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REVEALED: How much investment bankers get paid as they rise the ranks at firms like Moelis and Evercore, from analyst up to VP

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  • Investment banks pay top dollar for talent, with analysts’ base salaries approaching or exceeding $100,000.
  • The median salary for Harvard Business School graduates heading into the industry was $150,000 last year. 
  • Business Insider analyzed the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s 2020 disclosure data for permanent and temporary foreign workers to shed light on what boutique banks paid employees at different seniority levels. 
  • Here’s a look at base pay at firms like Moelis, Lazard, and Evercore. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Banking is one of the most lucrative – and most competitive – industries for talent. 

Goldman Sachs, for instance, only hires about 0.5% of the applicants for midlevel jobs each year, making the bank nearly 10 times as selective as Harvard. The competition is fierce at boutique investment banks, too, with a top-notch talent pool vying for a small number of spots. 

About 3% of Harvard Business School’s class of 2019 went into investment banking, per the most recent numbers disclosed by the school. Those HBS grads made a median base salary of $150,000, and inked a median signing bonus of $57,500. (People typically join firms at the level of investment-banking associate after graduating business school.) 

See more: Here’s exactly what it takes to get a job as a banker at Goldman Sachs in 2020, according to Wall Street recruiters, current and former employees, and the head of HR

Many boutique banks hire dozens of foreign workers for their US offices. When US companies file paperwork for visas on behalf of current or prospective foreign workers, they’re required to say how much base compensation the workers are offered. And every year, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification discloses this salary data in an enormous dataset.

Business Insider analyzed the agency’s second-quarter 2020 disclosure data for permanent and temporary foreign workers to shed light on what the banks paid employees at different rungs on the ladder. The jobs were based around the country and typically include ranges for each role, though they do not reflect bonuses, which can make up a substantial chunk of bankers’ pay. 

One of the firms, Evercore, broke out the salaries’ job titles into sub-categories. For example: associate 1, associate 2, associate 3, associate 4. The others did not disclose this information. In general, investment-banking salaries can increase as you go from level to level, but also as you progress from year to year at a given level — from first-year to second-year analyst, for example. 

According to US Department of Labor documentation, the offered wages in the disclosure data are the minimum amounts companies provided in foreign labor certification applications for specific workers. The wages are derived from the average compensation that similar employees in each given job, industry, and with comparable qualifications are paid, which is known as the “prevailing wage.” Prevailing wage sets a floor for their salary, but salaries are often much higher than the prevailing wage.

Representatives for the banks either did not respond to or declined requests for comment.

See more: After flashy hires and a big buildout, Perella Weinberg’s media and telecom team has been gutted. We tracked the exodus — and what it says about the landscape for blockbuster M&A deals.


The firm has about 900 people in its investment banking division. 

  • Associate: $97,000-$200,000
  • Senior associate: $110,000-$150,000
  • Vice president: $130,000-$300,000
  • Senior vice president: $169,500-$275,000

See more: Inside Jefferies’ all-virtual summer internship: 5 weeks of charity work, and guest appearances from the CEOs of Blackstone and Zoom


About 640 of Moelis’ 900 global employees are investment bankers. 

  • Associate: $150,000-$200,000
  • Vice president: $250,000


The company, which also has a sizable asset management division, has about 3,000 employees. 

  • Analyst: $85,000-$95,000
  • Associate: $100,000-$150,000

Evercore Partners

Evercore had about 1,900 employees at the end of 2019. 

  • Analyst 1: $73,424-$95,000
  • Analyst 2: $73,424-$100,000
  • Senior analyst: $76,742-$105,000
  • Associate 1: $137,821-$160,000 for associates without sector designation. By sector: 
    • Restructuring: $137,821-$160,000
    • Technology: $156,978-$160,000
  • Associate 2: $137,821.00-$160,000
  • Associate 3: $170,019-$180,000
  • Associate 4: $170,019-$196,000
  • Vice president: $203,221-$250,000

Houlihan Lokey

The Los Angeles-based firm has nearly 1,500 employees.

Houlihan listed one job, associate, which paid $130,000 – $150,000. 

Read more: 

SEE ALSO: How to use cold emails to land a gig working on Wall Street, according to a JPMorgan banking analyst turned VC who did it herself

READ MORE: Wall Street is starting to return to the office — but not everyone is heading back. Here’s which finance jobs are the most likely to remain virtual.

SEE ALSO: Boutique banks like Evercore and Moelis are saving tens of millions in travel and entertainment costs while dealmakers are grounded. Here’s what that newfound efficiency could mean for the future of business travel.

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