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Hedge fund employees optimistic about 2009 pay

Date: Friday, December 11, 2009
Author: Svea Herbst-Bayliss, Reuters

Roughly one out of every four hedge fund firm employees expects to take home more money this year than last, according to data that offers evidence the industry is on the mend after 2008's heavy losses.

Research service Hedge Fund Jobs found that 28 percent of the employees polled expect their pay to rise by 15 percent. Some 9 percent are looking for their pay to double.

San Diego-based Hedge Fund Jobs Digest said the average hedge fund firm employee makes about $300,000. Only about 7 percent of the respondents said they made more than $1 million.

Hedge funds have long enjoyed a reputation for paying extremely well, with some industry stars earning hundreds of millions a year for savvy stock market bets.

But last year, when the average fund lost 19 percent, 1,471 funds shut down, leaving their employees with no salary at all.

Last year the survey showed a dramatic jump in satisfaction with salary, said David Kochanek, who publishes Hedge Fund Jobs Digest, noting that the people who had jobs were relieved.

This year the satisfaction rate has dropped again, he said.

At most hedge funds bonuses make up half of the annual compensation.