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Anyone with experience in project finance?

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:21 pm
by mrlawguy
I understand the overall mechanics of what's occurring for project finance practice groups, but I have no idea as to what the career prospects are. What are the exit options for a project finance associate from a large firm? I presume there'd be less opportunities for in-house positions than a general corporate associate, but can someone please confirm that's correct?

Re: Anyone with experience in project finance?

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:11 am
by Anonymous User
^^ bumping. Very interested as well in people's experiences here.

Re: Anyone with experience in project finance?

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:27 pm
by Anonymous User
Project Finance associate in NYC. I think it's fair to say corporate associates have more opportunity in general for a position in-house.

However, I've known several associates who have gone in-house at Fortune 500s, energy firms, banks, PE, etc. I actually think the exit opportunities are better than most people realize for a couple of reasons:

  • 1. Diligence in PF can be intensive. Since all loans are non-recourse, the success of an investment is entirely dependent on the ability of the project to maintain cash flows/be successful. This means you are looking at every material contract and how it can impact/affect the cashflows and success of the project. This isn't all that different than M&A where you really need to dig into the "guts" of a Company to understand the value of the transaction which is what I would imagine most business folks want in their in-house attorney.
  • 2. PF deals often have equity components that lev fin deals do not, and PF finance deals sometimes do bond offerings (usually private placements) for the financing. Not sure how this would help you land an in-house position, but in case you need to package yourself as knowing this world, you can probably fake it till you make it.
  • 3. Compared to banking, our clients are often less sophisticated. Meaning that often you're in an advisory role, especially when the client is dealing with an unfamiliar asset. This might not be a fact that is appreciated by companies outside the PF space, but I think it would be valued by banks/PE firms if you're trying to go that route.
  • 4. PF is a small world where you will see the same people over and over again. You have an opportunity to build your "brand" so to speak.
Disclaimer: I have not tried to go in-house and my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt. I'm only stating what I think is to be true based on my experience and what I've seen from those around me.