PE Pros Expect Salaries to Increase in ’09, Informal Survey Says

You may remember last month’s mention of an informal survey by Semaphore, a PE advising firm. The survey asked some unusual questions, like “Are you confident in your firm’s CEO?” and peHUB got a preliminary look at the results. Now, the official results are in, and Semaphore was kind enough to give us an exclusive look at them. The questions, which addressed perceptions of everything from your boss to your competitors, compensation and deal flow, have produced some interesting results. The best highlight was from an “additional comment,” which stated:

“PE is dead and I wish my boss were too”

Yikes. Anyways, here are a few other notable results:

Deal size in 2009: 38.5% of survey respondents expect their first deal in 2009 to be between $1 million and $5 million. This is only notable because only 29% of those surveyed were VC firms. The rest were PE, LPs or lawyer/banker types. 55% said they expect to work on one to three deals for the year.

Confidence: 47% were confident or somewhat confident in their own business. Only 36% were confident in their industry and 14% in their competitors. An overwhelming 88% had little or no confidence in the national and international economies.

33% of survey-takers expressed confidence in their CEO or MD but only 22.9% in their immediate boss. Meanwhile 62.5% have confidence in the Obama’s economic team, compared to 8.3% that expressed confidence in that of President Bush. Only 10% have confidence in Congress.

Compensation: 51% expected income to increase in 2009. I’m confused by this. Even if deals slowly come back to the table, no one is expecting liquidity events to really happen, or at least not at extremely profitable levels. And hey, who knows, the Obama administration might be even manage to change carried interest tax laws (though I’m sure it’s low on the priority list nowadays). Are fee increases in store?

You can see the entire survey later today at Semaphore’s web site.