A panel of specialist headhunters give their assessment of typical London pay packages:
Head of international markets, corporate finance, European 2nd tier house: salary - [pound]110,000-120,000, total package between [pound]550,000-[pound]1m Patience is not normally a virtue one would associate with the City's financial institutions and nowhere has this been truer than in corporate finance.
Given that this is not normally an area where things move quickly - indeed, endurance and stamina are what make reputations - there is irony in the speed with which the corporate finance departments of second tier houses have been dismantled.
Management seems determined not to be caught out by the current gloomy market conditions, and sees the axing of corporate finance capability as a sure and easy way to cut costs.
"We are seeing teams being unwound or folded into other parts of a given organization," says Shirin Stanley of Alexander Mann Global Management (AMGM).
Some firms are reviewing the viability of their corporate finance departments sector by sector while others are consolidating and centralising relationship teams.
"Against this backdrop and the prevailing mood in the stock markets, remuneration continues its downward spiral, with guarantees becoming a thing of the past," says Stanley.
Other recruitment specialists echo this view. Owen Beere of Wellington Consulting says the prolonged downturn in equity markets and M&A activity has provoked an unprecedented shake out in the industry, with financial institutions falling over themselves to grab the same business.
"In these uncertain times being at the top at a 2nd tier European house is a veritable roller coaster," he says. He points out that with less overall business to go around, the second-tier houses have been looking to carve out a niche in small and middle-sized cap deals, rather than the large premium deals worth mega-bucks, as this can bring a more reliable revenue flow. …