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How to earn a £100k salary in finance without working in the front office

Compliance monitoring pays pretty well

If you want to earn £100k ($127k) working in finance, you don't have to work in the front office generating revenues and p&l in a very conspicuous sort of way. But it probably helps.

The new financial services salary survey from recruitment firm Randstad reveals that there aren't really that many London finance jobs away from the coal face that will earn you a solid six figures unless you're managing a huge team with regional responsibility. Those that exist, we've listed in the chart below.

Some of the highest paying non-senior management jobs away from the front office are in risk. Here, Randstad says that people responsible for risk methodology can earn salaries of up to £180k, as can people contemplating scenarios in which a bank's operations could go badly wrong. Model validation jobs, which are frequently reviled by quants who'd hoped to be doing something more exciting, pay a similar amount.

Massive salaries for senior compliance staff in banks 

The real revelation from Randstad's figures, however, is that senior compliance staff in banks are now earning a small fortune. 

While compliance monitoring staff (who keep an eye on other employees' communications) and compliance advisory staff (who act as consultants advising traders and bankers on how to create products and structure deals that adhere to regulations) can earn up to £125k and £140k respectively, Randstad says top regional compliance people are now earning salaries of up to £400k. The same applies to regional anti-financial crime heads.

This might to be expected - after all the recent years' compliance hiring, teams are now huge and heads of teams are now important figures who need to be paid accordingly. Alison Starmer, managing director of Randstad Client Solutions, says regional heads of compliance have benefitted from dramatic pay inflation in recent years, but other compliance professionals not so much.

“While compliance superstars have seen their salaries rocket, pay rises have not been uniform across the board. At the minimum range, we are seeing a lot of pay increases, albeit not on a huge scale," says Starmer. Whether pay will continue to rise is open to question - after years of expansion, most banks are now trying to rein compliance spending in. Huge pay for senior staff helps explain why this is necessary.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Br
    8 June 2019

    Wow. An article about working in finance got the GBP/USD exchange wrong.

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