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Opinions Please

 
#1 Opinions Please
24/11/2012 19:09

Imperial1309

As seems to be usual for me at this time of year, I am pondering my work situation and thought I would throw it open to comments, suggestions and probably bep's common dose of ridicule.

I am currently a Senior Manager at one of the big 4 - within the ops transformation area and a sector focus in the Cap Mkts/Investment Management space.

To give you an overview (and i'm not trying to big myself up but give context to where I believe I'm at):

I have been in the firm for about 4yrs and am (or at least believe I am!) highly regarded. I am always in the top 10% come annual review, I have made the long long list for promotion to Director (though waiting to see if I am formally put into the process). Since my firms move away from a sector to a competency focus I can honestly say I am one of the few

remaining SM's who has any decent level of industry knowledge - this is recognised by the fs industry partners (though in this new world the competency partners have all the say). To such an extent that I have partners in industry sectors from Investment Management, Cap Mkts and Regional Consulting (don't ask) who have said they would support me for promotion into their sector (under the new system you only officially focus on sector at Director and above). In the last 12 months i have been instrumental in selling c1.25m of work.

So thats the positives, the negatives are - my current base salary is c75k (I'm not saying that is bad generally but I have a number of colleagues who have apparently moved across to other big 4 at 120-130k Mark) - I believe the top of the bracket for my big 4 is c90k. The reason my base is so low (given i have spent a paragraph above explaining how good i

think i am!) is that joined the big 4 at the level below, was promoted after 6months and so went to the bottom of the SM salary band (60k) - I have then gone through 2 good % salary rises (though actual amount wasn't earth shattering) and a pathetic one for this last year (because of mkt conditions).

I have been offered other permanent roles for a lot more money by the last 3 clients I have worked for and regularly get approached by other big 4 my former colleagues have joined (for apparently c120-130k).

To date I have resisted leaving because I believe I have a shot at promotion to Director and have built a solid support base (for me the promo has traditionally been more important than the money). However, although being on the long list at the moment, I am not confident I will be put into the full formal process and am starting to think that they believe i will stay regardless of the low pay because of the possibility of promotion and even if I am not put in the process this yr that

because of the time it takes to build a support base to back you I will not leave to join another big 4.

So i suppose my questions are:

1. Am I right in believing that 75k base is ridiculously low for my level/role (not comparing to the industry offers I have had) or are the tales of the 120-130k salaries just rales?

2. Am I right in believing that promo is more important than the money as that will eventually come with the more senior positions? Or has my thinking been warped by the endless quest for partnership and the promise of riches that brings?

3. If I did leave for another big 4 at the same level (but more money) how long would it realistically take to build the support base to be in contention for promotion?

4. I believe I have a client who will follow me whichever firm I'm at and us likely to spend 1m + in the next 12-18mths (though a lot less in the short term) - could I realistically use this to move across to another big 4 at Director level? How easy/hard would this be?

5. My mind set at the moment is to stick with big 4 because I want to make partner and the pay is generally better at this level in big 4 than niche (not really bothered about being at a tier 1 strat house)

6. Is my current big 4 seriously taking the p!ss if I am not formally put in the promo process (given the perceived low pay) or are my expectations unrealistic?

Apologies for the long and rambling nature of the post but at the very least it has been helpful for me to finally air what I have been thinking for the last 12months.

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#2 RE: Opinions Please
25/11/2012 01:46

TripleTwistTrump to Imperial1309 (#1)

SM at a big 4? Really, you should've been able to get your point across with much fewer words than that....doesnt that tell you something? Would you have read so much if it were written by one or your Consultants or Managers without thinking it's a cry for help or self-justification of why they think they are so good?

Hope the more experienced can help you out on this one....

3Ts

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#3 RE: Opinions Please
26/11/2012 09:10

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to TripleTwistTrump (#2)

Interesting. Very interesting. Hmm.

At that level you presumably want to "make partner", and get a very healthy pay rise indeed.

Why do you not stick it out and "make partner"?

Are they dangling a carrot and taking more than they're giving:?

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#4 RE: Opinions Please
26/11/2012 11:18

marsday to Imperial1309 (#1)

If you stick it out where you are and make Director, what will that take your compensation to? If they have pegged you at such a low base for SM it suggests that the step up to Director would in fact - in a good scenario - take you to what you perceive SM to be paid elsewhere. If you sit it out to see if you get into the process, you will then have to sit it out to see if you get the promotion. Translation is that currently you are a Director potential candidate, and if you move across to another Big 4 at SM level, then at least you can cash in foregoing the (potential) Director role and state this as reason enough to want a pay hike in line with SM level as should be. If you fail to make it into the process - or wait to make Director and do not do so in your current firm - you are the failed Director candidate (this time around) and that low base starts to look justified to those who just a few months ago saw you as a rising star.

It does sound to be like the Director role is more title than package in your current firm. And you run a real risk here of becoming yet another SM who got caught in the long list traffic and lost momentum, reaching a plataeau at SM level and finding it increasingly hard to move up.

The £1M+ spend from the following client in the medium term isn't going to give you the key to a Director role elsewhere - the projection is just too far out in a weak market when they will be looking to hire in rainmakers directly if they go outside. Better to move across to an SM role giving you the higher salary - not least this reflects an attitude about what SMs bring to their business dont you think? And gunning for the Director role from 90K+ will look - and be - alot more realistic than making a big leap from 75K.

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#5 RE: Opinions Please
26/11/2012 15:32

Mr Cool to marsday (#4)

Your situation is deserving of a fuller response, but it boils down to:

You should take the route yo short term cash.

Why?

Because you are too committed to your current firm

You undervalue yourself

You do not invest in yourself at the expense of your firm

None of the above are characteristics of partners.

QED: you will never make partner.

Ironically if you start investing and believing in yourself, your firm may believe in you too, and then you might make partner

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#6 RE: Opinions Please
26/11/2012 15:34

Mr Cool to Mr Cool (#5)

To op of course, not mars.

Mars will never make partner- hes too grumpy on one cup of coffee.

:-)

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#7 RE: Opinions Please
26/11/2012 15:48

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Mr Cool (#6)

One might say that being in a permanent state of grumpiness it is a prerequisite to being a partner

lol

Mr Cool is spot on. You gotta follow the money.

As mine and Mr Cool's hero, Margaret Thatcher, once said - "If you look after the short-term, the long term will take care of itself".

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#8 RE: Opinions Please
26/11/2012 16:06

marsday to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#7)

My grumpiness today is entirely caffeine deficiency related. I will probably be less grumpy tomorrow.

Probably.

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