I'm wondering.. how many hours do you work per week on average in S&T (as opposed to ibanking)? Also, is the WSO salaries database accurate? And what about the lifestyle; to what extent is it more (or less) exciting than preparing pitch books all day? I'm trying to choose between both.. I'm currently considering working 2 years in ibanking/consulting and then switching to the buy side. I'd really appreciate any thoughts or comments at all.
Why Should I Do Sales And Trading?
For those comparing sales and trading to investment banking, there are a number of critical differences that we discuss below. These differences include work type, hours, and compensation.
S&T Compensation Progression
On Wall Street compensation is one of the top concerns and S&T employees are paid well. You can review the figures below.
- Analyst $ 80K - $ 150K
- Associate $ 180K - $ 250K
- Vice Presidents $ 300K - $ 500K
- Managing Directors/Partners $1MM+
Sales and Trading Salary vs. Investment Banking
When comparing IB vs. S&T salaries when starting, analysts will start at a very similar level but investment bankers quickly begin to make more. At the senior level (VP, MD) - the range of salaries is wider in banking. The bottom end of the range is similar between the two divisions but the IB salaries still skew higher.
Investment Banking Salaries
- Analyst - First Year: $70k - $150k
- Analyst - Third Year: $120K - $350K
- Associate - First Year: $150K - $350K
- Associate - Third Year: $250K - $500K
- Vice President: $350K - $1.5MM
- Managing Director/Partner: $500K - $20MM+
Sales and Trading Hours
While the workday of an S&T employee will depend a great deal on the desk that you work on - a good rule of thumb to operate by is 6 am - 6 pm from Monday to Friday. There will rarely be weekend work. If you are client facing (sales), you will likely spend some evenings out entertaining clients. Overall, this would equate to 60+ hours a week.
S&T Work Week vs. Investment Banking
While the compensation for S&T can be lower than it is for investment banking, S&T employees will consistently work fewer hours. Investment Bankers across the experience spectrum will work between 75 - 85 hours a week with the occasional 100 hour work week. You can read more about IB hours in this thread on WSO. This can be one of the key things that attract junior employees to S&T vs. IB.
Sales and Trading Skill Set
One of the defining characteristics of S&T is that each job is different. Despite this being true, there are a few skills that will be developed by people in any role.
From a sales perspective - you will develop strong sales skills as well as interpersonal skills. In particular you will learn how to connect with clients, learn their needs, and then pitch them applicable ideas. You may get experience doing idea generation or you may simply be passing along bank research. You will also learn how to follow a specific product or group of products in the market. Sales people will also learn how to manage the expectations of their clients.
From a trading perspective - traders will learn how to make quick decisions, talk to clients about their product, and will learn a large amount about the product that they specialize in. They will also learn how to manage risk in their books.
You can learn about what salespeople and traders do in the video below.
S&T Exit Opportunities
While there are many people that choose to stay in sales and trading from analyst to senior level employees, there are those that choose to jump to the buyside. The most typical exit opp will be to a hedge fund that you have connections with from your work on your desk. As a sales persona and too a lesser extent as a trader you will be working with buyside clients on a daily basis and if you go above and beyond in idea generation or connect with them well on a personal level that can score you an interview.
Certain desks will have more pull into the hedge fund community as they will be considered as having a more quantitative skill set. For example, a structured credit trading would have more quantitative experience than an equity sales trader and therefore, the structured credit trader may have a clearer path to buyside recruitment.
Read More About S&T on WSO
- Sales And Trading Interview: Why Sales?
- Sales And Trading VS. Capital Markets
- What Is S&T?
- Sales And Trading - A Comprehensive Guide
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