Morgan Stanley Hikes Junior Banker Pay By 25%, Accelerates Promotions To Associate

With the market having gone nowhere in the first 4 months of 2018, the year is shaping up as a wash for most Wall Street professionals, but not for associates at the bank that recently overtook Goldman Sachs in total revenue. According to Bloomberg, Morgan Stanley will raise junior banker salaries and offer quicker promotions as part of its push to “improve working conditions.”

As part of the compensation boost, base salaries for most associates in investment banking and capital markets will rise by 20 percent to 25 percent, the first big raise for associates in almost four years. Indicatively, associates at major investment banks typically receive base salaries of $100,000 to $150,000, according to Options Group, a number that hasn’t changed much the decade. Bloomberg adds that according to a memo sent to staff, associates’ salaries will be raised on Aug. 1.

Meanwhile, in a major overhaul to the bank’s “tenure track”, Morgan Stanley analysts will be delighted to learn that they will be promoted to associate after just two years instead of three, according to the memo.

“The ability to recruit, develop and retain top talent by offering attractive career opportunities is a key priority,” according to the memo. “We will continue to maintain the finite nature of the program by assisting those who have decided to pursue other careers at the end.”

In its attempt to make the ibanking lifestyle more appropriate for the current wave of ubiquitous snowflakedom, the bank is also keeping a tradition of two mandatory one-week vacations annually and limiting staffing on Fridays and weekends. Newly promoted vice presidents also get a four-week sabbatical to rest before they rise in their careers.

Unlike many of its peers which are cutting back on headcount and tent to part ways with junior staffers under “adverse” conditions, Morgan Stanley is among Wall Street firms that have been boosting pay and perks to try to retain young talent.

Notably, the bank is also seeking to maintain good relationships with bankers who defect early in their careers for buy-side roles in private equity or hedge funds, or at corporations, with the thinking that the former employees will become clients, the people said.

Morgan Stanley, which has been boosting salaries since the financial crisis, currently employs a total of 57,633 bankers, nearly double the 37,300 employed by its biggest competitor, Goldman Sachs.

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