You’re 27 years old. You’ve got more than five years’ finance experience under your belt. You’re good. And you’re restless. – You can see other people making better money in hedge funds. – You can see other people making better money in private equity. You’re thinking of doing something else – you’re thinking of….starting a fund of your own.
Speaking to an audience of Harvard Business School students earlier this week, Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder of private equity fund Blackstone Group, said people working in finance should fight the temptation to break out and find their own investors. Share on twitter
“The biggest mistake I’ve seen people make with their careers is, when they’re good, after two or three years — and they happen to be smart — they announce that they’re going out to start their own firm,” Schwarzman told the attended MBAs. “I have begged, literally begged — I’ve had people come over to my house on Saturday — and begged them not to do that, because they’re going to destroy their careers, because they’re not old enough yet, they can’t raise enough money yet, they don’t have enough credibility.
Most people who join Blackstone will have spent two to three years in banking. Adding another three years with Schwarzman, that makes them around 27. So when’s the right time to quit? Maybe never. Finance isn’t like Silicon Valley, said Schwarzman – failure is not an option. If things go wrong then. ““you’ve then detoured for years, and getting back on a better track is really hard.”
Separately, Bloomberg has an excellent infographic detailing what happened to all Goldman’s prop traders when they were battered by the Volcker Rule. We’ve taken the liberty of embedding it below. Almost all of them are now at hedge funds.
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