Corporate finance salaries spiralling higher

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Markets may be sliding but for now at least, M&A and corporate finance salaries could still be rising.

Recruiter Robert Walters says corporate finance salaries are up 40% year on year, with senior positions in the sector reputedly now commanding basic pay of 200k. And the outlook looks promising - Robert Walters says one US bank is looking to double its corporate finance headcount in London this year.

The company also says most corporate finance recruitment has been at the senior end of the market, at managing director level, with strong demand for people who can originate business or bring clients with them.

But 200k salaries are still, by and large, the exception rather than the rule, cautions Andrew Lynch, a consultant at Akamai Financial Markets. Lynch also questions whether salaries have risen quite as dramatically as Robert Walters claims.

"Some of the really top performers may have gone up something like 40%, but that's not representative of the market as a whole," he says.

Other claims from Robert Walters:

· 20% more people are unhappy with their bonuses this year than last year.

· High salaries are luring finance directors to Asia (a finance director earning 250k in London can earn 300k to 500k in the Far East).

· Taxes are troubling - 30% more people this year than last year said high taxes were a concern.

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