Thinking of switching into Finance. #help

Microsoft 👩‍💼cutie
Jan 29, 2018 61 Comments

Compensation at Banks (Chase, Goldman, BOA, Citi):
Analyst - First Year: $70k - $150k
Analyst - Third Year: $120K - $350K
Associate - First Year: $150K - $350K
Associate - Third Year: $250K - $500K
Vice President: $350K - $1.5MM
Managing Director/Partner: $500K - $20MM+
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Banks are building tech products now and paying a lot more for same years of experience. Anyone have thoughts on work life balance or thoughts from their experience? Or even anecdotal stories?

I'm level 67 (at $460k) but have been interviewing to take on a Vice President role at Chase (Recruiter has given a preliminary figure of $650k, possibly more depending on the onsite). It wouldn't be an increase in responsibilities and it sounds like a lateral jump but increase in pay. Send your opinions please?

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TOP 61 Comments
  • Microsoft UMbR31
    Bank 'VP' is absolutely nothing compared to a 'Microsoft Principal'. The compensation levels seem off, far too low for analysts, 1.5 million far too high for VP (tech roles).

    Also Bank considers you a cost center, a second class citizen, poor work life balance. I would say that it is a really bad call unless you are able to double your MSFT pay. And get a designation higher than VP, I don't know what it is, but 'Bank VP' has the same amount of street cred as SDE3 Amazon.

    I'm surprised someone who's so high up in MSFT is asking this question.
    Jan 29, 2018 6
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      This seems like such a bad call (I'm sorry). I'm happy to answer any questions of yours, we can even talk if you want if you DM me, I left MSFT sometime back.
      Jan 29, 2018
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      I enquired about a similar role when I interviewed with JP Morgan and then a hedge fund with 50% higher pay than my MSFT pay. Essentially, the revenue generator is the trader track, so you will be a second class citizen who listens to his every whim and fancy without the ability to push back like a tech Corp. I've heard the job is mind numbing.
      Jan 29, 2018
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      Also I'm not holding Principal on a pedestal, but the industry associates certain credibility with that position at Google, Amazon, MSFT and the like. Bank VP has no such credential that gets you a conversation wherever you want.
      Jan 29, 2018
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      Alright ma'am I gotta go but please don't make this mistake without doing your homework. Happy to chat tomorrow if needed.
      Jan 29, 2018
    • Microsoft 👩‍💼cutie
      OP
      Thanks so much! 😘
      Jan 29, 2018
  • Microsoft Lond1
    Which role at those banks? I think the salary range is for investment bankers. My husband is an investment banker at a bank and his work life balance is non-existent. He can only take one guaranteed weekend off per quarter. Works every single other day. The same goes for other large banks for investment bankers. For other roles, it shouldn’t be that bad but I don’t think you can make that much.
    Jan 29, 2018 1
    • Microsoft 👩‍💼cutie
      OP
      VP, Product Management - Consumer side. So building apps, features and so on
      Jan 29, 2018
  • Bloomberg Laughin
    I would get third party verification (I.e. From people actually working there) because these numbers seem astronomically high and unrealistic overall
    Jan 29, 2018 2
    • Microsoft 👩‍💼cutie
      OP
      Yeah not sure about the other roles, but the offer for VP is definitely more than what I'm at now
      Jan 29, 2018
    • I'm a VP at Chase and my pay is absolutely nowhere near that. I'm at the $100k threshold. I don't know where you got those numbers, but check around.
      Feb 2, 2018
  • New / Mgmt shallot
    I’m an MD at JP Morgan Chase and can tell you your numbers are inflated. You’d be lucky if you get offered $140-160k as VP. Good luck!
    Jan 29, 2018 2
    • Microsoft 👩‍💼cutie
      OP
      Maybe different department? Or the recruiter I'm talking to is outright lying
      Jan 29, 2018
    • Chase / Product T3CH13
      Correct, I’m a VP and total comp below 120k (however just promoted). Not NY metro but still severely inflated.
      Jan 30, 2018
  • Microsoft / Other
    Excel merc

    Microsoft Other

    BIO
    Spreadsheet jockey
    Excel mercmore
    VP = group manager 64/65 FYI. Far below your current level.

    I work in finance and deal with bankers all the time. There are plenty of VPs with 5 years of experience.

    If they are quoting you 650k then I would guess that a lot of that is non guaranteed bonus because that's far higher than I've ever heard a vp getting paid. VP salary probably tops out near 150k. Total comp maybe 250 but that's really pushing it.

    And that's for investment banking which Chase is not. So I'd say these numbers are bs.
    Jan 29, 2018 4
    • New / Other
      skreeeam

      New Other

      BIO
      Investment Banking
      skreeeammore
      Total comp for VP at $250K? Associates make more than that in their 1st or 2nd year. A first year VP can expect $400K easy.
      Jan 31, 2018
    • New / Other
      skreeeam

      New Other

      BIO
      Investment Banking
      skreeeammore
      ^in IB. Can't speak for other departments
      Jan 31, 2018
    • Microsoft / Other
      Excel merc

      Microsoft Other

      BIO
      Spreadsheet jockey
      Excel mercmore
      I mean investment banking in the broad sense. Like jpm is an investment bank but Chase is commercial.
      My numbers are based on convos Ive had with my coverage over the years and I assume much closer to what the mean is for the Bank. I'd assume developers are going to be paid much closer to that mean than actual investment bankers.
      Feb 2, 2018
    • Amazon didbdisn
      How about Executive Director? Comparing with Microsoft level?
      Mar 15
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

  • Amazon gotaga
    I worked in investment bank tech before. No work life balance for VP. Not worth it imo unless you plan to retire soon and this is just to bump the savings
    Jan 29, 2018 3
    • Microsoft 👩‍💼cutie
      OP
      I would think Chase is a little different?
      Jan 29, 2018
    • Amazon gotaga
      Why. It's the same except the code is shitter and the infrastructure older
      Jan 29, 2018
    • This. THIS AND SPOT ON THIS.
      Jan 31, 2018
  • Microsoft / Sales rainsucks
    Haha. The person who posted this nonsense is not a level 67 and has absolutely no idea what they are talking about. She pulled salaries across boutiques and bulge bracket banks for investment bankers and the broad finance community.

    Anyone can be a VP in IB if you get in after business school and out in 3 years, you won’t make the crazy numbers above though. Finance at Microsoft is data analytics since you only see revenue, cogs, op ex, etc. the only people within Microsoft who can make the jump to the street are the folks in Corp Dev or treasury, the product finance folks can’t do that! Also, VPs at banks still work 60-70 hours a week.

    Also, Chase is the commercial bank of JPM... the IB is JP Morgan. No way in hell the commercial / business bank will pay you that kind of money.
    Jan 29, 2018 2
    • Microsoft / Other
      Excel merc

      Microsoft Other

      BIO
      Spreadsheet jockey
      Excel mercmore
      ^truth
      Jan 29, 2018
    • New / Other
      skreeeam

      New Other

      BIO
      Investment Banking
      skreeeammore
      Yep. Work in banking and this post is a joke.
      Jan 31, 2018
  • CareerBuilder hdTI13
    Have 2 friends at banks in NYC and from what I've heard it's a mixed bag along the lines of what everybody else is saying: more money, mediocre work culture. But they do work on very hard problems and if you're into finance, interesting ones. How much do you care about fuzzy things like "culture?"
    Jan 29, 2018 2
    • Microsoft 👩‍💼cutie
      OP
      I care deeply about culture, which is why this is a struggle
      Jan 29, 2018
    • CareerBuilder hdTI13
      Save that extra $200k and within 5 years you can do your own thing. Starting a microSaaS business that will earn you $100-150k per year is pretty easy. Between that and your annual dividend checks you'll be set for life. An extra 7 figures brings flexibility working for FANG can't come close to matching.
      Jan 29, 2018
  • Wells Fargo kcn38
    Those numbers seem really high to me.
    Jan 29, 2018 2
    • Microsoft 👩‍💼cutie
      OP
      Well the VP pay is definitely higher than what I'm at now
      Jan 29, 2018
    • Wells Fargo kcn38
      Are you interviewing on the investment side? That's the only way I could see these numbers as being realistic. Officer titles are not that uncommon. I can't speak for Chase, but the two big banks I've worked for generally like to keep you well below max market reference for your level.
      Jan 29, 2018
  • Microsoft .🌝.
    VP in IB equals to a Senior tier...
    Jan 29, 2018 2
    • Microsoft 👩‍💼cutie
      OP
      Not in terms of pay though right? You just mean prestige?
      Jan 29, 2018
    • Deutsche Bank LPeJ52
      In terms of pay too. Actually most tech VPs get lesser TC than SSE in FANG. That's why I told you to go for a Director position - you are effectively getting a demotion - and forget the 100% bonus
      Feb 3, 2018
  • Deutsche Bank LPeJ52
    Your profile must be very very strong for them to give out these figures - if they are indeed giving out these figures I believe you should have asked for a Director position as these are definitely Director level salaries .
    Secondly you are going from 460K to 387 + (0-100%) bonus. Does not seem to be a good deal to me. Bank bonuses are VERY erratic - unless results are out of the world do not expect to get a significant bonus - recruiters get paid to inflate numbers
    Feb 2, 2018 1
    • Finance is desperate right now. They cant pull the talent from Facebook, Google, Netflix, etc. these numbers dont surprise me one bit.
      Feb 2, 2018
  • Microsoft tDrK62
    I know a credit Susie VP who joined Microsoft as lvl 62 in 2013. I am guessing the salaries match up.
    Jan 29, 2018 1
  • Lyft sUPA43
    This will be the end of your career. Any recruiters here? Have you ever hired from a bank?
    For 650k this may be worth but the numbers sound bogus. I just searched LinkedIn, there are *thousands* of VPs in the three banks I searched. they can't get this much.
    Jan 29, 2018 0
  • Microsoft qm3830
    Alternative might be high frequency trading companies. I pretty much doubled my pay (I wasn’t at your level of seniority before leaving MSFT), coding is fun, and hours are longer than MSFT, but no weekends.
    Jan 29, 2018 3
    • Microsoft 👩‍💼cutie
      OP
      Any idea about the PM or Design teams? How were their work life?
      Jan 29, 2018
    • Microsoft qm3830
      HFT doesnt really hire PM or designer as far as my experience goes. My company in fact fired all PMs and we dont have a singe designer.
      Jan 29, 2018
    • Google tehachapi
      Which HFT?
      Jan 29, 2018
  • Amazon FreeHat
    I worked at a bank for a year and a half, but nowhere near the VP level. Titles are definitely inflated relative to tech, but VP is still a very high position in my old company.

    It sounds like your question is really: what would I be giving up and is the extra money worth it? It’s true that engineering is more “bolt on” instead of integrated at the core, even though they’ll go to great lengths to convince you otherwise.

    It’s also true that the talent level is much lower and the culture won’t be what you’re used to probably. I found most of my time was spent trying to convince my peers and bosses that basic SWE principles were valuable, like functions are better than copy/pasting the same logic with different variable names 10s of times. This may be worse because I was in the data science org and was dealing with legacy statisticians. After a year of fighting, I still lost. So recognize that you might be hired because you’re expected to bring culture change, which is a very different job than performing or setting the vision for willing participants. I found the constant battle over the basics to be exhausting and not mentally engaging.

    Also, the domain was super boring to me. The tech challenges were fine, but you’ll find yourself in a lot of meetings where people are talking about interest rates or some such boring shit. I had low tolerance for this, but YMMV.

    On the other hand, that’s a big pile of cash. Might be worth trying it for a year.
    Jan 29, 2018 2
    • Microsoft 👩‍💼cutie
      OP
      Can you talk more about the culture? Is everyone still in suits?
      Jan 29, 2018
    • Amazon FreeHat
      I think it depends. Where I was working, they really wanted to pretend to be like a tech company, so they dressed the part and did things that looked techy. But if you’re at an investment bank in New York City, it might be a totally different ballgame. You’re willing to give away so few details that you’re not going to get very precise data. Ask someone that works in the same business unit.
      Jan 29, 2018
  • Deutsche Bank LPeJ52
    OP either you have lost your mind or are a troll ! There is no way a Product management VP at a bank makes 650K. 300 would be pretty high and an outlier too
    Jan 29, 2018 1
    • Chase / IT khichkhich
      Correct. I am a VP at chase, and the range maxes out at 170.
      Mar 19
  • Amazon Cybmndy
    What kind of work are you going to be doing as VP there? As I know, going to VP at investment banking is not same as being VP at Microsoft or any other tech company.
    Jan 29, 2018 1
    • Microsoft 👩‍💼cutie
      OP
      Yes, I know that. But the pay would definitely be higher than what I'm at now. I would be doing the same thing I'm doing now. I'm currently a m2, overseeing a product team. Sorry for the lack of details, I want to stay anonymous.

      I guess I'm looking for reasons to go to the finance industry or stay in tech? Thanks in advance
      Jan 29, 2018
  • New / Mgmt
    RealValues

    New Mgmt

    PRE
    Citibank
    RealValuesmore
    It’s probably a moot point by now but technology is still considered an operational expense and not a key revenue driver at banks, success and promotion is weighted towards your proximity and relationship to revenue centres rather than the key competencies of your engineering / technical role. It’s also worth noting that the strangulation through regulation will continue to focus key resources on updating legacy platforms to be compliant for the next few years, not exactly riveting work for the brightest and best, and usually there is no escape regardless of which projects are initially promised.
    Feb 12, 2018 0
  • God i hope I'm not too late to this. Don't do Finance. Especially a larger bank. You will not work with cutting edge technology, that is such a farce.

    Everything at banks is a paid for product that must be able to have someone to blame to in case something goes wrong. It is cut throat. The numbers you posted are bullshit, and it ESPECIALLY depends on what organization you're in within the bank.

    Banks are also largely segmented. You have to go to Bobby A. to scratch your left nut, and Bobby B. to adjust the right. Doesn't matter if both nuts are a part of the same sack. Its done for "compliance and security" reasons.

    Look at your prospective colleagues prior to joining and see how long they've been there. Most are 15-20 years. It isn't because its a great place to work, it's because it takes 4-5 years to push a product into production, and by the time you've done it, you've lost all your tech skills because they have you filling out excel spreadsheets and fill in the blank word documents all day long.
    Jan 31, 2018 0