A PSA: doing your own deals is nothing like being an associate at a name brand fund

I don't know who needs to hear this, if anyone at all. I finished time at a name brand (somewhere MM through MF) fund and went to business school and now I am putting together deals myself. I am not top dog and so there are still some hurdles, but I am in a seat where I can originate and execute deals.

It is nothing like being an Associate. Doing your own deals is addicting. You really, really want to close them whereas when I was an Associate I was desperate for my deals to die so that I could get some sleep. It feels like reading a book you can't put down, or playing Halo in high school and you are just desperate to play one more match.

You are constantly thinking about creative ways to get them over the finish line. You want to peg your name to them, and figure out ways to make them amazing. It actually brings some fun back into work. I feel like there is finally some creativity in my job.

I totally get - not just on paper, but intuitively now - why I had to suffer for two years as an Associate. It was just to learn the building blocks of what you can do when you are actually thinking for yourself and trying to put things together. It all makes sense now.

And honestly, I think this is probably true of any role where you are independently doing deals yourself. I'm not sure if it's universally true, but I do honestly think that once you are in the catbird seat, it is a totally different game.

I had no idea. I had no idea!!!


Yes, it's the same in IBD or in any other similar job.

The fun begins when you have your p&l and originate and execute your deals.

Before that, it is training, where you are paid, which is great (but also makes it more painful than traditional education where you are the customer obviously)

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I'm not sure what you mean by "doing your own deals." Kind of like a search fund? What kinds of deals are you doing and how much capital do you need to start out?


this. i too would love being "high level" and talk about the various analysis we could do but it's a fact that a single sentence can burn hours of an associate who is handling the model (how about 4 instead of 2 tranches with an equity true up each time valuation falls below xxx? can we have a toggle for cash or shares re-purchase of the minority stakes? can we do sensitivity analysis for each of the various entities?)


Not in banking...in tech sales...so more akin to IBD than PE.

The anxiety of trying to close deals is not cut out for everyone. I have encountered some of the worst stress I have ever had this year. However, I have also made $40,000-$60,000 in a month twice this year. Ups and downs. Gotta be prepared to ride the wave.

One thing that no one talks about...once you get deals in motion, there is never anytime to rest. Ive snuck away for 2 3 day weekends, but I am also glued to my phone and cpu 5-6 days a week. Not to mention private training to stay at the top of my game. Deal making is all encompassing.


Yes…being tied directly to production makes you a bit more excited to wake up in the mornings and head to work.  I was in a producing role prior to my role now and now I’m seeing how much more enthusiastic I was in my last role. 


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