April 25, 2024
Investment

What it means to be an engineering VP in an investment bank


In most industries, the software engineering hierarchy has rather rigid tiers. Engineers become senior engineers, then staff, then principals. But in investment banking, things work differently; many banks have analysts, associates, vice presidents and managing directors, just like non-technical roles.

So, what does it actually mean to be a VP of engineering in an investment bank? On jobs forum blind, technologists from some of the major banks weighed in. 

“VP roles in the tech side of investment banks can be thought of as senior/staff engineer role equivalents,” says one Deutsche Bank employee. They’re usually an independent contributor “with either some kind of specialty or broad knowledge of internal systems and know how to work with stakeholders.”

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One JPMorgan engineer said it’s closer to being a senior engineer, though with more years of experience than the norm, and requires you “to be able to show some management skills.”

If your goal is to stay an independent contributor, the Deutsche Bank engineer says it’s “terminal” to remain in banking, as you “can’t really progress any further up the ladder.” If you value freedom, you may also struggle. A different JPMorgan engineer says that, below managing director, “all the other [seniorities] are supporting” positions.

When it comes to pay, one ex-JPMorgan VP advises that “your negotiation leverage going in is pretty important.” He says the “VP band can go pretty high depending on the company,” and was able to receive a total compensation package above $400k. However, our compensation report last year revealed that average TC for a tech VP is $185.5k.

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