If you’re tossing up between embarking on a consulting career or going into investment banking, as many graduates do, it’s worth noting one thing – you’ll be paid a lot more in banking.
It’s all in the bonus. While consultants’ base salaries are certainly healthy, bankers in M&A and leveraged finance are still receiving hefty bonuses that are close to double their salary on average, according to new figures from salary benchmarking website Emolument.com.
Junior bankers – analyst to associates by Emolument’s experience definitions – received median bonuses of £20k, it suggests. A consultant with a similar level of experience gets just £1.5k, it says. Even senior consultants received just £6k as a bonus – investment bankers at the same level were paid 28 times more as a bonus, with an average of £170k.
Whether this is really reflective of the reality of working in consulting is debatable – salaries and bonuses remain opaque, but 2013 figures from recruiters Astbury Marsden said that consultants specialising in financial services received an average of £20.4k.
Not all consultants are created equal. Emolument’s figures suggest that Boston Consulting Group pays the most for both junior and senior consultants. The ‘big three’ strategy consultants – Bain and Mckinsey included – all pay more than the Big Four accounting firms.
BCG pays its consultants £63k after 1-2 years, according to the figures, but EY pays just £33.9k on average.
‘Senior’ in this definition is 3-5 years’ experience. The data is based on 397 junior consultants and 290 senior consultants.