I occasionally snoop on LinkedIn and recently learned how to do advanced searches. EG I will search for former employees of certain private equity funds. This is helpful as you can see where employees land if they don't move up the ladder at that fund. Recently, I've come across a few guys whose profile looks like the following:
- Investment Banking Analyst (2 years) - MS / Prestigious Investment Bank
- REPE Associate (2-3 years) - highly prestigious REPE Fund
- REPE Associate / VP (2-3 years) - prestigious REPE fund but maybe marginally worse than the previous fund
- Independent Consultant / CEO / Advisor (1-4years) - Either the guy started his own company and is trying to broker deals, is doing side gigs, or is working a tiny company no one has heard of. Point is it's a massive step down from previously being a VP at a legit PE / Hedge fund
What causes this steep decline? I feel like I've seen variations of the above several times - it doesn't always follow the exact path, but there is certainly a theme. Starts very strong out of college, and gradually moves downward in terms of "prestige" and eventually there is a steep dropoff. I'm aware that moving to smaller funds as you progress is normal, but why the steep drop off to starting your own "advisory" comapny at 29?
Does anyone know someone like this personally? Do you think this happens because of personality issues? In my head, I always imagined that if you failed out of one of the major PE funds, there's always a smaller fund that could take you on so you could continue moving up. It appears that this isn't the case for some mid-level guys, To me, that outcome is frightening since I don't want to do anything entreprenurial until I'm in my 40s.
Would be interesting to hear stories if anyone knows someone that took a similar path