Asset Management Salary and Lifestyle

Hi, I am soon to finish up my undergrad studies and am trying to choose a profession for myself. My interests tend to shift over time but currently I am strongly considering a career in Asset Management and had some questions about that field.

1) I am looking for an occupation with a decent work-life balance. I don't need to work 9-5 but I want to have time during evenings and weekends to enjoy life (family, movies, sports, exercise...) and don't only want to focus on my profession (although I am willing to work very very hard for the first 5-10 years). Is this possible in asset management? Can one become a portfolio manager in a mutual fund (I understand that HF's tend to have longer hours), for example, and work regular and normal hours? Are their any other asset management roles that you think would be a good fit for me?

2) What is the compensation like in asset management for your typical successful professional, who has a decent MBA? I am not looking to know the salary for the super successful financiers (which can be in the billions) nor for an unsuccessful uncommitted person, but rather, again, for a successful, hard working individual. I saw some figures in the 500,000 range (for mid-career), but also figures substantially higher and lower. What do you say?
Thanks!

Asset Management Salary And Lifestyle

People working towards a career in asset management or considering it are often in the dark about the pay and workload. They are aware that the compensation is good, but they are unaware of the salary of an asset manager. They know you have to work hard, but can you do the 9-5 or are the days long and hard? The answers vary, but there is a general trend that we can cover.

Asset Management Salary

Asset Manager salaries are a little tamer and less varied than a many other jobs in finance.

At bulge bracket investment banks, user @joshuagoodwin0 said:

I think at JPM starting is 70k first 2 years, 80k third, 90K 4th, this is in NYC

In other locations though it can be as much as 30% less, obviously the difference is purely numerical because the cost of living is lower.

And while user @Tulip agreed on the salary and progression, they elaborated with:

You see your annual "raise" in your bonus increases, and your bonus will depend a ton on which group you get placed in.

At a traditional asset management firm you will make a little less in bonuses, but you will have much better hours.

Asset Management Lifestyle

Asset managers often make a little less than investment bankers, but they also work less.
User @urmomgostocollege said:

Same base as banking, with 30% less bonus and at least 30% less hours worked.

Portfolio managers will make quite a bit more money. Even in small companies.
In the words of user @TheBig:

I'm not 100% sure as far as progression goes, but here's the rough idea of the salaries the PMs at the IMD firm I intern at make. $4B AUM, only 18 people in the firm.

CIO & President (2) = $3,500,000+
Senior PM (2) = $2,000,000+
PM (2) = $1,000,000+

As you can see, asset managers start off with a lower salary and a lower workload, but with hard work and a knack for it you can move up to the same astronomical numbers that highly successful investment bankers see.

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Comments (31)

Oct 4, 2011

You're not going to make the big bucks with a 9-5 job, that's for damn sure. In terms of hours input / pay output ratio in AM, I'm not too sure, However, asset management tends to have a better work life balance than the investment banking side. Most of my clients in AM get in early, and leave around 5ish, which isn't bad time wise. You can easily make a decent living doing AM.

Oct 4, 2011

I have a friend who is about to start year 2 at HBS and got an offer at of fund of hedge funds that pays ~$275k starting, all in. She said she arrived around 7am and left between 5-6pm weekdays and never worked weekends when she interned there this past summer.

Hope this helps

Oct 5, 2011
abacaxi:

I have a friend who is about to start year 2 at HBS and got an offer at of fund of hedge funds that pays ~$275k starting, all in. She said she arrived around 7am and left between 5-6pm weekdays and never worked weekends when she interned there this past summer.

Hope this helps

The $275K is just base salary and signing bonus? So basically guaranteed first-year compensation? If so, that's definitely one of the highest full-time offers coming out of any b-school. I'm pretty sure not even paulson or citadel offers that much in base+signing for someone just coming out of an MBA program.

Oct 4, 2011
Brady4MVP:
abacaxi:

I have a friend who is about to start year 2 at HBS and got an offer at of fund of hedge funds that pays ~$275k starting, all in. She said she arrived around 7am and left between 5-6pm weekdays and never worked weekends when she interned there this past summer.

Hope this helps

The $275K is just base salary and signing bonus? So basically guaranteed first-year compensation? If so, that's definitely one of the highest full-time offers coming out of any b-school. I'm pretty sure not even paulson or citadel offers that much in base+signing for someone just coming out of an MBA program.

I think she meant $275k including the "average" year-end bonus. She didn't break down the pay structure, so not sure what the base salary is

Oct 5, 2011

I was talking to a guy who used to work at PIMCO, and he said most portfolio managers who've been there for at least a few years were making $500K+. But the real big money went to like the top 5 or so guys, who were easily making eight figures. And of course, gross and el-erian are making a lot more than that.

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Best Response
Oct 6, 2011

Any decent portfolio manager will be working hard and have an irregular lifestyle. They have to travel around doing research and meeting with clients, so it comes with the territory. I don't know why people on this board seem to get the impression that mutual fund companies are tame beasts compared to those wild hedge fund cowboys. Most of the time, they really aren't all that different.

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Oct 6, 2011

Thanks for the responses. If anybody has any further information please post it.

Oct 7, 2011

Typically mutual fund managers have over 8 years experience, they tend to promote from within.
Long story short career path is Analyst >>> Portfolio Manager.
Pay for Portfolio Managers are based on their track record i.e. returns vs. benchmark, tracking error, AUMs, etc.

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Oct 7, 2011
Oct 6, 2011

Thanks for the responses. I am, however, mostly looking for information about salary and lifestyle and am not yet ready to explore the career path in much depth.

Oct 11, 2011

Don't you want to consider becoming a trader rather than managing others account?

Oct 7, 2011
sellena:

Don't you want to consider becoming a trader rather than managing others account?

Why dangle the banana that not all monkeys get to play with?

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Oct 6, 2011

Hi Sellena,
Well what exactly does a trader do? Also what is the lifestyle (ie. hours worked) and salary of a trader like?

Nov 20, 2011

bump

Nov 28, 2011

the salary straight out of college up to business school is no different from our investment banking counterparts. lifestyle is a tad bit lenient in terms of work-life balance but dont count on it

Nov 28, 2011

How about life style/hours for west coast AM firms? Any truth to getting in at 4am leaving at 2pm or something close? Thanks.

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Jun 25, 2012

.

Jun 25, 2012
John Rolfe:

How about life style/hours for west coast AM firms? Any truth to getting in at 4am leaving at 2pm or something close? Thanks.

My best friend works in a west coast AM firm. In at 4am, out at 5-5:30pm, M-F. I never see him/her anymore.

Jul 23, 2014

I'm at an AM firm on the west coast- hours are 5:30 to around 4-4:30. sometimes 3:30. I think my firm's culture is very chill compared to what I've read about others though.

Jul 23, 2014

Depends on location and the BB

I think at JPM starting is 70k first 2 years, 80k third, 90K 4th, this is in NYC

In other locations though it can be as much as 30% less, obviously the difference is purely numerical because the cost of living is lower.

Jul 23, 2014
cpn6464:

I was hoping someone might be able to elaborate on the typical salary progression for an asset management employee straight out of undergrad at a BB or traditional manager or both if its the same. For example:
Analyst: 1,000,000
2nd year analyst: 1.2 million
Associate, vp, etc..(with more realistic numbers of course)

Thanks in advance

P.s. I tried using the search function already, if you can find a good thread, touche please share the link

It's pretty much all the same for each bank. In that, you won't make any less in base salary if you're in a satellite office or something. All BB banks are starting analysts at 70k + bonus (I think some of the boutiques are more though). You see your annual "raise" in your bonus increases, and your bonus will depend a ton on which group you get placed in.

I have no idea about the AM analyst's salary though. It is probably around the same with a little less bonus and a lot less hours worked, depending on the firm and group.

"Now that I think about it...I never actually know when you guys are here in the office. Kind of like furniture...I just assume."

Jul 23, 2014

Yes, I was asking about NYC- should have mentioned that in the first place.

Jul 23, 2014

Tulip is spot on. Same base as banking, with 30% less bonus and at least 30% less hours worked.

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Jul 23, 2014
urmomgostocollege:

Tulip is spot on. Same base as banking, with 30% less bonus and at least 30% less hours worked.

Agree. If you leave BB land, the number fluctuate...

    • 1
Jul 23, 2014

I'm not 100% sure as far as progression goes, but here's the rough idea of the salaries the PMs at the IMD firm I intern at make. $4B AUM, only 18 people in the firm.

CIO & President (2) = $3,500,000+
Senior PM (2) = $2,000,000+
PM (2) = $1,000,000+

That's all they have on the advisory team. They have a handful of traders and people in their ops department who I think are all between $75,000 - $150,000. Compliance doesn't go higher than $60,000.

Rest goes towards travel budget.

Jul 23, 2014
StryfeDSP:

I'm not 100% sure as far as progression goes, but here's the rough idea of the salaries the PMs at the IMD firm I intern at make. $4B AUM, only 18 people in the firm.

CIO & President (2) = $3,500,000+
Senior PM (2) = $2,000,000+
PM (2) = $1,000,000+

That's all they have on the advisory team. They have a handful of traders and people in their ops department who I think are all between $75,000 - $150,000. Compliance doesn't go higher than $60,000.

Rest goes towards travel budget.

You intern there? How in the hell do you know the compensation of anyone there? When I mention any comp numbers (which is either extremely rarely or never, I can't remember) it's because I knew the comp of people at my firm, because I was in management there. I have never heard of a VP knowing the comp of the PMs, let alone an intern.

Everybody listen up, there is a huge amount of misinformation when you hear anecdotal stories about comp on this site and this is exactly why. Interns do not know the comp of the guy three or four levels up from them.

Not to mention there are a lot of other costs in running this business besides the 'travel budget'.

No offense kid, but this is fucking irritating that you are saying this and you have no idea if it's true or not.

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Jul 23, 2014

Interesting, do you know how old the PM's are?

Jul 23, 2014

I'm in AM and I make

....about tree fiddy :O

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