PE Associate Compensation

Rank: Baboon | 139

I'd like to start this thread to assimilate compensation numbers for associates in PE megafunds and MM funds.
Base + Cash bonus + stock bonus + any carry if offered.

Private Equity Associate Compensation

Starting a career in top private equity fund is a goal for many young financiers. There are two ways that most people get into private equity firms. One, after a successful two years as an analyst at a top investment bank. Two, as a post-MBA candidate. This is why associate level pay is more relevant than analyst pay. So let's take a look at compensation at the first year associate level. The funds listed below are all Mega-funds. The funds have been ranked by total average compensation. If you would like company and group-specific compensation data, please visit the WSO Company Database.

  1. The Carlyle Group
    • Average Base: 190.0
    • Average Bonus: 160.0
    • Total Average Compensation: 350.0
  2. Apollo Global Management
    • Average Base: 161.7
    • Average Bonus: 167.5
    • Total Average Compensation: 329.2
  3. Warburg Pincus
    • Average Base: 160.0
    • Average Bonus: 160.0
    • Total Average Compensation: 320.0
  4. Advent International
    • Average Base: 140.0
    • Average Bonus: 140.0
    • Total Average Compensation: 280.0
  5. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR)
    • Average Base: 116.7
    • Average Bonus: 151.7
    • Total Average Compensation: 268.4
  6. TPG Capital
    • Average Base: 119.0
    • Average Bonus: 148.5
    • Total Average Compensation: 267.5
  7. The Blackstone Group
    • Average Base: 106.3
    • Average Bonus: 117.5
    • Total Average Compensation: 223.8

The information used to compile this list is from the 2018 Private Equity Industry Report. The report includes compensation data from 138 private equity firms.Remember that the compensation you are accustomed to hearing for top performers in the top groups in New York is well above the average for cities around the world. The compensation average graphs are a global average which includes regional cities and groups that bring the average down.

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Comments (60)

 
12/20/14
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9 LBO Modeling Tests, 10+ hours of PE Cases and 2,447+ interview insights across 203 private equity funds. The WSO Private Equity Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to break into the competitive PE industry. Learn more.

 
12/20/14
 
12/20/14

Even if I didnt have any background from your post history it would be obvious. Only people who have unrealistic expectations about their post-banking opportunities (ie. college students or new analysts) would want to know such information.

 
7/30/15

Is there anything wrong with new analysts wanting to know what they could possibly make after they move on? Also, nice shift from 'you're not even in banking' to suggesting I'm a 'new analyst', apparently working in banking as an analyst for 6 months doesn't count as being in banking. Also, thanks a lot for taking away the focus of my well-intentioned post.

 
12/20/14

PE Analyst
Middle market firm
No experience
Texas
60k
20% bonus

No stock
No carry

MS in Finance
Undergrad in Marketing

I'm cheap labor, I guess. Haha.

 
3/6/17

.

Double Doubler

 
10/6/16

.

Double Doubler

 
2/1/17
"Double Doubler" wrote:

Canadian pension fund, post MBA analyst, career transfer, $75k base + 25% bonus

What city? What is cost of living like? I'm sure in some parts of Canada that'd be a solid income... In NYC that is an insult.

 
3/6/17

.

Double Doubler

 
12/20/14

Hey alpha, crack a beer and breath. Harvardorbust is just being a ball-buster, pay him no attention. Let's keep this conversation going.

Double Doubler

 
12/20/14

I bet you're one of those kids who changed his LinkedIn title to "Incoming Investment Banking Summer Analyst" right after getting the offer. Guess you need to have some accurate inputs for your personal net worth DCF valuation. Don't forget to put sensitivities around all the carry you're going to get as a first year associate

 
12/20/14
HarvardOrBust wrote:

I bet you're one of those kids who changed his LinkedIn title to "Incoming Investment Banking Summer Analyst" right after getting the offer. Guess you need to have some accurate inputs for your personal net worth DCF valuation. Don't forget to put sensitivities around all the carry you're going to get as a first year associate

what's wrong with changing his linked In, doe?

 
12/20/14
HarvardOrBust wrote:

I bet you're one of those kids who changed his LinkedIn title to "Incoming Investment Banking Summer Analyst" right after getting the offer. Guess you need to have some accurate inputs for your personal net worth DCF valuation. Don't forget to put sensitivities around all the carry you're going to get as a first year associate

LOL!!!

 
3/3/15
HarvardOrBust wrote:

I bet you're one of those kids who changed his LinkedIn title to "Incoming Investment Banking Summer Analyst" right after getting the offer. Guess you need to have some accurate inputs for your personal net worth DCF valuation. Don't forget to put sensitivities around all the carry you're going to get as a first year associate

This is hilarious. I actually laughed when I saw someone on LinkedIn do this last week.

Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe those who are dedicated.

 
6/7/15
"THE PsYcHoLoGy" wrote:

HarvardOrBust:
I bet you're one of those kids who changed his LinkedIn title to "Incoming Investment Banking Summer Analyst" right after getting the offer. Guess you need to have some accurate inputs for your personal net worth DCF valuation. Don't forget to put sensitivities around all the carry you're going to get as a first year associate

This is hilarious. I actually laughed when I saw someone on LinkedIn do this last week.

what's wrong w/ that?

I mean.. he IS an incoming investment banking analyst... Dude prolly worked hard for it and is proud of the accomplishment.

I aint even mad

 
12/20/14

HarvardOrBust: Why you riding alpha so hard? Understanding compensation is a vital part of choosing a career path. Give Alpha a break and stop being a troll.
I myself did a personal DCF valuation years back to figure out the NPV of quitting a great engineering job, stop working for two years, pay for MBA tuition, a wedding, with the assumption I'd get a better job in the long-term. Those models are never accurate, but they should still be done. The only people I know who would disagree are bankrolled by their parents, and not all of us are so fortunate.
There's even a part of this site entirely devoted to employment compensation, it's a normal question to ask. To boot, I also change my Linkedin status soon after starting in a new role - it tells my network what I'm up to.

Double Doubler

Learn More

9 LBO Modeling Tests, 10+ hours of PE Cases and 2,447+ interview insights across 203 private equity funds. The WSO Private Equity Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to break into the competitive PE industry. Learn more.

 
12/20/14

Oy, who threw monkey shit at me for sharing my info? That's bollocks.

Double Doubler

 
12/20/14

At little dated (this is for associates that started Summer 2013) but still useful. MM compensation is so varied it's hard to generalize, but at upper-MM pay will be similar to (or possibly higher than) most megafunds.

Apollo: $140k base + $125k stub
Bain: $115k base + $175k full year
Carlyle: $105k base + $175k
KKR: $100k base + $175k
TPG: $110k base + $70k stub
Warburg Pincus: $125k base + $125k

 
12/20/14
Slash-Finance wrote:

At little dated (this is for associates that started Summer 2013) but still useful. MM compensation is so varied it's hard to generalize, but at upper-MM pay will be similar to (or possibly higher than) most megafunds.

Apollo: $140k base + $125k stub

Bain: $115k base + $175k full year

Carlyle: $105k base + $175k

KKR: $100k base + $175k

TPG: $110k base + $70k stub

Warburg Pincus: $125k base + $125k

Are these post or pre-MBA associates?

 
12/21/14
3 handicap wrote:
Slash-Finance:

At little dated (this is for associates that started Summer 2013) but still useful. MM compensation is so varied it's hard to generalize, but at upper-MM pay will be similar to (or possibly higher than) most megafunds.

Apollo: $140k base + $125k stub

Bain: $115k base + $175k full year

Carlyle: $105k base + $175k

KKR: $100k base + $175k

TPG: $110k base + $70k stub

Warburg Pincus: $125k base + $125k

Are these post or pre-MBA associates?

Pre

 
12/21/14
 
2/1/17
"Dat_Centaur" wrote:

At little dated (this is for associates that started Summer 2013) but still useful. MM compensation is so varied it's hard to generalize, but at upper-MM pay will be similar to (or possibly higher than) most megafunds.

Apollo: $140k base + $125k stubBain: $115k base + $175k full yearCarlyle: $105k base + $175kKKR: $100k base + $175kTPG: $110k base + $70k stubWarburg Pincus: $125k base + $125k

Apollo or bust.

Surprised at how low TPG is comparatively.

 
2/2/17

This is outdated - all those numbers are slightly up. I header Apollo is close to $300k all in

 
12/21/14

Apollo is not 125k stub. 110k stub, so ~260k annualized if that's how you want to look at it.
This is for 2013. Don't know about 2014, but assuming it's similar.

Warburg is also not 125k annual. They've changed their comp in the past year or so and now target closer to $300k all in

 
12/22/14
abcdefghij wrote:

Apollo is not 125k stub. 110k stub, so ~260k annualized if that's how you want to look at it.

This is for 2013. Don't know about 2014, but assuming it's similar.

Warburg is also not 125k annual. They've changed their comp in the past year or so and now target closer to $300k all in

So apollo associates make ~$400k all in on an annual basis assuming the 140k base is right?

jesus

 
12/21/14

Anyone have any numbers for private equity analysts/associates at the US pension funds?

Based on the numbers above, I feel like I might need to move to the US...

Double Doubler

 
12/21/14

I think those numbers above are just the megafunds. MM and lower MM comp profiles seem much different.

 
12/21/14

If anyone would like to share MM and lower MM, as well as pension fund PE comp, I'd be quite interested to know.

Double Doubler

 
12/21/14

This might sound a little obvious... but I just checked the Company DB section and they've got a ton of data, and answered most of my questions about compensation pretty darn quickly! Seems like my company isn't too far off the mark, adjusted for cost of living.

Double Doubler

 
12/22/14

(Incoming) MM PE
Not Northeast (Low COL city)
100k base
90-100k bonus / signing / co-invest

 
 
12/22/14

What's your experience, level of education? How many hours do you work a week, typically?

Double Doubler

 
12/22/14

what do you mean by 90-100k bouns / signing / "co-invest"

Asking re: co-invest in particularly. Is the fund extending you a line of credit (part of the 90-100k??) to co-invest in deals. Can you break down the 3 parts of the 90-100k if that is the case?

 
2/1/17

They can't pay you with intensity; they have to pay you with cash and carry.

How big is AUM? Fee structure? If it's just the two of you I'd hope you have negotiated some carry, like a couple points with an escalating schedule.

 
2/1/17

I was hired into a law position originally and negotiated up from the 70k offer, but didn't renegotiate after I switched to investment associate and assumed they would have it make sense with my bonus. The two of us are the only dedicated investment personnel, but my boss who is a partner has two other partners, but they are involved in operating the portfolio companies and general investment strategy, but don't actually do the day to day fund work.

AUM is 150mm, but extremely aggressive growth, will likely have multiples of this in a few years due to our excellent investor base. This is another thing I've considered, since even if I feel like they are low balling me right now, might potentially be worth the risk to stay in if it grows and they make it up later?

 
2/1/17
Smiths wrote:

I was hired into a law position originally and negotiated up from the 70k offer, but didn't renegotiate after I switched to investment associate and assumed they would have it make sense with my bonus. The two of us are the only dedicated investment personnel, but my boss who is a partner has two other partners, but they are involved in operating the portfolio companies and general investment strategy, but don't actually do the day to day fund work.

AUM is 150mm, but extremely aggressive growth, will likely have multiples of this in a few years due to our excellent investor base. This is another thing I've considered, since even if I feel like they are low balling me right now, might potentially be worth the risk to stay in if it grows and they make it up later?

You were getting $70k total as in-house counsel? Isn't that pretty low?

 
2/1/17

If I were in your situation - and assuming you want to stay there longer term - I'd try to focus the bonus conversation on carry rather than cash. You could present a compelling case about aligning your incentives with your CIO.

 
2/1/17

While I was negotiating with my boss over my starting salary, he said I'll reach a point where I won't even care what my salary is, but did not specify when that point would come

 
2/1/17
 
2/1/17

Why does a start-up PE fund with (presumably)

 
2/1/17
Black Jack wrote:

Why does a start-up PE fund with (presumably) <5 people have an in-house counsel?

I could imagine this under a few very specific investment strategies (distressed, highly regulated industries, etc.). I would be interested to know if OP is still fulfilling the in house counsel role as well as the investment associate role.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."

 
2/1/17

I was pulling a little above US$150k as a 29 year old working as in-house lawyer for a mid-tier IB in 2005, doing a lot of PE work for the IB's balance sheet deals. That was in Hong Kong where the tax rate is only 15%. I flipped to the PE side a few years later and was on a base in the $200s. Unless you're a young attorney, US$80k sounds low for someone with an attorney's execution + structuring + legal skills in 2014, unless the bonus is a really high % of base.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.

 
2/1/17

Post 2009 legal salaries are very different than pre-2009 salaries other than big law. Starting salary for this position when it was mostly legal should be around 70-100. It was a bit on the low end but I figured I have a good shot at getting well beyond that after first year.

Completely different story now. I flat out don't even want to do this job anymore if they aren't going to pay me substantially more than what I make now, does not seem worth the stress knowing law was actually less for me and the hours were lower.

When I was mostly doing law here I felt like they were paying me in the ballpark of what I should be getting my first year at a company of this size, but the same salary doing what I do now just feels way off. I'm not sure what it should be but seems like it should be substantially more than what I am getting right now although no idea what type of bonus I will get.

 
2/1/17

Im in the same boat as you. Joined a start-up PE fund from IB and getting paid around the same. Though my hours aren't as intense (realistically 60-70 a week), the salary is far below my peers (have 0 insight on bonus). Considering we are out of fundraising, I dont see why they couldnt throw me a bone. Considering leaving after year 1 if I dont get at least 50% bonus, though many say they wish they had this opp because it allows the opportunity to stay onto a post MBA position without leaving. Does the community have any thoughts?

 
2/1/17

Don't do anything rash. Wait and see how bonus is. Have a conversation with your boss on what to expect.

 
2/1/17
masterg wrote:

Don't do anything rash. Wait and see how bonus is. Have a conversation with your boss on what to expect.

That's my plan, not a word until after bonus. If I'm dissapointed and they won't give me anything in writing for the future, seems like a no brainee

 
12/22/14

Lower-middle market firm associate
1.5 years experience as pre-mba analyst
Texas
77K base, 35K to 40K bonus, 25 bps carry (0.2% out of 100%), co-invest, ability to get advance on bonus to use as co-invest

 
12/23/14

Have you had any luck with the carry?

 
12/23/14

carry is a long-term incentive...won't expect to see any real value for 4-6 years (fund just started). It's not a meaningful amount of carry on the size fund we have...more meant to be a gesture that I am a part of the team and the long-term vision even at the lowest level of the firm.

 
12/23/14
spyvspyder wrote:

carry is a long-term incentive...won't expect to see any real value for 4-6 years (fund just started). It's not a meaningful amount of carry on the size fund we have...more meant to be a gesture that I am a part of the team and the long-term vision even at the lowest level of the firm.

sounds like you got in at the right time. props, good sir.

 
2/1/17
"spyvspyder" wrote:

Lower-middle market firm associate1.5 years experience as pre-mba analystTexas77K base, 35K to 40K bonus, 25 bps carry (0.2% out of 100%), co-invest, ability to get advance on bonus to use as co-invest

That seems like a strong package.

 
12/23/14

Is it market to offer associates the opportunity to co-invest?

 
12/23/14

I think the value of co-invest depends on the deal size and return expectations. For lower-middle market, where the managers are targeting a 3.5x for each deal, co-invest may make some sense. You are locking away your money for a potentially long time, but have a high target return. However, bigger funds seem to have lower expectations of returns (2.0x to 2.5x deals), so it probably doesn't make a ton of financial sense to lock up your own money for best-case a 2.0x your money. At least that's why I think co-invest is more of an opportunity at the lower-middle market level, and probably not smart with big, lower expected return deals.

 
6/8/15

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