Jun 15, 2022

Private Credit $350k+ working 0-20 hours a week. Crazy for leaving?

I’m a VP at a MM direct lending firm ($5-10B AUM) in NYC making $350-400k, while putting in an average of 0-20 hours per week (still WFH). This has been my schedule for the past 2-3 years. I have full autonomy over deal execution, so there’s almost no chance I get blown up before a weekend or have to do late nights. I can’t remember the last time I worked past 6pm or on a weekend. The downside is that comp obviously is below market and growth isn’t great (think $20-40k bumps per annum), so I’ve been thinking about moving on to a different shop where I’d probably get paid $100k or so more.  Am I crazy for considering leaving what many would consider the ultimate lifestyle gig? I’m not hurting for cash but it would be nice to get comped in line with my peers from my analyst class. 

 
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You should absolutely leave and pm me the posting to replace your role.

 
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“0-20hrs per week”

”350k to $400k”

”comp is obviously below market”

Let me digest this…what is market? Bill gates getting a lambo after taking a piss for 1 min?

 

99% of this user site is either in college or grinding until the wee hours of the morning and you are already in an exit ops role essentially stating, "I am only making nearly half a mil a year, have a great WLB, never have to set foot in the office, but I want to leave because boredom / salary dissatisfaction". 

I understand being bored and wanting to do more professionally, but either:

A. Leave for a more demanding job and you have to start at the bottom again and lose all autonomy over your own life

B. Start a side hustle 

C. Actively follow the markets and invest with your own capital for excess annual income without sacrificing your autonomy

D. Develop hobbies and build a life that is meaningful to you

Please realize that no one on here who has your best interests at heart can honestly tell you to leave in pursuit of greener pastures.

Lastly, the economy is about to tank so now is absolutely NOT the time to switch jobs in hope of a fatter paycheck. You are senior and no doubt have strong ties at your current firm, including people willing to go to bat for you. To an extent, I understand where you are at. I left my last job for better comp and work experience, and am now back to regularly burning the midnight oil. I did it because I am much younger than you, need to build a nest egg, and needed better experience (I was better at modeling than my director and VP, not a good sign). If the only reason you would leave is comp, my advice would be to stay put for now. I do honestly sympathize with feeling frustrated about making less than your peers, but unless you can opine on where this additional capital needs to go or how it would materially improve your life, just stay put for the next year or so. Anyone else is welcome to chime in, but from my reading all signs point to a recession within the next 6-24 months. 

 

I've been spending most of my free time with my daughter at home. She is getting shipped off to daycare soon though so I would have the capacity to take on more hours with a more lucrative gig.

 

good to see you're taking initiatives with day care before shipping em' off to boarding school! 

 

Work with a lot of MM DL's & def do not know all their hours/comp but i will say there's a 100% difference between the true MM lenders those who are under a MF groups targeting MM PC. Actually could not be more obvious in every call because on the one side I feel like I'm dealing with happy go-lucky people & the other side is legitimately like I just ran over their dog. Sounds like you got life made rn brother & you're suffering from the grass is always greener syndrome & I feel it's my responsibility to till you you'd be making a mistake leaving to make a simple $60k which after tax ain't much (and in our industry of PC ain't crazy). You got it made, enjoy it, & if you leave lmk the job offer

 

Assuming you’ll start working 40-50 hours per week for an additional $60K, is that $23/hr really what you NEED? Find some hobbies and have some fun…assume you have a wife and daughter as per your other comment.

 

Is it all culture driven at the MFs? Curious to hear more about this as I'd assume the work is exactly the same whether you're at a dedicated MM shop or a MM group within a MF arm. What more is there to grind through? Unless the MFs have way worse memos. 

 

350-400K is baller for a not large-cap credit fund where you're living the life you want... unless you feel your career growth is being seriously stifled, I'm not sure why you'd bounce to a different shop. Sounds like you cracked a near-perfect gig in terms of WLB. Is getting another 100k (which is nothing to scoff at) worth you ending all the lifestyle benefits you currently have?

 

I would say at that comp level you’d be crazy to leave. Unless you love the work and want to do more of it for a little extra cash, you should consider taking that free time and trying to find a way to make up the difference doing something you enjoy.

You’re in the top 1% of salaries already. Don’t go chasing rainbows cause I can assure you the grass is not always greener.

 

Interesting dissonance I see on this forum: when comparing careers in finance to tech, the consensus is that finance is better than tech despite tech’s amazing WLB because the earnings increase more rapidly versus tech, which can stagnate for a while at ~400k. Yet, whenever someone posts with an actual situation where they have amazing WLB but lower/stagnated earnings, the consensus is always overwhelmingly that they should stay in their job and are lucky to be there.

 

This is the correct answer. When I was in school my goal was to be an MD making $1MM in 10-15 years. 80 hours a week? No big deal, it’s a part of the job with models and bottles to compensate!

Then you actually join finance and realize how overworked your seniors are and how depressing their lives are and your perceptions shift. Being on call 24/7 with a minimum of 70+ hours a week leaves seniors with little time outside of work and schmoozing clients is extremely overrated (nothing like hanging out with friends). 
 

My goal has changed to find something like OP has with half the comp (even ~$150k is good). I used to think people like that were lazy midwits but my opinion has changed dramatically post college. 

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1) this is an anonymous forum. Entirely possible these are two entirely distinct groups of respondents

2) I really like the idea of working fewer hours, but at this stage I like making more money even more

3) This is a uniquely low level of hours at OP’s comp level; the decision is typically against more like 40-45 hours a week. I left a job making $200k total for 55 hours a week for one paying $450k cash + $2M carry DAW at 80 hours a week - I would make that decision again every day because the difference in comp was lifechanging and I was already working hard. But if it was $350k-$400k at 20 hours a week, the calculus changes dramatically

 

Just an intern, but I’ve seen the Tech v. Finance pop up a lot in school as well. I think the key difference is a true stagnant position v. a slow down. In tech, my understanding is that you can genuinely get stuck at a certain level/ pay range, albeit with amazing WLB. Perhaps trying to externally switch jobs could possibly help with moving up, but there’s just a pretty firm ceiling for the “average case” high-performing SWE.

In finance, it seems that the growth may slow down, but years of experience really help. In this VPs case, assuming that he’s meeting the expectations of his role within his hours, he’d be on track for principal and higher.

This reminds me of the case where there was a VP3 in debt advisory who was paid below market (400k) but with fantastic WLB. The consensus was to stick in that role, get to a senior position there (600k), and then lateral to a higher ranked firm (800k+).

More commonly, it seems like a burnt out banker in CorpDev on-paper could outperform SWEs over the years, as they gain experience and switch roles within the company on the slow grind to upper management, especially in non-tech companies.

Of course, SWE seems to have the best WLB across all levels, even if there’s a bit of a wall mid-career, and this is all in theory since few students really have the option to pursue SWE or IB out of college. Overall, I’m really interested to hear other thoughts.

 

It’s just values. If you value WLB, tech beats finance almost always and you can still make a great living. You can even go the startup route and potentially get lucky and retire in your mid 30s.

Sure, the money in banking is great. But in my opinion, I don’t know why people break their backs to work 80 hour weeks for money they’ll hardly get to enjoy and prestige that is basically imaginary because people outside finance have no idea what Apollo is or think Morgan Stanley is another place to open a checking account.

There is certainly human value to setting goals and achieving them, to being driven and putting in the work. For my money, I’d rather maximize my WLB and my paycheck in a balancing act, never letting one take too much away from the other. Banking won’t allow me to do that, tech does

 

I'm not hurting for cash but it would be nice to get comped in line with my peers from my analyst class.

Would you suck my balls for 10 minutes if I paid you 1 mil? that in line with your peers? probably eh? greed truly has no limits. what about spending some time starting a family??