Junior bankers at boutique firm Lazard are now the highest paid on Wall Street, after Lazard raised salaries for all associates by $50,000, according to a report.
Base pay for Lazard associates will jump to $200,000 from $150,000 for first-year associates, to $225,000 from $175,000 for second-year associates and to $250,000 from $200,000 for third-year associates, according to Insider.
This is just the latest salary spike on Wall Street as disgruntled associates eye the exit and firms struggle to retain talent amid a surge in workflow.
At the beginning of the summer, first-year bankers at firms including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan made $85,000. Now, junior bankers at all major firms make at least six figures.
Still, Lazard’s salary increase for junior bankers is significant and raises the bar — yet again — for other banks. Before news broke of Lazard’s salary increase, the highest-paid junior bankers on Wall Street were reportedly making $120,000 in base salary at boutique firms including Evercore.
Lazard’s new salary increases will go into effect Oct. 14 but will be retroactive to July 1, according to reports.
A Lazard spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A boom in deal-making, capital raising and IPOs have all helped to lift investment banking revenues, while the trillions the Federal Reserve has been pumping into markets has lifted many stocks to new highs.
In August, David Solomon’s Goldman Sachs also boosted base pay to $110,000 from $85,000. Earlier this year JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley bumped pay for first years to $100,000 from $85,000.
It’s unclear if other banks will consider further raising pay to compete with Lazard.
Banks are doling out the beaucoup bucks to keep overworked talent from fleeing amid a dizzying workload thanks to the spike in deals. In March, a leaked slideshow presentation compiled by 13 junior Goldman Sachs analysts detailed complaints about 100-hour workweeks. Some griped of shifts as long as 20 hours that left them little time to eat, sleep or shower, claiming that the grind damaged their physical and mental health.
The complaints led Goldman and JPMorgan to vow to hire more staff with the latter pledging to boost its headcount by 200. Private equity firm Apollo Global Management has reportedly offered some associates as much as $200,000 to stick around.
Elsewhere, Citibank CEO Jane Fraser told employees she was banning Zoom meetings on Fridays to address Zoom fatigue. Investment bank Jefferies even offered its junior staff the primo Peloton bike as a “thank you” for working long hours.
The six-figure salaries are just the base pay junior bankers receive — that number doesn’t include bonuses. For senior bankers, a bonus can be worth hundreds of thousands — or even millions of dollars.
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