Investment banking or asset management: which pays the most?

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Asset management may be being touted as the place to work for financial professionals, the pay gap may be closing, but big bonuses are still the preserve of the investment banks.

Throughout your career, you are likely to earn 77% more in bonus payments working for an investment bank than an equivalent level role in asset management, according to research from real-time salary data specialists Average bonuses for senior asset management professionals are £120k, suggests the research, compared to £243k for a managing director role in an investment bank.

Suffice to say, the bonus payments at the junior end of the market in the tables below look rather small – average bonuses for first year analysts in London last year were £22k, according to previous research from headhunters Dartmouth Partners.

Emolument’s figures, which come from over 4,000 people working in asset management and investment banking, likely include front and back office jobs. Nonetheless, they indicate that despite all the regulatory intervention on banking bonuses, the sell-side still pays more than the buy-side.


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