How to convince HH / Land interviews when from a No Name shop

Hi guys,

Sorry in advance for this grumpy post but current situation drives me crazy:

Mid march got laid-off from a small fund targeting mostly developments in living sector (Shared ownership, Seniors, Care Homes, Social Housing...). Reported directly to founder & partners, not performance based, references available from big d*ck partner (previous C-suite in IB blabla...).

IB (Debt team) before these 2y of RE invest, Internship in RE Fund Management prior to that, master degree in finance (EU BS)... 

My flatmate is looking for a new role, he's an analyst in AM at a decent shop in London (very good name in Industrial) and he gets a ton of calls and interviews for Investment Associate roles while I'm only getting calls from HHs for middle office, portfolio management or 60k base investment roles at weird shops...

Same headhunter would tell me nothing is available and would call him next hour for brilliant investment associate roles even if he's never seen a model at work and he's basically a leasing agent for warehouses. He fucked up more than 10 processes in 3 months after reaching the modeling test step... (Nothing against AM in general but his shop treats him like an intern and pay is horrible).

Should I try to directly PM people on Linkedin in funds I'd like to target? VP? Directors? Isn't it pointless as they would potentially only work with HH?

Should I sell myself in a different way? Maybe "Hiding" the dev aspect of the role? 

Honestly that's frustrating I feel like I won't find anything before September. I'm marketing myself as an associate but I gained the title of senior associate after a year at my previous gig in order to gain exposure, built the whole new fund model from scratch, can model any type of asset-classes Acq or Debt, complex Eq&Debt structures, managed a whole DD process, created an IM + a research paper shared with 110+ investors to back deck & model assumptions... Don't want to sound cocky, that's what you would expect from a guy who works hard in this field. Frustrated as I don't think lack skills to land an Investment role at a decent shop.

Again, sorry for the moaning time, any advice more than welcome!

Comments (3)

Most Helpful
  • VP in Private Credit

Truth time.... take a deep breath, let go of the ego, try to look objectively. Few things

- stop thinking you're better than your roommate, and start asking what is it that they have that I don't? Because, it's evident there's something. Off the bat, you said the have warehouse experience, what's the hottest sector atm? 

- you as a candidate are a reflection of the headhunter, so, treat them well, they'll work to treat you well, too. If they don't work, move to the next. If you haven't already asked the HH what is in demand vs your resume, do it immediately

- you're a 1yr 'senior associate' with specialized real estate experience, that's going up against a very experienced talent pool who may have more relevant experience. Originations are in the toilet for the most part, and the refi wall scaring folks. A benefit of  these type of niche shops is a blessing and a curse. Great experience, difficult upon exit

At some point you need to assess the situation, adapt, and carve a new path. Tough love - you may not be as good as you think you are. If you were, you'd have a lot of offers. That's a hard pill to swallow, but honestly churn it into something tangible. Right now it's like you're driving a car with blinders on, not seeing the off ramps & heading straight for a big pile-up of crashed cars.

I mapped out 3 paths in my latest search: the ideal, the in demand, and the backup. Sounds like you should do the same. Careers aren't linear, it's chaotic. You need to get a new gig, period. But you first have to realize this may be a speed bump.

My suggestion - Port mgmt is an in demand opportunity with an ability to do a lot of workouts. It is in a lot of places still front office. Get a job into a good firm, get experience, and maybe be able to lateral. You may end up enjoying it, you may hate it, but is that better than burning through your savings? 

Good luck

mrcheese321, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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