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New York Merger Bankers Lead Ranks Earning More Than $1 Million

Senior investment bankers in the U.S. earn more than their peers in Europe and Asia, making $1,025,000 a year on average, according to compensation data provider Emolument.

The total pay for New York managing directors advising on mergers and fundraisings compares with $882,000 in London, $797,000 in Paris and $590,000 in Hong Kong, according to Emolument, which studied the earnings of 106 bankers. Fixed pay is highest in London, while New York bonuses are the largest, the study shows.

“For those who make it to the top of the M&A hierarchy, the rewards can indeed be significant,” Robert Benson, chief executive officer of Emolument, said in a statement today. “These bankers are also highly mobile and when pay gaps become significant, can easily move to a more attractive location. For employers this represents a key risk factor to be monitored.”

In the U.S., investment bankers last year benefited from a pick-up in dealmaking and fees, which by contrast were almost unchanged in Europe as executives held off on acquisitions amid an uncertain economic outlook. In Europe, the higher salaries reflect a structural shift, as banks pay smaller portions of bonuses in cash and prepare for new regulations next year.

Under European Union rules, banks will be banned from paying bonuses more than twice some employees’ salaries. Certain lenders with U.K. operations have created a sliding scale of staff seniority to avoid the restrictions.

Emolument, based in London, was started in 2012 by Thomas Drewry, founder of executive-search firm Veni Partners, and Olivier Beau de Lomenie, formerly of online grocer, to provide individuals and companies with benchmarking data on compensation.

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