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Perella Weinberg Partners's ~$870k per head pay is out of control

How much is too much to spend on paying your people?

If you’re Perella Weinberg Partners (PWP), there are no limits. The boutique bank, which we recently flagged for its abnormal generosity has today revealed itself to be abnormally generosity.

PWP announced its Q4 and 2023 full year results. In the last quarter of the year, paid out $215m in compensation to its people. In the very same quarter, it made $213m in revenues.

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Things were slightly more under control across the year as a whole. It spent $609m in compensation across the entirety of 2023, whilst reporting revenues of $649m. That’s “only” 94% of revenues allocated to pay, which is at least lower than the 101% it spent in the last quarter of the year.

With the bank self-reporting “approximately 700” employees, the implication is that it paid out somewhere in the realm of $870k per head during 2023. It self-reported “approximately 650” at the end of 2022; by the same logic, it paid out $839k per head that year.

That’s a healthy increase both in people and pay, and comes despite some job cuts in the second quarter. The bank put its higher compensation partly spending down to severance spending - or as it put it, the impact of "business realignment costs associated with headcount reductions", as well as increased business performance (bonuses).

Why is PWP paying so wildly? It needs to compete with rivals. PJT paid $800k per head last year; Moelis & Co. paid $622k per head. Moelis also spent 83% of its revenues on compensation in 2023, a significant increase on the 68% it spent in 2022. 

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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