Recently in another thread I posed a few questions regarding which of these entities you'd like to work for. I figured I'd start it's own thread to get some answers because this could be a good thread to help guide people in the right direction.
By Capital Partner I mean investor//REPE/pension advisor usually comprising 80-95% of the equity (varies)
By Operating/Development Partner, I mean firms like developers local to specific markets, and companies like Hines, JBG, Tishman, Related, etc. who all usually bring in a bigger investor.
A few differences I have noticed:
Capital Partners - More of an investment management role. more finance/modeling intensive than anything else. You can get really involved in the real estate end but typically you aren't the managing partner. So you might approve major leases, capital projects, budgets and the like but you aren't really running the show. You also do 100% equity deals and hire external property management, but you are still not part of the real day to day development/operating decisions. It seems like they pay higher salary + bonus on the lower level, but are more structured as you climb the ranks.
Operating/Development Partner - More of a real estate role. In a development setting, you are the quarterback. You source the deal, arrange financing (including finding the equity partner and sourcing debt with the equity partner), find the architects, GC, get the permitting, marketing, pre-lease/lease the building and generally "develop" the entire project from inception to completion. This is more about the bricks & mortars and less about spreadsheets (however that is a part of it as well). For comp, seems like these shops tend to be pretty lean and don't pay too well at the bottom. However, at some of the higher ranks it seems like you might get a better payoff at the end due to the promote structure of the deal. I would assume that if your company rakes in more on your deal, you would get a larger commensurate bonus. and it is also more likely to have personal equity in the deal at the senior management levels and therefore you stand to make a lot more if it is successful (and vice versa).
Feel free to add/edit any of these job functions an answer any of the following questions:
1. Which type of firm would you prefer to work?
2. Is it likely to switch between the two different fields? There is tons of overlap and many relationships between the two so it seems natural. However...
3. Which direction is a switcher most likely to go? Is it easier to start out one way or the other?
Thanks guys, look forward to your insights.