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Where to work for the best lifestyle (and pay) in finance

If there’s one thing that finance is known for, it’s the extravagant pay packages. If there’s two things that finance is known for, it’s the pay packages – and the grueling work hours.

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Our 2024 salary and bonus report sheds some light on who exactly works the most hours, however. Our report was based on the 6,000 responses we received to our survey which ran earlier this year. We queried financial services professionals in all corners of the industry, all corners of the world, and all levels of seniority.

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Unsurprisingly, it was respondents in investment banking (which includes M&A and capital markets), who had some of the highest working hours in the industry.

Although M&A’s 67-hour workweeks were a lot less than the 100-hour weeks said to happen during the pandemic, they’re still a lot more than the hours worked in other parts of the bank. On an hourly basis, the best paid investment bankers in 2023 were in equity capital markets, earning $120 in total compensation (salary plus bonus). 

On an hourly basis, most sales & trading professionals earned a lot more than bankers in 2023. Credit sales & trading professionals earned $147 per hour on average, for instance. Commodities and macro professionals earned $170 and $180 per hour, respectively.

The highest compensation per hour, as well as the highest compensation full stop, was to be found at hedge funds. Hedge fund professionals earned almost twice as much per hour as those at private equity funds.

Following a difficult year for M&A bankers, their hourly pay slipped below other functions. In 2023, our survey suggests that equity researchers enjoyed compensation per hour higher than M&A bankers.

As pay per hour has fallen, M&A bankers are complaining. “The number of hours worked, and the complexity of assignments, warrants higher compensation,” said one M&A associate working for Evercore in the US.

Another associate, at Deutsche Bank in London, lamented his bonus being “down on last year” despite “greater responsibilities” and “better” and team performance. Outside the key revenue generating roles in sales and trading, M&A, and equity and debt capital markets, work weeks in financial services are less demanding, ranging between 43 and 48 hours. Compensation per hour is lower accordingly: operations professionals earn $79 per hour; finance roles (which include audit and accounting) earn $101 on average.

Our 2024 financial services salary & bonus report is available for download now on this page.

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: +44 7537 182250 (SMS, Whatsapp or voicemail). Telegram: @SarahButcher. Click here to fill in our anonymous form, or email Signal also available.

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

AUTHORZeno Toulon
  • Al
    Alpha Keyz tv
    17 January 2022

    go check alpha keyz tv on youtube you will find more answer

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