Likely Getting Pushed Out at End of 2 Years (LMM Buyout)

Grindtime's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 271

Figured I'd finally post this, and reach out to the usual studs on this board who have a bit more insight then myself.

A little background:

Semi-target, 3.6 GPA, 2 years MM banking, and I've been at a LMM buyout fund for the past 18 months. During this time, I've known from the start that it was going to be a tough one (VP is a workaholic, demands perfection), and on top of everything, I accepted the initial role for $70k base given that they were still in start-up mode and the promise of a mark-to-market on fund 2. We now have fund 2, and my "market pay" was increased to $100k....bonus probably getting me into the $150 range assuming everyone is happy with performance (which I'll get into later). I was given a $10k bonus year one, if that's any indication of how these guys value comp. And on top of everything, I found out that my immediate peer who is in BD, got bumped to $135. Absurd.

My situation: group, compensation, abusive VP

This group, is highly highly highly value-based: no deal is good enough at the price we enter, and without fail, will cut price in exclusivity 10/10 times. What this means, is that I still don't have a closed deal on my resume. I have worked on several up into exclusivity, where only remaining diligence was confirmatory, but we would always just find an excuse to make it cheaper, and subsequently lose the deal. On top of everything, I haven't been compensated for my heavy workload and hours, and have worked under a verbally abusive VP who treats me like an intern.

$200k all in is unacceptable as a 3rd Year
My question to you guys is: this group has some issues; I've known this since day 1, but kept thinking of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow....which is now nonexistent. A 3rd year making less than $200k all in is unacceptable. I've been thinking of my plan next, and frankly, I'm not sure what to do (nor do I have many friends to speak about this with).

How to proceed?
I've realized, outside of the money, I'm not sure how much joy I get out of this gig (side note: I don't know what it's like to make money in this business in the first place given my trash comp, so there's that). My freedom is limited, and I'm constantly stressed. Now, I think I could do it for several more years, but I don't know if I'd be "happy". It may be that my immediate boss has ruined my experience, it may be the industry, I just don't know. I could use this opportunity to swing the experience into a positive, get 2 years under my belt (HOPEFULLY close 1 deal), and potentially try and move into a corp dev / strat role, take some time to reevaluate priorities and travel for a bit, or try and find a firm that gives me the lifestyle balance / comp where I may be much happier. However, if I do the first 2, am I shooting my self in the foot considerably if I'd like to eventually get back into an investing role? If I didn't have a boss that was constantly on my ass about deliverables, thinks everything is high priority and needs to be done right this minute, and maybe would let me have a chance to go on a single date on a week night by leaving early, or grab a dinner with friends....maybe I'd be more content on long term prospects. But right now, I'm a seriously jaded given the lack of either a shit ton of money, or a easier lifestyle.

I don't plan, nor want, to go to a huge corporate fund. LMM shops is where I'm comfortable, and I know the deals fairly well and the responsibilities to be expected. Do you think a brief hiatus into another role, or break, followed by school or attempts to get into another small fund seem attainable? Would love some opinions fellas.