When it comes to compensation, ‘flat is the new up’

Executive pay, like fundraising, proved resilient in 2020 and the trends that are fuelling infra’s growth are likely to drive wage increases.

By Kalliope Gourntis.

Compensation for infrastructure investment professionals is expected to stay flat, Serene Hamzawi, managing partner at recruitment and advisory firm Sousou Partners, told us in February 2020. That forecast was made before covid-19 was declared a pandemic and the world went into multiple lockdowns. Roughly a year later, Hamzawi and Sousou were proven right, and the industry showed resilience once again.

“As a lot of people have said this year, ‘flat is the new up’, as far as compensation is concerned,” Hamzawi told us recently, sharing Sousou’s data on the base salaries and bonuses executives earned in 2020 exclusively with Infrastructure Investor.

“Relative to the rest of the world and where we are with covid and how much other industries have suffered, infrastructure has been relatively shielded, albeit with its own problems. Most general infrastructure funds will have some problem assets if they own airports, for example, they are going to suffer. But the overall portfolio, given how much people have invested in other sub-sectors like renewables or utilities, have been pretty stable, if not up,” she explains.

Published on – Infrastructure Investor, June 2021.