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Junior bankers at Lazard highest-paid on Wall Street, pulling in $200K

Junior bankers at Lazard highest-paid on Wall Street, pulling in $200K
Written by publishing team

Junior bankers at boutique firm Lazard are now the highest paid on Wall Street, after Lazard raised the salaries of all employees by $50,000, according to a report.

Base pay for Lazard associates will increase to $200,000 from $150,000 for the first year, to $225,000 from $175,000 for the second year and to $250,000 from $200,000 for the third year, according to Insider.

This is the latest pay rise on Wall Street as disgruntled colleagues look to exit and companies struggle to retain talent amid an increase in workflow.

At the beginning of the summer, first-year bankers at companies like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan made $85,000 in profits. Now, junior bankers at all major companies make at least six figures.

However, Lazard’s salary increase for junior bankers is significant and increases the drag – again – for other banks. Before news of Lazard’s pay increase, the highest-paid entry-level bankers on Wall Street were reported to have been earning $120,000 in base salary at boutique firms including Evercore.

Lazard’s new salary increases will take effect on October 14, but will be retroactive to July 1, according to reports.

A Lazard spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lazard CEO Kenneth Jacobs is trying to retain the best talent — and said earlier this year that the business is “as busy as ever.”
Bloomberg via Getty Images

The deal-making boom, capital appreciation and IPOs have helped boost investment banks’ returns, while the trillions the Federal Reserve is pumping into the markets has lifted many stocks to new heights.

Over the past few months, companies across Wall Street have raised entry-level salaries as banks including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan posted record profits as the economy came back to life.

In August, David Solomon’s Goldman Sachs raised the base salary to $110,000 from $85,000. Earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley raised first-year salaries to $100,000 from $85,000.

It’s unclear if other banks will consider raising wages to compete with Lazard.

Banks are handing out big cash to prevent exhausted talent from escaping amid a staggering workload thanks to a sharp rise in deals. In March, a leaked slide presentation by 13 junior analysts at Goldman Sachs detailed complaints about their 100-hour workweek. Some had seizures lasting up to 20 hours that left them little time to eat, sleep or shower, claiming that the grinding damaged their physical and mental health.

The complaints led to Goldman and JPMorgan pledging to hire more staff with the latter pledging to increase its staff by 200. The private equity firm Apollo Global Management has reportedly offered some partners up to $200,000 to stay.

Elsewhere, Citibank CEO Jane Fraser told employees she was banning Zoom meetings on Fridays to address Zoom fatigue. Investment bank Jefferies even gave its entry-level employees a Peloton flagship “thank you” bike for working long hours.

James Rosman, head of shareholder advisory at Lazard Ltd., during an interview with Bloomberg.
James Rosman, head of shareholder advisory at Lazard Ltd., during an interview with Bloomberg.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Six-figure salaries are just the base salary that junior bankers receive — and that number doesn’t include bonuses. For top bankers, the reward can run into hundreds of thousands – or even millions of dollars.

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