Working for a hedge fund or boutique firm can be a lucrative option. Hedge funds like Brevan Howard and boutiques like Centerview pay their staff quite astronomical amounts. However, those mega-sums are typically reserved for the partners alone: Brevan Howard's rank and file earned an average of £159k ($233k) during its last financial year, Centerview's earned an average of £241k. Partners at each firm earned £2m and £2.7m respectively.
In the circumstances, the European operation of US restructuring boutique Houlihan Lokey looks a) strangely generous, b) unusually democratic.
Houlihan Lokey Europe just released its full accounts for the year ending 31 March 2015. During that period, it paid its average employee £289k ($424k). Curiously, its highest paid director earned less, at £288k.
This would seem to suggest that Houlihan Lokey is an unusually equitable place to work. - Unless of course directors are being paid in a way that doesn't impact the compensation line.
Predictably, this is indeed the case. When employee stock payments, recorded as 'capital contribution reserves' are factored in, directors at Houlihan Europe each received an extra £229k for the year ending March 2015.
Houlihan is a lot more equitable than other small firms, but its directors still receive twice as much as the rest.