Breaking Into Growth Equity From FinTech Product Management + IB Experience

Hi All,

I'm currently a PM at a PE backed fintech firm, with prior experience in LevFin banking. I moved into my current role about a year and a half ago after doing 3.5 years of LevFin banking, going out as an Associate. Given my mix of PE financing and direct operational experience at a portco of a reputable growth equity firm, I'm trying to get a sense of the possibility of eventually moving into a software focused PE role (not VC, to be clear).

All in, I'm 28 with about 5 years of total experience. As interesting as Product Management is, I honestly miss the financial world, and have realized there is a bit of a ceiling on my current trajectory unless I somehow develop my technical skills significantly. I think longer term, this move would best align with my skillset and interests, but I recognize I'd need to overcome the hesitancy from most PE firms to take a junior with a less traditional background

In short, is this a transition that could be effectively pulled off? How difficult would it be, and any recommendations on how to go about networking or pursuing opportunities in the space?  Additionally, since I'd probably come in as an Associate / Analyst, is this something I need to focus on ASAP, or could I send another 1-2 years in my current role? I don't necessarily want to leave my role today as I still feel like I am learning a ton, but if time is going to become an issue and more development of my Product skillset won't matter to PE firms, I want to begin thinking about how to make this move if it is a realistic possibility.

Comments (3)

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs

Disclaimer: just a first-year analyst myself so take this with a grain of salt, but my thoughts are as follows -

I would think you definitely could find a role in PE, especially if you were at a good bank and the target PE firm works in a sector within or adjacent to what your current company does. That said, I think this move is most probable within the MM/LMM space, particularly at a fund that is operationally hands-on and would value your PM experience. 

As to staying at your firm or not, I would begin looking now. The longer you wait the farther detached you are from IB (which is most relevant), and I don't think PE firms will care much about the incremental delta of time spent as a PM.

Hope this helped, and good luck

  • 1
Slim145, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks, this is really helpful. I've already started networking as I suspected the more distance between finance and my current role would start to hurt me. One note on my banking background though - it really wasn't a great brand name. We did some syndication, but it was mostly commercial lending for leveraged loans tied to PE backed M&A. We had a JV that allowed us to go 4-6x deep so in some ways we where investing alongside the PE firms and it was not at all typical commercial banking (more like what you'd see at a buy-side Direct Lending shop), which I recognize puts me further out of the traditional path 

  • 1
TMTInvestor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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