Consultancies and investment banks might look the same at graduate recruitment fairs, but the long-term pay prospects are better at the banks, salary data firm Emolument.com said yesterday.
The average new recruit at a consultancy will receive £49,000, just under the £54,000 that a new M&A banker will be paid. But top consultancies in fact pay far more than the big investment banks – at first. However, for those with five to 10 years’ experience, the gap will widen enormously – consultants will typically earn £94,000, versus salaries and bonuses amounting to £212,000 at investment banks.
“What can be misleading in representing earning potential in consultancy vs banking is the fact that some top end consultancy firms pay their junior employees more than banks: £82,000 in annual income for McKinsey juniors versus £65,000 at large City banks,” said Emolument. “Not only are graduates attempting to understand the difference between banking and consultancy distracted by very similar skill requirements, corporate jargon, and corporate culture, but the pay packages are also neck-and-neck, heightening confusion. Most grads focus on a base salary, with little visibility on the bonus element…later on.”