Growth Equity Portfolio Operations?

I've come across a lot of larger firms that work Series A through LBO that have listing for a portfolio operations type of role. Insight Partners has their Onsite Diligence and Growth team, General Atlantic now hires Operating Analysts, and I've seen firms like SGE have portfolio value creation roles and theres probably more that I haven't seen.

Does anyone have opinions on this type of work? What do you learn, is there a difference in comp, WLB, exit opps? Just looking for anyone thats been around these roles or knows anyone in them.

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  • Analyst 1 in PE - Growth
May 22, 2022 - 9:57pm

With the exception of the Insight role which is diligence + portfolio ops (as the investment team is primarily sourcing-oriented), these roles are great to get exposure to high-growth technology companies but unlikely that you'll end up in a partner-track investment role. YMMV but at a lot of shops you are 'dropped in' to portcos to help them think through key issues, often around go-to-market or expansion strategy, hence you often see former consultants in these roles.

Similar to consulting, great to do it for a few years to gain broad exposure but unless you can/want to make a long-term career as an operating partner, you'll most likely filter out into ops roles in the portcos or comparable cos. What might happen is that you'll join one of these cos in a biz ops or strategy leadership role 1-2 layers below C-suite, move up / switch cos, then end up back at a growth shop as an operating partner.

But because you don't get the deal sourcing, diligence, and execution experience that's required to be a good full stack investor, theoretically possible but unlikely to make a direct transition to Sr. Associate / VP-level growth equity investing roles (though you can probably make the case for early-stage). In most cases the more transaction-oriented portco work (e.g. participation in follow-on financing, helping to run a sell-side process) are investment team duties.

May 27, 2022 - 3:36pm
blackshoes, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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