Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Employment  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 24.08.2011, 16:08
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Zug
Posts: 70
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 108 Times in 33 Posts
whitecat74 is considered knowledgeablewhitecat74 is considered knowledgeablewhitecat74 is considered knowledgeable
Salary versus UK/US for similar finance jobs

Hi
I arrived in Switzerland in the financial sector with 10 years of experience. Because I had been made redundant from my last job (pure restructuring, not performance-related) I was not in a great place to negotiate and agreed to a 40% pay-cut in exchange of a verbal promise of equity in the business and an after-tax estimate that was given to me, showing me that despite the pay-cut, the tax differential meant I'd be on more or less the same base after-tax as I was in the UK.

Unfortunately arriving here I had not understood that since the exchange rate has gone out of control, the relative cost of living is absurd. That and the tax calculation was wrong, or at least a good 800 CHF off.

As a result, I'm not doing well here financially at all. Further disappointment, the Swiss "gentleman's agreement" of promise of equity is looking like it was just a marketing ploy, it's not going to happen. Beyond that I was given zero relocation assistance so have had to fund a pretty serious move all on my own.

Please don't slate me for being stupid, I do enough of that myself and it was a very attractive offer in theory, I was just gullible and eager to make it work.

I am now looking at my options of which one is to find another job - here or elsewhere. If my last role in the UK paid 100k (just using a nice round number, this was not the case), what do you think this job would be worth in Zurich, pre-tax? I hear that finance salaries are higher generally, is this true or just a function of the exchange rate? Also, are the base/bonus proportions different here? Salaries in the UK were bumped up recently because of bonus rules, I assume not the case here.

Thank you..
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 24.08.2011, 16:12
Caviarchips's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Basel Stadt
Posts: 3,979
Groaned at 99 Times in 77 Posts
Thanked 6,677 Times in 2,388 Posts
Caviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Salary versus UK/US for similar finance jobs

Lots in here, but one question....if you live in Switzerland and are paid in CHF, why does the exchange rate affect you? Or is it more the principle?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 24.08.2011, 16:24
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,376
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
With today's exchange rate you would earn more here if you had a job, many people are loosing jobs here .

4 years ago you would have made more in the uk the rate was nearer 2.40 & CH was cheaper for most things than London.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 24.08.2011, 16:36
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Zug
Posts: 70
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 108 Times in 33 Posts
whitecat74 is considered knowledgeablewhitecat74 is considered knowledgeablewhitecat74 is considered knowledgeable
Re: Salary versus UK/US for similar finance jobs

The exchange rate affects me relative to the cost of living. 100k goes a lot further in London than 130k CHF nowadays in Zurich because 2 years ago 100k was 250k CHF, and this has not translated in falling consumer prices in Zurich so net net 130k CHF today in Zurich really isn't like 100k in London.

I have been shocked by how my budget - what I would generally allocate to travel, food, etc - has had to be completely revised, I always assumed London was the most expensive city in Europe.

So my question is, have salaries followed (if a UK job that paid 100k was the Swiss equivalent of 250k CHF in Switzerland two years ago at that exchange rate, does this still hold true today, is it still 250k? Or lower/higher) I honestly have no clue. I've heard that some people are on 2 or 3x what they were on "back home" but not sure whether this is just exchange rate or generally higher pre-tax Swiss salaries.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank whitecat74 for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 24.08.2011, 16:40
Caviarchips's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Basel Stadt
Posts: 3,979
Groaned at 99 Times in 77 Posts
Thanked 6,677 Times in 2,388 Posts
Caviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Salary versus UK/US for similar finance jobs

Quote:
View Post
The exchange rate affects me relative to the cost of living. 100k goes a lot further in London than 130k CHF nowadays in Zurich because 2 years ago 100k was 250k CHF, and this has not translated in falling consumer prices in Zurich so net net 130k CHF today in Zurich really isn't like 100k in London.
Sorry.....but to check - you agreed a salary in CHF, they are paying you that same salary in CHF I assume, so still not sure why the exchange rate affects you?

(If the issue is that it is more expensive here than you thought it was, thats a problem too of course, but it isn't the exchange rate causing it)

If its a mental thing, that you convert everything to in your head....just stop it
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 24.08.2011, 16:49
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Zug
Posts: 70
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 108 Times in 33 Posts
whitecat74 is considered knowledgeablewhitecat74 is considered knowledgeablewhitecat74 is considered knowledgeable
Re: Salary versus UK/US for similar finance jobs

Hmm.. I still blame the exchange rate. I was told by my employer that yes they were offering a lower base but the lower taxes meant that I was on pretty much the same as my UK salary after-tax.

Absolutely my fault for not researching cost of living more. The last time I spent any time in Switzerland was over 2 years ago - so I was going based on those prices. The exchange rate has forced me to completely re-evaluate my budget and I'm simply not meeting the lifestyle that I expected.

I have to limit restaurants drastically, I won't be able to go skiing, I can't really afford a car. I've worked too hard and too long to get to where I'm at to agree to this so I am trying to find a way to improve on this asap.

I spoke to headhunter who told me he thought I am about 50% underpaid on base. I'm just trying to gauge whether that's the benchmark - for an example of 100k salary is it really 180k CHF+?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 24.08.2011, 16:59
Caviarchips's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Basel Stadt
Posts: 3,979
Groaned at 99 Times in 77 Posts
Thanked 6,677 Times in 2,388 Posts
Caviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond reputeCaviarchips has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Salary versus UK/US for similar finance jobs

Quote:
View Post
I spoke to headhunter who told me he thought I am about 50% underpaid on base. I'm just trying to gauge whether that's the benchmark - for an example of 100k salary is it really 180k CHF+?
Sorry, can't really answer it like that because that IS impacted by exchange rate - can't really say what equivalents are today because it is so skewed by rates. I think you should check on some old threads here about salary benchmarks (there are thousands) and see if you are underpaid vs other Swiss jobs, but i'd seriously try to forget the sterling comparisons.

Also, if you were promised equity, sounds like you work for a smallish or private company? Benchmarks are pretty tough in that situation because they usually have special circumstances.

Sorry can't help more
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Caviarchips for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 24.08.2011, 17:18
The_Love_Doctor's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Zugerberg, Zug
Posts: 3,266
Groaned at 72 Times in 58 Posts
Thanked 3,715 Times in 1,747 Posts
The_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Salary versus UK/US for similar finance jobs

Well if your base salary in the UK was used as the basis for negotiation then of course you will be short changed... If you said to them my base is X in the UK then they would take the current exchange rate and say well we can offer you that in Switzerland no problem, because the pound is cheap now. Instead you should have looked at another measure to convert your base salary from the UK to here. You're absolutely right GBP100k in the UK will go a lot further than the equivalent CHF130k in Switzerland regardless the tax differences.

Only you know what sort of job you're into and your exact salary so we can't advise you any further, but with 10 years experience and if you're in the front office of whatever financial company I would expect a lot more than just CHF130k.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank The_Love_Doctor for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 24.08.2011, 21:39
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,376
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Generally you need to use a rate of 2:1 if you want to be in the same ballpark.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank fatmanfilms for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 25.08.2011, 18:35
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Zug
Posts: 70
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 108 Times in 33 Posts
whitecat74 is considered knowledgeablewhitecat74 is considered knowledgeablewhitecat74 is considered knowledgeable
Re: Salary versus UK/US for similar finance jobs

Sadly I've come to the same conclusion. I did expect a lot more, I just didn't get it in writing. So its back to the drawing board. Thanks for your input everyone.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank whitecat74 for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cost of living in Zurich Versus Salary siddiqinadeem Employment 14 21.05.2017 18:17
Finance/Accounting Jobs in Geneva Brandy Employment 15 05.11.2014 08:38
Very demotivating and depressing. Looking for junior finance jobs in Geneva.PLS help! laSpeczia Employment 22 19.04.2011 23:50


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 03:01.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0