Partner One

I started my career in the military and am 5-7 years behind my peers. Is there an age at which I should rule out making it to partner and instead plan for MD or an exit to a C-suite role?

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I started in my 30s after almoat a decade in the military and several deployments to the middle east . Used to think I was behind too. Then I realized I was actually ahead in some ways. Certainly when it came to leadership and dealing with stress. So sure. I will vest but not max out in my firm's pension but I wouldn't trade my time at the tip of the spear for anything.

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Two things I’d consider: 1. Retirement vesting is a huge factor—most partnerships defer a lot of comp in the form of defined benefit retirement, and you can figure the max age by mandatory retirement age minus vesting period. It COULD make sense to be admitted above that age but likely not. 2. Be realistic about “exit to C-suite” option. A better way to think about that is “exit to middle management with hopes of progressing to senior management”. Most partners won’t have an opportunity to land a true C-suite job, let alone lower levels. (Unless it’s CFO of Billy’s Bait Shop or something).

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Have a direct conversation “asking for advice” if there is a partner you could turn to as a mentor. Agree with the other comments though that it should be possible based on facts laid out. Good luck OP, we love our veterans at PwC. Some of our absolute best colleagues

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I am at a smaller strategy firm, so a bit different situation. But, I finished b-school at 36 after 10 years in the military and started consulting then. I stuck with it and am happy with where I am. It is hard to say if another path would have been more rewarding, but I certainly felt like there was less risk on the path I took - I was much more in control of my destiny than what I see for many of my client executives

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Many posts answering this but the jist is this, most large partnerships have a required retirement age as well as the minimum number of years it takes to fully vest. So it doesn’t make financial sense to go for it if the required retirement age minus number of years to vest - 1-3 years of safety as you may not make it the first time is less than your age when you estimate you will be up for it first. Partnerships have slightly different numbers for the above, so you need to get your firm’s. I’m at EY - for us required retirement is 60 and it takes 11 years to vest. So 60-11-(1 to 3 for safety) = 46-48 is the latest. This applies to new partners, not direct admits. And some people may not care about fully vesting. So this doesn’t mean you can’t go for it if you’re older, but you won’t get full retirement benefits, which are very nice and make up for the the smaller starting salaries as compared to MBB, for example.

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You need to make it by 50 - also with your experience you may find you can accelerate the path by switching firms. You have to be careful with that strategy as there are pros and cons. It’s worked for me

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You’ll be fine. 49 is after making Partner doesn’t make sense, economics I mean

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Why is this a common question. Why would is. It make sense to make partner at a certain age? Assuming it has something to do with equity but ins but I know nothing and would like to hear more

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To echo M1s comments... you can still easily make partner while it still makes sense. Not knowing your firm, I’d take the attitude of getting to partner then blow the doors off of your peers with your sales/numbers.

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I'm a 35 year-old LA in an international practice - roughly equivalent to engagement manager or experienced manager at B4. I started consulting 8 years ago and have done a great job closing the gap, but am I too old for it to be worth the time and effort to make it to partner? Would I be better served instead planning my terminal career goal as a F500 exec or non-equity director? I have all the boxes checked - thought leadership in a high demand skill set, multi-industry experience, international experience, prestigious MBA - I'm just concerned that my age reduces the potential returns of a partnership below that of other options. Thoughts?

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Come to A&M. We value experience. We prefer it. One guy just made partner at 62. It helps that he had been a partner at another firm. We pay for experience too. Can make between $400k & $500k as a Director. We are growing

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Go for the job that you think will make you the happiest. Would making partner at the firm fulfill your career aspirations? $$ being equal.. Would you rather try to go for a corporate exec job? How likely is it that you will make it to partner at all? How many levels do you have to go? Seems like you have plenty of time, you just need to figure out what you want. Best of luck! All tough and important questions.

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A1, it's about opportunity cost. Time is my most valuable commodity, and I suspect there is a point where it may make more sense for me to invest my time to position for a great exit instead of investing it to make partner. Since I have less time than my peers, I want to make sure I'm investing it wisely. For any PPMD's out there, is this a flawed assumption? Would you recommend a different mindset or approach? And M1, I've done the partner math for my firm (and a few others). What is unknown to me is could I receive a better lifetime return planning for other options.

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P3 that’s a really great post thanks for sharing.

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