In theory, Frankfurt has it all happening. The German city is attracting legal entities as investment banks set up registered EU subsidiaries there. It's getting some new front office jobs. It's getting plenty of new back offices jobs. And it's seeing the expansion of banks like Jefferies. What Frankfurt doesn't have though - at least if you're a junior to mid-ranking M&A banker - is salaries that are in any way comparable to London.
The chart below illustrates the discrepancy.
Based on Frankfurt figures from local search firm Banking Consult and London figures from local search firm Dartmouth Partners, the chart suggests an unfortunate truth. - While Frankfurt's junior investment bankers start off receiving salaries comparable to their peers in London, a yawning gap opens associate level. It looks like third-year associate salaries in London are over 40% higher than in Frankfurt.
Could this be another reason German bankers have traditionally flocked to London? Maybe so.
It's worth noting that salary figures for London from the German headhunter, Banking Consult, suggest that London's M&A salaries are actually lower than Frankfurt's. However, Banking Consult's London figures seem very low. It puts third-year associate salaries in London at just €95k (£82k), a level last seen around a decade ago.