Project Finance - exit opportunities

Igo's picture
Rank: Monkey | 58

What kind of exit opportunities at Associate 2/3 level in Project Finance with a top player?

Post- Project Finance Jobs

While many people go into project finance expecting that they will build a career there, it's not unusual to want to make a move for further career development. Some moves will be easier than others. As always, any job change requires aggressive networking and strong interviews. WSO members shared their insights and advice on possible exit opps for those currently working in project finance:

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Comments (13)

Oct 30, 2010

Infrastructure funds.

Oct 30, 2010

^^, I'd imagine.

Oct 30, 2010

macquarie - thats it

Nov 3, 2010

Bump - very interested in getting a response myself. I am in a similar position, except that I am on the M&A/Project finance team of a utility, and want to move on

Nov 3, 2010

Like many have said in posts before, it is fairly difficult for an associate (nevermind a senior associate) to jump. This is simply driven by the notion that associates are usually on the path to stay. Exit opps for associates are fairly limited.

That being said, if you're in the right place at the right time, it is possible to go to an infrastructure fund, as noted above, power/energy fund, or some sort of principal investing group (on the debt side). These days, many infrastructure funds lack investment opportunities in the 'true' infrastructure space (toll roads, bridges, airports, etc.) and have started to branch out into power and energy.

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Nov 3, 2010

don't mean to hijack the post, but how would exit opps look for proj finance for an analyst? does proj fin pidgeonhole?

Nov 3, 2010

same as above. i forgot to add that certain megafunds also have infra/power/energy groups. However, they recruit for 'classes' and might not need anyone for their infra/power/energy groups.

Mar 28, 2015

bump

Nov 25, 2015

bump

Nov 25, 2015

bump

Best Response
Nov 25, 2015

Hi, I know this thread is a bit old now, but I thought I would add my two cents worth given that this topic seems to come up quite a bit, but there's little input from those that work in the area.

First of all you should really consider if you do want to work in project finance roles. These roles are focused on ensuring that the project is bankable from a debt perspective (as opposed to equity which is what IB often focuses on) and has opportunities either on debt side or on advisory side assisting the project sponsors. This is a specialised, but rewarding area.

People don't often go into project finance with the expectation that they will "exit" to something else in the future. Depending on how the bank is set up you might work across or specialise in an area such as PPPs, natural resources, oil & gas, or utilities and then work your way up the ladder as you refine your project finance expertise. You could also go into or come from leveraged finance as the underlying process and skill set has similarities. If you do want to try something different you can also go to the buy side with an infrastructure fund (debt or equity) or work for a project sponsor. You can also consider moving to the infrastructure team at an IB. Other options include moving to related areas of the bank that are involved in the projects such as DCM, client coverage or risk.

If you are a junior that develops good modelling skills within the first couple of years, you could possibly move to another junior role at an IB if you are able to sell your transferrable skills well. This is because the modelling in project finance (especially PPPs) is often quite complex and can require a good understanding of tax structures.

Generally for debt side the hours are better than IB, although you can often expect a similar level of intensity and remuneration if you're on the advisory side at a successful bank (some of the advisors are actually investment banks). I wouldn't discount the option of later moving to related areas such as risk because the compensation can honestly be quite reasonable for the amount of exertion involved, whilst still having exposure to interesting deals.

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Nov 25, 2015
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