Softbank's Vision Fund is big. Very big. At $100bn, the Financial Times said in June that it's the, "largest pool of private money ever raised." Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone has described it as, "unprecedented." In London, the tech-focused fund operates out of a four storey building in Mayfair and is known for operating at the kind of dizzying pace which usually signifies long working hours for the people who work there. It also pays rather well - if you're at the top.
SB Investment Advisors UK - formerly known as Softbank Vision Advisors (effectively the Vision Fund) just released its first ever set of annual accounts. They suggest that Rajeev Misra - the former head of credit trading at Deutsche Bank - is handsomely remunerated for his role running the fund from the office in Mayfair. For the 16 months ending in March 2018, Vision's highest paid director was paid $4m, or $3m annually. This director is presumably Misra himself.
Vision is less lavish lower down the hierarchy. In March the fund employed 44 people (16 in the front office, 28 in the back office), to whom it paid a total of $8m over the same period - or an average of $181k each. In fact, much of the money is likely to have gone to the ex-senior Deutsche traders like Colin Fan who work with Misra at the fund. The junior investment bankers who've also joined will likely be further to the back of the pay queue.
Needless to say, it's still early days. Vision's propensity for paying its people is likely to increase if its investments go well. As of June, the FT said the fund had made 31 minority investments in tech firms, including in Uber and Didi Chuxing (a Chinese autonomous technology conglomerate) and WeWork. Private equity funds typically hold investments for a decade or more, although Softbank founder Mayoshi Son told the FT that Vision's strategy is to, "create a consortium of companies that can sustain SoftBank’s growth over 300 years," suggesting Vision employees could have to wait a while for their carried interest.
For the moment, SB Investment Advisors UK isn't profitable. In the 16 months to March 2018 it made a loss of $60m on turnover of $54m. If the highest paid director is to continue earning $3m a year, this will need to change.
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