Trapped by IB pay raise?
Recent IB pay raises got me feeling trapped... Interested to see if anyone else is going through a similar dilemma. At a difficult cross-road - go to PE and take a significant pay cut, or stay in IB? I will try to keep this bullet-point style to make an easier read. My stomach has been churning as I fear I might make the wrong decision. Would greatly appreciate different perspectives.
- 3rd year analyst at a MM IB in NYC ($120K base + ~80K target bonus)
- Good rep within group; on track for Associate promote (175K base salary + ~100K target bonus)
- Just received a MM PE offer ($120K base + ~$90K bonus) at a firm I'd be excited to join
- Compensation aside, I would rather be in PE than IB - I'm personally interested in investing and have a deep hatred for graphically designing PowerPoint slides all day
Reasons for me to stay in IB
- Comp. By far the most significant factor. $55K+ higher pay (in base alone)
- VERY difficult to contemplate taking that much of a pay cut for PE
- ~$30K I think I could stomach... $60K+ I'm not so sure
- I do not come from wealth. $60K+ in extra annual income over 2-3 years could meaningfully change my life
- My near term vision is to stack as much $$$ as possible, mainly to allow myself to take greater risks (e.g. join or build a startup without worrying about bills, student loans, etc)
- Grinding it out a few more years in IB could give me the gunpowder necessary to take such risks before i become too old and start having real responsibilities (e.g. kids)
- For context, i have a ~$200K nest egg now (thanks largely to crypto)
- My group in IB is great and I like the people (no A-holes)
- I have 0 desire to get an MBA
- ~$200K direct cost & ~$300K+ in opportunity cost? Not for me
- PE offer is a 2-3 year program
- Very few direct promotions
- Not sure what I'd do after, although i'm sure i'd figure it out. Probably a Sr. Associate role at another fund or try to
Reasons for me to jump ship and join PE
- Personally, I am more interested in investing than investment banking
- Long term: I would rather be in the HF/PE world than IB (in terms of the job itself)
- Devil's advocate: I could still get a HF/PE role after a few years as an IB associate (and possibly with higher pay?)
- Working until 2-4am consistently is mentally and physically debilitating
- I understand hours can vary considerably across PE (IB 2.0), but the shop I'm considering has a reasonable lifestyle (~60-70 hours a week vs. ~80-100 in IB)
- Potential to make more $$$ long-term
- That said, I'd wager the probability-weighted $$$ potential is better in IB - IB seems less Pareto distributed than PE (i.e. much clearer path to IB MD making a few mill each year than PE Partner raking in $10M+, especially in today's environment)
- Opens new doors in the investing world that IB cannot open (presumably)
- I could always come back to IB down the road (if psycho)
Curious if anyone else is experiencing a similar dilemma here. I would very much appreciate different perspectives on what I should do (or at least what I should consider)
Potential discussion starters
- If you've recently struggled with a similar decision matrix, what were your reasons for staying in IB vs. jumping to PE? (or vice-versa)
- If you chose PE, how did you justify the large pay cut?
- For anyone who opted against PE and stayed in IB, do you regret your decision?
- Are PE firms systematically raising Associate comp to be closer in line with IB?
- Are there any major pros/cons for PE/IB that I'm omitting or downplaying