Help! MD is asking me to come with him
Hi WSO Community- greatly appreciate some thoughts on my situation. My MD has asked me to leave with him to start his own firm. What's everyone's thoughts?
Background: I'm a second year analyst at a specialty boutique. Did my first year at an EB, then transferred to get more of a WLB. Currently, love my role at the boutique- not trying to brag but considered the top analyst and all the MD's go-to analyst, numerous VPs have told me I'm on the track to being the youngest senior banker at the firm, I really like the other analysts/associates and well respected by all of them, and aim to be compensated at market rate, despite working at a boutique. Only work 60-70 hours a week, sometimes 80-90 if its crunch time. Hours will only go down as I get promoted.
Regarding my MD- he's the best banker I've worked for. He's a former attorney and worked, so he's extremely knowledgeable and has great experience. I have very strong personal connection with him, and he tells me numerous times in confidence that I'm his favorite analyst. He's definitely my favorite banker to work for- very firm but fair mindset. I've learned the most from him and he'd back me no matter what.
Reason the MD is leaving- he is undercompensated. The way my boutique is structured is the partners get 50% of proceeds no matter what. The MD isn't a partner, and won't make it for a long time. He's sick of being the rainmaker at the firm (brings in ~15mm a year) and not getting a big enough cut (only takes home ~1-2mm). He also doesn't really like other MDs because he considers them too soft. He wants to go off and start his own firm, with compensation structures being placed more heavily on transaction success fees (i.e., junior bankers will be awarded more % of the success fee rather than a pre-determined bonus).
My concerns- joining a startup bank. I feel like I may not earn a competitive salary for a few years, which I'm more of a conservative budgeter in nature. Also- I'm not sure how the hours will shake out. Obviously, we'll be pitching a lot, so hours will most likely ramp up. Last, being as a senior analyst / associate, I'm not sure how much support I'll get from junior analysts, if any. I'm guessing we'd bring on more personnel (an analyst), but I feel like I'd be playing both roles.
My opportunities- joining a startup bank. I've heard it's always good to take a risk or two in your career (obviously when your young rather than old). I'm only 24, so I have a lot of time left in my career. I'll learn so much working more directly under my MD- much more than working at the boutique. We haven't talked about equity comp, but I'm sure that'd be part of the deal.