Year-end bonuses are tethered to the tides of the market and the tide was high in 2013. According to a FundFire reader poll and expert interviews, asset managers and financial advisors mostly saw their compensation go up or hold steady compared to last year’s take.

Pay bumps for both institutional asset management professionals and financial advisors are largely attributable to the bull market in equities, experts say.

The reason is particularly straightforward in the institutional space, according to compensation consultant Alan Johnson, where he said compensation was typically up 10 to 15%. In fact, the bonus season seems to have been relatively predictable—in a December FundFire poll, 89% of respondents predicted their compensation would grow or stay the same, compared to the 84% who reported that in last week’s poll…..

“This year it’s a simple story,” says Johnson, managing director of New York-based Johnson Associates. “It’s attributable to two things really: better markets and firms doing a good job of getting their costs under control. They had the right-sized organizations, the markets were favorable and they were greeted with asset flows they hadn’t seen in a while.”

FundFire / March 3, 2014