US salaries moderately up

Foreign exchange dealers in the US saw slight increases in their wages this year, according to a new salary survey out this month, reports Risk’s sister publication, FX Week .

New York-based recruitment agency Adams Consultancy found that the average base salary for a treasurer increased last year by 5% to $310,000. Forex traders at the vice-president level saw an increase of just 3% to an average salary of $155,000, up from $150,000 in 2002. The previous year, traders saw no year-on-year rise based on the average base wage.

"Demand for foreign exchange traders in the US was again fairly flat," said Len Adams, president and chief executive officer of Adams Consultancy in New York.

Advisory staff at assistant vice-president level saw the lowest rise this year of 2%, up to $96,000 from $94,000 in 2002, while treasurers’ 5% year-on-year increase was among the largest, compared with a 3% rise in 2002.

"Treasurers, unlike forex traders, tend to be broader in approach in terms of product development and revenue enhancement, so institutions are attempting to keep them satisfied," said Adams. Forex was flatter than the other capital markets and treasury areas covered by the survey, he added.

Foreign exchange dealers in London received similar amounts last year, according to London-based recruiters. One put the salary range for a senior forex spot trader in London at £85,000-90,000 ($160,000), although traders who have been in the market for a long time might get as much as £125,000 ($222,000), he added.

"The spot market is an established market, so the wages have pretty much stabilised," said one foreign exchange recruiter. "Banks are not paying premiums apart from for the odd exceptional trader who gets poached, and traders are more likely to upgrade house rather than their package." Junior staff may double their salaries on a move, but they will start out on around £45,000 ($80,000), he added.

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