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I'll bite with what I know since I know some folks in IR, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong -- IMO, It's actually not a bad place to be, given you're at the right firm that actually values the function.

Key job responsibilities: creating marketing decks (like a CIM but for a fund), sitting in on/participating in most LP meetings / communication, facilitating first parts of coinvestments if needed (e.g., intro / connectivity into LPs who wanna participate in a syndication), and helping out with reporting - includes communicating with investment teams to make sure metrics are presented well and also to get context around each deal, as IR tends to be the first comms with prospective LPs. In this way, bit similar to banking in that you're doing more PPT than being an excel junkie). 

Hours / Comp: At certain places, I've heard of IR Associates getting ~80% total cash comp versus investment Associates, and hours can be materially less (think...40-60 hrs). The caveat here is that you won't get nearly the same (or any) carry allocation, but imo getting $200K+ as a junior for this role is no joke, especially when you step out of the entitled WSO bubble. Intangibly, you really get to know a shitton of LPs and build a vast network of investors, which is cool and honestly investment professionals don't get nearly the same exposure unless you're partner-level.

Recruiting: Mostly HHs, but roles are more opportunistic so networking likely pays a bigger role

For people in IB who are more outgoing in nature and actually enjoy "client-type" work versus living and breathing analyses, I honestly think it's great - PE IR is still more strenuous than other "normal" corporate jobs, since fundraising really is no joke and drives the business. On the other hand, someone with the IB work ethic can easily deal with the hours and workload, and have more opportunities to shine (whereas for investment associates...doing above expectations is the expectation).

The key is to find a place that's accelerating its growth (e.g., launching a bunch of new strategies, raising successive funds, etc), but isn't too new that it'll kill you, and isn't too established where your value is significantly less. A first-time fund likely won't even hire an IR associate, and if they do you're probably working like mad since there's less track record, whereas a Blackstone is so established that you're really a cog in the machine. Seems like it's the established funds that are ambitious for growth that are willing to pay up for a competent jr IR team, but roles here can be harder to find.

Hope that helps a bit, sorry I couldn't offer more.

 

This is very helpful! Also curious to hear your thoughts on in-house IR roles at top Tech PE (Thoma/Vista/SLP) vs top EB PFG (EVR/PJT Parkhill) at the Asso level.

Heard that the latter would be better for comp and client-facing roles to build an LP network before exiting to an in-house IR role at a more senior level, whereas in-house IR junior roles would be mostly administrative work and difficult for internal promotion due to seniors that are hired laterally. But I also been hearing that the PA industry is a dying industry with many PE firms now building IR teams and the quantity/quality of mandates decreasing significantly over the years. Currently weighing both options and interested to hear more from others.

 

Another route would be IR for F500 company. The teams are usually only 1-3 people and either report to CFO or CEO, so the comp can be very good. It’s an interesting role because you’re the liaison between the management team and the street. There are a lot of opportunities to build your network with both buy side and sell side analysts. WLB is usually pretty good, but you are typically responsible 24/7 for answering investors questions/concerns. Happy to give more info if needed. I’m 4 years into an IR role at a publicly traded company.

 

I second this -- I've led IR at two firms now, reporting to CEO or CFO. Hours and comp are incredible and I'm thankful to have found this career path early on. I've seen sell-side analysts switch to IR roles but I feel exit ops are somewhat limited from the IR side. Treasury/Corp Dev I've seen combined with IR, my overarching goal is CFO, can switch to asset management side but it has an entirely different infrastructure. Also interested in the investing angle but again lack the core competencies there. 

 

Worth noting “IR” has 2 separate meanings. There’s corporate IR and AM IR. Corporate IR usually tracks with ER experience. AM IR is fundraising primarily and generally has folks from varied backgrounds, including IB, PE, middle office, etc.

I work in fundraising at a mega cap PE shop. The comp listed here is way off actuals. In PE, the analyst role is quite rare (even more so for IR) and you can’t really quote comp. Further, IR is split by two primary functions (sometimes 3). They are 1) client service and 2) fundraising.

Client service supports existing investors, it’s mostly excel and reporting work. Interaction with investors is generally limited to email. Career growth in a client service capacity is not as high as fundraising, primarily because you don’t drive revenue.

Fundraising is exactly as it sounds. Generally fundraising is reserved for the VP role and up. At the associate or senior associate level, you’re sales support and won’t have tons of opportunity to build relationships. In sales support you do tons of ppt work, as well as moderate excel work (nothing compared to IB/PE deal team). Your hope is to get continued shots on goal with investors until you’re given some form of coverage responsibility.

Comp varies drastically, but at a successful PE shop it may broadly follow the below (all in). Comp tends to be maximized at mid size to large firms as they value the role. When a fund is too large, capital comes to you. When a fund is too small, they can’t afford to pay that much (it’s also just harder to raise capital).

Associate - $200-275k

Senior Associate - $275-350k (have seen this as high as $450k)

VP - $350-550k + Carry

Principal/Director - $550-750k + Carry

MD - $750k-up + Carry

At the MD level you tend to see comp gap out. Successful senior fundraisers can demand $1-2m+ with carry upside. The most successful fundraisers stick with a fund and help build a franchise, and in doing so demand large cash comp + carry, usually this requires getting a partner or equivalent title.

From a work life balance perspective, speaking from experience it’s highly volatile. When you’re in fundraising mode you could push 80-100 hours/week alongside significant travel. Once you close a fund, your week will revert to 40-60. At large funds you’re almost always fundraising because by the time 1 fund finishes raising, another is ramping up.

 

Not in IR myself but a close family friend held a senior position in IR at a $15bn AUM firm in Europe. From my understanding, there was A LOT of traveling with a very packed schedule. He was based in London and it was not unusual to fly to Asia for 2 days and have 5 meetings in 3 different countries. Think it's a great job if you enjoy traveling, speaking to people and are a good salesman. The guy I know eventually got tired of all the traveling as he started a family and transitioned to an investment role.

 

Assuming previous deal experience was part of each transition you have seen but wonder what other factors were at play? 

From my experience, there are 2 types of IR people:
-The schmoozers who know just enough to be dangerous on the surface but have no technical abilities whatsoever
-Former deal folks who pivoted in IR or technical product specialists who can dive just as deep into funds and deals as anyone else from the investment team. 

 

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