If you're thinking about moving to the buy-side, you may also be contemplating a pay cut, particularly if you're aiming to move to a long only asset management firm. One buy-side firm pays its asset management staff very well though: Swiss-based Vontobel.
Figures released this week on Vontobel's performance in 2017 reveal that Vontobel's asset management staff are its best paid employees. In 2017, they earned an impressive CHF425k per head ($459k). This is more than the rank and file earn at many hedge funds in London.
How do you get a job at Vontobel? Not easily. Vontobel employs around 400 people in asset management and offices in Switzerland, NYC and London (where it operates through TwentyFour Asset Management). However, most of Vontobel's asset management vacancies are in Switzerland and are predominantly for support roles than high earning portfolio management positions.
It's the Swiss portfolio management jobs at Vontobel that really pay: prior to its acquisition of London-based TwentyFour Asset Management in 2015, average compensation in the asset management division was CHF730k. The subsequent decline reflects the addition of 100 extra staff, plus the exit of Rajiv Jain, Vontobel's former emerging market bond specialist. Jain quit in 2016. He was rumoured to be earning CHF60m to CHF70m a year. Lloyd Blankfein's $24m package for 2017 suddenly doesn't seem so generous after all.
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