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What’s the deal with partner compensation?

Could anyone with intimate knowledge of this subject please enlighten me? What is a ballpark average compensation figure for partners in the Big Four (specifically PwC)? Now, I know this varies considerably–what drives this range, though? How come some partners make 400k while others pull in more than a mill? Is it based on their book of business? Do certain industries make more? Does location vary compensation (I know the answer to this is yes but I'd like to learn more). And what about retirement benefits? I've heard that you're set for life with a pension after you retire (obviously exaggerated but again, I'd like to learn more).

I'm just curious, as making partner is always made out to be a huge financial windfall. I'd just like to know if it's worth it to grind it out on the partner track or go for my MBA (which goes against my better judgement) and try to climb the ladder in industry



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