Fund managers: great salary expectations

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Taking some heat away from bankers, fund managers have recently received much heat over their executive pay.

With The Institute of Business Ethics suggesting the implementation of a clearer pay award scheme, we've decided to look at the current pay landscape for the sector. has analysed 2,214 entries globally to provide an overview of fund manager pay across locations and company types. At the same level of seniority, hedge fund employees earn more compared to the ones in traditional asset management firms. In particular, hedge fund directors are paid much larger bonuses than their asset management peers (50% of total compensation versus 35% for asset management). Fund & portfolio managers' pay in the EU rivals the US.

Emolument Fund Manager Comp Type

TitleAsset ManagementHedge Funds
Analyst £47,000 -
Associate £74,000 £94,750
VP £112,000 £130,370
Director £180,000 £277,307
MD £237,000 £294,228

Graph 1. & Table 1. Showing median total compensation across all titles in Asset Management Firms and Hedge Funds.

Hedge has an edge: Hedge fund employees are consistently paid more than portfolio managers working for a traditional asset management firm with dramatic increases in pay from VP to director levels. Directors at hedge funds see their earnings more than double after their promotion while their peers in asset management see their pay grow by 60%.

Lush Bonuses: In junior positions, bonuses make up a comparable percentage of annual income for both types of institutions (~ 20-25%). However, for directors and MDs, bonuses grow to 35% of the total compensation package in asset management and almost 50% for hedge funds.

Emolument Fund Manager Comp Location

Analyst £45,000 £66,000
Associate £67,000 £100,000
VP £107,000 £142,000
Director £175,000 £172,000
MD £222,000 £227,000

Graph 2. & Table 2. Showing median total compensation across all titles in the EU and the USA

EU versus US: Both US hedge funds and asset managers are aggressive payers when it comes to junior and middle managers with 50% larger packages than in the UK, up to director level. Beyond that point, earnings level out.

Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & COO at said: 'With the intensification of the regulatory environment, to many, hedge funds are perceived as a heaven with less stringent risk management processes than banks or asset management firms and where a regular adrenaline rush is still part of daily working life. The attraction also lies in the possibility of earning very large bonuses at hedge funds early on compared to a constrained earning trajectory following a tiresome hierarchical process in many of the larger and more regulated institutions. Better pay and more fun. What's not to like?'

Source: Emolument, the salary benchmarking site

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