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Salaries and bonuses for bankers in New York: the 2024 benchmarks

As M&A hiring creeps back in New York City, bankers looking for jobs may want to understand how their pay compares to the market. 

A new investment banking salary and bonus guide from recruitment firm Selby Jennings offers some insights. As you move from analyst to managing director in either an investment bank, boutique or 'elite boutique,' Selby Jennings says your salary alone goes from $105k to $450k. Bonuses are then calculated as a percentage of salary, and go from 20% to 200%+. 

The salaries below apply primarily to M&A bankers. Salaries for bankers in New York (and elsewhere) increased during the pandemic (they typically started closer to $85k in 2019). While this was good news for bankers at the time, recruiters say it's proving problematic for hiring in 2024: "Even if the market picks up, banks will be hesitant to hire at the same rate as in 2021 to 2022," says Brianne Sterling, head of investment banking at Selby Jennings. "When salaries went up, it made overheads much higher and that's made it more difficult for banks to get new recruits approved."

What are salaries and bonuses at investment banks in New York?  

The big US investment banks (Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America) were historically known as the "bulge bracket." They typically deal with big clients and big M&A deals worth $500m+. For this, their bankers are paid handsomely.

In 2024, Selby Jennings says total compensation at the biggest banks (salaries plus bonuses) goes from $126k+ for analysts (first year in) to $350k+ for vice presidents (VPs) (four to five years in). These figures are the baseline. 

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Although Selby Jennings says bulge bracket banks offer formulaic pay at higher levels, with managing directors getting up to 50% of the revenues they generate, this is often a rule of thumb rather than a contractual payout. Senior bankers at big banks often complain that they've been short-changed to pay other divisions, like sales and trading in a difficult year.   

What are salaries and bonuses at middle market banks in New York?

Middle market banks work on smaller deals and pay less. They include the likes of William Blair, Lazard and Jefferies. 

Analyst pay at middle market banks starts at $120k in total compensation. Vice president pay starts at $350k. 

Banks of this size often offer more formulaic pay to senior staff. Jefferies, for example, pays its people a percentage of the fees they bring in. Selby Jennings says that percentage can up to 30% of revenues in the middle market. 

What are salaries and bonuses at elite boutiques in New York?

There are boutique banks and then there are elite boutiques. Elite boutiques include the likes of Centerview, PJT and Perella Weinberg Partners. They pay the most of all. Insiders at Perella say the bank paid its third year associates (who can be as young as 24) $540k this year. 

Selby Jennings doesn't put pay in elite boutiques quite that high. It says that associates there can earn up to $500k in total compensation on average, which equivalent to their estimation of pay for associates in the bulge bracket.  

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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