Federal Lending Experience -> Project Finance/Infra PE?

Hard to pick out the right forum for this one. Anyway, for those that are interested in working at project finance lenders or infra PE, how is federal government experience looked upon? More specifically, how are the following agencies regarded:

  • DFC (what OPIC morphed into after they merged with USAID)
  • Export-Import Bank (they have a structured finance and project finance team)
  • DOT's Build America Bureau that administers the TIFIA loan program
  • The Dept of Energy has loan programs across a bunch of offices

There's some positions available I'm interested in the above that seem like they have pretty good job descriptions. By nature I think the deals generally lean towards not market deals in that they may be unprofitable at times/the government could be working towards some non-profit motive agenda, so the underwriting could be a little different as a result, but I would imagine this isn't always the case so it could be an opportunity to work on some interesting deals.

That being said, I don't have to get pigeon-holed for only federal positions after going down this path. I'm really interested in PF/Infra PE after and am trying to figure out if the skills would transfer.

 

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I would try and look at some LinkedIn profiles of people who's job you would want. People leave gov't/academic employment for private sector all the time, so maybe you can find someone who has actually done what you want to do.

Best tip I can offer is not to focus on the agency/organization, but the actual job/role. The firm that hires you next will only care about how you can add value, bring to the table, do well, etc. Connections and 'inside' knowledge can certainly be part of that. I would also look for roles where you could conceivably get to network with private sector counterparts, makes whole process much easier.

TL:DR - Focus on the role/job, not the agency

 

Great advice, very much appreciate it. Also read your post about younger people looking to move around a lot, great advice there too. The positions I'm targeting look like they would provide very good opportunities to expand tangible skills that would be useful down the line (modeling, loan doc terms preparation/review, possible ability to network with private sector sponsors).

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.
 

I agree with the poster above. What I would add is that if you can narrow down to a vertical in which you are interested, try to pursue that as an added detail to the specific role as well.

If I could find someone with demonstrated project finance / infra PE interest who could guide me through a grant / loan process for a vertical-focused platform approach, that would be an incredible value-add.

Sure the connections are cool, but understanding the process is something you only get from being on the other side. Depending on how long you stay, especially if you pivot to infra PE as a still relatively junior person, that’s an incredible value-add.

 

My sense is the the DFC offers more bespoke products whereas the other three are fairly cookie cutter. In that sense, I think it could be viewed as valuable experience.

My hunch is that at the large French banks in particular (the French and Japanese dominate the league tables) there will be a lot of people coming from a governement background.

https://ijglobal.com/uploads/Q3%202019%20IJGlobal%20League%20Tables.pdf

 

Nisi id asperiores itaque est. Ut laborum eius et rerum velit eos quia.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

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