NAPERVILLE, Ill. (HedgeWorld.com)–Executive search firm HQ Search Inc. unveiled a survey of hedge fund industry executives and firms with the goal of creating a benchmark for industry pay.

HQ executives hope to create a statistically valid range of both base compensation and bonuses for just about any kind of hedge fund-related job, including positions in back office, customer service, trading, risk management and computer systems. “There’s a lot of different studies out there but nothing that can be considered an industry benchmark,” said Kathleen A. Graham, principal of HQ Search.

Given how hot the market is for qualified hedge fund personnel, the topic of compensation draws a lot of attention from both employers and employees. But industry players often are leery of sharing their salary and bonus information with outsiders.

To help attract as many participants as possible, HQ took steps to keep participants anonymous and will provide some survey results to participants for free.

Ms. Graham said survey participants will remain completely anonymous and the results will be filtered so that she will not be able to identify participants from their answers. HQ hired an independent market researcher, Janelle M. Barcelona, assistant professor of management and marketing at North Central College, Naperville,Ill., to compile and filter the raw data. Ms. Graham will have access to only filtered data, Ms. Barcelona said.

TASS Research, the hedge fund database unit of Tremont* Capital Management Inc., Rye, N.Y., is assisting with the survey by recommending to its database participants that they participate.

Ms. Graham said that use of a free email service, such as Microsoft’s Hotmail service, is allowed and that TASS members will be assigned a specific email to use if they want to use it.

As an additional incentive to fill out the questionnaire, hedge fund execs who fill out the survey will receive a report telling them whether their salary is above, below or at industry standards given their experience and education.

The results will be sold through white papers targeting different operational segments of the hedge fund industry or as a complete package. Pricing hasn’t been set yet, she said. The results will include analysis of how different variables affect compensation, such as assets under management, education or certification, the firm location, number of employees and investment strategy.

The online survey is available at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=62026359894 .

Ms. Graham and Ms. Barcelona will use the filtered results to write the white paper analyses. Kristin M. Fox, vice president of news and research and executive editor of HedgeWorld, will help edit the white papers.

*Tremont Capital Management Inc., Rye, N.Y., is a strategic partner of and a minority investor in HedgeWorld.

PBarr@HedgeWorld.com