Some VC firms are looking to raise bonuses next year as the hiring market remains red-hot, a new survey shows

  • Many VC firms paid bonuses to their associates and analysts in 2020, a PitchBook survey shows.
  • Investors banked $10,000 to $100,000 in bonuses depending on their role and level of education.
  • Nearly 30% of firms surveyed said they plan to raise bonuses in 2022.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The venture industry warned of a “black swan” at the start of the pandemic last year. Instead, they got a golden goose.

The stock market rallied, and privately owned tech companies joined a parade of initial public offerings with strong debuts. Their exits gave firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital some of their best returns ever.

Many paid it forward to their employees.

A large survey of venture capital firms showed many of them awarded bonuses to entry-level investment professionals through the pandemic, with associates and analysts raking in bonuses ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 last year.

PitchBook and J. Thelander, a consulting firm that specializes in compensation data, surveyed more than 630 venture capital and private equity firms about their pay practices in 2020. They found that 75% of analysts without a master’s degree in business took home a bonus check last year, compared to about a third of managers and directors who did.

These are the bonuses that venture capital firms paid in 2020:

The size of their bonuses were pretty much unchanged from 2019, the survey found. That trend should continue, with 67% of firms saying they expect bonuses to stay the same and nearly 30% saying they plan to raise bonuses in 2022. Jody Thelander, founder and CEO of J. Thelander, told PitchBook News that roles at VC firms remain in high demand and recruiting is competitive. 

The reason more senior investors often don’t get bonuses is that they take a share of any profits realized from an investment, known as the carry. It’s considered the main incentive for general partners to land hot deals.

Are you a venture-capital insider with insight to share? Contact Melia Russell via email at [email protected] or on Signal at (603) 913-3085. Open DMs on Twitter @meliarobin.

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