Interns in Wall Street's hottest field are making a killing

Private equity firms have been delivering strong returns for their clients, and the pay off has trickled down to the very bottom.

A new report on compensation in private equity out by Wall Street Oasis, an online community for financial professional, shows interns in the field make on average about $US20 an hour.

That translates into an annual compensation of $US41,000 per year. To put that in perspective, the average American makes $US44,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. So that means PE interns, who are typically still at college, earn nearly as much as the average American worker.

The report, which is based on data from 127 private equity firms, also examined the average compensation of positions ranging from first year analyst to vice president.

An analyst brings in on average $US102,000, according to the report.

Private equity firms, like Blackstone, one of the largest managing $US371 billion, seek out investment opportunities in public and private markets. Recently, such firms have been performing well.

A recent study by
CEM Benchmarking looked at the fund performance of defined benefit pension funds from 1998 to 2014, and found that private equity ranked second to listed-equity real estate investment returns for average annual net returns.

“Private equity had the highest average gross return, estimated as 13.5%, but had the second highest average net return of 11.4% because the impact of expenses,” the report said.

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