Forget Goldman Sachs: Pimco is the big payer in London
If you're looking for really (really) high pay in London, Goldman Sachs is not the place to get it. Goldman Sachs International pays well, but it does not pay superlatively. For superlative pay at an institution which is not a hedge fund, try Pimco Europe. There, you shall be paid enormous amounts, mostly in cash.
Pimco Europe just published its results for the year ending December 2015. They show the fund management firm employing 285 people in London and paying an average of... £609k per head ($794k), up from £538k per head one year earlier. Goldman Sachs International paid £353k ($461k) over the same period and pay there is falling - it was down 15% in 2015.
The big draw at Pimco, however, is not just the headline amount, it's the seemingly large proportion of cash: just 17% of Pimco Europe's compensation per head in 2015 took the form of deferred bonuses. Goldman Sachs International didn't disclose the overall proportion of compensation it deferred, but deferrals for the bank's London-based 'code staff' were 40% of total pay.
Unfortunately, getting a job at Pimco's London office is likely to be far more challenging than getting a job at Goldman Sachs'. Pimco Europe employs just 285 people to Goldman International's 6,149. Pimco is also cutting European staff: 17 people disappeared last year (as a likely result of the firm closing its equities funds) and Pimco cut a further 3% of its global staff in June. While Goldman Sachs is cutting staff too, its London business was still in expansionary mode in 2015, when 567 staff were added and headcount rose by 10%.
The good news, however, is that if you do lose your job at Pimco Europe, you'll be paid an average redundancy payment of £285k. And those who remain seem to be justifying their exalted pay: profits at Pimco Europe were £73m last year, up from £69m in 2014.