London Advisory Bankers Paid More Than Traders, Survey Says

  • M&A banker 326,000-pound average pay is 16% more than traders
  • Biggest European banks retooling to focus more on deal-making

Bankers in London advising on mergers and acquisitions get paid more than the city’s traders for the first time since 2012 as the biggest lenders focus more on deal-making and pull back from dealing in securities, according to an industry survey.

The average M&A director in London gets annual compensation of about 326,000 pounds ($470,000), the best paid among investment bankers, research firm Emolument.com said in a statement citing a survey of more than 1,000 executives. Traders at banks are awarded 281,000 pounds, the second-highest, while directors who manage share and bond sales receive 280,000 pounds, the survey shows.

European banks are retooling themselves to focus more on advising clients on deals, while scaling back risky trading operations as regulators impose more costs on that business. Both Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse Group AG are laying off traders of fixed-income products as they seek to make more money from mergers and acquisitions and managing share sales.

“Are the sweat and tears of a career in M&A worth the extra 16%?” Emolument co-founder Alice Leguay said in the statement. “M&A projects tend to last weeks or months with 24/7 working hours, whilst in trading, decisions are made in an instant, with the working day over as soon as markets close.”

Salary details in the survey are an amalgamation of 2015 and 2016, Leguay said in an e-mail. On an annual basis, M&A directors will make more for this year than bank traders for the first time since 2012, she said.  

The world’s biggest banks advised on $645 billion of completed European mergers and acquisitions in 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was the biggest adviser with about 34 percent of the market, beating Lazard Ltd., Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank to the top spot.

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