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  • Writer's pictureOverheard on Wall Street

2024 Wall Street Compensation Report

Exclusive Compensation Report by OWS Recruiting

 




Intro: Year 3 Insights


This is our 3rd year of conducting the Wall Street compensation survey.


Someone remarked that this compensation report is the finance bro version of Taylor Swift dropping an album, and honestly, we couldn't agree more. So, without further ado, here's the 2024 comp report.


Background


Since launching @overheardonwallstreet in January 2018, our audience has grown to nearly a million, generating over 10 million impressions per month.


We are committed to using the platform to assist Wall Street professionals in preparing for and securing the best job opportunities. Today, in addition to sharing the compensation report, we are excited to introduce "OWS Recruiting."


The demand for guidance on investment banking and private equity recruiting has been overwhelming. We've previously created recruiting courses that hundreds of candidates have taken to secure offers, yet there’s a lot more that needs to be done.


The ultimate goal is to leverage our large audience to make the finance industry's information more accessible to everyone.


With the launch of "OWS Recruiting," we look forward to providing resources, expert guidance, and direct access to top-tier job opportunities. Stay tuned for more updates, and feel free to look around this website and drop your resume.


Back to Bonuses


Let’s dive into the results. We are going to go through each of these industries:


  • Investment Banking

  • Private Equity

  • Sales & Trading

  • Private Credit

  • Honorable Mentions


Investment Banking

“Moelis used to be a sweatshop that paid well, now it's just a sweatshop.” – Associate , Moelis NYC (Restructuring)


Let’s start off with the holy grail of industries, investment banking. You may have heard anecdotally (or read on Bloomberg) but yes bonuses were down from last year. This year the average investment banking bonus was $158k, down from $165k last year.


Higher interest rates meant not much deal making was taking place. If you got the same bonus as last year and still have a job, you're luckier than many.


For the first time since I have been on Wall Street, I noticed bagels being handed out. But what were you expecting when you decided to join Barclays? (the Nomura across the pond).


Bonuses across the board took a pounding of 10-30% on average. See below:




While we would have loved to break out the bonus numbers by bank, we didn’t have enough data for it to be very meaningful. Note that we excluded any category that did not have at least 3 data points. Also note that all averages are global. If you think the US-only numbers will be higher, you are absolutely right. US banks paid more than their international counterparts across all categories.


From our analysis, elite boutiques paid better bonuses than bulge-brackets. Guggenheim and Moelis had the highest bonuses amongst elite boutiques while JP Morgan paid the most out of bulge brackets.


Private Equity

“If I was an LP, I would not trust this firm to invest my capital.” – Associate, Partners Group (PE) Denver


Private equity wasn't much better than banking in terms of bonuses. At the VP level, base and bonuses increased slightly, but at the junior level, bonuses took a hit. Associate 1 bonus was down more than 30% compared to last year.


Private equity had a pretty easy year, mostly monitoring investments and doing the occasional deal, so no surprises here. And yes, from the general feedback, it did not look like there were many upset Excel LBO warriors.


Carry levels remained strong with 19% associates receiving carry and 44% of senior associates receiving carry (starting from 25 bps).




Access the full deck and private equity results here.


Sales & Trading

Sales and trading saw an increase of more than 50% increase in bonuses at the analyst level and ~20% reduction at the director level.


Below is the breakout by years of experience for the levels in which we had sufficient responses to compile meaningful results.




Private Credit

This year’s new entrant was private credit. This may be the first time and last time private credit gets included in this comp survey… but hey it's the golden age of private credit, so it deserves some (private) credit. 


Private credit responses saw a pretty significant increase this year. We saw ~70% more responses for private credit this year. Last year private credit responses were 40% of private equity responses, but they rose to 50% this year.


Private credit is sitting on $430 billion of dry powder and they added a significant talent pool last year, so yes, the data ties.


Private credit salaries are 10-20% lower than private equity. For VPs the base salary was 19% lower, bonus was 10% lower and total comp was 15% lower compared to private equity.





In terms of carry, 33% associates received carry (2-100 bps range) and 80% of senior associates received carry (2-150 bps range).


If it’s true that credit folks work significantly less hours than private equity bros, private credit may not be a bad career option for those looking to have a better work life balance in exchange for a small hit on their bank account.


Honorable Mentions

In an ideal world, we’d break out every finance industry by position and by firm but the data isn’t there yet. I suspect when @overheardonwallstreet reaches 5 million followers, it’s something we’ll aim for (@intern can you pls run the numbers on the eta?)


In any case, below are industries where we received a significant number of responses but not enough to break out comp by position. It’s still helpful to see the averages across industries to get a sense of how much they pay.


Before you go ahead and jump to conclusions based on these numbers, I will caveat that these are averages across all position levels, so may not necessarily be representative of the true averages across an industry.



You can access the full comp survey here.


Conclusion


The biggest takeaway this year was that bonuses were down. Shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. From what I have experienced, seen, and heard, everyone had a pretty relaxing year on Wall Street.


A friend was telling me that at his private equity firm (megafund) some guys who are about to become VP, haven't closed a single deal! Just goes on to show the pace of dealmaking over the last three years. 


Dealmaking is expected to pick back up this year. Private equity is sitting on $1.2 trillion of dry powder, private credit on $430 billion and banks are shoring up their investment banking teams


This probably means that you will have much more work to do this year. But when next year rolls around, you will be much happier reading this comp survey report. 


Cheers, Overheard on Wall Street (OWS)


Resources:

  • For finance news and updates, make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter Short Squeez.

  • For premium content, check out our Insiders membership, giving you access to exclusive reports, investor portfolios, investment research, knowledge drops and recruiting resources.

  • If you received your bonus recently and haven’t filled out our comp survey, you can do so here. The goal is to have a live view of bonuses at all times.



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