Hedge funds versus asset managers: the technology pay stakes

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The flow of technologists from investment banks to hedge funds has been increasing over the last year or so, with people tempted by the promise of larger bonuses. It's easy to forget, however, that asset managers are also competing for the same pool of IT talent - and generally pay less.

Asset management IT recruitment has remained relatively buoyant, even in the current climate, with more firms both facing increased data management challenges and developing more technology in-house.

Clearly, there's a challenge to attract the best techies, and research from recruiters Hays Finance Technology suggests that, while large investment managers remain competitive, pay at hedge funds is still better within most job roles.

It's only project management and senior positions where investment managers pay more.

According to Hays' research, these are the average salaries you should expect for various technology roles:

Business analysts:

Investment manager: 62k

Hedge fund: 66.5k

Infrastructure:

Investment manager: 44.3k

Hedge fund: 52k

Microsoft developer:

Investment manager: 54.6k

Hedge fund: 75k

Java developer:

Investment manager: 61.7k

Hedge funds: 98k

Support:

Investment manager: 45.8k

Hedge fund: 49k

Graduate:

Investment manager: 30.2k

Hedge fund: 32.5k

Management:

Investment manager: 102k

Hedge fund: 96k

Project manager:

Investment manager: 71k

Hedge fund: 61k

Databases:

Investment manager: 63k

Hedge fund: 75k

Source: Hays Finance Technology

If there's a similarity in base salaries, there's a disparity in bonuses. Nick Finlay, head of investment management at Hays Finance Technology, says that fund managers typically pay a bonus of 15-30%, while hedge funds offer 30-60%.

The strongest demand currently is for Microsoft and Java developers, support and business analysts, he adds.

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