Appreciate your insight - I realize the answer is very person-dependent but it'd be helpful to hear how you'd underwrite the career risk here.
Context: A year and half ago, I accepted an offer with a August 2018 start date to go to a MM shop on the West Coast I was excited about - good comp, good culture, great track record, near family. A Partner I had summer interned with reached out asking if I could help him execute deals and consult him on fund organization. I left my investment analyst role (well-regarded firm) a few months earlier than anticipated to help with complete transparency that I was going to leave in August. The fund aims to fill an apparent gap in the geographic market - there are many startups/growth but little institutional early stage/growth capital. The Partner is famous in the public markets world but has never been a principal investor except for ~15 deals he's personally done in the last couple of years since retirement ranging from $50K to $5M. The idea is to raise a $25M fund as a proof of concept vehicle with attractive fees. Raising the money and getting differentiated LPs (even some celebrities) has been easier than I expected and there's been interest from institutional capital about our next, bigger fund.
The Partner just offered me a Partner title and 50% GP if I commit to staying long-term. He's a great guy and biggest influence in my life but he himself says he has a lot to learn about PE and leans on me to do a lot of the execution. I recognize it's tremendous financial upside (with the intent that our next fund will be $150M) but I worry about losing out on the learning that comes with a traditional PE Associate role. There's also the real possibility that the fund underperforms.
My goal is to eventually start my own fund in the future and I'm committed to private investing (honestly stage-agnostic at this point, though I philosophically like later stage investing better). How would you assess the career risk here? If all goes wrong with the $25M fund, would I be able to get back into a junior PE role? Am I being ridiculous for not jumping on this? I am all ears.
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