Compensation on Wall St.

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by LaggedQuote, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. My brother got an offer from an investment bank for a job doing software development and quantitative research. They low-balled him at $110,000 and he's a bit upset and having a debate on whether to relocate from Silicon Valley. The year end bonus varies but seems to be on the order of 30-40k.

    Couple of details about my brother:

    - He has an Ivy League graduate degree
    - He has an engineering undergraduate degree from a top technical school
    - He's got 5 years of technical experience

    Now, I urged him to apply around here so he'd be closer to family. However, I can't speak to the compensation. Is he right to be upset, or does it pretty much top out at 130-140 at the big banks? What's his path from there on out?

    He likes trading, but he's more of the kind of guy who just likes to work on tough problems for the sake of working on tough problems.

    His other alternative is working at a SiValley startup he seems to have a lot of faith in. I'm trying to convince him the startup's odds of success are low. Can someone else comment on his situation?

    What would you do in his shoes?
  2. What type of engineering was his undergrad in?

    Also, considering the type of environment we are looking at (recession), a solid paying job isn't looking too bad vs. a startup right now. Although startups can pay VERY well in the long run, he needs to understand that only the owners and very few founders/execs get good options packages (like maybe 1st 10). After that, start dividing 1% of company equity for the new recruits.

    And depending on where he enters in the game, the valuation of the company keeps going up, making his options worth less. i.e. the less risky, the less reward.

    Been there.
  3. well......if he's gonna spend the next 40 years working in corporate america he needs to get used to being low balled so yeah take the job.
  4. EE/CS. He did a mix of software and hardware, graduated, found out the software jobs doing dumb fluff paid more than the hardcore analog circuit design stuff.
  5. toc


    Career moves can be tough choices to make, better consult some astrologer :D
  6. rosy2


    what firm is this? in NYC? you can do better almost anywhere. that startup pay is a joke as well.
  7. He can do better almost anywhere in Silicon Valley with 5 years of experience. Also have a look at the cost of living in NYC, bad weather, taxes, etc.
  8. Your brother might like trading, but the compensation would suggest a role pretty far from trading and the front office. Then again its a foot in the door for him. But considering the cost of living in NYC, this is a joke for 5 years experience.
  9. I would be taken aback by that offer considering your brother's resume.

    I was under the impression most financial engineers started in the $150-175k range, with very nice increases thereafter (typically twice that in 3-5 years). Perhaps the fin. engin. market is getting inundated with supply (as I've been hearing lately).
  10. tradernj


    For someone with a graduate degree, the base salary of $110K is about average at big banks. The bonus does seem low. Are you sure he's only getting $30-40K? If he's a front office quant (developing models and systems for traders), that bonus should be 50-100% of his base, even in the first year. His total income should increase exponentially as he gets promoted to VP...Director...MD. Also, many quants make the transition to trading after a few years. It makes sense because while they're developing the models, they learn the trading strategies as well.
    #10     Jan 18, 2008