Continued Demand for Investment Talent is Driving New Levels of Compensation

private equity compensation 2018The 2018 Private Equity Compensation Report, shows that increased fund raising and billions in funds looking for investments has resulted again this year in increased private equity and venture capital compensation.

Sixty-five percent of professionals reported an increase in cash earnings this year. The average reported cash compensation for private equity and venture capital professionals is $315,000 USD, another increase from the previous year. Private equity and venture capital professionals working in the largest firms continue to out-earn their peers in smaller firms.

North American dry powder levels are now measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The report reveals increased demand for investment talent again this year. “We predicted this trend several years ago based on private equity professionals reporting increases in both base and bonus, despite their funds not producing outstanding returns,” said David Kochanek, Publisher of

The correlation between bonus pay and firm performance continues to diminish. In 2017, it became apparent that the absence of close correlation is the new normal. In this 2018 report, we see that respondents employed in firms whose performance is down by 1 to 9 percent still forecast an average bonus of $161,000.

For private equity job seekers, the Private Equity Compensation Report for 2018 reveals which positions are in demand, what percentage of firms are hiring, and where firms are cutting back – and the career opportunities are increasing across the board. For example, 25 percent of respondents’ firms are hiring in the back office for accounting personnel and 27 percent said they are hiring in operations and portfolio management.

As seen in prior years, when the demand for talent is high, the level of satisfaction with overall compensation is low. Again this year, more than half of respondents described their compensation as unsatisfactory, including some principals, managing directors and senior analysts.

Firms would be wise to tune into their team’s thoughts on compensation levels right now. “Often times, the first indication of a problem is when the employee turns in their 2-week notice and is headed out to join another firm,” Kochanek warns.

About The Report

The 2018 Private Equity and Venture Capital Compensation Report is based on data collected directly from hundreds of private equity and venture capital partners, principals and employees.

The report, in its eleventh year of publication, is widely regarded to be among the most comprehensive benchmarks for private equity and venture capital compensation. It provides independent and impartial data covering a broad range of salary, bonus, carried interest and other compensation related information, sourced directly from professionals working within the industry.