Banks' compensation packages for investment management employees lag those of mutual funds and insurance companies, a study found, but bank brokers are making headway, according to a separate study.

A first-quarter survey of 8,500 investment management professionals found the median compensation at banks is $128,000, compared with $196,000 at mutual fund companies and $150,000 at insurance companies.

A separate survey of brokers at 34 banks and thrifts shows that their compensation had increased 10.29% since 1996 and 36.36% since 1994.

"Bank compensation has been growing in line with the industry overall, but the mutual fund industry has been growing faster," said Richard S. Lannamann, the global head of the investment management practice at Russell Reynolds Associates Inc., a New York executive search firm.

Russell Reynolds co-sponsored the investment management survey with the Charlottesville, Va.-based Association for Investment Management and Research, a group of 36,000 investment management professionals.

The survey is the first that the two institutions have conducted together. It covers 19 categories within investment management including chief investment officers, portfolio managers, strategists, and sales and marketing executives.

The study compares compensation levels at banks, investment counseling firms, brokerages, mutual fund companies, pension consulting firms, and plan sponsors or endowment foundations. Respondents were asked to pick the one category that best describes them, which may have skewed results to some extent, Mr. Lannamann said.

In some jobs, bankers are quite far back in the compensation field.

Chief investment officers at banks, for example, had a median compensation of $146,500, paling in comparison to their counterparts at fund companies who can expect to make $625,000. The median for their peers in the insurance world is $252,250.

The median for domestic equity portfolio managers at banks was $125,000, compared with $299,000 at mutual fund companies and $172,000 at insurance companies.

"The mutual fund industry has been exploding and there's been huge demand for talent," Mr. Lannamann said. "There has been a change in the role of mutual fund manager from an anonymous worker to a media star who can attract assets by his reputation and track record."

The other survey, by the Bank Insurance Market Research Group, based in Mamaroneck, N.Y., examined compensation levels of 2,016 bank and thrift brokers. It found that the median compensation of brokers who work at depository institutions is $75,000, compared with $68,000 in 1996 and $55,000 in 1994. That survey was also done during the first quarter.

To be sure, compensation at banks and thrifts still trails the industry at large. The median compensation for the brokerage industry as a whole was $119,010 in 1997, according to the Securities Industry Association.

The trade group has not released figures for its 1998 survey, but a spokesman said the strong bull market makes it likely that compensation has increased.

Meanwhile, banks continue to edge forward, competing more for talent than they used to, said Andrew Singer, the managing director of the Bank Insurance Market Research Group.

"Six to seven years ago banks were not trying to hire other bank's investment reps. Now they do that," Mr. Singer said.

And bank and thrift brokerages have more stockbrokers than they once did, which drives up compensation, he said.

Program managers at bank and thrift brokerages also fared better. Their average compensation was $173,000, an 11% increase from 1996.

Paul Werlin, an executive recruiter with Human Capital Resources of St. Petersburg, Fla., agreed that banks are being more proactive about attracting talent, but pointed out that brokers across the board have been reaping higher benefits.

"Don't dismiss the fact that good markets help an awful lot," he said.

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