CEO, COO Most Lucrative Jobs In Hedge Funds

Dec 16 2009 | 12:04pm ET

It’s good to be the king, a new hedge fund compensation survey shows.

CEOs and chief operating officers are the highest-paid positions in the hedge fund industry this year, with those holding either job making an average of more than $1 million in total compensation this year. Both CEOs and COOs also make more than half their money in bonuses, according to a report from Infovest21.

Meanwhile, the people actually managing the money aren’t doing so well: Portfolio managers, research staff and analysts are only making an average of between $100,000 and $399,000, according to the report. But heads of sales and marketing are doing about as well as other top hedge fund executives, finding themselves in the same $600,000 to $999,999 bracket as CFOs and general counsels.

Fund accountants are the least well-remunerated, earning an average of less than $100,000 this year.

Nine of the 21 positions surveyed by Infovest 21 earn most of their money in the form of bonuses.

Given the impact of negative asset flows and positive fund performance this year, it’s no surprise that both were key factors in determining how much people made this year. The former was cited by 47% of respondents, and the latter by 44%, as the factor most affecting compensation.

Hedge funds were also broadly mixed on growth, with roughly equal numbers saying they’ve increased, decreased or held the line on staff numbers. Thirty-five percent said that head counts at the firm either increased or didn’t change, while 30% of hedge funds cut jobs.

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