Career change to Private Equity

I have been recently offered the opportunity to switch from accounting, to join a private equity firm as the VP of finance, with the idea that I quikcly become the CFO, since there is no one at that position currently. I would be the first employee in the "finance" department, and would be recruting and growing the team, and since it is a small team, I will be involved in all aspects of the firm and in the deals (as well as being in charge of the financials, etc). Has anyone made a similar move in the past, or have any insight and what that career path is like?

Comments (5)

 
Apr 10, 2020 - 3:41pm

What kind of a company do you work at now? If it's a big accounting firm, the culture will be a lot different at a small PE firm. I do transaction advisory and consulting, some if it for PE firms, and my team is 7 people which sounds like it might be comparable to this. I prefer that environment to being a cog in the wheel (or, just one out of a hundred nameless, faceless monkeys, if you will).

You will have opportunities to jump on all different kinds of projects and gain experience you would not have had if you were at a large firm doing the same thing day in, day out every day. But some people like that structure and predictability, so it's really individual preference.

 
  • VP in PE - Other
Apr 10, 2020 - 3:45pm

Thanks for the reply! I am currently at a top 25 CPA Firm, so it is pretty large. To your point, that is what I am hoping for. I am hoping I can have an immediate impact on the firm and the success of the firm, and I am hoping to be challenged and an important part of the firm.

 
Apr 10, 2020 - 3:58pm

I would go for it then. I graduated business school last May, and I took this job on a very small team while most of my friends went on to large firms. Over the last year, I've learned a lot more and grown much faster than they have. They have not been challenged to problem-solve and intensively get up to speed on something quickly, because they do everything "the way it's always been done." You will probably be required to read a lot about new things you're not familiar with and take on responsibilities you've never had before, which it sounds like you will find rewarding.

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