2 Offers - Public Markets Fund and Investment Bank


To put things into perspective, I currently work at a KPO (backend stuff) in India and I want to leave now (~2.5 years experience). I have a pretty good work experience here - working for a US-based PE - thankfully the work has involved proper PE work and not just grunt/stupid work - have worked with investment memos, LBO models, DD, portfolio monitoring etc. But this is obviously nothing compared to working at a proper PE fund. Apart from that, have some live deal experience for an US-based investment bank as well.

Now, I have two things at hand -

(1) A India based ~$400mn value based public markets fund. Small team (~5 people, but strong background of the fund manager - Ivy League MBA - IB, PE, and HF experience in the USA before moving to India). The thing is they are a small team and things have been really slow and I don't have an offer in hand from them still. But, have talked to the entire team and they want me to visit their office and spend a day there before they decide on giving the offer. They keep travelling so things have been delaying for a while now. I interviewed for the analyst position and would get to meet public companies' CEO/CFOs etc. as well once I get started. No idea on the comp, but they seem to operate on the 2/20 model.

(2) Investment bank offer - it's a boutique, would join an analyst (would be a downgrade in the designation). Comp is nowhere near BB, but it's an entry into front-end. I would be the most underqualified person here - every person here is a CFA, CA, or a top MBA - seems to be a great place to learn. I have this offer in hand but need to reply soon. Would take a pay cut on the base pay, but potential 100% bonus is a plus if things go right.

Need your thoughts. How do I decide what's better? Which door opens the most opportunities for me? Would appreciate any advice. Thanks!


Ah, the classic dilemma of choosing between two promising offers, each with its unique set of opportunities and challenges. Based on the most helpful WSO content and threads, here's a breakdown to help you navigate this decision:

Public Markets Fund Offer (Option 1)

  • Pros:
    • Exposure to High-Level Executives: Meeting CEOs and CFOs of public companies can significantly enhance your network and understanding of the market.
    • Small Team with Strong Backgrounds: Offers a chance for closer mentorship and learning from experienced professionals with diverse backgrounds (Ivy League MBA, IB, PE, HF experience).
    • Potential for Significant Impact: Being part of a small team means your contributions can have a direct impact on the fund's success.
  • Cons:
    • Uncertainty of Offer: The offer is not yet in hand, which adds a layer of risk to your decision.
    • Compensation Unknown: Without clarity on compensation, it's challenging to assess the financial aspect of this opportunity.
    • Slow Process: The delay in the decision-making process might reflect the fund's overall pace of operations.

Investment Bank Offer (Option 2)

  • Pros:
    • Entry into Front-End Role: Provides a valuable entry point into investment banking, which can be a significant career boost.
    • Learning Environment: Being surrounded by highly qualified individuals (CFA, CA, top MBA) can be a great learning opportunity.
    • Defined Compensation Structure: Clear understanding of the compensation, including potential for a 100% bonus.
  • Cons:
    • Designation Downgrade: Joining as an analyst might feel like a step back in terms of designation.
    • Lower Base Pay: Taking a pay cut on the base pay could be a financial strain, despite the bonus potential.
    • Boutique Firm: While boutique firms offer great experiences, the brand might not carry the same weight as a Bulge Bracket firm in some circles.

Decision Factors:

  1. Career Goals: Reflect on your long-term career aspirations. If your goal is to gain a broad understanding of the financial markets, the public markets fund might offer a unique perspective. However, if you're aiming for a career in investment banking or PE, the investment bank role could provide a more relevant experience.
  2. Risk Tolerance: Consider your comfort with uncertainty. The investment bank offer is more concrete, while the fund offer carries more uncertainty.
  3. Learning and Growth: Which role do you believe will offer you more growth and learning opportunities? Consider not just the tasks you'll be performing, but also the people you'll be working with.
  4. Financial Considerations: Assess your financial situation and how the pay cut or unknown compensation might affect you in the short term.

In the end, it's about aligning the opportunity with your career goals, values, and financial needs. Both options have the potential to open doors, but the right choice depends on where you see yourself thriving the most. Remember, it's not just about the next step, but where that step can lead you in the long run.

Sources: Advice From an Advisor to Senior Wall Streeters, Advice From an Advisor to Senior Wall Streeters, Private Equity vs. Venture Capital in 2018, College Decisions! Do I go with the bird in the hand or the two in the bush?,

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