what's IR / capital formations like?
I often get DMs from WSO monkeys, usually early in their career, asking what IR and capital raising for PE funds is like. I thought I'd answer a few common questions. I have the unique position of having worked in real estate PE (4 years), growth capital (4 years), and then IR (against my will, for 7 years).
- Will deal folks give you much respect?
Generally no. The two functions are totally different, but they are both pretty difficult. Many deal folks think IR is easy. It certainly is less intellectually difficult, but it's quite challenging to source, qualify, and develop LP leads. One ends up scouring databases, cold outreach, comparing the LPs of your competitors, hitting conferences and emailing a lot of people. Not intellectually stimulating at all, and admittedly lower-intellect work than deal work, but it's a slog and extremely time consuming just the same. If your firm is really holding you to account for growing AUM, it them becomes very stressful. Nothing like the MD grilling you about pipeline week after week, and blaming you for slow AUM growth.
- Can one move from IR to the deal side?
It's nearly impossible. IR is quicksand. And the skillset is not transferable. Moreover the perception of IR people is not favorable among deal professionals, so making a move is super difficult.
Lots of variance on this aspect. Can't comment. I know seasoned IR people working for $1B funds making $150k/year, and I know folks working for $1B+ funds making $1M per year. Most are likely somewhere in the lower end of the spectrum though.
It is not fun. Fun left life so long ago I wouldn't know what it looked like if I bumped into it on the road.