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Young N.Y. Investment Bankers Learn to Love Living in L.A.--for $250,000 a Year

November 02, 1986|TOM FURLONG

Despite all the talk about the burgeoning significance of Los Angeles as a financial center, it seems that investment bankers in New York don't have a lot of interest in splitting for the Coast, as they often call it.

A flat "no" was the answer most East Coast investment bankers--all making at least $125,000 a year--gave when asked if they would move to Los Angeles with any of the major investment banking firms. The survey included 200 people, more than 90% of whom gave Los Angeles the thumbs down.

According to SpencerStuart, the executive recruiting firm that did the survey, the message is clear: Manhattan still has no serious rivals when it comes to finance.

"Aggressive, successful young executives in the New York investment banking community continue to see Manhattan as the center of the international financial scene," said Denis Lyons, director of financial services recruiting for SpencerStuart. "Most believe the grass doesn't come any greener than where they are right now."

In recent years, most of the major New York investment banking houses--Morgan Stanley, First Boston, Merrill Lynch, E. F. Hutton--have either started or expanded their operations in Los Angeles. (Investment banking includes such areas as corporate and public finance as well as the especially lucrative field of mergers and acquisitions.)

To lure the best talent West, SpencerStuart has three recommendations: pay fat compensation packages, starting at $250,000; promise greater responsibility away from the structured home office, and help find a job for the spouse uprooted by the move. Put together that kind of package, Lyons said, and it will be "California, here they come."

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