Morning Coffee: When you're a 27 year-old banker and everyone around you is rich. UBS MD "screamed like a girl"
If you work in financial services and you're aged between 25 and 35, then look around you - most people you see, particularly those working in front office jobs like M&A and sales and trading are going to be in the 1% of earners for their age. And this isn't all - plenty of those in areas like compliance will be too.
So says a chart assembled by Business Insider reflecting the amount millennials need to earn at each age in America to fall within the top 1%. Shown below, the blue lines don't look dissimilar to our own chart for the earnings of front office bankers by age, except that front office bankers often earn more. While BI says you need to near $141k aged 27 to fall within the top 1%, compensation surveys in London suggests this figure is more like £140k ($180k) for young people in front office roles at top investment banks.
Significantly though, it may not only be people in the front office who fall into the category of the highest earners. The latest U.S. salary survey from recruitment firm Robert Walters says vice presidents in compliance functions - who are likely to be aged around 29 can earn up to $200k in salary, putting them in the top 1% too. Robert Walters says risk managers can earn up to $300k at the same age; project managers can earn up to $190k.
The implication is that by the time you reach your late 20s on Wall Street, most people around you will be in the 1% of highest earners in the country. You're in a bubble. Maybe this is no big deal - but it's worth being aware of, particularly when you're thinking of leaving the industry and wondering what to do next. Most people earn a lot less.
Separately, a UBS managing director has an interesting sideline. Institutional Investor reports that Mark Axelowitz, an MD in UBS's wealth management business, is also an actor. As an actor, he achieved a very minor part alongside Robert De Niro in a film about Bernie Madoff, This was cause for some excitement. "I screamed like a girl, I was so happy," says Axelowitz.
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