I would appreciate anyone’s input on this one. I have been in equity research as an associate for 18 months, my first 18 months in finance (I got a Ph.D before this). Last week, pretty much out of the blue I got an offer from the corporate venture group I interned with during graduate school. At this point, I would say I don’t mind ER, work under an analyst I get along with very well, have learned a ton about the industry (a healthcare sector), fundamental analysis, modeling, and have done well overall to this point. That said, I am not convinced I see myself as a sell side Senior Analyst for several reasons. One of these is that I think I am more interested in getting back closer to the technology, to the science. This is why the early stage investment world seems exciting to me. The questions: 1) Would 18 months in ER be viewed as sufficient to be considered a real wall street stint in the longer term?; 2) I’m not sure I don’t want to be a covering analyst some day, would this move at this point pretty much take that option away?; 3) What would adding corporate VC after equity research set me up for in terms of exit ops that ER alone would not have?; 4) How is corporate VC experience viewed relative to work at an independent VC shop?; 5) Would you, given my position, make the move? Any and all feedback would be appreciated.
(1) yes, definitely (2) most people who leave the sell-side don’t return. if you don’t want to do be a coverage analyst now, you probably won’t want to do it later, especially as you become increasingly interested in whatever job you hold in your future and possibly increasingly disillusioned by the precarious profitability model of sell-side research (3) yes – you’d have opportunities in VC and possibly other transactional roles. for most people, moving from ER to VC is not that easy, so if you have the chance to broaden your experiences now and if you want to do it, i’d highly encourage you to do so. moving back to sell-side research would not be that difficult and frankly, getting an opportunity to become a coverage analyst may have more to do with being in the right place at the right time versus having the actual skill or talent (4) not sure (5) definitely. you say you “don’t mind ER” but why would you want to do a job that you simply don’t mind versus a job that you think you could actually like? seems to me that if you just take an objective look at what you wrote yourself, you will find the answer to your question
who is gonna replace you : ) - ??? anyways, 18 months counts. I would stick it out for another 6 and get the 2 yrs in. Also, if you dont like sell side now, you never will. the biz is getting tougher everyday + we all know SS is a cost center.
Thanks for the replies. Coming in, my plan was to do 2 years then re-assess my interests and move or note move, accordingly. This opportunity just came earlier than expected, and although I could probably stretch a start date for a couple months, 6 months would be pushing it. So perhaps the timing is not ideal in the sense that I won’t reach the canonical ‘2 years’, but just to reach this number seems like a weak reason to stay. My current thinking is that I don’t really know where I want to end up beyond that I know I am interested in the finance/healthcare combination. Therefore, a move like this at the very least would allow me to experience another aspect of this space. Plus, if I look forward 6 months, or even 1 year, and ask myself what skills I will have developed that I don’t already have, I can’t think of any. Sure, I will be better, faster at doing things I do now and have more industry knowledge, but I think moving to early stage investments would allow me add an entirely new skill set. Tell me if I am overlooking something (ie. what I would be missing out on skill set-wise by sticking it out in SS ER for a little while longer), but I think numi is right, this really should not be that hard of a decision.
you are not overlooking anything. you are absolutely right in that the amount of new functional knowledge you would acquire by staying on the job an additional six months would be negligible – i can speak from my own experiences on the sell-side. in spite of what daj224 believes, nobody really cares about the “2-year” mark, especially in these markets. people know that the steepest part of the learning curve is through your first 12-18 months and that’s about all the time i think you need to put in. you’re best off moving on ASAP.
numi Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > in spite of what daj224 > believes, nobody really cares about the “2-year” > mark, especially in these markets. people know > that the steepest part of the learning curve is > through your first 12-18 months and that’s about > all the time i think you need to put in. you’re > best off moving on ASAP. hmm, i may be wrong, so apologies. but if his opportunity cost is not that high, 6 more months will not hurt.
His opportunity cost is that he wouldn’t be able to take the new job…
JasonU Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > His opportunity cost is that he wouldn’t be able > to take the new job… yes, sorry, i read too fast. then he should take it!!! it appears SS rsch is not getting him excited everyday, so yes, take new job. my bad
VC is really tough to break into. If you like it more than ER then go for it!