HELP! NEED GUIDANCE ON NEXT POSSIBLE CAREER MOVE.

cavdaily's picture
Rank: Chimp | 6

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?

Job A
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)

Job B
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.

Thanks!

Comments (16)

Nov 12, 2010

why were you laid off?

Nov 12, 2010

B

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Nov 12, 2010

B

Nov 12, 2010

If you are looking into becoming a Multimillionare with no life A.
If you want to be middle high with family, friends, dog, and a white picket fence B.

Nov 12, 2010

@Nefarious: started my job summer of 2008, market was tanking and the fund had lost ~30% so they were doing general layoffs across the board including junior analysts

@barboon: thanks for your input, but are you sure you did not flip the scenarios? It seems that a FoF position would be less stressful and less hours than the start up HF assuming responsibilities of wearing multiple hats...

Anyone else want to share their thoughts, either based on personal experience or views on where the industry may be heading?

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Nov 12, 2010
cavdaily:

@Nefarious: started my job summer of 2008, market was tanking and the fund had lost ~30% so they were doing general layoffs across the board including junior analysts

@barboon: thanks for your input, but are you sure you did not flip the scenarios? It seems that a FoF position would be less stressful and less hours than the start up HF assuming responsibilities of wearing multiple hats...

Anyone else want to share their thoughts, either based on personal experience or views on where the industry may be heading?

I see. Bad time to start a career =\

Nov 12, 2010

How much AUMs in position A? I'll tell you that FoFs can be a pretty swanky job with good pay, but it's a bit more uncertain in the future. Fund raising for primary FoFs is down significantly and only secondary funds are raising money right now (to the point it's oversaturated... seriously, what do you need a $5b secondaries fund for?)

How are your technical skills? FoFs isn't particularly technical in nature, neither on the primary or secondary side.

Nov 12, 2010

hiit, they currently have about $2.5B under management. Their secondary line is a burgeoning part of their business. I understand that FoF can be a cushy job, but this is only a 2-yr contract and I am assuming most analysts either go to B school or pursue other opportunities. I am trying to determine if the career options after the 2 yr contract (Job A) is more enticing then staying at a small 2-3 person newly formed HF and move up internally within that fund (Job B)...

Nov 13, 2010

Without a doubt B, you will learn so much more dude.

Nov 16, 2010

I think age at this point is not a problem for you, so you should geared towards job that you give you the most learning experience, and skill set.

If in case the HF blows up, you can always go to business school with a strong skill set as investment analyst under your belt. You will be much more marketable in getting a MBA, and positions post-MBA having been an investment analyst at a HF.

I personally don't think FoF will be a rewarding experience in terms of getting valuable skills. But I never done FoF myself, so I really can't make a judgment on that.

Nov 17, 2010

Hi all,

For anyone who isn't as lucky as cavdaily having job offers, there is a job board with the latest vacancies available on the BusinessBecause website. These are jobs dealing with financial analysis, project leaders and other business/finance related job openings which have been posted on their job board. It'll be useful to check out for those job-hunting.

The link is http://www.businessbecause.com/jobs.htm.
You will have to register on the site to view full details (just takes a couple of mins), but it'll be worth it! The jobs are all-over - US, London, China etc. Have a look! Thanks

Nov 17, 2010

A, then MBA.

Nov 12, 2010

Hey guys, just to give you an update on this process: yesterday, I reached out to the PM (whom would be my direct report, and the only person I'd be working with) at Job B and asked for clarification on the roles associated with the position. I received a sharp and curt email response acknowledging the disappointment that I had not accepted yet. We followed up on the phone today and I got the same curt, sharp tone when discussing job details, as if the offer made to me was done as a favor for me and I should have accepted already. Additionally, he came off as a little volatile and hard headed. I can respect the no-BS straightforward approach, but since I'd be the only one reporting to him, I'm not sure if this attitude will carry forward in the future if I eff something up with my work...

I understand that group dynamics and work environment can just be as important as the job itself. Given this attitude already and the fact that I have not even began work with Job B, would your opinion on accepting Job B change? Once again, I want to reiterate the fact that he would be the only person I would be working with, and am not sure if this is just miscommunication or trouble in the long run...

Nov 18, 2010

Go with A if you know you'll like the people

Nov 18, 2010
Nikkisixx:

Go with A if you know you'll like the people

+1

People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis, you can't trust people Jeremy

Nov 18, 2010
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