Hello fellow WSO users. I am seeking advice on some next steps to my career path, and any insight would be helpful.
My background: graduated in 08 from a well known undergrad program with a degree in finance. Accepted an offer for a PE FoF but was laid off 6 weeks into my job... Came back home and then found something in the MBS valuation group at a large firm. Have been doing pricing of MBS products for the last two years but feel like there is no career advancement. I have recently broken through with 2 job offers but need some guidance as to which would provide the best career track?
Small PE FoF shop that has expanded about 40-50% last two years
Role: Private equity Fund of Funds analyst
- Recently purchased all of a BBs PE business and will act as custodian and manage assets
- Role will be investment monitoring/reporting, fund analytics to determine which funds make the most sense, risk analysis, asset allocation
- Lots of face time with LPs and GPs, have offices in New York, California (my position), and two international offices
- Downside is only 2 yr program, with no certainty of extension. Buy side shop so it's not direct investing but due diligence on existing GPs, asset allocation for LPs
My take: I have a very entrepreneurial mindset and would see this as an opportunity to learn the FoF business, develop fund analytics, and network with top clients (including the BB's own pension fund, and other large institutional investors). Eventually, when the two years are up, I can either pursue another opportunity in California (aiming at perhaps a tech start up or VC in San Fran or Silicon Valley), or pursue my MBA somewhere in Cali (Haas - Berkeley would be a top choice)
Newly formed REIT-focused HF, spinoff of a large conglomerate here in Washington DC
Role: Investment Analyst
- The founder of the parent firm is a well known entrepreneur and investor in the commercial real estate sector in Washington DC for the last 30 years. They are beginning a brand new fund dedicated to equities and REITs with a target launch of Jan 2011. The team consists of only two people. I would be reporting to a director of Finance (who manages the portfolio), and a member who does capital raising.
- Role would include tracking investments, Income statement/BS/CF analysis, portfolio tracking, etc. It is a direct side investment opportunity, but as an analyst I would be doing more of support work then actual investment recommendations. I am currently working in Fixed Income valuing MBS and I can apply some skills are directly transferable to the REIT/real estate side of this business. Other responsibilities include managing and maitaining some existing properties and account management of cilents within those spaces. This is not solely an direct investment side opportunity but more 50/50 in terms of split between investment due diligence and existing CRE property management
- Potential for growth is not capped, and there is no 2 yr contract. If fund does well, there is a possibility of an accelerated career advancement within the fund. If the fund does poorly, I can be out of a job.
On one hand, I am excited about the possibility of moving across the country to California to start a new life in a new state. On the other hand, Job A is capped at two years and there can be uncertainty after the initial two years.
For Job B, the potential for growth and internal advancement is extremely exciting. I would also be staying local in Washington DC without a significant relocation change, so I would have my existing network of professionals, friends, and family. On the other hand, the small nature of the team coupled with the uncertainty of fund performance can be, at best, a little shaky. Also, say that I want to pursue another position in 2-3 years - how much leverage would I have working for a brand new fund without a track record?
Honestly, I am 50/50 right now and have a few days to mull over the decision. Whichever I decide, I know this can be career changing and want to heavily consider all options before making a committment.
I appreciate your time and look forward to see what your take on this is.