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#1 Downsizing
30/07/2008 09:59


After <6 months as an analyst in a tier 2 MC I've had an offer from a small consultancy (12 guys).

They work with smaller talent businesses on a range of issues and this appeals to my own entrepreneurial background. They also do a fair bit of transaction work, mostly sell side but occassionally buy side, which brings in very good money. Perhaps because of this element of the business they can pay well, 20% more than I'm currently on.

I prefer the short, sharp and varied projects they work on. I prefer the idea of small, talent businesses. I love the idea of some transactions exposure as I dream of VC at some stage in my career.

But, is moving to a small firm limiting this early in my career? I imagine a firm so small will not be known even to many in the industry so my exit options could be shot IF I ever wanted to move on.

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#2 RE: Downsizing
30/07/2008 17:32

pwetty pwease to Casio (#1)

pwetty pwease

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#3 RE: Downsizing
31/07/2008 12:08

Casio to Casio (#1)

Guys I'd love an opinion on this. Contract arrived this morning, going to go read it over lunch. I'm looking like signing to be honest but would love to know if it will limit me having a no name boutique on my CV.

Transactions are up to £100m so not tiny btw, think that side of the experience will be great.

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#4 RE: Downsizing
31/07/2008 12:44

Mars A Day to Casio (#1)

Casio there is no harm in joining a small firm if you think it can take you places - and where is it written in stone that only MCs from the biggest firms ever get anywhere? Get yourself in the right environment and you could be looking at VC/PE exit options sooner than you think - what they want are bright people with hands on transactional experience (and for every KKR there are numerous mid-cap VC/PE boutiques doing very nicely too). It also depends on the calibre of people you will be working with; get yourself among 12 people all from leading firms and you are in for a great boot camp experience - effectively getting some of the best from a wide variety of firms; but if its 12 people from ACME Consulting then you are going to struggle to justify this move in years to come i.e. boutique MC founded by ex MBB, ATK etc yes, founded by ex Bearingpoint, Axon, IBMers etc NO.

This could of course be just the differentiating factor you need to make you stand out from all the other analysts in tier 2 being pushed through the meat grinder. Didn't you mention elsewhere you have a start up in the background too (your own)? Your experience is looking more and more interesting, and there is so much to consulting than Big 4, MBB and so forth...

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#5 RE: Downsizing
31/07/2008 13:02

Cinzia to Casio (#3)

Hello again Casio,

I think you should jump ship if:

1. Your present firm is not offering long term interesting prospects + Exit routes are not what you'll be wanting

2. If you think you're going to stay a few years with the new guys then I think you'll be ok. Your experience will count a lot more than some fluffy brand name. £100 mil is middle-small markets, where I think the most interesting deals go on.

I think the brand name is good to start off with (and possibly you're a little bit on the early side to switch), but if you've found something you like (and I mean that...make sure you know what you will be doing), then I'd go for it!!

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#6 RE: Downsizing
31/07/2008 14:07

Casio to Cinzia (#5)

Really appreciate the responses guys. Very useful. Reassuring that experience > brand name; from a guy who should definitely know too (MAD).

Cinizia - I think I can tick both boxes.

I've signed the dotted line. We roll out the same products again and again here and frankly it's dull. These guys are very sharp, the clients and projects are much more varied and frankly transactions are where the money is made.

Mars - Yes I started a cleantech company end of last year, it's been great - won a government grant and a few awards on the way to signing a few small contracts (early days). Unfortunately time is increasingly limited and this move is unlikely to change that.

If anyone has experience in cleantech, this is LED commercial lighting technology, and would like to talk about opportunities for co-operation let me know. Someone with time, knowledge, energy and contacts on a cash/equity commission basis would be great.

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#7 RE: Downsizing
31/07/2008 14:35

Mars A Day to Casio (#6)

Casio I know of a number of VS firms who focus in cleantech, and this is an area set to grow immensely both within mainstream consulting (wrapped up in a broader 'sustainability' proposition) and within VC/PE as they seek to move away from the diminishing returns (and high entry costs) of traditional markets. Your combination of cleantech, a good grounding in a decent MC firm, and transactions experience would will be compelling in a few years. On the transactions side, try to get experience throughout, not just on executions and due diligence - this is the meal ticket if you want the VC exit option. Someone with your experience won't be expected to have origination experience, but if you know how to put a blue book together, you suddenly become a hire they can put straight into the fray.

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#8 RE: Downsizing
31/07/2008 14:37

Mars A Day to Mars A Day (#7)

Meant to type VC - no idea what a VS firm is.

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#9 Re: Downsizing
31/07/2008 15:43

Casio to Mars A Day (#7)

It's absolutely my intention to get a broad experience on the transactions side, hard not to I imagine with it being such a small company.

Interestingly they got their first buy side mandate this year, owing to their knowledge of the market place, so hopefully some immediate buy side experience will be available. I think they may split the company if the buy side business grows but for now I'll pick up what I can.

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