Private banking is a lucrative profession if you have a strong enough client base, although relationship managers aren’t paid quite as well as their counterparts in investment banking.
In your formative years in private banking you will usually toil away in an assistant RM job – a glorified support role – which will usually pay under $100k and offer no guarantee of going on to a fully-fledged RM. Private banks are generous to their MD-level RMs, however, as losing their services would also mean losing highly profitable clients. You can earn up to $520k as an MD in Singapore, for example. Salaries for other levels in the UK and Singapore are in the tables below.
You can earn up to $520k as an MD in Singapore
Your bonus percentage in private banking depends largely on which bank you work for as well as how senior you are. As a rule, boutique private banks pay higher bonus percentages to compensate for their small product platforms. Most private banks calculate an RM’s bonus based on a percentage of their personal annual revenue minus their base pay. “If you made $3m in revenue and your percentage was 12%, for example, that leaves $360k. But your salary (say, $260k) is then deducted, giving you a $100k bonus,” explains Clarence Law, a Singapore-based business advisor in private banking.