Salaries in the City soar 25%

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The Independent Online
The City's high flyers are being lured to new employers by promises of basic salary increases of around 25 per cent and for the first time in 10 years there is demand for staff in all areas of financial services, according to a leading firm of City headhunters.

Jonathan Wren's October survey of pay scales in the City shows that the average age of chief dealers in the treasury markets is 32 and their average salary is pounds 106,897.

That is the most basic compensation package and does not include the much-coveted bonuses, which can double pay deals.

NatWest, which this week acquired the investment boutique Hambro Magan, is thought to have tied 120 senior staff in the combined corporate finance arm with golden handcuffs worth pounds 1m apiece.

Bifu, the finance union, yesterday attacked the Hambro Magan golden handcuffs. "These payouts are an insult to the 20,000 staff that NatWest Bank has already made redundant in their high street operation - and the thousands more they plan to get rid of over the next few years," Ed Sweeney, general secretary of Bifu said.

Separately, it has emerged that Bill Harrison was paid pounds 1.5m cash last month when he left Robert Fleming to become chief executive of BZW. He is also being paid an annual salary of pounds 300,000, and is guaranteed a pounds 1.25m bonus for 1996 and pounds 900,000 in 1997.

Mr Harrison, 48, will also receive pounds 600,000 of Barclays shares and a contribution to his pension of pounds 330,000, increasing in line with salary.

So far, 1996 has been an excellent year for the City. Stock markets have rallied and a bumper crop of mergers and acquisitions has generated much activity among the corporate financiers who arrange the deals.

And more top-ranking professionals are prepared to leave their jobs in the middle of the financial year for guaranteed bonuses, designed to compensate them for any pay-out they would have received from their previous employer. These guarantees usually last for the first year and only in exceptional circumstances extend beyond that.

"Generally speaking, when they move they get a rise of 15 to 25 per cent, which is why you are seeing quite a lot of people moving," said Roger Steare, chief executive of Jonathan Wren. In contrast, staff who stay with their employers are likely to see pay rises of 3 to 5 per cent.

"Demand is present right across the board. That's the first time we've seen that since Big Bang," Mr Steare said.

The Jonathan Wren survey shows that a chief treasury dealer with 10 years' experience is likely to be earning a basic salary of pounds 165,436.

Foreign exchange dealers with one year's experience, aged around 24, earn an average salary of pounds 50,007. With 10 years' experience, the dealer will be earning pounds 104,727.

Options dealers in foreign exchange earn pounds 53,045 with one year's experience but close to pounds 100,000 after 10 years in the markets.

In capital markets, a syndicate official can expect to earn pounds 60,778 with five years' experience. A gilts trader with one year's experience, aged 31, is earning pounds 53,675. A researcher, average age 26 with one year's experience, earns pounds 31,890.

Equities traders, with one year's experience, are earning pounds 43,194, while sales staff are earning pounds 36,903.