Across Institutional Asset Management, the war for distribution talent is intensifying. Our 2013 talent metrics survey found that this is the fourth straight year of increased hiring, and more than half of responding firms said they would add headcount in 2014.

Conducted with the Institutional Investor Institute, the survey covered seventy-seven institutional asset management firms of various sizes and client focus and asked about hiring, roles and responsibilities, product specialists and compensation.

Overall, compensation is expected to increase an average of 15 percent for distribution professionals.

In hiring new institutional sales talent, more than two-thirds of the large and mid-sized firms offer one year guarantees; only half of the smaller firms do. Notably, the use of guarantees for large firms has increased from 77.8 percent to 94.4 percent—a reversal of the recent trend away from guarantees.

Compensation also lies at the heart of retention strategies, with increased base salaries (53 percent) and cash bonuses (46 percent) employed most often, and equity (33 percent) and guarantees/retention bonuses (27 percent) also fairly common.

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