A student from the London Business School has landed what is likely to be highest starting salary of the year for a graduating MBA: a whopping $552,681-a-year job in the corporate sector in Australia.
That sum easily beats the highest reported salary by a Class of 2011 MBA in the U.S. A Wharton graduate won that distinction by getting a job with an annual base salary of $375,000. Even so, it’s possible that the London grad failed to top a Stanford MBA’s total compensation package this year estimated at $675,000, including a half-million-dollar guaranteed bonus, from a hedge fund.
The London number appears in the just released 2011 employment report for the school which graduated a class of 403 MBAs this year. London also reported that the highest sign-on bonus and year-end bonus was paid to students who went into the finance arena, $63,953 and $196,669, respectively.
Overall, LBS grads this year earned average base salaries of $121,206 and median salaries of $114,724. Those numbers are highly competitive with the very best business schools in the U.S. This year’s median at Stanford is $125,000, while the median at Harvard Business School and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School is $120,000.
London said its MBAs gained median sign-on bonuses of $24,584 and median year-end bonuses of $20,181. That compares very favorably with this year’s median signing bonuses of $20,000 and year-end bonuses of $30,000 at Wharton, according to the school’s preliminary reports.
The highest median salaries at London were earned by graduates who went into consulting: $118,102. That compared with $111,820 for MBAs who landed jobs in finance and $110,102 for those who got jobs in other corporate sectors. Financial companies, however, were far more genrous with bonus money. The sign-on bonuses in finance were a median $36,056, well in excess of the $24,584 in consulting or the $20,000 in the corporate sector. The year-end bonuses in finance were a median $63,953, compared with $20,181 in consulting and $20,000 in the corporate sector.
For the first time in several years, the largest single chunk of London’s Class of 2011 headed into consulting. Some 36% of the school’s graduates, up sharply from 25% last year, were scooped up by the likes of McKinsey & Co., Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Co., A.T. Kearney, Accenture, Booz & Co. and other consulting firms (see table on next page). Some 34% of London’s MBAs ventured into finance, down from 38% in 2010, while 30% gained jobs in other corporate sectors, down from 37% last year.
“Although this is the first time in several years that the majority of our full-time MBA graduates have gone into consulting, the transition data indicates that a smaller percentage have changed sectors this year,” wrote Fiona Sandford, director of Career Services at London. She noted that 55% of those with roles in consulting had a previous background in the field, compared to 42% last year. “This suggests that in times of uncertainty it becomes harder to change sectors of employment as organizations prefer to recruit tose with experience in their field.”
HIGHEST PAID MBAS IN 2011
|HIghest Paid 2011 Base Salaries||School||Job||Location|
|$300,000||Chicago (Booth)||Private Equity||NA|
|$300,000||Columbia||Hedge Fund||New York|
|$250,000||Duke (Fuqua)||Investment Banking||Northeast|
SOURCE: Business school employment reports. An asterisk for Harvard indicates that the school only releases compensation figures at the 75th percentile of a range of figures.