Currently a newly promoted Associate 1 in London with a base salary of £90k. The truth is I only stayed on for the A2A promotion because I never received any buy-side offers whilst recruiting during my Analyst years. I really don't enjoy banking and want to make the move.
I'm now interviewing for an Associate 1 position at a start-up PE fund focused on small-cap. They've just raised $150m for their first fund and have less than 10 people in the investment team.
Interviews have gone well however they said that because they're small-cap focused and a start-up, they can't afford to pay market rate. They mentioned Associate 1 base salary will be £70k and up to 75% bonus with no carried interest until the VP level. That's c.£120k vs c.£180k in my current role.
The role sounds cool but is the comp just too low and unwise to take (if offered) or is it still marginally acceptable? I'm also worried that this signals that even years down the line they will still be paying below market standard.
Should I suck up my current role and stay in banking given it pays 50% more and continue to look for other roles (even tho I tried for three years and had no luck during my analyst years) or take the big pay cut for the PE role I'm more interested in.