Getting hired at a SPAC
I got a job at a SPAC a few weeks/months ago and thought I'd share a few reflections.
- It is really lean/light. SPACs have limited working capital that they have to pay for everything (lights, market data, salaries, D&O insurance, etc.) for their search period. So you won't get the Bloomberg accounts, , etc.
- SPAC leaders have very specific ideas in mind for who they want to hire. My SPAC was looking for juniors with X years of IB, Y years of PE, and deep deal experience in Z. They are not looking for the generalist all-around-athletes.
- They source through personal networks and luck. Going back to the lean/light, SPAC leaders don't have time or money to work with headhunters or do a broad outreach process or conduct multiple rounds of structured interviews. I saw the job ad through college alumni mailing list.
- They move fast. I had 2 interviews, a case study, and an offer in writing within a week. They also told me I had 3 days to accept it or they'd move onto the next guy. I accepted it within 3 hours. This speed translates to the deal side as well.
- The comp is very attractive. Cash comp is lower, but its more than made up with equity. You might have a reasonable debate on the risk characteristics of the equity (vesting, post-merger performance, etc.) but on paper its attractive.
- You have to be comfortable with knowing there's an end date. SPACs by definition have a limited existence, either through a merger or a liquidiation. So it's a fun ride, but it's a 2-year ride at most.
Should caveat that my shop is an "independent" SPAC, which is different from a PE-sponsored SPAC, which operate in many ways like an extension of the PE fund (and the above may or may not apply).