Venture Capital Firms Are Willing to Pay Top Dollar for Junior Talent, Is It Enough to Woo Gen Z?

J.Thelander Consulting Releases 2021 Investment Firm Compensation Report, indicating VCs are struggling to attract and retain talent at the top and bottom

MIAMI--()--J.Thelander Consulting, a leading source for compensation intelligence for the private capital markets, today announced the results of its 2021 Investment Firm Compensation Report. The report shows median total cash compensation at venture capital firms has increased year over year, in particular, for associate-level employees, indicating VCs are willing to pay top dollar to attract and retain talent, especially at the junior level. This report comes amid a wave of departures across industries, proving no industry is exempt from what many are calling the “great resignation.”

To compete for talent and win over Gen Z recruits, venture capital firms have significantly increased compensation for associates. According to the report, median total cash compensation for associates at VC firms with $1 billion or more in assets under management (AUM) jumped 23% YoY, rising from $155,000 to $190,000. This represents the largest increase in compensation among all other major job titles. Despite such a massive jump, the data suggests VC firms still struggled to fill these positions in 2021. So far, the number of associates at venture capital firms has gone up just 7% from last year.

The second highest jump in total cash compensation was among managing general partners at VC firms with less than $1 billion in AUM, which recorded a 17% increase YoY. This could indicate VC firms are looking for ways to retain senior business leaders, as vesting periods lengthen and promotions happen less frequently. According to the report, 78% of investment firms did not promote a partner or non-partner in 2021. Combined, these factors could serve as motivators for partners and key recruits to seek employment opportunities elsewhere.

According to the report, 27% of investment firms reported they lost a partner or key recruit in the last year, up 5% from the year prior. Of those who lost a partner or key recruit, 25% went to a private equity or growth equity firm, 18% went to a private company and 16% went on to start their own company or firm, demonstrating the breadth of opportunity available to investment professionals.

“The war for talent is greater than ever,” said Jody Thelander, founder and CEO of J.Thelander Consulting. “We’re seeing venture capital firms increase total cash compensation across the board, indicating VCs are willing to pay a premium to recruit and retain top talent. At the same time, benefits, like lunches and free dry cleaning, are no longer as relevant to prospective employees, especially as we continue to operate in a more remote workforce. As a result, many employers are looking to balance compensation with quality of life.”

J.Thelander Consulting’s Investment Firm Compensation Report surveys more than 1,500 global investment firms, including private equity, venture capital and corporate venture capital. The majority of firms are based in the U.S., with others located in Europe, Canada and Asia.

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About J.Thelander Consulting

J.Thelander Consulting is a leading compensation intelligence-gathering firm, providing statistics, analysis, trends and strategic compensation consulting to private companies and investment firms. J.Thelander’s compensation data specializes in tech and life science companies, as well as venture capital, private equity and corporate venture investment firms. The company’s data and reports are available through subscription packages, which includes around-the-clock online access, as well as supplemental data and customizable reports to meet the unique needs of its clients. J.Thelander Consulting was founded in 1997 and is based in Miami, Florida. Visit to learn more.


Morgan Thelander


Morgan Thelander