A new hedge fund salary survey. And how much you might earn at Brevan, Bluecrest, Capula and Paulson Europe

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Things aren’t what they used to be for hedge funds. Once they were in Mayfair, now they’re in Marylebone. Once they paid big cash bonuses, now the AIFMD is introducing all sorts of remuneration rules which will constrain them to paying bonuses similar to banks. According to PWC Germany, hedge funds may be obliged to impose a fixed ratio of bonuses to salaries. In banks, the EU is pressing for this ratio to be 1:1. At worst, hedge funds could yet end up with the same deal.

Nor is it possible to escape to Switzerland, which is imposing some punitive hedge fund rules of its own, including – according to the FT – rules on remuneration.

In the midst of all this terrible change and upheaval, how much can you expect to earn working for a hedge fund?

In salary terms, not massively much according to recruitment firm Morgan McKinley, the hedge fund section of whose salary survey we’ve posted below. Morgan McKinley puts the maximum salary for hedge fund portfolio managers in London at £130k. This is a lot, but not compared to banks, where MD level salaries are typically £200-300k. 

Morgan McKinley's hedge fund salary survey:

A look at the most recent annual reports (which are not very recent) for established London hedge funds like Bluecrest, Brevan Howard, Capula and Paulson Europe reveals that compensation is generally a lot higher than £130k, but is mostly falling.

At Bluecrest, average compensation per ‘member’ was £798k for the 14 months ending December 2010.  At Paulson Europe, the average member of staff earned £764k and the average member earned £6.6m for the 12 months ending 31st March 2011. At Brevan Howard, Alan Howard earned £64.8m for the same period, whilst another 4 members appeared to share £128m between them. At Capula, £98m was shared between 18 members, some of which were organizations, and the highest paid member earned...£26m.

Notably, however, pay is falling and may well fall further. Alan Howard, for example, earned £64.8m for the 12 months to March 31st 2011 but £267m for the 12 months previously. Admittedly, this may not be the cause of too much hardship.

Richard Hinton, a director in the hedge funds practice at KPMG, says deferrals are already very common in hedge funds inLondonbut that salaries haven’t risen to match banks. “We are several steps away from that,” he tells us.