APAC Real Estate Salary Review

January 2020

Annual Compensation and Benefits Study
Real Estate Investment & Asset Management

Welcome to Aurex Group’s annual compensation and benefits study for Real Estate Investment and Asset Management professionals across the Asia Pacific. This report aims to provide an accurate and up-to-date overview on the trends and factors aVecting salaries and bonus structures in the current market.

Through our delivery hubs in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, together with our corporate partners in China, our research has been informed by our access to over 65,000 Real Estate professionals within the region. Focussing on key city hubs in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Sydney, this study is guided by the methodology below with the intention of helping   our clients plan for future growth across these key markets.

Methodology:

  • Extrapolate information from the top 20 Global Real Estate investors across the identified city hubs and seniority levels.
  • Source data from European and North American Institutional Managers (both banking and insurance, and life-backed funds), Global Private Equity Real Estate and Sovereign Wealth Funds.
  • Combine findings from professionals working across both Investment and Asset Management due to compensation ranges in base and bonus being broadly similar.
  • Provide separate services for competitor analysis and carry interest studies where requested.

Surveyed Roles

  • Analyst / Senior Analyst

Entry level role responsible for analysing companies and business plans, conducting due diligence, and working with service providers under the direction of the Vice President or Principal.

 

  • Associate / Senior Associate

Encompassing all the requirements of Senior Analyst but with the addition of beginning to have input into investment origination and being actively client facing.

 

  • Assistant Vice President / Vice President / Associate Director / Director

Leads and manages deal origination and execution for the firm, including managing service providers and due diligence.

 

  • Senior Vice President / Executive Director

Proven investment and asset management track record. May be beginning to enter full portfolio or fund management for a firm’s investment strategy across the region.

 

  • Executive Vice President / Managing Director

Experienced dealmaker and board member. May have operational responsibility over a country or region. Previous demonstrable track record of running a fund series over an extended period.

APAC Regional Trends

  • Base Salaries – Interestingly there is as much as a 35% variance in base salaries between life or pension-backed US and European Investment Managers at respective hierarchal levels.
  • Annual Bonus – Large variances are occurring from manager to manager with a spread of 3 to 12 months’ compensation across mid to senior levels.
  • Assessing Pay Gap – In calculating the total compensation (base and bonus) for life or pension-backed managers, the spread is less than 9%, as seen in Hong Kong and Singapore. There is a clear correlation between managers paying lower basic salaries but higher performance bonus to close the pay gap trend above.
  • Bank-backed vs Pension-backed Asset Managers – Bank-backed managers are typically being paid between 15 to 20% more than pension-backed managers.

Singapore Study

Level

Basic Salary Range ($GD)

Performance / Bonus Range

Analyst / Snr Analyst

$60k – $90k

25 – 40% bonus

Associate / Snr Associate

$85k – $130k

25 – 40% bonus

AVP / VP

$140k – $240k

30 – 50% bonus

Director / Exec Director

$250k – $350k

50 – 100% bonus

Managing Director

$350k – $550k

70 – 100% bonus

Market Insight:

  • Year-on-year basic salary pay has remained relatively static in the Singapore market with a less than 2% increase in variance on 2018 figures.
  • 2019 performance bonuses are anecdotally expected to remain similar to 2018 with many managers maintaining solid fund performance throughout the year. There is market speculation that 2020 might be softer and aVect performance pay as a result.
  • There is a rise in deferred bonus payment structures being used in retention strategies. For example, 50% paid in-year and 50% paid year after. Other retention strategies include bonus notification in January and deferred payment in April or May.
  • Medical insurance has become a standard oVering across all known investment management target firms. There is a range of local schemes with AIA being a prevalent provider. An increase in local policies providing partial dental cover is also being seen. In some instances, frequent business travellers (at the AVP level and above) are being oVered  attractive international, multi-regional health cover.

Hong Kong Study

Level

Basic Salary Range ($GD)

Performance / Bonus Range

Analyst / Snr Analyst

$480k – $840k

25 – 50% bonus

Associate / Snr Associate

$840k – $1.1m

40 – 60% bonus

AVP / VP

$900k – $1.4m

50 – 80% bonus

Director / Exec Director

1.4m – $2m

70 – 100% bonus

Managing Director

$2m +

70 – 100% bonus

Market Insight:

  • A salary growth of 10 to 15% when moving roles continues to be stable across the market. There have been some exceptions to the rule, such as the international top tier funds who we have seen oVer nearly 20 to 30% increases in 2019 to attract top talent across all levels.
  • Performance bonuses are expected to be below average for the 2019 year. Hong Kong focused funds have been especially impacted by the months-long protests which have seen them adopt a more conservative approach to their investment and hiring strategy.
  • We foresee that funds focusing on Hong Kong will continue to adopt a more conservative strategy going into 2020, with many candidates seeking new opportunities in other key cities in Asia such as Singapore or Shanghai.

Shanghai Study

Level

Basic Salary Range ($RMB)

Performance / Bonus Range

Analyst / Snr Analyst

$360k – $600k

20 – 30% bonus

Associate / Snr Associate

$600k – $900k

25 – 50% bonus

AVP / VP

$1m – $1.5m

25 – 50% bonus

Director / Exec Director

1.4m – $2m

60 – 90% bonus

Managing Director

$2.2m+

70 – 100% bonus

Market Insight:

  • With most funds experiencing a healthy deal Pow on the back of a strong performance in the second half of 2018, there were positive hiring signs across the direct Real Estate investment market in 2019. Hiring was most pronounced at Senior Associate and VP levels with candidates receiving on average a 10 to 15% salary increase.
  • The decline of investments towards the end of 2019 means that bonuses on average are expected to be more conservative for analysts through to middle-level candidates. We foresee that senior candidates who have spearheaded investment strategies and led the deal execution will still receive a bonus relative to 2018 figures.
  • There is a marked premium for development, investment and asset management professionals within the Industrials & Logistics asset class. This is in response to the significant increase in investment activity by domestic and foreign  capital in this space.

Sydney Study

Level

Basic Salary Range ($AUD)

Performance / Bonus Range

Analyst / Snr Analyst

$100k – $130k

20 – 30% bonus

Associate / Snr Associate

$140k – $180k

20 – 30% bonus

AVP / VP

$180k – $220k

30 – 40% bonus

Director / Exec Director

$250k – $350k

40 – 60% bonus

Managing Director

$350k – $550k

50 – 100% bonus

Market Insight:

  • Year-on-year basic salary has been increased incrementally by employers for the last three years with most intending to continue to increase salaries incrementally. There is a salary expectation gap however with employers willing to oVer 3% or less and employees seeking 6% or more.
  • More employers and employees are finding common ground in benefits. Flexible work practices are by far the most common solution oVered by employers, ahead of ongoing learning and development and career progression opportunities.
  • Following resignations, employees are receiving oVers of buy-back packages due to the current skills shortage.
  • While not yet finalised, 2019 performance bonuses are anecdotally expected to be similar to 2018 with many managers maintaining solid fund performances throughout the year. There is speculation in the market that 2020 may be softer (due to prevailing in-year market conditions together with the end of cycle) and performance pay maybe aVected as a result.

Connect With Us

Ben Watt

Managing Director

ben@aurexgroup.com

Sally Tremlett

Managing Director

sally@aurexgroup.com

+61 451-494-354

Chris Kiernan

Managing Director

chris@aurexgroup.com

+65 8611-7399

We are pleased to bring you this overview of the latest annual compensation and benefits study for Real Estate professionals across the APAC region. If you are interested in gaining further insight into the research or understanding how future trends may impact the industry, please connect with our team today.

HONG KONG

Level 15, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace

Central, Hong Kong

 

+852 3796 2621

HOUSTON

708 Main St, 10th Floor

Houston, TX 77002

USA

+1 832 532 2524

SINGAPORE

12 Marina View, #11-01

Asia Square Tower 2

Singapore 018961

+65 3165 4450 | EA 1859493

SYDNEY

Level 28,161 Castlereagh St

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

+61 2 9159 0600