Salary survey: bigger bonuses for fund managers

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Bankers may be waking up to the notion that bonuses go down as well as up, but fund managers may have no need to.

According to a survey of over 1,000 fund managers by asset management search firm Godliman Partners, cash compensation for fund managers rose anything from 10-20% between 2006 and 2007.

Fastest rises were reserved for mid-ranking equities fund managers with between five and nine years' experience, who saw pay increase 21% last year, while senior credit fund managers enjoyed rises of 20%.

Equity fund managers are the best paid of the fund management breed, trumping ABS & CDO managers, credit fund managers and government bond fund managers.

Average total cash comp (base salary plus bonus) for an equities pro with between five and nine years' experience was 190k in December 2007.

Similarly experienced credit fund managers and government bond fund managers earned 168k and 123k respectively.

Martin Lorigan, an asset management consultant at Principal Search, describes the survey results as "reasonably accurate.... It's traditionally been the case that equities fund managers were the highest paid. Within fixed income, ABS and structured credit fund managers have typically been paid more than vanilla credit fund managers who, in turn, tend to earn more than sovereign bond fund managers."

Outside US investment banks, fund manager bonuses are announced over the coming few months, and Lorrigan predicts they'll be up anything from 10-25%: "Last year was a profitable year for much of the fund management industry and those who contributed to that are expecting to be paid for it."