What can you earn working for a top hedge fund in London these days? The gleaming offices in Mayfair might not be enjoying the best of times right now – with performance issues, investor redemptions and talent shortages – but hedge fund compensation remains free from the shackles of regulatory control and they’re free to pay their employees whatever they like.
Our research suggests that, on a pay per head basis, Caxton Associates is the most generous to its employees among all London-based hedge funds. It paid an average of $1.1m to its 37 UK-based employees in 2015, according to accounts released this month on Companies House, up from $357.7k last year. Profits surged from £6.2m ($7.6m) in 2014, to £15.2m ($18.6m) in 2015.
Citadel’s European arm comes in second in our rankings, paying an average of $695.1k in 2015, according to recently released accounts. While headcount at Caxton Associates remained stable, an additional 26 people joined Citadel in 2015 – 16 of these were investment staff.
Another big payer and big recruiter of late is BlueBay Asset Management, which added 60 people (including 14 investment management staff) for the year to 31 March 2016. Hedge funds’ recruitment plans don’t always follow logic – profits at Och-Ziff Asset Management’s European arm dropped from £14.5m ($17.8m) in 2014 to £4.5m ($5.5m) last year, but it added six more people, according to newly-released results.
BlueCrest Capital Management, known for poaching traders from investment banks, has also just released its accounts for 2015. Profits dropped from £17.1m in 2014 to £8.3m in 2015. Pay also fell and headcount slipped from 451 to 426 people. Millennium Capital Management, another expansionary hedge fund with a lot of staff churn, has just unveiled its results for last year too. It added 11 people over the course of the year, and average pay increased by $110k, to $656.7k.
Hedge fund pay compares well with that of top investment banks, but it’s not always stellar. Goldman Sachs, for example, paid its key employees in London an average of £1.9m ($2.3m) last year, which is equivalent to most partner pay at major hedge funds. Rank and file staff in London earned an average of £455k ($559k), which again is not too far away from pay at even top hedge funds in London.