UBS hikes junior bankers' pay to US$100,000, following Wall Street rivals

The salary raises for United States employees at the Zurich-based bank will take effect on Aug 1, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - UBS Group is lifting salaries for junior bankers, associates and directors in the United States, making it the latest financial firm to boost pay in an effort to retain younger employees amid increased competition from buy-side and tech firms and crushing workloads from a surge in deals.

First-year analysts will now earn at least US$100,000 (S$137,000) a year, matching pay at Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Barclays and JPMorgan Chase, while their second-year counterparts will make US$105,000 and third-year analysts will bring in US$110,000, according to a person with knowledge of the increase.

The raises for US employees at the Zurich-based bank will take effect on Aug 1, the source said, asking not to be identified because the information is not public.

Associates will earn US$175,000 to US$225,000 and directors at least US$275,000 after the raises, the source said.

UBS joins the slew of financial firms, which includes PJ Solomon and Guggenheim Partners, that have lifted base salaries for first-year bankers to US$100,000 in a bid to stem defections of younger staff inundated by work.

Ms Mary Erdoes, chief executive of JPMorgan's asset and wealth management business, defended such intense workloads, saying they were necessary to adequately train analysts starting out on Wall Street.

"If you think 10,000 hours is about what you need to master any subject, if someone comes in and has a regular, eight-hour-a-day job, five days a week, it's gonna take about five years to have a base-level mastery," she said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

"On Wall Street, it's more like 12 hours a day, six days a week. That cuts you down to about two and a half years before you become mastered in something."

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