Bank of America Plans to Boost Salaries for Its Junior Investment Bankers

Bank of America Corp. will give its junior investment bankers a pay increase next month in the latest move by a Wall Street bank to address pressures created by intense workloads as the pandemic drags on.

“Given our ongoing remote work environment -- coupled with the recent pace of market activity as well as client requests and transactions -- your contributions and commitment have become more important than ever to the continuous success of our deal teams and client relationships,” the executive committee of Bank of America’s global corporate and investment banking unit wrote in a memo to employees Thursday. “Your efforts and well-being are critical to our success.”

John Yiannacopoulos, a spokesman for the bank, confirmed the contents of the memo. While it didn’t specify the amount of pay increases for analysts, associates and vice presidents, the bumps will be meaningful, Yiannacopoulos said. Junior bankers number in the thousands worldwide.

Analysts will get a $10,000 boost, while associates and VPs can expect an additional $25,000, with comparable increases in local currencies for international staff, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be identified discussing private information. At bulge bracket firms, the standard base salary for a first-year analyst is about $85,000, which climbs to about $250,000 for vice presidents, according to estimates from Wall Street Prep, which provides courses and training for some of the biggest investment banks. Bonuses can boost compensation by a significant amount, sometimes matching or exceeding base pay in a good year.

The work-till-you-drop culture of global finance has come to the fore in new and surprising ways as Covid-19 has emptied office towers in New York, London and beyond. A recent internal presentation by junior analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on their workload set Wall Street abuzz when the document found its way onto the internet. Several major banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman, have promised to lighten the load, but many in the industry wonder how long that will last once people return to offices.

The death of Bank of America intern Moritz Erhardt in 2013 sparked a similar period of soul-searching for the financial industry.

The company’s senior managers will also start hosting small group check-in events capped at 25 junior bankers to “receive your input on how to continue to make things easier and more efficient, provide targeted resources and support, ensure your health and wellness, and stay connected,” according to the memo. It’s also planning talks by business heads and outside experts, including an upcoming fireside chat with a speaker from Thrive Global who’ll discuss stress management and resiliency.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm has launched initiatives in the past decade to help junior bankers learn and engage with clients, give them access to senior leaders, increase productivity and get resources for physical and emotional wellness. More broadly, the lender has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on expanded benefits during the pandemic, largely geared toward working parents and safety measures in its offices.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.