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More Asia Hedge-Fund Managers Expect Higher Pay, Survey Says

After several years of hiring staff at below market compensation, hedge funds are now finding that new employees are less willing to accept salaries they perceive to be low, a survey by executive recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. showed. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg
After several years of hiring staff at below market compensation, hedge funds are now finding that new employees are less willing to accept salaries they perceive to be low, a survey by executive recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. showed. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- More Asia hedge-fund industry employees are expecting increases in bonuses this year as they delivered returns, a survey by executive recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. showed.

The share of respondents anticipating their bonuses to increase climbed to 48 percent in a survey carried out in September by the Chicago-based executive recruitment firm, up from 45 percent in last year’s poll. By contrast, those anticipating a decline in their bonuses shrank to 11 percent from about 25 percent last year.

The survey’s findings highlight growing optimism among Asia’s hedge funds, which are heading for their strongest annual growth since 2009. The Eurekahedge Asian Hedge Fund Index has risen 15 percent this year, compared with a 7.2 percent gain by the Singapore-based data provider’s global gauge and the MSCI Asia-Pacific Index’s 9.8 percent advance.

“The sentiment has returned and the expectations are high,” Lisa Wong, head of hedge funds for Asia, said by telephone. “That will continue into 2014 as long as the industry keeps generating solid returns.”

After several years of hiring staff at below market compensation, hedge funds are now finding that new employees are less willing to accept salaries they perceive to be low, the survey showed.

Rising Salary

The share of respondents reporting an increase in their base salary was 40 percent this year, unchanged from last year’s survey, it showed. The increases are skewed in favor of junior analysts and execution traders whose salaries have been worst affected over the past few years, according to the survey.

Hedge-fund clients added $53.2 billion to the industry globally in the first nine months of the year, compared with $34.4 billion for all of 2012, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc.

Asia’s hedge fund industry has also “bottomed out” in terms of hiring, Wong said, adding that she is “cautiously optimistic” about the pace of adding new staff as many hedge funds in the region won’t be able to expand beyond a certain capacity.

About 50 percent of the respondents said that their funds are looking for staff, while 10 percent are actively hiring, according to the survey, which didn’t provide figures for last year’s responses on hiring.

The survey included responses from 124 professionals, including those working for funds with assets from $200 million to $10 billion, Heidrick & Struggles said in the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Klaus Wille in Singapore at kwille@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net

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