Venture Capital Risk Managers
Risk professionals have many employment options. In the venture capital industry, they can work for VC firms, the portfolio companies of VC firms, and third-party vendors (including investment banks) that specialize in providing risk management services to VC firms. A list of venture capital firms and corporate venture groups that are members of the National Venture Capital Association is available at https://nvca.org/about-us/members. Additionally, risk managers work for insurance companies, airlines, banks, manufacturers, hospitals, and for any other business that needs risk management services. They also are employed by the U.S. military, government agencies, and nonprofits.
The venture capital industry is very difficult to break into—especially if you lack prior experience (internships, co-ops, etc.) or if don’t have industry contacts. A common strategy is to obtain two to three years of risk management experience at a major corporation, a portfolio company of a venture capital firm, or at a third-party provider of risk management services to VC firms. A combination of this experience, certification, and a degree from a top university will enhance your chances of landing a job. During this time, you should also make contacts with venture capital professionals at networking events (which are sponsored by professional associations or listed on social networking sites such as MeetUp.com). Finally, consider volunteering at a VC association or a finance- or venture capital–related nonprofit to catch the attention of well-known venture capitalists. One such organization is VC Taskforce (http://www.vctaskforce.com), which provides networking and educational events—panels, workshops, conferences, and roundtable meetings—for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs seeking funding. Other job-search methods include using the services of recruiters, checking out employment Web sites, attending career fairs, and applying directly to companies that employ risk professionals.
There are few advancement opportunities at small venture capital firms because most have a single risk management staff member or outsource this work to a third-party firm. At large firms, a skilled and experienced risk analyst might advance to the position of risk manager and then to chief risk officer. Some risk management professionals are asked to become partners.
Tips for Entry
Check out the Education section of the RIMS Web site, https://www.rims.org/resources/CareerCenter/Resources/Pages/default.aspx. It features webinars, online courses, podcasts, and educational events.
Visit https://jobs.prmia.org and https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/venture-capital-jobs for job listings.
Visit https://johngannonblog.com to access a variety of venture capital career resources.