No VP Promote from Sr. Associate - Seeking Advice
Long-time user over here, who has read through the insane amount of helpful commentary dating back to my time in college all the way through IB, PE, and Venture/Growth.
Well, I'm hoping to bounce some questions off of the more senior members out there regarding my current predicament. I'm going to try and be as vague as I can, as I don't want to ruffle any feathers at my ex-firm, or give away too much personal info that could track back to me. The TLDR here though, is that after 7 years in the industry, I propositioned for a promote and voiced concerns with comp/my position - well, an agreement wasn't reached and instead I begrudgingly decided to part ways.
As a deeper background - I did two years at a respected IB, 3 years at a traditional PE buyout shop, and then jumped ship to what I thought was my end goal. I just wrapped up 2 years as on the growth side of things, and absolutely fucking loved almost every second of it. I was given nothing but rave reviews, "top bucket" bonuses (still sub-market, mind you), and a continuous indication that there would be a road for me to grow. Because of this, I voiced concerns with my comp levels, and ultimately felt I had the legitimacy and value-add to push for a VP promote. Well, push come to shove, and as we enter into my year-end review, I'm told that they don't see the capacity for another VP, and wouldn't have a timeline to when that might shake out, and after a handful of weeks of negotiation, that it made the most sense to amicably split ways.
To add insult to injury, when I left my last firm (where the promote was offered to Sr Associate & I had a decent chunk of carry), this firm hired me under the assumption that a fundraise close was within spitting distance and that I would have meaningful carry in it at close. They had targeted the $800mm level, and two years later, not only did it decrease considerably, but after TWO WHOLE YEARS, the fund is barely halfway subscribed to. That's where the comp anger stemmed from and fueled some serious discontent internally.
Well, shit hit the fan and I accept that. I've since spoken with members of the team in a much more candid manner and was told that by and far, my execution, deal work, investment acumen, and finance skills were among the strongest in the organization. But for some reason, despite that, there was a structural issue where I was competing with an inside track member who had risen the ranks internally from Analyst to VP, and that capacity didn't dictate my promote at this current time..."just business". They've all offered to corroborate my value-add and that this was a capacity issue, giving strong recs & intros when needed, as well as the optionality of leading some VP level roles in portco's if that interests me (and they claimed my skillset would be a huge value-add). Still stings though.
I had planned to kick off lateral searches this year due to a bit of concern that this could happen down the road, but hadn't really pushed forward because I never in 1000 years would have anticipated this outcome so soon. I got my bonus, some decent severance, and we called it quits. This has all been a bit of a whirlwind and It's taking some time to center in on what's next.
Ultimately, my question to you fine folks is: what do I do next? Any advice for a tired, beaten down, fellow finance monkey? It's time to find the long home, I know that.
That was longer than I expected; so if you made it here, I appreciates you. Hope there's actually people reading this over the Holidays!