Salaries for technology-savvy investment bankers are the best they've been since the late 1990s, recruiters say.
A technology banker with an MBA and three years of industry experience could earn $300,000 to $400,000, and analysts with five years of experience could earn $300,000 or more in a private equity firm.
These numbers reflect what Simon Lewis, who heads the banking and financial markets practice for North America at recruiting firm Michael Page, calls "a huge need within investment banking." A growing number of IPOs and acquisitions by giants like Oracle are fueling a renewed demand, according to recruiters and bankers. While firms often have senior rainmakers, they lack bankers with strong execution skills, such as the associates who can do necessary number crunching.
Also hiring are hedge funds, especially larger funds which are developing a sector focus. "If you are a technology analyst, you may end up in a hedge fund where you have the ability to short stocks as well as go long," observes Lewis.
At the smaller end of the market, dealing with firms in the $10 million to $100 million range, boutique investment bankers are looking for staff who can roll up their sleeves and work with clients, says Stan Christensen, a founding partner of Arbor Advisors in Palo Alto, Calif. He considers relationship management and execution as key skills technology bankers should possess, and says a salary in the $300,000 range sounds "about right."