Factual Local Bank Salaries - DBS , UOB , OCBC (A commoner climbing up the ranks) - Page 36 - Salary.sg Forums
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Factual Local Bank Salaries - DBS , UOB , OCBC (A commoner climbing up the ranks)

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  #351 (permalink)  
Old 19-04-2021, 10:35 PM
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hi all. sharing my personal UOB experience here, as i see some potential misinformation from other posts. Below is not front office related.

Background:
Have left UOB for 3-4 years now. Initially, i Joined UOB as AVP after 4 years work experience elsewhere after graduation. middle office (2nd line function) role supporting business. Currently in foreign bank.

Quick Summary;
1. Each bank have vastly different rank scales and band.

2. Promotion and increment for those on associate/MA programmes are far FAR BETTER. FYI, these are top 5 percentiles of the bank performers usually.

3. UOB Rank Scale: SO > AM > Manager > AVP > VP1 > VP2 > FVP > SVP > Exec Director > MD (1-3)

4. Promotion and increment differs depending on your department.

Detailed explanation:
1. Each bank have vastly different rank scales and band. e.g. UOB VP 1, is an associate level in JP Morgan (i interviewed at JPM, didnít accept). Yes the difference is huge, but thatís because JPM rank structure is leaner (Analyst > Associate > VP and so on) and their salaries are generally higher (comparing equal experience in years). Always focus on salary progression, title will follow itself.

2. Promotion and increment for those on associate/MA programmes are far FAR BETTER. BUT, these are not your average joes. in my department, we only had less than 3% of staff as MA. Every two years they get promoted, but usually slows down once u hit a certain rank. So please donít go compare yourself with them unless you are one, that is life.

3. UOB Rank Scale (based on my time there): Senior Officer > Asst. Manager > Manager > AVP > VP1 > VP2 > FVP > SVP > Exec Director > MD (1-3). i heard stock allocations start at ED level onwards. hence this is where a lot of senior folks start to stay.

4. Promotion and increment differs depending on your department and direct boss and Departmnt boss visibility. itís worse in Operations versus Risk/Compliance. I know an Operations uncle (40+yo) that was an AVP. Again, that is life. Ops is a cost center, do more with less. Some uncles in my department are stuck at SVP level.

5. Bonus is 3-4.5 months. increment with no promotion for me was 2-3%. promotion increment can range 11-15%.

overall, UOB was one of my happiest times in life (for my department). pay wasnít the best in market, but life was good. people were nice and family like. but of course, there are horror stories too of horrid bosses in some teams but every bank has this.

in foreign banks, they pay u high but ur stress level and workload is way way higher. promotion is not easy too. in fact, u actually fight for ur survival in foreign banks. my ex foreign bank team colleagues were fully replaced one by one due to change in department head. in local banks, u can take a leisure stroll and work for life as long as u donít commit something bad/nasty at work.

to all out there. if youíve read this far, hope this helped somehow. stick ur head down, work smart. financial industry is already better than others generally. so be appreciative of what we have.

if youíre job hunting for salary, make sure the banks culture/progression matches what you want (eg work life balance or increment) or who you are (outspoken vs submissive nature).

all the best!

Thanks for sharing. Do you mind sharing more about the pay range at each level in UOB? and the extent of the difference in pay for foreign banks vis-a-vis local banks?

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  #352 (permalink)  
Old 19-04-2021, 10:41 PM
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GS Ops here. Started about 5-6 years back at slightly more than 4k. Promote to associate after 2 years if you're good, 3 if you're average.

Salary increments at the junior levels are a steep bellcurve. Top performers as an analyst get 10-20+ % increments (Sounds huge, but it's only about 1k+ since your base is low). Average performers can get between 0-10%. (0% works; they could possibly increase your base, but reduce your bonus vis-a-vis the previous year such that net net, you are flat). Poor performers get negative %. There's a saying, that receiving a negative % is a warning that you may be culled during the next firing season.

Increments tend to taper off at the associate/VP level from both an absolute and % level. Top performers can still expect low double digit or high single increments all the way till VP. Average performers; naturally below that. That means by the time most people hit VP in Ops, salaries are usually high 8s to slightly below 10.

Promotion to VP in Ops is really varied. The best take 5 years of experience if you started with the firm (graduate hire to VP). Most take 6,7 years at least. Compensation isn't really tied to rank (there is no big pay bump when you move ranks), but more to performance. Therefore you can get associates who earn more than VPs, especially if the former has more years of experience under their belt.

Disclaimer, promotions and salary structures vary, even within what you call BO or MO divisions. Some divisions take longer/faster. Some have steeper/flatter bellcurves

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  #353 (permalink)  
Old 20-04-2021, 01:06 PM
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GS Ops here. Started about 5-6 years back at slightly more than 4k. Promote to associate after 2 years if you're good, 3 if you're average.

Salary increments at the junior levels are a steep bellcurve. Top performers as an analyst get 10-20+ % increments (Sounds huge, but it's only about 1k+ since your base is low). Average performers can get between 0-10%. (0% works; they could possibly increase your base, but reduce your bonus vis-a-vis the previous year such that net net, you are flat). Poor performers get negative %. There's a saying, that receiving a negative % is a warning that you may be culled during the next firing season.

Increments tend to taper off at the associate/VP level from both an absolute and % level. Top performers can still expect low double digit or high single increments all the way till VP. Average performers; naturally below that. That means by the time most people hit VP in Ops, salaries are usually high 8s to slightly below 10.

Promotion to VP in Ops is really varied. The best take 5 years of experience if you started with the firm (graduate hire to VP). Most take 6,7 years at least. Compensation isn't really tied to rank (there is no big pay bump when you move ranks), but more to performance. Therefore you can get associates who earn more than VPs, especially if the former has more years of experience under their belt.

Disclaimer, promotions and salary structures vary, even within what you call BO or MO divisions. Some divisions take longer/faster. Some have steeper/flatter bellcurves
Thanks for the info. May I know the bonus for Associate/VP level?

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  #354 (permalink)  
Old 20-04-2021, 05:33 PM
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Hi guys! Don't give up! My starting salary was quite low too! I have been in a back office role in one of the local banks here since graduation and the progression has been great.

2013 to 2015 - Graduate Associate 3.8k to 4.4k
2015 to 2016 - Associate 4.7k to 5.0k
2016 to 2018 - Senior Associate 6.2k to 7.5k
2018 to 2020 - AVP 8.5k to 10.3k
2021 - VP 13.5k (current)
That's impressive! I'm from the same bank (IBG1) and I agree that the MA grads in my dept follow roughly the same trajectory. However, I note that the pay ranges above for BO are quite similar to that for the FO/ IBG teams - is the pay range above only applicable to MA grads because I understand that for the non-MAs, the MO/BO pay ranges are lower than FO. Can anyone or the OP elaborate or care to share more? Thanks!
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  #355 (permalink)  
Old 20-04-2021, 08:24 PM
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Thanks for the info. May I know the bonus for Associate/VP level?
The GS poster here. Throughout my analyst-associate time, bonus was around 15-18k flat for top performees, regardless of base. Naturally less for average and poor performers. A junior VP will definitely be more, but prob not by much. About 15k to 25k is a good estimate.
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  #356 (permalink)  
Old 20-04-2021, 08:29 PM
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The GS poster here. Throughout my analyst-associate time, bonus was around 15-18k flat for top performees, regardless of base. Naturally less for average and poor performers. A junior VP will definitely be more, but prob not by much. About 15k to 25k is a good estimate.
What are the working hours like and would you say BO/MO in GS is better vis-a-via other BBs overall (in terms of salary, progression/growth and WLB)?
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  #357 (permalink)  
Old 20-04-2021, 09:13 PM
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GS Ops here. Started about 5-6 years back at slightly more than 4k. Promote to associate after 2 years if you're good, 3 if you're average.

Salary increments at the junior levels are a steep bellcurve. Top performers as an analyst get 10-20+ % increments (Sounds huge, but it's only about 1k+ since your base is low). Average performers can get between 0-10%. (0% works; they could possibly increase your base, but reduce your bonus vis-a-vis the previous year such that net net, you are flat). Poor performers get negative %. There's a saying, that receiving a negative % is a warning that you may be culled during the next firing season.

Increments tend to taper off at the associate/VP level from both an absolute and % level. Top performers can still expect low double digit or high single increments all the way till VP. Average performers; naturally below that. That means by the time most people hit VP in Ops, salaries are usually high 8s to slightly below 10.

Promotion to VP in Ops is really varied. The best take 5 years of experience if you started with the firm (graduate hire to VP). Most take 6,7 years at least. Compensation isn't really tied to rank (there is no big pay bump when you move ranks), but more to performance. Therefore you can get associates who earn more than VPs, especially if the former has more years of experience under their belt.

Disclaimer, promotions and salary structures vary, even within what you call BO or MO divisions. Some divisions take longer/faster. Some have steeper/flatter bellcurves
Just curious - are you up for promotion soon/ have been promoted to VP? Would there be a cap/ ceiling on the growth and pay trajectory? What would roughly be the pay then? Is it also fair to assume that in Ops, it's harder to be promoted at ranks beyond VP and above as it depends on whether your boss leaves (non-revenue generating and hence no headcount) and it follows a strict pyramid structure?
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  #358 (permalink)  
Old 20-04-2021, 09:20 PM
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What are the working hours like and would you say BO/MO in GS is better vis-a-via other BBs overall (in terms of salary, progression/growth and WLB)?
At putting myself at risk of overgeneralizing, I can attempt to answer this:

Salary: You will find many people who move between BBs (GS, JPM, MS). General consensus I've heard is GS pays best for support functions; see WLB for reason.

WLB: Probably the poorest amongst the 3 (again, from first hand experience and word of mouth from people who've been at both). You've probably heard/seen the 100 hour week survey from GS investment bankers. Although support functions don't work as long, the mindset/culture is the same. Management constantly expects you to put out your best. Someone who only does daily work (without taking on extra stuff, regardless of whether you volunteered or it coming your way), will probably see a much slower progression than someone who constantly pushes to do more. Ops people generally work 11-12 hours on average, based on what I see. Although not asked to do so, many do log in from home during the weekends, to catch up/continue working on other deliverables.


Progression/Growth: Again from first hand and word of mouth, I would feel that GS is the best as well. Biggest reason to this, is that I find it a lot easier to move teams/functions/divisions within GS, compared to other BBs/local banks. I personally have interviewed internally for FO positions within GS. Almost all my batchmates have moved teams within 3 years, and a considerable subset of which have moved on to FO as well (if that's your thing). I personally decided against it because the position I interviewed for required me to be based in New York, for which I was unwilling because of personal issues then. Even then, I have moved across multiple teams.

1 trend I notice nowadays with the rise of fintech, is that many small trading/investment/fintech houses are founded by GS alumni. So a lateral move to other firms does feel a weee bit easier as well, as alumni do know how GS people generally work.

All that being said, GS does go through firing seasons. Not all BBs do that. To thrive in GS and avoid being on the chopping block, does require some sort of sacrifice in your personal life, regardless of whether it is lesser time spent with family or increased stress (even for BO).
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  #359 (permalink)  
Old 20-04-2021, 09:31 PM
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Just curious - are you up for promotion soon/ have been promoted to VP? Would there be a cap/ ceiling on the growth and pay trajectory? What would roughly be the pay then? Is it also fair to assume that in Ops, it's harder to be promoted at ranks beyond VP and above as it depends on whether your boss leaves (non-revenue generating and hence no headcount) and it follows a strict pyramid structure?
Side note: I replied the question on WLB/salary/progression, but it's not appearing due to moderator review. It should appear up soon.

For this question: Yup I'm close to VP/am a VP (unwilling to reveal which for anonymity reasons).

In terms of salary cap: Yes there is for each rank (analyst/assoc/VP/MD), these salary bands overlap, and at the assoc-VP transition, the overlap is really huge. Most people don't stay at associate at GS for too long though (you'll see 40+ year old associates at other BBs, but rarely at GS). Either they move on to VP because they are good, or they get fired because they are not good enough to promote.

In terms of progression/structure, it's more diamond shaped. 30% of GS employees are VPs (and that's because most people don't make it to MDs). To counter that, they have created functional layers between VP and MD in Ops (these are titles that pertain only to Ops, but are irrelevant outside Ops), to distinguish between the junior and senior VPs. Within these functional layers, salary does increase, and quite a respectable amount as well.

Most people retire as VPs (or leave for other firms), but salary will almost never stay stagnant even at the VP level. Again, compensation is more tied to performance than rank, and at the VP-MD transition, one can expect the salary ceiling for VPs to be sky high
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  #360 (permalink)  
Old 20-04-2021, 10:20 PM
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Side note: I replied the question on WLB/salary/progression, but it's not appearing due to moderator review. It should appear up soon.

For this question: Yup I'm close to VP/am a VP (unwilling to reveal which for anonymity reasons).

In terms of salary cap: Yes there is for each rank (analyst/assoc/VP/MD), these salary bands overlap, and at the assoc-VP transition, the overlap is really huge. Most people don't stay at associate at GS for too long though (you'll see 40+ year old associates at other BBs, but rarely at GS). Either they move on to VP because they are good, or they get fired because they are not good enough to promote.

In terms of progression/structure, it's more diamond shaped. 30% of GS employees are VPs (and that's because most people don't make it to MDs). To counter that, they have created functional layers between VP and MD in Ops (these are titles that pertain only to Ops, but are irrelevant outside Ops), to distinguish between the junior and senior VPs. Within these functional layers, salary does increase, and quite a respectable amount as well.

Most people retire as VPs (or leave for other firms), but salary will almost never stay stagnant even at the VP level. Again, compensation is more tied to performance than rank, and at the VP-MD transition, one can expect the salary ceiling for VPs to be sky high
I see, that's really insightful! Based on your knowledge, if a junior VP in Ops starts at 8-10k after 7-8 years of experience (30-32 years old), and if he/she doesn't make it to MD, what would the typical base salary be like for someone at 40 years old with roughly 16-18 years of experience? Thanks in advance!
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