Large private tech FP&A vs. Small public industrial corporate development/strategy

zxq94's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | banana points 79

Hi all,

Looking for a little advice on my potential next moves.

I am currently finishing up a couple years in valuations at a big 4 firm and am looking for my next opportunity as I know I don't want to do valuations specifically for the rest of my career. I am still looking, but currently getting to the later stages of the two opportunities listed above.

The tech company is more of an FP&A type role in one of their business units. From what I understand, I will be part of setting up KPIs and acting as a finance business partner to help the department managers evaluate how they're doing and how they can be more efficient. I'll also have a hand in the budgeting/forecasting process (they indicated some business modelling here) as well as analyzing historical and reporting up the chain to the head of the department and corporate.
The small public company ($500M-$1B mkt cap) role will involve M&A (although they aren't that active), analyzing sales/supplier contracts, and other special projects.

In general, the pay is similar, although the large private tech does offer some stock-based compensation that could be interesting if the company goes public in the next couple years. They are also both relatively small teams (3-4 people). The job title at the tech company is financial analyst while the corp dev is equivalent to a manager... I was thinking of trying to negotiate the tech company on this as I want to show some progression and don't want it to seem like a step down.

I guess my question is, I'm relatively early on in my career and want to keep options open. The tech company will look better on the resume from a brand name perspective, but I fear the job might be repetitive. The job itself seems very interesting at the small public, but it's not a well known company. I feel like the work/life balance at each will be comparable as well.

Any and all advice is appreciated!

Comments (7)

Jun 18, 2018

bump! :)

Jun 18, 2018

They are very different roles. Which one appeals to you more? I'd take the role you think would be more interesting / what aligns best with your long term goals.

Jun 18, 2018

It's tough for me to decide based on all the info above. I think if I looked purely at the job descriptions/role, I would lean heavily towards the smaller public company. It just becomes a bit more gray when you consider it's in a less interesting (in my opinion) industry and is quite smaller (unknown name). How much will this next role in either FP&A vs. corp dev/bus. dev limit me to future options? Do you think it would be very hard to change industries in corp dev, should I ever want to make a change?
Thanks for your help!

Jun 18, 2018

It's easier to move from CD to FP&A than the reverse for sure. I don't think an unknown name is an issue if you get decent experience, but I'd definitely understand as best as possible their M&A strategy and how acquisitive they intend to be. If they think they'll do a $50MM deal once every 3 years and then you're just doing a bunch of ad hoc stuff, it may or may not be that interesting depending on whether the ad hoc/special projects are strategic. It's not that difficult to switch industries in CD, at least at the more junior level.

If you are unsure if you want to do FP&A as a career, I'd be hesitant to go work for the large tech co.

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Jun 19, 2018

if you have any interest in M&A then i would consider the CD role... that said, i would have another discussion and try to understand the pipeline, investment thesis, risk appetite etc of the dont want to get there and they realistically dont have an M&A strategy. also keep in mind - it is quite possible to get great experience and not close a deal.

you could always go CD to another CD role. or CD to fp&a. fp&a to CD would be a lot more difficult. something to think about

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Jun 18, 2018

OK - this is great info. Important for me to know that it's easier to go one way than the other.

I have a discussion with the director for CD role coming up and I'll try to make sure I find some of this info out.

What scares me about the FP&A role is that it may be very repetitive/reporting-like. I have a meeting with the tech co later today, so that will give me a better idea.

Jun 19, 2018