Whether you're a portfolio manager in a hedge fund, or an accountant there's one certainty when it comes to pay - size matters. Working for a larger hedge fund with is key to securing the biggest pay packets, whether you're in the front or the back office.
Financial controllers in hedge funds with more than $5bn in assets under management earn an average of 83% more than an equivalent role in a fund with less than $1bn in AUM, according to figures from recruiters JBS Partners. Further down the ladder, hedge fund accountants earn around 15% less in a smaller fund and operations professionals get 26% more at a big hedge fund.
The disparity is largely down to fund performance. While back office staff in hedge funds are not as susceptible to wild swings in bonus payments, the wider dispersion in hedge fund performance has laid a clear divide between the have and the have nots this year. On average across the back office, those working for better performing hedge funds expected to earn a 58% larger bonus than those in struggling hedge funds, the figures suggest.
Hedge funds can pay huge bonuses to their money managers. Portfolio managers working at a $4bn+ hedge fund returning more than 9.5% earned average bonuses of $6.5m this year, according to figures from headhunters Glocap. Even large hedge funds losing money paid their portfolio managers total compensation of $740k.
Back office jobs never reach these dizzy heights, but they still pay surprisingly well. Across the back office in hedge funds, average pay is expected to be $262k, JBS Partners' figures suggest. If you make it to the top as an operations director in a hedge fund, pay reaches $387k, it says.
Private equity firms, meanwhile, also pay their back office staff well. Average pay for back office staff is $239k, according to the figures, but accountants pay packets don't go over $125k.
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