Investment bankers base themselves in certain locations for a variety of reasons – career progression, status, exit options. But if money is your main motivator, then the place to be for both senior and junior bankers appears to be…Hong Kong.
The city state offers its analysts after tax nearly as much as the highest paying location (New York) and also far exceeds post-tax income for directors compared to other cities, according to figures from salary benchmarking site Emolument.
There are mitigating factors – Hong Kong is the second most expensive city in the world, according to Mercer, so high gross and net compensation may be eaten by living costs.
Singapore is the second highest paying city for directors, according to Emolument’s calculations.
New York leads the way in analyst pay, with average compensation of $115k, and even with the heavy Big Apple taxes still ranks first for junior pay. Pay in London is competitive, but again the high tax rate weighs heavy for both junior and director level recruits.
Zurich is also expensive, and while it competes well for junior bankers, low bonuses for directors means that total compensation for in the senior ranks is second bottom. Only Paris – with its 45% tax rate for high earners – falls below.
Money is one thing, of course, but there are far more opportunities for financial services professionals in London than the likes of Singapore and Hong Kong even as large firms pull back. What’s more a stint on Wall Street will do far more for your resume than starting out in a developing financial centre.