I'm currently in my 2nd year in a pre-MBA Associate program at a MegaFund in NYC that doesn't offer VP promotions without business school. I already decided that I don't want to go to business school for several reasons and am looking for advice on my next career move. I want to stay in finance long-term, given I love investing and can't think of too many other industries with the same pay.
There are 3 very different options I'm looking at that I would like to get your advice on:
1) Recruit for senior associate lateral hire opportunities at other upper middle-market / mega funds in the US; PRO: attractive from a long-term experience and pay structure; natural transition of my current role; network in place with PE shops, bankers, recruiters, etc.; CON: Would likely have to transition as a senior Associate and prove myself for 1-2 years before being promoted (if at all); if I don't get promoted I would be in the same situation in 2 years
2) Recruit for VP opportunities at smaller middle market funds in the US; PRO: May be able to get VP role without MBA; more deals; more autonomy; CON: Not as interested in operational work (despite MBB background); lower long term pay; somewhat of a 'perceived' step-down
3) Move to Asia (HK/Singapore/KL/Jakarta), as I believe regional markets offer more opportunity long-term (see my other threat); understanding that it would be hard to get a local PE role, I talked to my current fund and they could offer me a role as Head of M&A (sounds cool, but it is really a business development role) for a smaller portfolio company in the region (they don't offer transfers to their deal team, as they are looking for local talent); thought is to stay in the role if it works out and it is attractive, or move to a fund, which may be easier, as I'm already in the region; PRO: Move to Asia long-term w/ option to recruit in the region once there; potentially very interesting and attractive role; 'easy' internal transfer; CON: Afraid that joining a portfolio company is a 1-way street (i.e., hard to go back to PE); difficulties to find a job in the region afterwards; lower pay at portfolio company (some equity upside).
I understand that these options (esp #3) are quite different and appreciate your feedback. Regarding Asia, note that lived in HK for a couple of years and still have a small network here (not PE though); I'd only be interested in the larger cities in the region (HK/Singapore/KL/Jakarta).
Thanks for your advice.