DATA SNAPSHOT: VC compensation keeps pace with PE

The average private equity CFO's compensation package is nearly $50,000 more than the venture capital equivalent, but pay for the rest of those in a finance or accounting function is generally on a par.

When it comes to finance and accounting professionals’ compensation (salary plus bonus) there is little difference between private equity and venture capital, according to the annual compensation report from Holt Private Equity Consultants, MM&K and sister publication Buyouts.

At the top of the tree there is some disparity: the average package for a CFO at a private equity firm (defined as either buyout or growth equity) is $553,900, compared with $506,100 for a venture capital firm CFO.

The annual compensation report released the averages and percentiles for over 30 positions within the private equity and venture capital industries (as well as mezzanine finance) in North America. You can buy the report here and sign up to participate in next year’s study.

“In fact, buyout firms in our survey pay more in salary and bonus than do venture firms in part because they tend to manage larger funds,” the report outlines. “In addition, many buyout professionals hail from the high-paying field of investment banking, and buyout firms compete to some extent with Wall Street for talent. Venture capitalists tend to have operational backgrounds in the less remunerative fields of technology, healthcare, and consulting.”

Further down the pay scale in the finance and accounting department, the difference diminishes between PE and VC, but it’s the latter that generally pays better. Controllers at VC firms on average make about $17,000 more than their PE peers, for example.