Family offices salary data reveals how much the advisers to the world's wealthiest make, from investment analysts to CEOs

  • A recent report from the family-office recruitment firm Agreus Group sheds light on compensation at the typically opaque wealth managers known as family offices.
  • The London-based firm broke out median salary data for family offices around the world, for employees from analysts all the way up to executive leadership. 
  • In the US, the median base annual salary for a family-office chief executive ranged from $264,001 to $330,000, per the report published in June, with data gathered before the onset of the pandemic.
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Family offices, the loosely regulated and often secretive private investment firms managing wealth for the richest people in the world, are growing in size and complexity.

As some start looking more like traditional institutional wealth managers and look to hire fresh talent in a competitive market, a recent report sheds light on how they pay employees, from analysts and bookkeepers to chief executives, in the US and around the world.

The report from Agreus Group, a London-based recruitment firm focused on family offices, shows that wealth managers are increasingly using formalized bonus structures and long-term incentive plans to draw in new talent, primarily for leadership and investment-focused roles.

As the family-office industry has become "more professionalized" over the past decade, Agreus wrote, this has been a "growing trend." The report's authors called the family-office space a maturing market. Employees in American and European family offices receive these sorts of bonuses more than counterparts based in Asia and other regions, the report said.

The way family offices are allocating capital is also changing.

Read more: Family offices oversee trillions in wealth and are highly secretive. But that's changing as they chase direct deals — and company execs want to know who's behind the money.

A growing number of family offices are engaging in so-called direct deals, in which the firms invest directly in a company rather than putting money in a fund or other vehicle, which could give family offices more control in an investment, Business Insider previously reported.

"In the turbulent post-COVID-19 environment, family offices took comfort in the greater control they could exercise over direct investments," UBS, the Swiss bank and wealth manager, said in its July family-office report, which examined data from 121 of the world's largest family offices overseeing some $142 billion.

A handful of factors such as firm size, location, and assets under management drive family-office compensation, and salaries are often renewed on an annual basis, according to the Agreus report.

Read more: UBS has a new group to help advisers working with the mega-rich as part of a plan to rake in $70 billion in assets over 3 years

Here is a breakdown of the median annual base salary data for US-based family-office employees, according to Agreus, which collected its data over a six-month period from 2019 to this year, before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief executive officer (CEO)

  • 39.6% of CEOs made more than $396,001.
  • The median salary ranged from $264,001 to $330,000.

Chief investment officer (CIO)

  • 31% of CIOs made more than $396,001.
  • The median salary ranged from $264,001 to $330,000.

Chief financial officer (CFO)

  • 26.5% of CFOs made between $198,001 and $264,000.
  • 19% of CFOs made between $264,001 and $330,000.
  • 16% of CFOs made over $396,001.
  • The median salary ranged from $198,001 to $264,000.

Chief operating officer (COO)

  • 43.8% of COOs made between $198,001 and $264,000.
  • 25% of COOs made more than $396,001.
  • The median salary ranged from $198,001 to $264,000.

Portfolio managers & investment specialists

  • 19.7% of portfolio managers and investment specialists made between $198,001 and $264,000.
  • The median salary ranged from $158,001 to $198,000.

Legal counsel

  • 20.6% of legal counsel made between $158,001 and $198,000.
  • 17.7% of legal counsel made over $396,001.
  • The median salary ranged from $158,001 to $198,000.

Financial controller

  • 20.8% of financial controllers made between $99,001 and $132,000.
  • 20.8% of financial controllers made between $132,001 and $158,000.
  • 20.8% of financial controllers made between $158,001 and $198,000.
  • The median salary ranged from $132,001 to $158,000.

Investment analyst

  • 29.5% of investment analysts made between $99,001 and $132,000.
  • The median salary ranged from $99,001 to $132,000.

Accountant

  • 31.7% of accountants made between $72,001 and $85,000.
  • 26.7% of accountants made between $99,001 and $132,000.
  • The median salary ranged from $85,001 to $99,000.

Fiduciary & trust specialist

  • 20.7% of fiduciary and trust specialists made between $85,001 and $99,000.
  • The median salary ranged from $85,001 to $99,000.

Personal assistant

  • 34.7% of personal assistants made under $60,000.
  • The median salary ranged from $60,001 to $72,000.

Bookkeeper

  • 60.4% of bookkeepers made under $60,000.
  • The median salary ranged under $60,000.

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