Thursday, July 28, 2011

In-House Counsel Salaries

once upon a time i was looking at jobs in-house at a bank. i flirted with this idea for quite a while and alsmot made the leap until i had th stark realization that if i joined a bank, even on the cost side, even as a alwyer, i could, in some sense, be considered a banker. i alomst vomited my anus. actually, what i really realized was that i have absolutely negative interst in finance, so leaving out of desperation (which unfroutnately is wat so many do) to do something even more realted to finance, wd be teeth-pullingly excruciating. but that's all neitehr here nor there. what i do want to write about, is for the many people wondering, and who are actually interested, how worth it really is it to move in-house (in a bank), which for many typical corporate monkey alwyers, is one of the most common 'exits'. i always asked friends who have since movd on and the answers were always something like 'its complicated'. okay, that's helpful, but not really. so one guy who worked in Asia gave me this comparison chart that a headhundrt had put together for people's comps at various banks in HK and Singapore, summarizing how much they made. it's below so you can take a look urself. it was in 2010.

bottomline: it depends. depends on your negotiating leverage, the market, the bank, etc. but generally speaking, if u leave when u r around a midlevel, u can get an offer that about matches or maybe beats ur current comp, but not necessarily on an apples to apples basis - ull prolly have more of ur salary be a 'performance'-based or market-linked bonus, with a bigger upside, perhaps equity comp, but overall lower incremental increases each year (much unlike law firms annual step ups). so ull basically be somewhat 'locked' in once u move if an duntil u fill someone else's shoes above VP lvel. from my own personal experience, i once looked at jobs when i was technically a 3d yr (but i hadn't even worked for 2 full years yet...funny how that works huh) and got at least one offer that beat my current comp, all in, bu about 10%, a european bank, which means the $/hr wd have been thru the roof! but anyway. just a lil FYI. (note that the amts below r in hong kong dollars cuz the firm that did this was in asia, so u need to subtract out some other benefits that wd be typical in asia for a more relevant comp in the US - like the home leave - see my post about law firm salaries)

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