Graduate salaries in investment banking and investment management

An overview of the salary you can expect to receive as a graduate working in investment banking or investment management.

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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 employers simply state ‘competitive’, and so you’ll find out when you’re hired. 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.

We’ve used the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) to find out what salaries graduates in these areas of work can expect when they join an employer and thereafter. The ISE is a professional body that represents hundreds of organisations that recruit graduates in the UK. It obtains information from its members about all things graduate recruitment related, including salaries.

Graduate salaries in investment banking and investment management

The latest ISE Graduate Recruitment Survey of its members, which include the largest investment banks and investment management firms, revealed that the median graduate starting salary paid by finance and professional services organisations was £32,850 in 2021. However, salaries can fall on either side of this figure, depending on variables including location, employer and type of work. Graduate starting salaries can range from under £25,000 up to £60,000 in the most lucrative areas of work.

Potential 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 that do, the rise continues thereafter, with salaries potentially hitting £120,000+ after only six years with a business.

Potential earnings in investment management

As your career progresses after the graduate programme, so does your salary. Between five and eight years in the industry can see you take home £55,000 to £100,000. When you reach senior positions, such as associate or management, you could be earning well above that. These figures don’t include the hefty bonuses available, which are generally linked to fund performance and can realistically be up to 200% of your salary at management level.

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