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Goldman Sachs bonuses were big, but not the biggest

So, Goldman Sachs paid some big bonuses for last year, but this does not mean that the bonuses at Goldman Sachs were the biggest in the industry. They were not. This accolade was reserved for... Centerview.

Instagram account Litquidity has published the results of its recent salary survey in its ExecSum newsletter. Shown below, they reveal that while Goldman paid the analysts and associates in its investment banking division combined salaries and bonuses more than rival tier one banks for 2021, it paid considerably less than the boutiques. And the highest paying boutique of them all was Centerview. 

Centerview's second year analysts, for example, earned $310k according to Litquidity's reckoning; Goldman's earned $220k. Centerview's first year associates were on $580k; Goldman's were on $400k. Admittedly, this may be because Goldman's first year associates have a year's less experience. But for third year associates, there's still a $180k gap.

Mark Moran, Liquidity's head of growth and operations, used to work for Centerview and has some insights into why the pay there is so high. At managing director (MD) level, Centerview is able to attract top MDs with a cut of the fees they earn, says Moran: "Every other bank pays equity, but Centerview pays a percentage of deal fees in cash." A similar principle is applied to juniors, who are paid "very, very well."

Naturally, you will work hard for this kind of money. Moran says he regularly worked 100-hour weeks. There were upsides: when bonuses at Centerview were announced, Moran says senior staff dressed in elf hats to create a party mood. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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