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These Are the Best-Paying Investment Banks

An online community for Wall Street employees compared compensation, job satisfaction and advancement opportunities at large and boutique investment banks.

Which investment bank is the best one to work for?

Wall Street Oasis offers some possible answers in its latest report on the investment banking industry, detailing compensation, employee satisfaction, and growth opportunities at major banks and boutique firms. The online group for financial professionals said its findings are based on more than 50,000 submissions from its members.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. ranked as the highest paying investment bank, with compensation nearing the 99th percentile. Other well-paying banks include Wells Fargo & Co., Houlihan Lokey, Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group. BNP Paribas, PNC Financial Services Group and HSBC Holdings trailed peers in compensation, falling around the 60th percentile.

On average, employees at boutique and middle-market firms earned more than their counterparts at larger banks, with higher total compensation across all roles, according to the report from Wall Street Oasis.

Analysts with three or more years of experience at “bulge bracket” banks were paid $88,000 a year plus $43,00 in bonuses. Their peers at middle market and boutique firms earned $151,000 in total compensation, including $58,000 in bonus pay.

As for roles, associate-level bankers at the largest firms made $180,000 including bonuses, while those at the smaller banks raked in a total $216,000. Vice presidents at the big banks earned an average $234,000, with base salaries of $168,000. The typical vice president at a boutique firm made $375,000, nearly half of which was bonus pay.

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Wall Street Oasis noted that these averages may appear low to some as the sample include employees from a variety of regions and companies — not just the “top performers in the top groups in New York.”

When it came to ‘soft’ job attributes, like employee satisfaction and job fairness, Wells Fargo led the pack. The bank had consistently high ratings, including the best scores in other categories such as performance feedback, teamwork and overall competence of senior management.

Other standouts included Goldman Sachs, which had the best reputation and most opportunities for career advancement. Bank of America received the highest marks for supporting employee time off and Credit Suisse Group for work-life balance.

Rothschild rated as the worst bank for work-life balance, while employees at boutique firm Greentech Capital Advisors reported they worked the most hours on average.

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