DEFINITION of 'Performance-Based Compensation'
An incentive-based form of compensation that is reserved for hedge fund managers or elite portfolio managers. The compensation will almost always be based on a percentage of total assets managed, and will be paid out if the portfolio manager delivers returns above a pre-specified level, such as performance in relation to the S&P 500.
BREAKING DOWN 'Performance-Based Compensation'
Many hedge fund managers are paid 20% of client profits if their investment returns are over a predetermined benchmark. Under this form of compensation, talented hedge fund managers that manage large funds can easily earn tens of millions of dollars (if not more).