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Hedge Fund Managers Expect ‘Massive’ 34% Pay Cut: Survey

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Portfolio managers at hedge funds, facing an exodus of investors frustrated with high fees, are about to feel the pain from an estimated 34 percent reduction in their compensation.

While fund managers may take the biggest pay cut in the industry, professionals with seven or more years of experience see their total compensation declining by 14 percent on average for 2016, recruiter Odyssey Search Partners said in a report this week following a September survey of 500 hedge fund professionals.

“2016 should prove to be a belt-tightening year,” according to the report. “This pessimistic viewpoint is justified, given the poor industry performance.”

Hedge funds, which charge some of the highest fees in the money-management business, are experiencing mounting criticism from clients over steep costs and performance that mostly hasn’t kept pace with stock markets since the financial crisis. The industry had its worst withdrawals in July since early 2009.

Firms experiencing outflows this year are expected to pay 37 percent less in bonuses than those that had inflows, producing a payout closer to $288,000 compared with $394,000 for the better-performing funds, according to the report.

Junior analysts are the exception when it comes to pay. Those with less than three years of experience expect their compensation to increase on average by 10 percent to $321,000.

Hedge funds are expecting to hire more people with technology or legal experience as many funds are looking to improve data analysis and compliance, according to the report.