Sousou Partners Real Estate Debt Compensation Survey 2023

Alternative lenders play catch-up on compensation.

Remuneration growth has slowed in European real estate debt markets. But non-bank lenders have narrowed the gap with the big payers in the investment banking sector. By Daniel Cunningham.

While European real estate debt remains a lucrative sector in which to  work,  the trend seen in recent years towards higher salaries and bonuses was not universally evident in 2022’s tougher market conditions. Compensation data collected by real assets executive search firm Sousou Partners, shared exclusively for a fourth year with Real Estate Capital Europe, reveals minimal growth and, for some, a drop – in pay packets at the industry’s traditional big spenders, the investment banks.

Meanwhile, in the other main lend- er group monitored by the firm – alternative lenders – remuneration continued to grow, albeit by significantly less than in the previous year. During 2021, amid a clamour for talent, Sousou recorded a 31.6 percent median increase in total compensation at the associate level within non-bank lending organisations. In 2022, at the same level of seniority, overall compensation growth was a more modest 9 percent.

Last year’s figures need to be considered in the context of soaring inflation, says Peter Field, a partner at Sousou. “The alternative lenders are up with inflation, and in many cases, above inflation. The investment banks are flat or slightly down on last year overall. So, in real terms, the drop on the investment bank side is significant.”

Published on – Real Estate Capital Europe  •  Summer 2023