Knowledge Center: Publication

Private Equity

Private equity compensation trends in North America: 2017

11/27/2017 Jonathan Goldstein, Mohd Arsalan and Larry Oberfeld
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Heidrick & Struggles invited investment professionals working at private equity firms making direct investments in North America to participate in an online compensation survey about base salaries, bonuses, and carried interest plans.

We received responses from more than 600 professionals across the value chain, including associates/senior associates, vice presidents, principals, partners/managing directors, and managing partners.

Over half of respondents (54%) reported an increase in base salary from 2016 to 2017, compared with 57% of respondents from 2016. Associates/senior associates experienced the largest base salary increase, with 14% growth, to $125,000, followed by vice presidents, with an increase of 13%, to $198,000. While principals experienced a 6% increase, base salaries for partners/managing directors and managing partners remained stagnant in 2017.

From 2016 to 2017, Heidrick & Struggles witnessed its strongest year in terms of assignments for investment professionals since 2007. Demand is high at all levels, but, similar to previous years, the majority of our mandates have been at the vice president and principal levels.

To read the full report, flip through the interactive version above or click the download button for the PDF.

About the authors

Mohd Arsalan ( leads the research team for Heidrick & Struggles’ Private Equity Practice; he is based in the Gurgaon office.

Jonathan Goldstein ( is a partner in the New York office; he leads the Private Equity Sector in the Americas.

Larry Oberfeld ( is an associate in the New York office; he is the thought leadership specialist for the Private Equity Practice.

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