Hedge fund manager pay rises to $2.4 million

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Swimming in cash: a year's compensation for a hedge fund manager is more than most will earn over the course of their lifetime.

The average pay –which includes base salary and bonus – for a portfolio manager at a large hedge fund with performance near the industry average, earned around $2.4 million in 2014, an 8 percent on-year increase, according to the 2015 Glocap Hedge Fund Compensation Report. Large hedge funds were classified as those that manage more than $4 billion.

Portfolio managers saw less change in their base salaries, typically around $275,000, although bonus increases ranged from 2 percent to 15 percent, topping the average increase from 2013.

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"Hedge fund bonus pools continue to grow in 2014, inflated by management fee income…Hedge funds will again be increasing their pay to retain and attract top talent, especially as more capital enters this competitive market," said Anthony Keizner, head of investment management recruitment firm Glocap's Hedge Fund practice.

Total capital in the hedge fund industry rose to a record $2.82 trillion at the end of the third quarter, up $18 billion from the prior three months. It was the ninth straight quarterly record.

Compensation is largely a function of fund performance and firm size, with portfolio managers at top performing funds approaching eight-figure compensation levels, the survey showed.

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Pay for entry level hedge fund analysts isn't too shabby either.

Analysts experienced saw an over 5 percent increase in compensation to $372,000, with base salary increase of 6 percent and a bonus increase of approximately 5 percent.

Fight for talent

Pace of hedge fund hiring sped up in 2014, the survey showed.

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"While hiring in recent years has been more opportunistic, there has been a greater urgency in 2014 to filling key roles at hedge funds; the time from introduction to a candidate starting has decreased from 6 months to 3 months," said Keizner

"Examples are increasing of hiring in just a few weeks, especially when someone has left a fund that is folding, or when there are multiple funds chasing the same candidate," he said.