Graduate salaries in investment banking and investment management

Last updated: 25 Jan 2023, 13:37

How much do investment bankers make in the UK? Read on for an overview of the salary you can expect to receive as a graduate working in investment banking or investment management.

A pound symbol in a cup of coffee: graduate salaries in banking and investment revealed

Investment banks and investment management firms have long been tight-lipped when it comes to advertising graduate salaries. Very few organisations within these sectors reveal what they pay graduates – most simply state that salaries are ‘competitive’, so you’ll only find out when you receive a job offer. This is usually because they don’t want their competitors to know what they have to offer and trump them for the best and brightest graduates by offering a little more.

That said, there are ways to find out what kinds of graduate salaries investment banks and investment management firms offer. We did some online sleuthing using salary survey websites and recruitment agency reports to put together the figures below.

How much do graduates in investment banking and investment management earn?

  • Salaries for graduate analysts (a typical graduate role) in London are reported to be between £32,000 and £52,000, with the average being around £41,000.
  • Some sources, including a report from specialist recruitment consultancy Dartmouth, report that firms competing for top graduates in their London offices are offering up to £70,000.
  • In Edinburgh , salaries for graduate analysts are reported to be between £26,000 and £46,000. The average salary is around £34,000.
  • Graduates in investment banking in Glasgow are reported to be paid between £26,000 and £47,000. The average salary is around £35,000.

Don’t forget that salaries can fall on either side of these figures, depending on variables including the location, employer and type of work.

How will your investment banking or investment management salary increase?

Potential future earnings in investment banking

A typical graduate programme lasts for two or three years, with pay rises awarded each year over the course of the programme. These will be based on performance – and bear in mind that not all graduates who start on the programme will continue through to the end. For those who make it through, who will typically move in associate roles, salaries are likely to be between £73,000 and £130,000 in London .

Potential future earnings in investment management

As your career progresses after the graduate programme, so does your salary. Our research indicates that once you’ve progressed into an investment manager role, if you’re based in London your salary could range from £52,000 to £130,000, with an average salary of £82,000.

Of course, these figures don’t include the hefty bonuses available, which are generally linked to fund performance. Thanks to the removal of the cap on bankers’ bonuses, they can now be up to 200% of your salary at management level.

Are investment bankers the highest paid graduates in the UK?

Graduates working in investment banking and fund management are certainly among the highest paid. However, at graduate level, the investment banks and management firms are rivalled by the big commercial law firms, which typically pay £40,000–£50,000 to their trainees in London.

You might also find that individual employers in other sectors pay highly, too: the healthcare technology firm TPP pays £50,000 for some graduate roles (including in software development), for example.

Many students and graduates interested in working for employers within the investment sector do value a high salary: according to the Cibyl Graduate Research UK 2022 survey, which questioned more than 65,000 students and graduates about their career thinking, 46% of students interested in investment-related employers thought a high starting salary was a very important factor when choosing an employer, compared to 35% of students across all sectors. However, it is interesting that the graduate starting salary they expect is lower than some of the averages listed above: £31,098.

When comparing employers’ salaries, make sure you review their entire compensation package – you might find that a base salary is lower but it is more than made up for by the benefits and perks or bonuses provided. Our guide explaining graduate salary and benefits jargon should help you take stock of the entire package.

Next: search graduate jobs, schemes and internships

Last updated: October 2022.

targetjobs editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

People reading this also searched for roles in these areas:

Related careers advice

undefined background image

We've got you

Get the latest jobs, internships, careers advice, courses and graduate events based on what's important to you. Start connecting directly with top employers today.