No longer the poor cousin to front office, middle and back office departments are now taking pride of place in investment banks.
Some are even relabelling their teams: Goldman Sachs refers to middle & back office as the “Federation” and Deutsche Bank talks about “global functions”. Does the name change translate on the payslip? Which middle & back office jobs pay the most?
Emolument.com has analysed 2,329 London-based middle, back and front office salaries at associate level (3-8 years of experience). When it comes to base salaries, risk professionals – who lead the way in the middle and back office salary stakes- don't even show a large gap compared to front office jobs. Generalists however earn consistently less than than their colleagues who have picked a specialisation.
|Risk Modelling / Quant||£64,000||£7,000||£71,000|
|Market Risk Management||£63,000||£8,000||£71,000|
|Operational Risk Management & Risk Analytics||£56,000||£9,000||£65,000|
|Credit Risk Management||£55,000||£6,000||£61,000|
|Fund Accountant & Administrator||£42,000||£4,000||£46,000|
|Middle & Back Office Generalist||£43,000||£3,000||£46,000|
|Trade Settlement & Securities Operations||£42,000||£3,000||£45,000|
Graph 1 & Table 1. All figures are median figures, based on 817 salaries of associates in middle & back office in London
Risk is a safe bet. Risk professionals maintain a strong lead amongst middle & back office jobs. Risk modellers and market risk managers earn the most, with 25% higher earnings than other non-risk professionals in middle and back office.
Mind the gap. However, the pay gap between client-facing front office and middle & back office functions is still huge. Even the highest paid back office specialisation (Risk Modelling / Quant) pays 25% less than the lowest paid front-office activity (Research).
Jacks of all trades. Technical professionals earn more: risk modellers earn 15% more than a risk generalist. Technical specialisations might also provide a way into coveted front office jobs.
Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & COO at Emolument.com said: 'Despite all the shifts in financial services pay structures and trends over the last few years, the fact remains that those closer to profit and loss earn the most. While the prestige associated with many middle and back office functions has increased dramatically since the 2008 crises, with risk executives being propelled into the spotlight in order to avoid other banks collapsing, those jobs are still perceived as the slow lane of finance. However, with the automation of many functions, middle and back office professionals require more and more sophisticated skills, which has blurred lines between them and front office departments.'
Source: Emolument, the salary benchmarking site
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