Sign-on bonus?? Dollar dollar bills ya'll...

So, I recently interviewed with a small PE shop. (<$100M) The people there are rather experienced on the buyside and this isn't the shop's first fund, so I am not worried about the firm itself getting deals done. However, they didn't raise as much as they initially intended to ($100M - $150M) so I have a feeling an offer, should I even get one, will be a bit less than what I would have initially thought.

Luckily I know a guy who just left and he gave me an insight on what he was getting paid. The pay will certainly be a good deal below street, however, I would be extremely thankful to actually have this opportunity and wouldn't necessarily press my luck to try and get more than he did. However, he did not get a sign-on of any kind...which I feel might be the case for me given their lower initial close, however, I would have to relocate for the position, where as, the previous guy didn't (he was raised there, went to school there, etc).

Ultimately I would disappointed with the comp package he got, but given my very limited number of options and the fact that I should get some great experience (will be only junior guy) I would be willing to "sacrifice" a bit. I am wondering though, given that I have to relocate, what would be a good number to throw at them should they ask for my comp range?

I know what the guy was paid before me, so should I just give them the same number they were paying him or should I risk working in a relocation/sign-on too?

I have virtually no money and parents are not wealthy by any means, but could afford to get me moved, however, part of the sign-on, in my mind, is to put a deposit on an apartment/condo and get a wardrobe that is acceptable for work, etc.

Also, this is a boutique shop with just a handful (less than 5 and none of them lower than the Principal level) of people there right now and are not located in a huge market (NYC, Chicago, LA) but in a decent size city (Dallas, Houston, Tampa, Atlanta, Charlotte, D.C. etc) and they focus on Mezz deals, so although they don't have a high AUM their deals will be significantly small and realistically, they might be getting another 8-12 deals done in the next 2-3 years assuming they put all of the dry powder to work.

The guy before was getting $50k, 2 weeks vacation, medical and dental and a potential for another $5-$10k should they close on any additional capital (probably won't be the case for me) and a possible year end bonus, but something very small ($5k-$10k...possibly).

Has anyone been in a similar situation or have any insight as to what I should do?

I am thinking if they ask what my target comp is I would give them a small range of either $50k-$60k or of $55k-$65k (if I felt like pushing it a bit), plus I would request a sign-on of $5k-$10k to assist with my relocation.

How does this sound? Fair? Crazy given my lack of other offers at this time?

P.S. Money wouldn't matter as much but I do have some sizable loans to pay off and car payment so at 50k I don't have much wiggle room at all, hence the "need" for a sign-on.

Regards

Comments (6)

May 23, 2010

If they ask you for a comp range, I would give the 55k - 65k range that you are comfortable with. It's higher than what they were giving the guy before you, but not so much higher that you would seem unreasonable. Keep in mind they will probably come in at the middle of your range, provided they've decided you're the best candidate and want to move forward and hire you. Then, once you have the salary firm, mention that you are pretty pinched at the moment and would appreciate if the firm could pay a relocation bonus to cover the cost of finding an apartment, security deposit, etc. They will probably ask you how much you are thinking and you can either say "well i have done my research and this is what xx costs" or take it home, give it some thought and then give them a # later on.I wouldn't explicitly ask for a "signing bonus" bc that may sound spoiled.

Also, if they make you an offer, say that you are extremely honored and excited to start work and you will get back to them soon with a final answer. Then come back and say given xxx costs of living you would be more comfortable accepting the offer at xxx salary. Best of luck.

May 23, 2010

Wait, are you experienced or out of undergrad?

May 23, 2010

1 year out of undergrad, so no relevant work experience (just internships) but I spent 4 years in the Army before going to school, so I am 27.

Regards

May 24, 2010

if i didn't misunderstand your post, i think you're putting the cart before the horse a little bit. focus on getting the offer job first.

assuming you do get it, i think it's reasonable for you to ask for relocation bonus. smaller shops tend to be more personal and understanding, and tend to have room for "negotiation". think about it from their perspective. do they really want you, their top candidate and only analyst, to be disgruntled right off the bat because of $5k? my experience is that smaller shops tend to be more understanding with personal issues. just be honest and sincere with them. good luck.

May 25, 2010
kalice123:

if i didn't misunderstand your post, i think you're putting the cart before the horse a little bit. focus on getting the offer job first.

assuming you do get it, i think it's reasonable for you to ask for relocation bonus. smaller shops tend to be more personal and understanding, and tend to have room for "negotiation". think about it from their perspective. do they really want you, their top candidate and only analyst, to be disgruntled right off the bat because of $5k? my experience is that smaller shops tend to be more understanding with personal issues. just be honest and sincere with them. good luck.

Thanks for the advice.

Yes, I am putting the cart before the horse, but not to satisfy some need to see how much cool stuff I would be able to buy with all my money...it was simply to have an idea of what I should say/ask for should the question come up in my next (final) interview this Friday.

Thanks again.

Regards

May 25, 2010
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