Direct Lending pay is eye-watering – for the moment


 It’s a good time to work in private credit. It’s an even better time to work in direct lending.

Direct lending is a subsection of the private credit universe, in which lenders loan money directly to (well-established) companies without an investment banker sitting on your shoulder gathering fees. They’re also being paid bucket loads, however, according to salary & bonus data from finfluencer High Yield Harry (HYH).

HYH’s numbers track well with a Selby Jennings report that we saw earlier this year – although it’s worth pointing out that HYH’s numbers are for direct lending specifically, whilst Selby Jenning’s are for private credit as a whole (although both are for New York-based professionals). HYH's sample size was also comparatively small, with just 171 private credit respondents.

Direct lending professionals in New York out-earn a majority of their peers at some point in their careers. Although HYH’s numbers were incomplete, US-based direct lending analysts and VPs out-earn private equity professionals country-wide (by 5% and 3%, respectively), whilst New York-based professionals working in direct lending were almost on par with private equity people (earning just 2% to 7% less for associates and senior associates, respectively).
The only people that really earn more than direct lenders according to the survey are investment bankers and people working for hedge funds, who earn 15 and 60% more, respectively. 
In relation to banking, this is causing some incredulity: “Sort of crazy how much these chump ass middlemen are making,” said one respondent. 
Direct lending, and private credit more broadly, is in a bit of a boom period at the moment - to the extent that banks are getting in on the action. 

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