IB Analyst to CF at a Startup

At a MM tech IB in in the M&A group and looking to jump to a startup, preferably very early stage, one of the first couple finance hires in the company

What stage do startups hire a finance role after the CFO? Whats that work like? Is there a clear connection from IB to this type of role?

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Comments (10)

  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Jun 11, 2021 - 2:49pm

Currently working as a strategic finance (title says corp dev because sometimes corp dev = strategic finance @ these startups + WSO doesnt have strategic finance). My background was not in banking, but my org is Series C (completing rn) and I was hire #3 on the strategic finance team. Other team members are from IB + Consulting. Happy to answer more questions.

Jun 11, 2021 - 2:52pm

2 big questions:

How broad are your responsibilities? Are you doing a bit of everything? What's your day2day look like from a high level?

Whats your work-life balance like? What are your (rough estimate) hours, and do you feel like you have visibility into what you need to do each week?

  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Jun 11, 2021 - 3:05pm

A lot of responsibilities. Responsible for execution of all sorts (ppt building, model building, forecasting / budgeting, capital allocation). You get your hands on everything and the entire organization is relying on us to develop strategic initiatives and facilitate that decision making process. Get exposure to execs as well (IE: had a project of building a slightly augmented rev model to highlight what would change if X variable was Y not Z). I think it teaches you a lot about the operational drivers of actual financial performance of an organization. We are responsible for all exhibits + analyses pertaining to BoD meetings / fundraising purposes as well. 

Day to day is usually working on a series of projects (chipping away based on relative priority) / running and preparing for business unit meetings. Work flow varies a lot as you can imagine. Always the opportunity to derive novel projects that you believe is value add (for me, I want to introduce some form of market pulse by conducting industry analysis and research). Also, other divisions of the org will ask for random requests (IE: what are the financial implications of this product changing). Overall, a truly diverse exposure with very few mundane projects. 

WLB on the whole is good. My team is pretty autonomous and trustworthy of one another so I can kinda work when I want, so long as the work products are good. Of course, this goes out the window with meetings, for example. Team is very open to sit and chat to game plan about the tactical approach to handling projects or laying out what we want in a deck (have heard in IB sometimes analysts have no clue what to do and have no clue where to start). Hours can also vary. Right now, given a quarterly BoD meeting + fundraising we were swamped (~90ish hour weeks + weekend work) but on the whole I would say that figure is more like ~65 (I also do like to work on weekends just for my own mental sanity so YMMV). Definitely feel like I have visibility at all times and, like I was saying above, my team is super transparent and more than happy to Zoom to layout literally steps to success. I've communicated that I need logical progressions in workflow, so we literally have a system of "order of operations" for projects, which makes my life SO much easier and efficient. I would hate to have to just guess at what the next step (or first step) is. 

Jun 11, 2021 - 3:13pm

How long do you think IB analysts need experience before we can go for these types of roles? Is 2+ years still standard or can analysts jump after a year?

  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Jun 11, 2021 - 3:25pm

You should be good to get look after a year honestly. The interview process is arduous - far harder than IB in my exp - but I made the move after a yr doing similar work at an earlier stage startup 

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  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Jun 11, 2021 - 3:31pm

Process was: 

1st round (phone)

2nd round (phone) 

Case Study (Model + Presentation ; 6 hr time limit)

3rd round (Zoom presentation of the model + deck you prepared)

4th round (3 more 1 on 1 interviews)

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