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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

UK leads world

UK investment professionals’ annual pay packets are some 40% bigger than those of their global peers, according to a survey released in June by the CFA Institute and Russell Reynolds Associates.

The fourth biannual CFA Institute compensation survey compared the total pay of CFA Institute members in ten countries. It found that this year’s median total compensation for UK-based professionals is £115,500, which includes a median base salary of £70,000, an anticipated cash bonus of £30,000, and non-cash compensation (such as allowances for travel, education, etc) of £5,000. UK investment professionals enjoy the highest compensation of any of the ten countries surveyed, out-earning the global median by 40%.

Other findings of the survey include:

  • professionals employed by hedge funds and securities brokers/dealers are the highest-paid group, out-earning their investment peers by 59% and 32% respectively. Those at pension or investment consulting firms earn the least, around 34% less than the UK median;
  • investment professionals working in London earn on average 5% more than their counterparts outside the capital;
  • investment professionals with ten or more years of experience earn 47% more than the country median (£170,000);
  • those working for organisations headquartered outside the UK earn 25% more than those working for UK-based organisations.

The survey examines the compensation of portfolio managers, securities analysts, pension officers, and other senior-level investment professionals at an array of investment management and financial service organisations. The overall report has been conducted three times: in 1999, 2001, and 2003. Overall compensation among UK investment professionals has increased by 30% since the last survey (2003).

Investment professionals in the UK out-earn their peers in the other ten countries surveyed by a wide margin. Industry professionals in Switzerland, Japan, and the US form the compensation second-tier, while those in Australia, Germany, and South Africa form a third. Investment professionals in Singapore, Canada, and Hong Kong earn far less then their peers in the other countries surveyed.