Is there downside to title inflation?

I'm an acquisitions associate at an entrepreneurial REPE and I'm getting promoted (woohoo!). The title my company proposed for me is "Managing Director of Acquisitions". Neither my role nor my responsibilities will change. I'll still be under my current boss and still the superior to just 1 analyst. Only my title (and some pay) is changing. This is obviously a huge jump in title, especially considering I'm only 27.

It's awesome I get to say that I'm an MD and blast it on my Linkedin etc. However, I feel like I could be hurting myself longterm by inflating my title this much. For one, I'm not exactly doing MD-level work. I wear a lot of hats and am client-facing, but I also very much still play an analyst role on a 3 person team. Also, if I get promoted again, what title am I gonna get? Senior Executive Managing Director? Junior CIO perhaps? More likely, I'll be at this title level for several years even if I do get "promotions" and increasing responsibilities... More like growing into my title... (which might not be a bad thing?). Finally, I wonder what a hiring manager would think if the person saw that I went from Associate to Managing Director.

Kind of just throwing my thoughts out there to see if there are any opinions. I guess I'm curious to know if I should counter their proposed title with something like "Vice President" or should I just take the MD title they're proposing me? Good problem to have, I know hahaha.

Most Helpful

Can only speak to my own experience here, not even in real estate. Commodities in my case. 

As a young person who has/had an inflated title, I hated introducing myself that way to randoms at industry functions. I feel like I'm flexing on some random grey hair by saying "I'm actually a Senior Manager" of XYZ. 

You'll probably find yourself saying "I work in acquisitions" a lot. 

Also, if a better lateral job opportunity comes up, it may have a worse title. You might jump from being a "managing director" to "senior associate," and have to explain that move to people (even if it's a better job, de facto). 

The job title will probably be a nice perk on your resume and Linkedin, but a lot of people will probably take that with a grain of salt due to your age / actual responsibilities. Not something that will truly hurt you, though. 


Thanks for your perspective. Great point about a step down in title if moving shops. I could technically grow into my role but I think having traditional steps up in title holds more weight overall. I think I'm going to talk to my boss and ask for a VP title instead.


Yeah I am for sure but it does have some effect on my interactions/career. Do you think there's any benefit to the MD title at my age/level of experience? I know this market is tough and people at the "executive" level (which my title implies) aren't seeing much action... am I better off staying more junior given my true experience/skillset is more at the VP level?


I have a deflated title and I feel like it makes leaving hard

That one's annoying. It literally costs your current company nothing to make you feel better about yourself, but they either refuse to or don't think about it. So many people can't do the bare minimum. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer
C.R.E. Shervin

Yeah, but HR are idiots. This wont get by an HR screener

Hopefully a dude who is at the VP level with a MD title isn't trying to get through an HR screener though - hopefully they're talking to executives and higher ups directly and if they have to apply, it's just obligatory 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

It's not a huge deal, people understand. A lot of people that have this situation just put "Acquisitions" or "Investments" or whatever as their LinkedIn title so they don't have the confusing look of going from MD to Associate.

It's also fair play to put a parentheses on resumes if you're worried people will have sticker shock when they see "Managing Director" on your resume and assume you're too senior. Just something casual, like having YOE next to your title just to give a arguably more appropriate proxy of what your tenure should be coming in.


PGIM Investment Management

Managing Director - Acquisitions (5 Years of Experience)   


Buddy you can put whatever title you want on your resume. If you’re an MD, but think it may hold you back when applying for a certain job, just change your title on your resume to “director” before sending the app in for said job.


Quisquam sint aliquam quo veniam vel ducimus. Vel et ut aut aperiam eligendi. Fugit placeat rem excepturi doloribus voluptatem blanditiis. Natus sit voluptas quia qui. Est ut maiores tempora numquam vel doloribus repellat. Doloribus voluptatem quia sequi incidunt corrupti. Dignissimos quia occaecati necessitatibus ducimus.

Career Advancement Opportunities

December 2023 Investment Banking

  • Lincoln International 01 99.6%
  • Lazard Freres (++) 99.1%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.7%
  • William Blair 12 98.3%
  • Financial Technology Partners 02 97.9%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

December 2023 Investment Banking

  • William Blair 04 99.6%
  • Lincoln International 10 99.1%
  • Moelis & Company 25 98.7%
  • Stephens Inc 11 98.3%
  • Jefferies & Company 08 97.8%

Professional Growth Opportunities

December 2023 Investment Banking

  • Lincoln International 01 99.6%
  • Lazard Freres 17 99.1%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.7%
  • Financial Technology Partners 06 98.3%
  • UBS AG 16 97.8%

Total Avg Compensation

December 2023 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (6) $592
  • Vice President (34) $390
  • Associates (167) $258
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (15) $187
  • 2nd Year Analyst (106) $168
  • Intern/Summer Associate (48) $167
  • 1st Year Analyst (322) $166
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (234) $95
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”


redever's picture
Secyh62's picture
Betsy Massar's picture
Betsy Massar
BankonBanking's picture
dosk17's picture
kanon's picture
CompBanker's picture
GameTheory's picture
numi's picture
Jamoldo's picture
From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”