New York / July 19, 2010 – Total compensation for risk professionals in the capital markets was on the rebound in 2009, returning to levels observed between 2003 and 2004 after steady declines in 2007 and 2008. These figures were reported in the sixth annual Professional Compensation Survey by Risk Talent Associates, a leading risk management executive search firm. Between 2008 and 2009, total compensation increased by 3%, following the sobering 12% decrease between 2007 and 2008 that reflected the impact of the credit crisis and early parts of the recession. Between 2008 and 2009, salaries grew by 2% and bonuses by 4%.
Employers’ willingness to deliver a bonus is on the rise, with 88% of respondents reporting receiving a bonus in 2009 versus only 79% in 2008. However, bonuses are certainly not as robust as those typical of the industry historically. Michael Woodrow, President of Risk Talent Associates, notes, “the rebound in total compensation demonstrates that employers are again willing to place great value on top-quality risk management. However, bonuses are far from pre-recessionary standards and while they are growing, it is on a lower growth trajectory.”
The survey also reveals that the rebound in total compensation is strongest for junior and mid-level risk managers in terms of years of experience and titles. Risk professionals with more than 16 years of experience, which includes 38% of survey participants, continued to see slight declines of 1% in total compensation. The average total compensation for Chief Risk Officers, which has topped $1 million in surveys prior to 2008, hovers around $850,000.
Michael Woodrow adds, “firms understand that their mid-level risk managers are under siege by recruiters, as financial services firms ease their headcount restrictions. As such, mid-level risk managers are being well compensated and appreciated. No firm wants to lose these valuable mid-level professionals. Senior risk officers, on the other hand, are not as quickly returning to pre-crash compensation levels.”
Over 400 risk professionals in the capital markets participated in this year’s risk salary survey, representing commercial banks (41%), investment banks (36%), foreign-owned banks (6%), government sponsored entities (9%), credit card (2%), mortgage brokers and lenders (5%) and foreign exchange (2%). Risk Talent Associates, an executive search firm focused on risk management, will publish additional survey updates in 2010 including asset management, compliance and other risk fields (software, consulting, energy and corporate). All surveys analyze compensation trends by years of experience and title, industry segment, risk focus, geography and size of company.
About Risk Talent Associates
Risk Talent Associates (www.risktalent.com) is the leading international executive search firm focused exclusively on positions in the fields of market, credit and operational risk, as well as financial compliance and risk technology. Risk Talent’s expertise, industry knowledge, proprietary network and dedicated focus shorten the recruiting process to deliver senior and mid-level risk managers in the capital markets, asset management, energy, consulting and software industries. Risk Talent has offices in New York, Chicago, Hong Kong and London.
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