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Summary: The general counsel at hedge fund managers can be a very rewarding position.
As the general counsel with most hedge fund managers, you can expect to earn between $500,000 and $2 million. The average falls closer to $1.1 million, with a few making well over $3 million. For an in-house position, this kind of compensation is all an attorney could hope for. Working at the largest and better performing hedge fund managers is a rewarding opportunity.
The demand for high quality legal talent tightened two years ago with the best in in-house counsel at hedge fund managers getting more options than before. The competition to get the best comes from other hedge fund managers, alternative asset managers, proprietary trading firms, and private equity firms.
The hedge fund industry experienced a good year in 2014. The industry’s total assets rose to a record-breaking $2.85 trillion. The industry hasn’t seen numbers these high since 2007.
Typically hedge fund general counsels only receive a base pay of $250,000 to $325,000. The remainder of their compensation package comes as a year-end cash bonus. If the general counsel is also a partner or member of the executive or senior management committee, then they will benefit from profit sharing as well.
Their compensation is affected by three factors: assets under management, fund performance, and complexity of investing strategies. If all three factors are positive, the general counsels can expect to earn top dollars. Hedge fund managers are expected to continue giving top pay to attract the best general counsels.
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