China private capital execs paid most in Asia

But the rise in compensation of private-market investment professionals slowed this year, according to research by Heidrick & Struggles.
China private capital execs paid most in Asia

Private capital professionals in China and Hong Kong received by far the highest total average compensation in Asia Pacific last year, according to a new survey. But the rise in regional remuneration slowed over the same period, found the research by recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles.

Compared with other Asia Pacific regions, Greater China reported the highest compensation, including anticipated bonuses, thanks to aggressive competition for top professionals, said the report. 

Private capital in that region received the highest total compensation, including expected bonuses, in Asia Pacific, with a mean salary base of $325,890 and mean bonus of $343,050, more than double that of their counterparts in India (see chart below).

Private capital compensation in Asia

As in last year’s survey, Australia came in second with regard to compensation levels, closely followed by Singapore and Southeast Asia.

“China continues to experience a short supply of seasoned investment professionals who can strike the balance of meeting Western compliance standards and cultural needs, and remaining ‘local’ enough to credibly execute deals on the mainland,” said Michael Di Cicco, Asia-Pacific sector leader for private equity and real estate at Heidrick & Struggles.

Slowing rise in remuneration

Meanwhile, private capital professionals, who have historically experienced a consistent rise in compensation, may be at a turning point, noted the report.

The number of such individuals reporting increases in their base salary and anticipated increases in their bonus last year fell compared to previous surveys.

Almost two-thirds of respondents said there was no change to their base salary in 2016 and only 38% expected their bonus to increase over that in 2015. In last year’s survey, nearly half of those polled had said they received an increase in base salary and 45% had anticipated a higher 2015 bonus.

“It was a challenging year in 2016 for private markets investing in Asia Pacific, and that’s going to affect compensation growth,” said Cicco. “Asking prices are high and competition is tough. Investments and exits were down both in terms of the number of deals and the overall value.”

Investments for the region were $120.4 billion in 2016, down from $142.9 billion in 2015, according to Asian Venture Capital Journal

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