According to this recent post on JobsintheMoney’s CareerWire blog, hedge funds are looking for accountants and paying top dollar for them:
The Rothstein Kass report, The Compensation Conundrum, makes clear that even for non-investment professionals, hedge funds pay better than both Wall Street and corporate America.
For instance, senior accountants at surveyed firms earned $71,000 median salary for 2007 and were expected to receive bonuses centering around 50 percent – adding up to total pay of $106,000. Total compensation ranged from $96,000 to $124,000, varying little with firm size.
Those are pretty impressive numbers. This is no doubt going to continue to create pressure on public accounting firms and companies trying to hang on to their professionals.
I don’t personally know anyone who has left public accounting to go to a hedge fund, but with salaries like those above, it won’t be too long before I do. Salary shouldn’t be the only reason one leaves public accounting, and indeed I don’t think it often is. There are certainly some for whom the almighty dollar is the sole reason to leave, but most go somewhere they believe offers a better long-term career opportunity, and possibly work-life balance improvement.
Work-life balance is one area where I don’t think hedge funds have an advantage, even over public accounting, which is notorious for the long hours and demoralizing “busy season”. At a hedge fund you still work for clients, as in public accounting, which is the main reason why things get as hectic as they do. My peers would be wise to keep that in mind when they consider the seemingly greener pastures of hedge funds.