Deciding between 3 offers

aman12's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | banana points 66

I have been recruiting for months and am finally deciding between three opportunities. My goal is to be in REPE in the next 2-3 years doing acquisitions with a massive firm (Blackstone, Lonestar, etc) and to create a REPE firm long-term. I aim to become great at underwriting a range of different property types, a modeling whiz and to network a ton. Here are the options:

  1. AM role with a large REPE firm (~$15B in AUM) that owns mostly core/core+ assets throughout the US and employs a really interesting value-add strategy. Seems like this position would be hard work but includes great training, exposure to senior management and other perks. The company has a really pristine reputation, but are sometimes considered more developers than traditional REPE.
  2. Role with another REPE firm (~$10B AUM) that is focused more on CMBS and distressed debt. This role seems less clear, but could really provide an immense learning opportunity. Senior management is clearly bright, but I am not sure if there are willing to mentor analysts. On top of this, reviews from prior analysts that have worked there are quite negative. This firm is well-known within REPE, but exits are unclear from LinkedIn and conversations I have had with peers in the industry.
  3. Smaller REPE firm (~$3B AUM) focused on retail (obviously a dying area). Firm seems like it is really up and coming and I would be doing acquisitions - looking at thousands of properties and selecting the best few. They have recently raised a new fund and are looking to spend it - meaning that I will quickly gain a ton of experience. Also, since the fund is small there is potential for me to gain a senior role in not so much time.

**Also something noteworthy is I may be able to work where I interned - a CBRE, JLL, Cushman type in a major metropolitan market (NYC, CHI, LA, SF).

I am currently leaning towards the AM position but would appreciate any other thoughts.

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Comments (18)

Jan 30, 2018

I would rule the AM job out if you want to be a modeling whiz. Get some transactional experience, regardless of fund size.

Jan 30, 2018
aman12:

3. Smaller REPE firm (~$3B AUM) focused on retail (obviously a dying area).

This really couldn't be further from the truth. Evolution =/= death.

Jan 30, 2018

I concur. Larger malls are certainly dying--especially Class B and C malls. However, there are numerous other retail sub-product types that will do just fine. And since the entire retail sector has been written off, I imagine there will be opportunity to profit on some of these overlooked assets.

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Jan 30, 2018

2 = rotational program at rialto? I'd be afraid of being put in the loan asset management group when you have two PE offers

Depends on the company, but you could do 1 year of AM at #1 and transfer to acquisitions internally or lateral. #3 sounds interesting but it's hard to tell if I'd go with 1 or 3 without more info

Jan 29, 2018

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Jan 29, 2018

3 would be interesting but I am concerned that it is focused on retail and also feel like exit opps might not be great given the relatively small size of the firm/unknown name. I want relevant experience, but I feel if the name/brand can't get me to the next hurdle or delays my path then it is not worth my time.

Jan 30, 2018

Sounds like a tough dilemma, I would tell you to go with the AM role. Many go from AM to acquisitions after 2-3 years of experience. I am guessing a REPE firm with $15B in assets is fairly well known and will thus give you the exit opps you are looking for.

Option 2 seems solid, but bad senior management can really screw you over...

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Jan 30, 2018
CREguy:

Sounds like a tough dilemma, I would tell you to go with the AM role. Many go from AM to acquisitions after 2-3 years of experience. I am guessing a REPE firm with $15B in assets is fairly well known and will thus give you the exit opps you are looking for.

Option 2 seems solid, but bad senior management can really screw you over...

Is this true? I haven't heard of that many people making a transition from AM to Acquisitions, unless the former is an entry role and you're very early in your career.

Jan 29, 2018

I should have mentioned this earlier, but this a first job out of college for me... So I am guessing transitioning thereafter will be fairly easy?

Jan 31, 2018

Depends on how silo'd the two groups are. If AM helps with the UW of the transactions and leads disposition efforts then it would be a solid start, and would make for a pretty good transition to ACQ.

One thing that does hurt the transition is AM groups are often in a separate office with ACQ working out of a smaller satellite location in NY/SF/LA etc. If this is a situation where you share a space then a jump after a few years would be pretty seamless.

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Jan 30, 2018

What sort of AM duties would you have in #1? There's a huge difference if you're handling sales, refis, overseeing business plans and developments for a wide range of prop types (in addition to the monotonous reporting and quarterly valuation tasks), versus simply working on the monotonous reporting and quarterly valuations.

Jan 29, 2018

Good point - the position seems to consist of focusing on dispos, definitely high involvement in the value-add process, and even refis over a wide range of property types (retail, office, hotel, industrial, etc) and some mixed use properties. And then obviously there will be some of the more monotonous work as well, but that is part of any position.

Jan 30, 2018

Congrats on three great offers that you can't go wrong with. That being said, I'd go with #3 and I'll tell you why...

I think the most impressive thing you can put on your resume after 2 or 3 years is that you directly underwrote or transacted on millions of dollars worth of acquisitions. Working at a smaller firm with lots of capital to deploy will get you that experience.

If you really can't make your mind up, go with whoever is paying you the most. Cash aint everything at this point in your career but it's a good way to tell who really means business.

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Jan 29, 2018

But don't you think name/brand/reputation is an important consideration, especially since I have to rerecruit in 2-3 years?

Just to give you an idea about how well known these firms are (and yes I know this might not be the best indicator), option 1 has about 4K followers in Linkedin, 2 has 20K followers and 3 has only 800 followers.

Jan 30, 2018

Name brand doesn't necessarily mean as much in REPE as it does in the IB to Corp PE career trajectory. The top REPE rainmakers aren't always the VPs at Blackstone/Carlyle/Hines, a lot of times they're the Partners or Executives at smaller shops who are compensated with substantial equity.

If your gut is telling you to go with AM at the larger REPE then go with that though, always trust your gut.

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Jan 31, 2018

3 gets you the acquisitions role you want right away. Question is if a potential step down in brand name from #1 is worth it and if retail is what you are interested in.

Oversimplification and Im making some assumptions about the firms but thats how I would think about it. If the brokerage role is investment sales I would give that serious consideration - plenty of people are able to transition to good acquisitions roles from there.

Feb 4, 2018

Retail is great. If you can do acquisitions and asset management in the same role it's even better, you'll get the full view of what deals actually entail. Retail is sometimes more challenging as you have to think through tenant space and complementary tenancy as well as sometimes more complicated leases. Great experience to start with. It's a discipline you can take with you to other shops and food groups.

Feb 6, 2018