Heidrick & Struggles: Private-Equity Compensation Trends in Asia: 2016

Heidrick & Struggles present the results of their APAC Private Equity Compensation Survey 2015/2016, which was conducted in November and December 2015. They invited more than 2,500 private equity professionals working in global and regional platforms across Asia Pacific to participate by completing an online survey of compensation. This is the third annual edition of the survey and participation has grown each year.

This survey examines the following topics

  • How has compensation developed over the past three years?
  • How does compensation compare across levels?
  • How does compensation compare across fund size?
  • How does compensation compare across strategies?
  • How does compensation vary across geographic locations?
  • What is the internal perception of how prepared regional and global firms are for succession in Asia?
  • What is the internal perception of how transparent and equitable compensation policies are at regional and global funds in Asia?

Asia Pacific’s private equity industry continues to grow and mature at a swift pace. In 2015, private equity investment in the region topped US$ 139 billion, according to research from the Asian Venture Capital Journal, the highest ever total and up markedly from the US$92.5 billion in 2014. We continue to see sustained demand for experienced talent across investment, value creation and firm-level operations and finance professionals.

In this year’s report, Heidrick & Struggles sought to expand their focus slightly beyond compensation and to gather views on two related areas of concern for the industry: succession planning for senior leadership in Asia and the transparency of compensation across all levels of the organization. The responses in the succession planning section highlight a challenge that investment firms will need to face in their Asia businesses, whereas the transparency of compensation structures was seen as less of a concern. More than half of all Partners/Managing Directors who responded to our survey say their funds do not have a succession plan in place for the leaders of their Asia fund platforms. This was true for executives working on both global and regional platforms.

Global and regional funds are continuing to expand their office networks across Asia Pacific. Compensation levels are not uniform and tend to vary by market. Of the respondents, those based in mainland China reported the highest total compensation compared to their peers elsewhere in the region. In Heidrick & Struggles own recruitment work, they found that professionals with a strong track record of investing in China can command higher salaries than those elsewhere in the region. Australia followed closely behind China. Furthermore, regional hubs Hong Kong and Singapore reported similar compensation levels. This is a shift from our previous surveys, where professionals in Singapore reported lower compensation than those in Hong Kong.

To read the full report, click here.

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