Bankers vs. Brokers

We have examined 2014/2013 salary and bonus data from 1,446 professionals working in Trading, Sales and Research in London within Banks and smaller Independent Brokers/trading houses.


  • Junior Bankers, aim big: Analysts earn 28% higher base salaries when working for a bank than for independent brokers & trading houses. Their bonuses are also higher at GBP 5,000 bonus vs nothing in the same position for their broker peers.
  • At mid-level, the gap widens: At Associate/VP/Director level, base salaries are still on average 28% lower but bonuses are 71% smaller for broker firm employees!
  • Brokers cannot keep up when it comes to attract MD with high remunerations. Base salary is "only" 25% lower for brokers at the highest MD level but the real gap with bankers comes from bonuses with banking MDs receiving bonuses 236% higher than their brokerage peers.
  • What if money were not the only thing? Would some bankers choose to move to brokerage firms mid-career despite lower remuneration? We have seen instances of a lifestyle vs. purely financial choice with burned-out bankers choosing better hours, less politics, clear bonus structures linked to revenue-generation and a lighter corporate structure touted by some brokerage firms.

Perhaps surprisingly working in a smaller brokerage firm does not offer the opportunity for the same level of financial reward as in the larger banks. It may however just be that quality of life matters more and the greater sense of ownership and perhaps a more collegiate working environment offer sufficient compensation.

Independent Brokers/Trading Houses  Banks  
 Base SalaryBonusTotal CompensationBase SalaryBonusTotal Compensation



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