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VC or consulting?

 
#1 VC or consulting?
27/06/2006 07:56

Peter

Hi

Any thoughts on what might be a better choice, I've been offered two positions one as an associate with a venture capital firm, the other a consultant with a big strategy house.

Both are interesting and involve a lot of similar kinds of work in terms of due dilligence, financial analysis and modelling, business models etc etc etc. The path to a partner level position at the VC firm may however take a lot longer (and according to my potential employer may require a return to business school for an MBA, I already have a masters and PhD so am not so keen on that right now). The consulting position doesn't seem to 'require' this as I already have an advanced degree and significant industry experience in the UK and US. I'm not sure what the salary difference might be both now in the short term, and longer at higher levels.

Thoughts and insights would be graciously received.

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#2 RE: VC or consulting?
27/06/2006 08:20

Luciano to Peter (#1)

Greetings Peter - I trust you are well.

A close friend of mine was faced with a similar dilemma fairly recently. He had strong offers from and Investment Bank, a consultancy and an offer to head up the VC operations for a well known European global player. After a great deal of pondering he took the VC firm up on their offer and as a result has had stratospheric success. Not only has he had a chance (and of course the responsibility) to invest huge sums of money, but he also crucially joined the board of a number of the companies he invested in. The inherent power base brought with it an impressive network of contacts and also - and this is the killer - offered him the chance to manage investments in a personal capacity for individual with a net worth running into 9 figures. VC is in a different league.

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#3 RE: VC or consulting?
27/06/2006 08:22

Luciano to Luciano (#2)

......apologies for the typos...butter fingers :-)

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#4 VC every time!
27/06/2006 08:49

Greg to Luciano (#2)

Would have to agree with Luciano - as you work your way up the grades the earnings potential at a VC will massively outstrip what you could expect in a consulting firm. Someone early thirties at a VC would expect bonuses each year that are sizeable enough to pay off a fairly large mortgage; by comparison, a consultant would expect to get enough to buy a modest sportscar! (ie. VC person would have an extra 0 on their cheque).

As Luciano also says, VC offers the opportunity to get onto the boards of the companies invested in - so the influence you enjoy over the strategic decisions of businesses is at least as great.

In short, the main reason most consultants are consultants rather than VCs is that there are simply far fewer VC jobs out there.

Greg

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#5 Re: VC or consulting?
27/06/2006 16:59

Peter

Dear Luciano

Thanks for your message, it is certainly the level of strategic thinking and the resources (money) available behind the decisions one can make as a VC with early stage businesses that attracts me. It may sound trite or even untruthful but it's not the financial incentive of one over the other, but the nature of the job and the impact one might have on building a business that attracts me. As you can see my decision was already made, I just wanted to throw it out there to get some perspective.

Much appreciated.

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