What would you do if a VP "steals" your deal?

I'm an associate at a REIT and have been told by a number of people that the way to become a VP is to take the bull by the horns and just start doing my own deal. So a few months ago my boss (EVP) threw me a long shot bone, which I don't think anyone expected to materialize. But it did and now that the deal has legs a VP last week basically "stole" it, with my boss explaining that he "has more experience and time to see it through, and we need your skills as an analyst". What the fuck, the most important skills are making rain. Anyway, I pushed back initially but they were adamant.

So now I'm pissed of course but I don't know if I should just move on and forget it or make a bigger deal of it.

AND, how do I let my boss's boss (president) know about the work I did without seeming like a douchy braggart - he has a particularly interest in the deal type but doesn't have a clue that I put it together (yes, kinda sucky of my EVP not to say anything).

Comments (18)

Best Response
May 18, 2017

Would you trust the delivery of your child with the hands of some resident fresh out of med school or a doctor with years of specialized experience?
That's the question here.

You got lucky and gave the deal legs. But one pair of legs is still pretty far from a dog that hunts.
They saw potential and brought in the specialized guy to ensure a successful delivery of their child.

Your EVP had a lead on a deal and he delegated it to you. He originated the deal. That's what happened.
Here's what you do:
1) Acknowledge that it sucks.
2) Get over it.
3) Go back to your EVP and tell him that you learned a ton on the extra work he gave you and that you are hungry to try your hand at it again.

Don't alienate the single person on earth who can sing your praises. Use him to help you build a track record, which is what forms the basis of your promotion - not that one time you got lucky on helping to bring in a deal.

If the above does not entirely hammer the idea home, Don Draper makes some relevant points: https://youtu.be/w2MV-x924KA?t=52s

May 19, 2017

^ Strong advice.

May 19, 2017

These are great points. You were given a rare opportunity, you performed & produced, now everyone is watching to see how you will respond.

If you support up the chain of command, give credit to your VP, praise the team etc, they will take notice and give you more deals/opportunities.

If you let your ego get in the way & start bad mouthing or not supporting the team, then kiss future opportunities goodbye.

May 19, 2017

This is strong advice and I needed to hear it. Thank you!

    • 3
    • 1
May 18, 2017

Well you didn't source the deal. What specifically did you do to make it materialize? Did you submit an LOI or something?

If you've been there a while and have a legitimate claim to running a deal then find a way to talk to your boss and convey that you think you're ready to take on more responsibility. If not - well, then you should know that.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

May 18, 2017

There's way too many unknowns in this OP to give useful info...

-I know associates that have 1 year experience and their culture doesn't use analyst as a reference. Are you 23 or 28?

-what sort of unique talent did you bring to this deal? You didn't source it, so were you the only one who pursued it or was there something else?

-DO NOT GO OVER YOUR VP. What happens when you do, EVP tells VP over drinks, you leave, and new group calls VP for reference?

-vague platitudes (see above) = advice from college grads that watch Gary Vaynerchuck videos for inspiration not wine advice.

May 18, 2017

You make a good point. I didn't source it. It was a multi-parcel land assemblage, so I negotiated LOIs and PSAs, started talking to architects and engineers to plan DD before development. That's as far as it had gotten though. I'm on the older end of the spectrum, post-MBA, but as an associate my primary job is analysis.

    • 1
May 18, 2017

Sounds like you're doing work as an associate and taking initiative. Those will shine through as long as you are visible and you are with an organization that values production.

If I were you I would use this as an opportunity to to be grateful towards your vp and ask if it would be okay to shadow him throughout the entire process. If he denies, then you should build the resume and bolt ASAP.

If he agrees, you'll be in a visible role and you'll be involved on calls with the IC and EVP to understand how the VP interacts with execs. Then use that as a guage whether you're in the right environment for growth.

Good luck.

    • 2
May 19, 2017

Wait. you mean to tell me your company lets you negotiate a PSA, and somehow your boss doesn't know you were working on this deal? An LOI I can understand, but what kind of internal investment committee do you have? They just give associates & whoever free rain to just go and do whatever deals you please, and negotiate whatever terms you please? What am I missing because this doesn't seem to make sense.

May 19, 2017

After reading through your comments it sounds like you already stepped up and went above and beyond. EVP will probably trust you to tease out opportunities in the future.

If you want to "take the bull by the horns" you need to take the next step and source your own deal. Start networking with brokers and local owners to see if you can find an opportunity. Don't be pissed when they take over for you again. It should validate the fact that you sourced a good deal and they want to make sure it closes.

    • 2
May 19, 2017

Great idea, and great points - thank you!

    • 1
May 19, 2017

Hear me very closely: Do not go right to the President.

I did that exact thing, and it did not go well.

Story starts by the President simply forwarding me a deal, with the Director CC'd. Seemed like a long shot, but I went ahead and did the site visit and really liked the opportunity. Decided to have the Director also do a site visit.

He did not like the deal.

When asked by the President how the deal looked, I said liked it a lot, Director...not so much. He asked to go with us both to see it. On this site visit, Director was STRONGLY against it. Still, I had an inside track and pushed it hard. Eventually went under LOI with a sweetheart deal that I put together. Really a once in a lifetime structure.

So I am excited to see this through, but Fast forward, and the Director has somehow taken over the deal - iced me out of further negotiations with the seller I worked with for 45 days prior, we were crossing on due diligence items, etc.

Finally pissed, I straight told the Presdient I wanted to be involved and get the deal through myself. He was for it - and communicated to everyone that he wanted me to do it.

Director backed off and became extremely defensive and cold. He took it as a major blow. I didn't care - this was a name-making deal and I was ready to take the risk.

I was spending a huge amount of dd time and $, even contacting and getting firms lined up for the quick flip. I felt so lucky for pushing this and taking the opportunity to make a name.

But then the deal fell apart. Seller pulled out last minute as their architect brother alerted them to the fact we were buying a 100% occupied, fully guaranteed credit at a 11.50% cap rate.

I never recovered from the Directors view or the Presidents. Going over his head destroyed the Director relationship, and all of his internal relationships, beyond repair. My entire work dynamic became fucked. My not-even-started reputation was over. I was fired 3 months later, when the director gave me a poor review (very small company).

I learned the importance of remembering you are on a team. You will not get promoted by getting this deal through. You will get promoted by showing initiative, working well with others, and being part of a team that makes it rain. When the VP is up for promotion, you will be to. They will probably not put you on the same level any earlier.

Focus on being a vital member of the company. Getting deals to the stage you did and passing them off for closing is a great move. If you do it again, even better. It will show you are ready for the next level. You will never "take" the next level. You can try, but be prepared for the consequences.

If we would have all been working together, I would have continued with a job that honestly was going very well. Instead, I made it 100% my responsibility - and right or wrong, I took 100% of the downside.

    • 7
May 19, 2017

Wow, what an incredible story. I'm sorry it happened to you, but I'll definitely take your experience to heart and learn from it. You're right, it's so easy to get wrapped up in a "perfect" deal that you can't see the forest through the trees.

    • 1
    • 1
May 20, 2017

I'd demand to be put back on the deal and if they don't let you, do anything you can to torpedo the deal. Poison the VP, barge in on meetings, racist emails to clients, anything you can do to lose business for the firm. Once you've successfully killed the deal march up to the EVPs office, light a cigarette and smoke it as your give him a lecture about how he should never fuck with you again. Put the cigarette out either on his desk, in his coffee, or just on his chest. Strut out of the office and wait for the next massive deal to roll in.

    • 6
    • 1
May 20, 2017

God damn it accidentally threw MS when I was trying to feed you a banana.

May 20, 2017
    • 2