Q&A: Senior Financial Analyst of FP&A at PE Owned Healthcare Company

It was suggested that I do a Q&A by some of the WSO folks after my recent podcast with Patrick. Check out my podcast & video here and my mentoring profile here #### A brief background of myself: * From a non target school in a B/C tier city, graduated with 3.4 * Interned in UHNW family office and ER * Decided to follow something I found more fulfilling and did a 1 year FLDP at a major healthcare system * Worked in corporate/operational/data heavy finance for 2 years in population health post FLDP * Left major healthcare system to join a PE portfolio company in the pharmacy industry still in growth phases as a senior financial analyst of FP&A #### Some other points I'm happy to answer questions about: * Came from a poorer family and worked my way through college with internships, RA, jobs, mentoring students with disabilities all at the same time and then working in a factory in the summers * Studied abroad in Australia * The challenges and lessons I learned of networking in a city/school without many resources * COL/lifestyle in a non top tier city * Any questions related to going the non-IB/high finance path (work/life balance, pay, job opportunities, etc) Also happy and open to answer any other questions you might have.

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Comments (17)

Most Helpful
Oct 1, 2019 - 2:03pm

I started at $45k in the FLDP, $55-63k as an FA post FLDP at the major healthcare system, $70k+2k bonus when I moved to PE backed company, $80k+bonus tbd as of the promotion to sr FA. All of that was within 4 years of working and I'm in a relatively low COL area so $80k goes decently far. Being in ops finance you can see internal salaries obviously so I'm assuming/planning on being ~125-145k all in by the time I'm 30. Beyond that, comp progression is up to what path you follow. Large company vs Small company, For Profit vs Not for Profit, Industry, etc all impacts comp.

If I stayed at the major healthcare system, I don't think my comp would have continued to grow as rapidly as it has. There are definite benefits to treating corp fin similar to how banking looks in 2-3 year stints.

I'll also note that unlike many industries, I haven't noticed a ton of variation in comp for ops finance or FP&A based on city. So it's to your advantage to go to the cheapest COL city you enjoy.

Oct 2, 2019 - 1:02pm

What title do you expect to have at 30 to be in the 125k range? It seems to me that you have to be a manager to be there..

From what I've seen so far, getting to SFA and making 80s-90s is doable and expected after 3-4 years, but in the 2 companies and 4 locations I've been in, finding a sub-30 y.o. manager is rare.

I'm not looking to discourage you- I'm actually curious what your plan is since that is where I want to be by 30. I'm thinking of getting my MBA from 27-29 to get to that level at 30

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  • Analyst 3+ in CorpDev
Oct 2, 2019 - 8:38am

Thank you for this AMA. I'd be interested in hearing about your day-to-day (hrs/week), responsibilities, as well as what career progression looks like in your typical role.

For background, I'm a Corp Dev analyst and will be (hopefully) looking to make the jump to Sr. when promotion season next comes up for my company. Would be curious in hearing about what skills were meaningful in your promotion to Sr. as well as Manager and beyond

Oct 2, 2019 - 12:47pm

Apologies in advance for the rambling, I talked about this stuff in the podcast as well if you want more info.

Typical hours are somewhere between 40-60 hours with an occasional longer week but that's rare.

Day-to-day is a lot of ad hoc analysis for the C Suite. This is a smaller company and I'm one of few people I'd consider any kind of analyst here. On a monthly/as needed basis, I am responsible for updating our financial model and all forecasts, month end reporting for the board/PE firm/C Suite. But the more interesting part of my job, and why I left a big company for a smaller PE backed company, is working on strategic projects. We don't currently have a strategy department so my boss and I have taken on the role of brainstorming business generation, vetting projects, predicting outcomes, helping operationalize partnerships, etc. Honestly, working at a small company is a huge PITA but when you have a small team, you get such a breadth of knowledge from operations, finance, analytics, IT, HR, contracting that I didn't get at a large health system. We wear a lot of hats here and it makes it more interesting.

Making the move from FA to SFA was all about communication. Communicating with my boss and our CFO that I wanted career growth and was willing to do whatever they viewed necessary. From there, we developed some quantitative and qualitative metrics to measure my success and routinely met to discuss what I was doing well or not doing well. Providing you are doing well, having your boss struggle to come up with things you can improve on month after month kind of sets the stage that there's no reason not to promote you. Obviously this is much less formal at the smaller company. At the larger company, I would've followed a similar strategy except I would've found an internal posting for a SFA or manager and highlight what I was doing already that meets the requirements of an SFA.

The skills that helped me prove why I can be an SFA and not just FA though were: above average experience with large data (SQL/Tableau/basic python), expert in Excel, attention to detail/not making many mistakes, taking ownership on work and lightening my boss's workload, professionalism, and attitude. I'm sure you know it but don't undervalue the professionalism and attitude because as you move up the ladder, it's less about what you can do and more about soft skills.

Hope that helps!

Oct 5, 2019 - 5:37pm

What was the process like for going from an established bigger company to a smaller one? Did you have recruiters reach out to you or did you find the job posting online? Did the PE portfolio company have any concerns about the structured environment that you came from?

Currently trying to make that transition and it's been hard. But I've also been looking outside of the industry I work in.

May 26, 2021 - 9:18am

Haven't been on WSO in a while but happy to answer in case it helps someone else. Going from a large company to a smaller one was easy in terms of finding the role. I knew that I wanted a smaller company experience so I was active on LinkedIn which led the internal TA team of my new company reaching out to me and it was a good fit. The new company had no reservations that they shared with me mostly because my skillset of merging low level data analytics (SQL, Tableau, MS Access) with finance was exactly what they needed. In terms of practical advice, I'd start identifying companies that you like and would want to work for and then looking at their team and seeing if you can identify any gaps based on their experience. IMO, being able to work with large data sets efficiently is something that most small companies overlook until they really need it and if they can get someone with a dual skillset (data/finance, data/accounting, etc) then it's a win for them. If you'd like to discuss more, feel free to PM me.

Oct 23, 2019 - 2:54pm

Aside from the size of the company, is there a reason you used different title differences between your two most recent finance jobs? Is corporate/operational/data heavy finance a different field than senior financial analyst of fp&a or is it just due to the size of the companies?

May 26, 2021 - 9:26am

Haven't been on WSO in a while but saw I never replied. Hopefully this can help you or someone reading. Essentially, I differentiated my titles because I was doing different work. At the larger company, I was much more involved with day to day operations, BU KPIs, and I actually reported through a business unit VP, not through finance. At the smaller company, I report under the CFO's hierarchy and do much more true FP&A work (strategy, modeling, board reporting, assisting with M&A, etc). The size of the company had nothing to do with why I used different titles.

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