Investment Banking or Private Equity ?

We have examined 2014/2013 salary and bonus data from 1,529 bankers working in Private Equity and Origination/ Advisory in London.


  • How about starting your career with a Private Equity Firm? Private Equity is an attractive alternative to banking with £5,000 more in bonuses at Analyst level, and as much as a £46,000 gap at Associate level
  • PE firms have upped the financial ante to compete with banks: Fresh out of their 2-­year analyst training programmes, Associates and VPs are highly skilled, energetic and effective junior executives, which PE firms are keen to poach -­ Associate and VP level Bonuses are 33% higher in Private Equity firms vs. investment banks
  • Senior executives are still better off in the banking sector: Total compensation evens out at Director level, and takes a clear lead for bankers at MD level with a 19% gap

Over the last few years, banks have been under pressure to retain their junior talent. Having lost some of its glamour and financial rewards recently, young bankers are on the lookout for alternatives, and easily lured to Private Equity firms who can offer a less hyerchical and pressured working environment than large investment banks, alongside equally exciting professional challenges.

Titles Base Salary PrivateEquity Bonus Base Salary Origination / Advisory Bonus
Analyst £45,000 £10,000 £46,000 £5,000
Associate £76,000 £60,000 £70,000 £20,000
VP £104,000 £112,000 £110,000 £75,000
Director £140,000 £154,000 £150,000 £145,000
MD £200,000 £200,000 £250,000 £246,000



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