Case Detail

Case Summary

Rufus Rivers and Career Choices in Private Equity and Venture Capital Finance

Case Number: 5-210-252, Year Published: 2010

HBS Number: KEL504

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Authors: Steven Rogers; Pat Vaccaro; Scott Whitaker

Key Concepts

Emerging Manager, Venture Capital, Mezzanine, Leveraged Buyout, Turnaround, Carry Points, Vesting, Private Equity Spectrum, Compensation, History of Venture Capital, General Partner, Limited Partner


Rufus Rivers, managing director and co-head of mezzanine investing at The Carlyle Group, is reviewing two employment offers he recently received. One came from RLJ Equity Partners, a private equity firm headquartered in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. The other came via Glocap Search, a New York–based executive search firm specializing in placing top private equity executives in premier venture capital roles. The Glocap recruiter had told Rivers that he had been selected as the leading candidate for a position with an established Boston-area venture capital firm that had several exciting investment prospects. In the next few days, Rivers needs to consider his personal and professional interests and make a decision: Should he go to Washington, go to Boston, or stay put—and on what terms?

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Learn about the different kinds of opportunities available to venture capitalists 
  • Assess whether becoming venture capitalists themselves is worthwhile
  • Learn how venture capital firms offer positions and the terms under which joining a venture capital firm might make sense for them in their careers
  • Number of Pages: 20

    Extended Case Information

    Teaching Areas: Entrepreneurship, Finance

    Geographic: United States

    Industry: Private Equity Finance

    Organization Size: Small

    Decision Maker Position: Managing Director

    Decision Maker Gender: Male

    Year of Case: 2006