Staffing Management

Big Managers Raise Salaries to Make Up for Low Bonuses

By Staff Report

Sep. 29, 2009

Large money management firms have raised salaries for key investment professionals as a retention tool because bonuses during the past two years were low, reports executive recruiter Heidrick & Struggles.

Compensation levels peaked in 2007.

“As bad as ’08 was, the hope is that ’09 will be better. The reality is no one is going to know for a couple of months,” says Jane Hobson Marcus, partner in the global asset and wealth management division of Heidrick & Struggles. “The reality will be less than what the expectations are today.”
The report was based on conversations with investment and sales and marketing executives, as well as interviews with corporate executives and human resources officials at money management firms.

Investment management compensation seems stronger than expected in 2009, especially in fixed income. The reason: Many products are enjoying double-digit returns year to date.

Marcus said she was surprised during the conversations leading up to the report by “how much noise there is in the market on comp, more so than normal.”

She said money management leaders such as CIOs wonder whether their talent base is going to be raided.

“Not ever in the 20 years I’ve been recruiting do I remember a time when there’s so much concern over the stickiness of the talent base,” Marcus said. “We’re almost all getting tangled up in what the other guy is doing. I’m concerned that people will overreact.”

Filed by Nancy K. Webman of Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Workforce Management To comment, e-mail

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