How Much Am I Worth?: UK Portfolio Manager, Midsize UK Investment Management Firm

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A panel of specialist headhunters give their assessment of typical London pay packages: UK portfolio manager, midsize UK investment management firm: salary - [pound]80,000, bonus 100%-200% of salary. It is said that 10 years must pass before one can start to feel nostalgic for time passed, but most UK portfolio managers are already looking back on the late 1990s as a golden, halcyon era.

The sky seemed the limit for the FTSE - and for technology stocks. All it seemed to take to be a successful fund manager was to choose the right sector and then sit back and see the index climb northwards.

These days, with the long promised recovery in equities still awaited and so many UK portfolio managers "resting" or tending to their gardens, the best news is that most of the medium-sized financial institutions have no more fat left to cut.

However, the bad news is that with the UK being the market covered in the most depth by UK portfolio managers, supply is currently much greater than demand will be even when the job market recovers: this means that for pay packages, it will be a while before the glory days return.

"These days, UK investment management firms are simply not wanting to match the salaries that were paid a few years back: in fact they are trying to claw back what they now see were grossly inflated packages," says David Carrier of Wellington Consulting, who says the typical mid-sized UK firm will pay well below the level of a US or European major.

He notes that packages in 2001 fell steeply from the 2000 level, when [pound]100,000 with a 300% bonus was not unusual; the slide will continue into 2002 as expectations fade that the FTSE is about to emerge from the doldrums.

Martin Symon of Alexander Mann Global Markets (AMGM) says that salary still depends very much on length of experience, with a five-year record of managing funds successfully commanding a salary range [pound]60,000-[pound]80,000 with bonuses very much based on performance: 100% is now deemed quite good, with equity participation increasingly offered where this is possible. …