25 yrs old and hired as partner at a leading VC?

Recently saw a post that Lightspeed Venture Partners has hired three new partners across a few of their platforms. One of the hires is a (seemingly) 25/26 year old 'Growth Partner' with only 3 prior years experience in public markets investing at Point72. This is bizarre to me.

Granted, there is some overlap in late growth with public markets investing, but the fact is they brought on a junior person with no prior experience in the space as a partner. For context, she still has her role as a portfolio manager in UVa's student fund on her LinkedIn.

I feel like this could be due to one or more of the following reasons, in no particular order:
1) She was an investing savant at Point72, absolutely crushed it, and somehow got the attention of Lightspeed partners
1) Lightspeed is relatively flat with significant title inflation and most hires are brought on as PINOs ('partners in name only')
2) She comes from a well-connected family and has mad industry connects (her bio does allude to this)

Anyways, curious to hear everyone's thoughts.

https://medium.com/lightspeed-venture-partners/gr…

Shan is focused on investing in category-defining consumer and software companies. Prior to working in venture, she spent three years investing in the public market as a hedge fund analyst at Point72 Asset Management. There, she covered 70+ U.S. and European TMT and consumer companies. Born and raised in Changsha, China, Shan grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. Facing new challenges head-on was something she experienced and was inspired by at an early age and it's part of the reason she pursued a career in Venture Capital. As an undergraduate at The University of Virginia, she studied subjects ranging from international relations to algorithmic trading. Her focus on the intersection of technology and commerce trained her to break down business problems and industry changes with a rigorous analytical mindset while maintaining a high level of intellectual curiosity.

Comments (6)

 
  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jul 22, 2020 - 3:35pm

Not sure ab that firm specifically, but lots of VC firms commonly call everyone on the investing team "partners." They call their real higher ups "general partners" sometimes, so I'd guess this is a case of title inflation

 
  • Associate 3 in PE - Growth
Jul 22, 2020 - 3:48pm

Lightspeed calls all investment professionals "partners," similar to Sequoia and a16z.

However, Greylock did promote a 26-year-old rockstar to general partner last year. That kind of rapid progression generally only happens if you joined the firm as an associate and have demonstrated unique ability to source and close great deals.

 
Jul 22, 2020 - 4:35pm

Some firms call everyone on the investment team a "partner" but in reality there are gradations / a hierarchy within that title internally.

Array
 
Jul 22, 2020 - 4:36pm

Echoing what previous commenters wrote, many VC firms call everyone "partners" given that much of the job revolves around cold-calling/emailing and networking. A founder doesn't want to speak with an "associate" at Sequoia, but a partner? Definitely. My understanding is that is the primary reason. Their responsibilities obviously resemble an associate's.

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