My current job is at a large established hedge fund that is well respected and I enjoy showing up to work every day. I've been an analyst here for a few years now but I feel like I'm being underpaid and I'm getting restless. I could be stay here another decade and probably wouldn't make much more but it's safe and I have a great work / life balance.
This new opportunity is at a small hedge fund (<500M AUM) that no one has really heard of in the city but they're desperate for someone with my skillset. They're offering a base that is comparable to my current all-in pay plus very significant carry. Most guys at the firm made 7 figures last year. They have a few years of solid investment performance and AUM is growing fast.
My concern here is job security and career risk (no-name fund, kind of known as cowboys). If this new fund doesn't work out (either implodes or I get fired for not putting up decent numbers), then it might be hard to get back into a buyside role again. I don't live in London / NY (in a secondary market - think Chicago / Boston), so the number of buy-side gigs in my city is limited.
Do you guys think the risk is worth the upside here? I don't have any dependents (yet), my lifestyle is modest and I've saved a lot of money to ride out unemployment... but I'm finding it hard to leave the comfort of my current role. Any advice is much appreciated!
Edit - took out a few details that were potentially revealing of the firms