Is this 'market' family office comp?
Maybe I'm overthinking this with limited knowledge on FO comps but I've been consistently working 60 hours M-F and a couple hours on the weekend. Enjoying the work overall but not happy with the firm structure and some of the redundant, not relevant work and slides we have to put together just for the sake of it. We also sort of max out at 1-3 deals a year so limited reps as well. Lastly, we're based in a non-elite market in the West (not California) where there are zero opportunities to network or switch careers; not to mentioned no family or friends here.
With all that said, total comp came at $225k all-in for the first year with no increase in base for the new year and no clarity what the comp target is for end of this year.
Any advice on if this seems fair? Or is it well below market and I should push for more? What's a fair ask?
That's about in line with market today. PE associates (assuming you did 2 years IB -> PE associate) at my firm made mid-200s in 2022 all in, excluding deal specific bonuses.
I'd push for co-invest - that's the main benefit of working for a family office IMO. 50-60 hours is typical.
Given what's going on with the market right now, especially in IB with deal flow down and layoffs all around, I'd stay with your current gig. As long as the family office isn't grossly mismanaged or you have a huge personal fuck up, your job is very recession proof as it's about creating/retaining wealth rather than hitting certain fund specific targets.
Source: I work for a family office
Thanks for the response! We already have co-invest (no levered co-invest) and carry at VP+. I do think this is fairly recession proof but just having a hard time justifying this comp being in the city that I'm in away from family and people I know. Also not easy to network and build relationships here.
Since you work in a FO, do you mind sharing how your title/comp scales? (don't have to give specifics if you don't want to). Mainly trying to figure out how long am I going to stay an associate here and how should my comp scale according to that as there is no clarity on these things. Thanks in advance!
Would would you ideal situation look like? From reading your post, it's clear there's some dissatisfaction but I'm also not sure what you're looking for as well.
1-3 deals a year for a FO (assuming LMM) is pretty good. Most family offices that do more than that many deals per year are usually playing in other asset classes.
Appreciate the response. I guess my ideal situation will 1) be closer to where my family/friend circle is or in a city like NY/LA/Miami/Houston/Dallas 2) Slightly higher comp 3) Small team where I can make an impact and scale my career / become a partner. Perfect scenario would be all 3 of these together but I understand that's difficult.
Dissatisfaction is coming from a weird structure at the top level, uncertainty around how my career here scales, and current comp compared to the amount of work we're doing. 1-3 deals is across the board, so there can be times where I don't get any all year (mainly referring to actual underwriting and not initial high-level valuation).
Assuming you want to stay in family office - the challenge is it's impossible to diligence the type of issues you have with your current firm. The next firm could be the same or worse with these little issues like weird partner structure, unclear career/comp path, and random irrelevant asks. Not to minimize your problems at all, but that is pretty good comp for working low hours and having somewhat minor complaints.
That said, sounds like location is a big driver for you - comp increase would likely come with moving to a HCOL city, just don't expect these issues to go away and do as much diligence as possible. The 2-3 year mark is a good time to make the jump to a different geography, and at that point you're senior enough to ask about the career path.
I don't mind switching to traditional GE or VC type role if that comes with higher upside in 2-3 years and same or even a bit lower comp - but I agree with you that any other place could have the same or more issues. Maybe I am overthinking this and need to finish another year here before trying to jump. Thanks for the advice.
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