Private Equity Plebes Score 14% Pay Bumps, Recruiter Says

It paid to be young and inexperienced in private equity this year.

The most junior PE professionals saw base salaries increase by 14 percent to $125,000, according to a study by recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles.

Pay levels for higher-ranking partners and managing directors were stagnant, but don’t feel too bad. Managing partners averaged about $500,000, with some raking in as much as $1 million, the recruiter said.

“This sustained compensation growth reflects private equity’s strength in recent years,” the firm said Tuesday in a press release. “Due to strong fundraising and performance, candidates are ‘stickier,’ and we need to reach out to two to three times the number of investment professionals as we did in recent years.”

Out of more than 600 people surveyed at all levels of employment, more than half reported an increase in base salary from last year, and a fifth of respondents saw their base salary rise more than 20 percent. And that doesn’t include bonuses and carried interest, or their cut of deal profits.

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