Salary survey: Revving up in risk

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Pay for risk managers rose an average 15% last year; directors in market risk can now earn nearly 235k.

Market risk is the most lucrative piece of the risk pie, followed by quantitative analytics (225k for directors), and credit risk (210k for directors). Despite Basel II, terrorist threats, and the occasional fat finger trading loss, operational risk specialists come in a poor fourth (164k for directors).

Pay has the potential to rise further: 74% of the 630 respondents to the survey, which was undertaken by recruitment firm PSD Group, said they planned to hire more risk professionals this year, with only 1.4% planning to make redundancies.

Gail Connolly, managing consultant at PSD Group, says it's becoming increasingly common for risk professionals to earn bonuses equivalent to 100% or more of salary.

But she also says risk professionals often have inflated views of their own worth: "There are lots of unfounded rumours flying around the market. We've had cases where people have claimed colleagues have moved for a 25% increase, when we know they only moved for 10%. Expectations are increasingly unrealistic."

Risk management pay 2007

Director market risk - basic 119k; bonus 115k

VP market risk - basic 87k; bonus 38k

Associate market risk - basic 60k; bonus 23k

Director credit risk - basic 117k; bonus 93k

VP credit risk - basic 83k; bonus 62k

Associate credit risk - basic 55k; bonus 19k

Director operational risk - basic 107k; bonus 57k

VP operational risk - basic 83k; bonus 35k

Associate operational risk - basic 54k; bonus 26k

ยท Source: PSD Group