able to get your foot in the door.  This gets much more difficult at the 5yr mark, when you start to become branded as the 'sales guy'.  Not to mention, its much more difficult to leave that $200k seat just to start over.

Just start reaching out to as many people in your network in potential areas you're interested, let them know your situation, and ask for their advice.  Rinse and Repeat.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Mar 30, 2021 - 6:50pm

Internship is in many ways better than being FT. You don't have the stress of having to produce, being yelled at if you screw up, etc.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'll just give you a piece of advice that someone gave me once during my internship, which was that if you find a desk that you find relatively easy, doesn't give you much trouble to get on, etc. then that's precisely the desk you don't want to be on. Find something that is challenging, stimulating, strenuous at times, is my advice.

The best teams usually are best for a reason. I seldom see people describe those teams the way you described your sales team.

  • Associate 1 in S&T - FI
Mar 31, 2021 - 8:01am

Great post. That's 100% correct, easiest desks to be on are easy for a reason, there's no "barrier to entry". You want to target desks where you can add value and not just take client's requests, ask for prices, manage the booking. Find a desk where the senior sales make good money and need help in pricing, structuring trades, and where you can learn, even it can be harsh at the beginning and you'll have some pressure.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - FI
Apr 20, 2021 - 12:25pm

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'll just give you a piece of advice that someone gave me once during my internship, which was that if you find a desk that you find relatively easy, doesn't give you much trouble to get on, etc. then that's precisely the desk you don't want to be on. Find something that is challenging, stimulating, strenuous at times, is my advice.

The best teams usually are best for a reason. I seldom see people describe those teams the way you described your sales team.

Why? if you're not fitting in with the team and you're struggling daily to get on with, I'd doubt you'd last very long in one of those "good" desks anyways. isn't it more important to find the right fit where you can actually excel in? genuinely curious

  • VP in S&T - FI
Mar 30, 2021 - 9:11pm

Lol the catch is, as with any sales job, you have to be good at it and enjoy it. If you're good at it and enjoy it, then you're right, you will crush it. If you're not good at it, you'll be gone very quickly. And if you don't like it, it's going to miserable. Especially in such an extroverted role, it becomes very obvious. When I was going through my internship, that's basically what I realized. I've always been a pretty good speaker and presenting myself, but it takes a certain type of personality and person to do very well in this type of role. It's exhausting if you're not that type of person. You pretty much have to think and operate a certain way all the time. 

Mar 30, 2021 - 10:37pm

First off its not like you get to go eat/drink/concerts with your buddies or gf. You are typically with a client who some may be good friends lots could be dickheads and you have no choice but to smile and deal with them. Over time those outings take up a vast part of your social schedule so the hours do not look that great. So do not think this is an awesome perk. 

In general it takes a very specific personality to fit the role and to be good at it. That said the one's who are good its fun to even watch them do their thing, they typically are 1 step ahead of the client even though they may not understand everything they just know "how can I get this guy/gal to get where I am thinking..." 

  • VP in S&T - FI
Mar 31, 2021 - 1:50am

My thoughts having been on the buyside, in trading and now sales.  Its a great career but its not a total paradise.  A lot of the job is finding the right seat at the right time.   Never worked in London so not familiar with how things work over there so consider this is US prospective

1. Sales in S&T is not really sales, especially at a decent size bank.  The universe of buy-side accounts is pretty well known and you will almost never make a cold-call or have to explain who you are and what your firm does to a buy-side account.  By the nature of being large enough to do business with your bank they are aware of what you can do and what you offer.  Mostly what you exist for is distribution and relationship management.  Your job is to try to get the accounts to focus on your desk axes and get the desk to focus on your accounts axes.  You also exist to manage the relationship and control the flow of information between the traders and the account and vice versa.  People who can pull information out and present it in a way that drives action are pretty valuable.  A lot of what you do is manage situations and try to frame them in a way that drives transactions.      

2. Going out with clients becomes a grind.  The clients are not your friends, they may act like it and you may like them as a person away from work, but they are just a paycheck and will screw you over to advance themselves.  Its never personal its just business.  

3.  This is a relationship business, people do business with people they like.  So you need to be whatever you think the person on the other end of the phone wants you to be to get trades done.  A good salesperson has about 20 different personalities, honestly it can sometimes be hard to keep track of them.

4. The politics can be brutal.  If you cover Blackrock, you are going to put up huge numbers just by existing in the seat, which is great but how much of that is really you vs the bank?  You are going to have a manager who is constantly asking why are we not doing more with XYZ account, and you are always going to be defending that.  You are constantly managing up and trying to prove your worth to the person who signs the checks.  The salespeople that make the most money are the best at this.  At the junior level you are trying to find this person b/c they get themselves and their people paid.  They will cover all the best accounts and will allow you to learn the business and grow into a larger role without really much pressure of actually having to produce.  When it comes time for you to actually take the lead on accounts you will have a bunch of low hanging fruit since your boss has all the best accounts since his boss thinks he is doing a great job.     

Mar 31, 2021 - 8:37pm

This makes me regret walking away from my Sales career. 

The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.
Mar 31, 2021 - 2:09pm

Having done all three (Sales, Trading, Structuring (Analytics) over a very long career in commodities, I will echo the above posters and add some additional commentary

What are you selling?:  A novel product, flow business, research, the trader's mistakes, the firm in total?  What your selling has a dramatic result on who in the organization, or outside it on your reputation. 

  • A novel product for the customer may meet their needs (and you are a hero/sucker), but screw over the traders
  • Winning flow business only makes you a "flow monkey" with no incremental value added
  • Bringing top notch research for a visit is great for clients, but if they don't pay you for your "time", you are a sucking cost center
  • Getting a loss of the traders books makes you a hero, until you blow the client up or they hate you.
  • Chewing up capital and credit for your client is frowned upon by the "Middle Office Gods"
  • Finally, bringing the firm is great if you know everyone there, but politics and straight lying from superiors make it seem that  THEY did the deal and had the relationship...and you get squeezed out.

Who are you selling to?  Have a niche.  Mine was small to midsize utilities, renewable companies and orphan companies (no other bank wanted them).  To me this is relationship building across the target organization.  My relationships wanted ALL types of commodities from metals, oil, FX, natty, power and M&A, project financing, etc.   If you cant call the CEO / senior head of group, have them return your call quickly and be on a first name basis with them after a couple of years, you are going to probably going to eventually get fucked. 

Stick to your niche, whether it be drillers, governments, buy-side credit firms, Fidelity, Blackrock, etc.

For those who are wondering, yes, you can EASILY jump ship to one of your clients if you have that kind of relationship with them.  But better than that is when you start your own business, the calls are easy to make and you are not sucking air for leads.

In closing, clients will screw you for a tick, if you do not have a relationship with them.  You better have a good relationship with the traders or else you will get no sales credits.  Your boss will keep bothering you repeatedly if your YoY% from client "x" is down even though you brought a huge ticket in last year that covers their next FIVE years of need.  Travelling to far away locations with small airports sucks very much after a while and taking clients golfing /ball game is work...not fun.

...but if you can get that one trade.  The one trade where the stars align.  The one trade where it is beneficial for all parties interested, you can retire early.  Yes, I said retire (that was back in the day before deferred comp, but it still applies).  THAT is what makes the sales guys really tick and you will never get there without knowing your firm and the clients firm better than anyone else.

Namaste.

D.O.U.G.

Namaste.

D.O.U.G.

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Mar 31, 2021 - 6:28pm

I think sales is much more difficult to make a career in these days than even 5 years ago, and for the sole reason that upward mobility is dead. Nobody is making enough to retire early, banks are exiting so there's less competition for talent, the client base is constant/shrinking, while due to tech and cost cutting less people cover more clients.

So, when you put all of that together you're basically waiting for your manager to leave/retire so you can take over his accounts, and he's waiting for his manager to leave/retire, etc. In the meantime you'll be thrown some scraps and are basically backup for 5-10 years.

Because the pie is no longer growing, sales people will fight and backstab to gain a bigger piece of the pie instead. Some of the things I've seen go down are disgusting and I could never be ok with myself morally.

Comp can also be completely unrelated to actual performance. You might get paid down even if you've realized 30% growth. There's simply no relationship so the excitement of  working long hours to win big trades disappears when you don't know if you may or may not get paid for it by the end of the year. All your hard work gets boiled down to a random number one day a year. You can point to all the revenue you made, but it's not real money. It's all funny money so management can come up with endless excuses. This is where trading is much better. 

Also, all the travel, entertainment and inane chit chat is no fun after the magic wears off for most people. The real issue is that you learn no hard skills. It's not a sales job as someone else pointed out, it's more of a relationship management/information flow management job, and you'll be hard pressed to find similar jobs at similiar pay if you do get laid off. 

I don't know if it's important to you, but you won't gain any management skills either. At most you'll end up managing 2-3 people, or with a bit of luck a team of 6 after 15 years. It's hard to move elsewhere with no management experience and limited hard skills. 

Luckily I'm good at sales, so I sold myself to a company and am leaving the business. 

Mar 31, 2021 - 8:40pm

And this was my logic in leaving my Sales career as soon as it started... 

The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.
Apr 1, 2021 - 1:52pm

One other bearish trend that I've seen over the past 5 years is that banks are more willing to cut salespeople.  In the past, if you were a shitty trader, they'd just fire you and not give it a second thought.  However, the shitty sales guys rarely got axed, because they just needed to keep franchise, and there wasn't much way to demonstrate value over replacement.  I think the recent trend is that sales guys who are dumb and/or lazy are more likely to get axed.  I think it's unlikely your desk will be super chill in like 5-10 years.  

Apr 2, 2021 - 4:45am

The interesting take is that a slightly lower compensation results in much more enjoyable work (I mean, excel sheets vs going to Paris, the fuck?), far better hours and mental state. However, in sales the first thing you will sell is your soul. It's manipulating, if not outright lying to clients, omitting important details, imbecilishing absolute crap. Also you'll always be the errand boy of traders, who will get to have behaviour you won't be able to afford.

Buuut some sales women are insanely hot so yeah, there's that.

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

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Apr 2, 2021 - 2:18pm

Sales is a good gig. Understand the differences and pro/cons but still better than other careers.

Array
Apr 5, 2021 - 10:01am

Everyone is a salesman. As someone said - you delay it in M&A for 15 years.

Bottom line is banking is getting crushed across all divisions and everyone suffers.

https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/sales-debunking-8-myths-from-a-v…

I wrote this 7+ years ago. Nothing has changed - it just got harder. I went and worked in PE during that time (in investments, not in sales, I know... Crazy) - that job wasn't particularly good and I left it. Today I am not a sales guy - but have a client facing role that makes me trade with clients but I get to skip the whole going out and getting shit faced bit, but I am still a sales guy at the end of the day. I started my own business as well, I was a sales guy in a shape or form.

Unless you were born with $10m today, you'll likely have to be a sales guy in one shape or another. Just make sure you are not selling something that's about to become irrelevant in 5 years - that's the only trick really...

  • Analyst 2 in CorpStrat
Apr 27, 2021 - 11:25am

What are the products that you see as resistant to becoming irrelevant in 5 years? In particular, any thoughts on securitized / structured products (ABS, MBS, CLO, etc.)?

Apr 9, 2021 - 7:00pm

QoL is way higher for S&T though.  You can't just sort by base comp to determine the value of a seat.  Total comp on average is definitely lower for S&T but if you're good (call it top 10% of your class) you'll outearn even the best paid i-bankers at the VP-ED level.  

Also looking at total comp for the single year for someone who's as Associate 2 (i.e. like 25 years old) is sort of strange, because the real comp comes later than that.  

Apr 12, 2021 - 11:53am

PlsFthx

QoL is way higher for S&T though.  You can't just sort by base comp to determine the value of a seat.  Total comp on average is definitely lower for S&T but if you're good (call it top 10% of your class) you'll outearn even the best paid i-bankers at the VP-ED level.  

Also looking at total comp for the single year for someone who's as Associate 2 (i.e. like 25 years old) is sort of strange, because the real comp comes later than that.  

It's an indication of what the bank values and a proxy for which business is doing well. If sales was such a hot business we'd see a lot of competition for talent and pay increases, yet in a record year pay is still flat. 

I disagree with the quality of life. Getting up at 4:30-5am and coming home at 7-8pm every day sucks. I basically have 1-2 hours of free time every day, and in those 2 hours I have to work out, have dinner, spend time with the family and walk the dog.

I'd much rather be an IBD associate, work an extra 10 hours a week and get paid $120k more per year.

Anyways, I've chosen for a corpate job where I get paid the same as now, except it's 9-5, not as much stress and I have actual upward mobility rather than having to wait out an MD leaving at some point.

Apr 12, 2021 - 9:37pm

Simple take from a guy whose been on the buyside at asset managers their whole career: the young sales people (my age) at most shops seem extremely happy. Great comp (analysts making 170k associates making 225+) on the high end, and decent comp for the smaller firms. I would consider some of my coverage friends and the rest its clearly transactional, but still good folks easy to talk to. I think at the VP and above level it gets stressful as there is pressure to develop your book, but if youre at the right shop working under the right guy this is really easy. If youre at the wrong place the exit opps can be pretty good... obviously buyside shops, but know people who were headhunted for fintech and other similar jobs. I will always kinda regret never taking a trip to the sellside, but alas too far along in my career at this point to bother with that. I think some of the comments here about traders being more respected than sales is actually not the trend right now, lots of algo trading, but you cant algo a relationship. just my two cents but ive always thought its crazy how many kids dive headfirst into IB without looking around and doing S&T for better hours similar pay and strong opportunity. 

Apr 16, 2021 - 12:35pm

PaperBoi

Simple take from a guy whose been on the buyside at asset managers their whole career: the young sales people (my age) at most shops seem extremely happy. Great comp (analysts making 170k associates making 225+) on the high end, and decent comp for the smaller firms. I would consider some of my coverage friends and the rest its clearly transactional, but still good folks easy to talk to. I think at the VP and above level it gets stressful as there is pressure to develop your book, but if youre at the right shop working under the right guy this is really easy. If youre at the wrong place the exit opps can be pretty good... obviously buyside shops, but know people who were headhunted for fintech and other similar jobs. I will always kinda regret never taking a trip to the sellside, but alas too far along in my career at this point to bother with that. I think some of the comments here about traders being more respected than sales is actually not the trend right now, lots of algo trading, but you cant algo a relationship. just my two cents but ive always thought its crazy how many kids dive headfirst into IB without looking around and doing S&T for better hours similar pay and strong opportunity. 

I've worked at 3 BBs covering asset managers and hedge funds among others. No analyst is making $170k. Bonus ranges from $20k-$50k. The stress can start at analyst level too, it's just a different kind of stress. I've had months where I couldn't leave the desk at all from 6:30am-5:30pm and had to run to bathroom to pee, and you can forget about number 2 during the day. Just constantly, non-stop quoting trades. Imagine being on the phone with 4 traders to quote some complicated box trade while pricing up a butterfly and quoting a xccy IRS at the same time, and it's massive DV01. Oh, and in the meantime you're quoting some corporate bond and need to hedge the risk with treasuries. It takes a lot of focus to not mess that up and get all the math right between all the moving parts under time pressure. At some point the trades that need to be booked keep piling up but you have no time because the next client is asking for a price. Now the trader starts shouting at you to book his trade because his risk looks off, but so are the other 5 traders and who takes priority? When you're booking everything you keep your fingers crossed that it all matches off properly with the trader and the client and that you did your math right and remembered it all. 

I basically felt like a quoting and booking robot. The constant pressure affected my health tremendously, including a few fun hospital trips. And I was one of the few that lasted. Other desks had entire rows of associates/analysts quit in the same week. Average turnover is something like 18 months now. 

As an associate I had all the same execution stress as an analyst, because we never hired an analyst, along with the VP stress of having revenue next to your name. In a way associate is much worse, because you're expected to cover all execution and everybody else's clients, but now you have your own budget without having time to really look after it. You're expected to have about 7 bucks next to your name to promote to VP, which can be tough when you're responsible for looking after other people's 30-40 bucks because they're constantly traveling to see clients, so you're the only person on the desk. Oh, and the business is shrinking so the only way to grow your revenue is to steal someone else's clients. And of course you get no credit for any big trades you pitched and business you've grown while they were away lollygagging or whatever they do on the trips.

I'm sure there are still a few nice seats here and there, but it's getting less and less and the not so nice seats can be a fucking nightmare.

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July 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (36) $363
  • Associates (209) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (120) $152
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (28) $146
  • Intern/Summer Associate (101) $144
  • 1st Year Analyst (444) $133
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