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Total compensation for venture capitalists and other private-equity managers was up 32.3 percent in 2007 over 2006, a new study reports. How can this be? Private equity is just as bogged down as the public markets by the credit crunch. For the Sand Hill Road contingent, there wasn't a single tech IPO in the second quarter. Acquisitions were down too. If VCs don't unload their companies on someone — public investors, or larger companies — their limited-partner investors don't see returns. So why the raises?Because, at least in the short term, private equity fund managers and VCs compensation isn't directly tied performance. What's really fattening their wallets are management fees of 1.5 to 2 percent on the money they've been given to invest. But don't grab a torch and pitchfork and zoom down 280 just quite yet. Headhunter Jonathan Goldstein told the Wall Street Journal that he doesn't expect the free ride to last:

When times are good and there’s ancillary revenue coming in, it’s not that difficult to carry somebody who hasn’t performed. Now that times are difficult, people are taking a hard look at who’s done what.