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Bank MDs Should Get Ready For Giant Pay Cuts Post Brexit

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In its latest study, Emolument.com analysed 4,475 salaries and bonuses from front-office bankers working in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Milan to find out how a post-Brexit re-location could impact compensation. We also surveyed 1,065 bankers working in these cities to know how they feel about their workplace. Results show that European cities all trail behind London when it comes to pay, but Frankfurt may well offer bankers an attractive work environment.


Front office remuneration by city

Total compensation (salary + bonus)


Front office remuneration by city


  • Brexit means… lower pay. If London banks were to move their workforce to other European cities, average compensation packages would decrease. From Analyst to MD, London offers the highest salaries and bonuses in the market.
  • Different countries, different remuneration structures : In Paris, bonuses can account for as much as 49% of a banker’s total compensation (MDs earn bonuses of £153,000 out of £312,000 total compensation). Frankfurt however pays lower bonuses (twice as low as Paris for VPs at £31,000) but higher base salaries (£108,000 in Frankfurt vs. £90,000 in Paris for VPs).
  • No obvious winner: For Analysts and Associates, Frankfurt provides the highest compensation levels (£67,000 for Analysts and £89,000 for Associates), except for London. When it comes to senior bankers though, Paris is more attractive (at VP, Director and MD level).

It’s not just about pay…


Results show the percentage of employees who answered positively to each question

  • Work-Life Balance
    • Best: Frankfurt
    • Worst: Paris
  • Most open minded companies
    • Best: London
    • Worst: Frankfurt
  • Correlation between pay and performance
    • Best: Frankfurt
    • Worst: Milan
  • Most engaged employees
    • Best: Milan
    • Worst: Paris

Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & CMO at Emolument said: ‘All pervasive in banking is the belief that pay is not linked to performance. Opacity when it comes to bonus payments has created intense mistrust of reward processes, which is why Emolument believes in pay transparency: employees should not only know where they stand in terms of compensation, but also have better feedback to explain the correlation between their pay and performance. As regards moving away from London to other EU capitals, while pay may be lower, pain points such as schooling and generally higher quality of life should compensate bankers transferring to the continent.’


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