BlackRock boosts pay for junior ranks

The world’s largest money manager is set to give its junior employees an “off-cycle” pay rise “after a period like no other in the firm’s history”, becoming the latest finance giant to hike salaries amid a burnout crisis among younger workers.

Across the City and Wall Street, from banking to law, firms have been ratcheting up pay packets in a war to keep talent after a tough lockdown for many staff.

“All active employees up to and including director level” at BlackRock will receive an 8% pay bump, according to an email sent to all BlackRock employees on 14 July and seen by Financial News. 

The email, which was signed by the asset manager’s chief executive officer and chair Larry Fink and its president Rob Kapito, the increase is set to take effect from 1 September.

READ Why $100,000 a year still isn’t enough for 21-year-old bankers 

“After a period like no other in the firm’s history, BlackRock has never been better positioned for the future – and we have you to thank,” Fink’s email read. “Your initiative, commitment and teamwork helped ensure that through the pandemic we supported our clients, delivered for shareholders, and gave back to the communities where we operate.”

“To recognise your contributions and ensure you’re sharing in our strong growth, we are increasing total compensation by raising base salaries by 8% for all active employees up to and including the director level,” the email said.

“In addition to this off-cycle adjustment to base salaries, we will still follow our standard year-end compensation process, which includes eligibility for an additional salary increase effective in early 2022,” the email added. “By investing in you, we are investing in the future of the firm.”

News of the move, which followed the release of BlackRock’s second quarter earnings, comes as several Wall Street titans hike salaries for their most junior staff members as debates continue around workload, stress, and mental health during the pandemic.

READ Why solving banker burnout is far from simple

Financial News reported on 2 July that Citigroup was the latest US investment bank to increase salaries for analysts, associates and vice presidents.

Citi increased pay for junior employees by up to $25,000, in line with its Wall Street rivals. First year analyst pay at the bank is set to be $100,000.

JPMorgan hiked entry-level pay for investment banking analysts to $100,000 on 1 July, Financial News reported, while Bank of America also increased salaries for vice presidents by $25,000 in April.

A spokesperson for BlackRock confirmed the move.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Lucy McNulty

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