Decision: VP at UMM PE or Sr. Associate at MF PE

I wanted to get people’s thoughts around some two offers I am mulling on. For context, I am currently a sr. associate at a UMM fund and am leaving after four years for various reasons (no MBA - direct promote).

One is a VP role with a UMM fund ($5-10bn latest fund) building out a new office (Miami/Austin) where I have no ties to, but funds have been top decile and growing AUM rapidly. The other is a Sr Associate role with a MF based in California (think TB/ Genstar/ Clearlake/ H&F) with a very lean team and a likely 2-3 yr path to VP, but in a geography where I have significant ties to.

One choice gives me nice upward mobility in a new office buildout with a higher title, but name is relatively less known and I don’t know a soul in the city. The other is a well established MF in a geo I know very well (friends+family) but would likely take years to get to the VP level.

How you would you go about this decision?

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Wow - these are 2 great offers you found so congrats on landing those in this market. Tbh, I’d take the UMM VP role in a heartbeat. From the way I see it:

- You have a guaranteed VP spot at a top decile UMM fund. Think how hard you had to work as an associate to get to where you are with no guarantee of vp, even if you were the best one in your class. Would you want to work another 2-3 years to possibly have the same concern, or work another few years to be up for principal

- You’d still be in a fun and lively city that’s full of other transplants, would imagine it’s possible to make new friends w/ some effort

- You’d likely be just a 2-4 hr flight from most cities in the US 

- Low CoL states: you save more money in FL/TX vs CA, especially long term 

- Culture & team can matter a lot though. Which team do you resonate with more?

- Think about a negative case: say both places end up kind of sucking, at least from the VP role you could look for other VP roles 

- Even if you’re from CA, would you do another 2-3 yr as an associate where you’d toil away more 80 hr weeks and still not be able to see your friends and fam that often? 


The specific fund matters a lot here clearlake really going to need another VP 3 years from now? Also feel like clearlake/genstar are not MF...not here to split hairs but genstar is probably doing deals at the same size or potentially even smaller vs the UMM you are referring to.


To me MF implies a certain combination of global presence/presence across asset classes/longevity/history/check size. I dont think Clearlake is on the right trajectory to be considered a MF. Doesn't mean its not a good fund. LGP, NMC, Genstar, Veritas, Francisco Partners, GTCR all have large funds and are fantastic places to land but aren't MFs.


I feel like OP alr kinda made up his mind. Look, even his title says “VP - PE LBO” lol


The right career move is the UMM fund. The right personal move is the MF, only because of ties to the area. 

Ask yourself how much longer you are willing to defer prioritizing your personal life before making the decision. If your parents are old and deteriorating, I would prioritize my personal life and being close to them more. If you have no real obligations to anyone else, maybe it makes sense to prioritize your career first and go to a new place. 


When does going to a MF PE group actually improve your personal or social lifestyle though lol 


For people saying to take the mf aso 2 offer, can you elaborate why? I think the vp job would make more sense but I’m going off an assumption that op isn’t originally from the city in CA that the job is located based on the way he described it in the post (otherwise I think he would’ve just stated he’s from that region). If that’s the case he’d be moving to a lesser role in a city he’s still not very familiar with rather than taking an offer where he gets a much better job but is in a fun city where he doesn’t know any people 


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