Lowest acceptable BS salary?

If you’re working in SS ER for about a year, with CFA, what would be the lowest base salary you’d take for a BS job, U.S. Major financial city and non. Also, feel free to share any thoughts on typical bonus structures and what to look out for, thanks.

It depends on what you mean by “buy side”, and also your personal situation. If your background is better, you would need more money.

Research associate for a hedge fund, small AUM. I have several years of industry specific experience, a little over 1 yr SS ER. My background is different, but not great, tbh. The way I’d sell it is, “I’ve made a lot of progress over the last few years toward my goal, fast learner and hard worker (after providing example), would love an opportunity” more than “I have a really strong pedigree and am an industry expert.” There’s more to it of course but if I go with that pitch, with a smaller firm, I’ll likely get lowballed.

If the situation is right, I would take an offer on the lower-side… the alternative is to get an MBA or stay in SS ER. In my situation, getting paid a little less and gaining work experience is much better than taking 2 years off work and paying to go to school (not knocking the option, just won’t work for me with my personal situation and obligations. If I was younger, that’d be my choice).

I’m trying to figure out where the lower end of the range is and to see if it’s close to what I have in mind.

120 base 100 percent bonus

Probably major city right?

I found this interesting 2016 HF comp survey for anyone who is interested.


This is really more a function of your background than anything else. The hiring manager should be able to tell from your resume if you are a $75k or $200k person. Remember - you are the thing that is being bought.

Very insightful. I think this helps confirm a couple of items: 1) salaries/bonuses on the BS are fairly solid; and 2) most do not make the very high numbers often quoted on this website and others.

I actually had a different opinion on the survey, but people tell me I’m out of touch so…

i will chime in since i have always worked for HFs in nyc. Depends on how small of an AUM and why - is the fund new and growing or has it always been small? Also, to me small fund is comprised of ~5 people with ~200mm AUM. I have only worked at funds with under a billion but all were growing and relatively new.

I don’t know the lowest acceptable salary but the range would be 120k-150k base given all the funds i have worked at tend to hire from IB. So X% increase for someone who worked at IB for 2-4 years.

Cash bonus is really dependent on performance, bonus pool (how generous is the president), # of people, and AUM. If you were going in as a senior analyst your percentage of bonus of the bonus pool will be given to you and negotiable. Of course, the calculation of the bonus pool itself is vaguely provided as well. For you, they will give you a base and will not say what the bonus would be.

at hedge funds, bonus can be 5,6,7 times multiple of your base and don’t expect your base to go up every year. They can remain stale for few years unless the fund receives new cap.

Thank you for all those who shared their thoughts, especially infinitybenzo. Huge help! Always impressed with ya’ll guys level of expertise and knowledge, very grateful.