Morgan Stanley headquarters stands in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg)

Morgan Stanley Is Said to Boost Junior Banker Pay Up to 25%

(Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley plans to raise some salaries and offer quicker promotions as part of its years-long push to improve conditions for junior bankers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Base salaries for most associates in investment banking and capital markets will rise by 20 percent to 25 percent, the people said, asking not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly about the moves. It’s the first big raise for associates in almost four years, and may differ by region, the people said. Analysts will also be promoted to associate in two years rather than three, according to a memo sent to staff.

Morgan Stanley is among Wall Street firms that are boosting pay and perks to try to retain young talent. 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. New York-based Morgan Stanley, which is top-ranked in advising on mergers this year, has been boosting salaries since the financial crisis.

“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.”

Associates’ base salaries will be raised on Aug. 1, the memo shows. 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.

Associates at major investment banks typically receive base salaries of $100,000 to $150,000, according to data from recruitment firm Options Group Inc.

(A previous version of this story corrected the length of the sabbatical in the fifth paragraph.)

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