Monday, November 26, 2007

Right Back Where I Started From

As some of you know, we have been looking for a new job for Ed. Our 3 years with Citi will be done in the summer and we've decided to exit New York and investment banking. We've been in the search - apply - interview process for a few months and are happy to announce Ed has accepted a position with Relativity Capital, a private equity firm in Arlington, Virginia.

Your next question is, "What will he be doing?" or "How is that different from what he's doing now?" Please be patient with me. I watch Noggin and fix PBJ's every day. Ed has explained investment banking, private equity, venture capital, corporate development, and hedge funds to me hundreds of times but they remain abstract, barely relevant to anything I do except as a source of income. But here's a simple explanation:

Investment banks advise companies on financial decisions and help companies raise money to follow through with those decisions, such as mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.

Private equity firms raise a fund through investors, use that fund to buy companies, and generate a return on the investment by various means.

That's the best I can do without dropping a lot of financial jargon. Click on the wiki links to learn more, or just email Ed. Basically it is a related field, still in the realm of business finance. Relativity is a new firm, with only a handful of employees split between the NY and Arlington offices. Ed and another new hire will bring the Arlington headcount to six! Because it is small and new, it will be quite different from Ed's office life now, but he is really excited to work in PE and so closely with the firm's founders, who have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field.

As for me, my feelings are equally excited but more complex. I was born in Arlington Hospital. I spent my first 18 years in Fairfax, VA, and when I left I did not expect to ever return for more than a visit. I was sick of it and wanted to explore all the places where I hadn't grown up. I was also anxious to leave behind a small collection of adolescent demons associated with the place, and start over fresh, as an adult.

Now it's 15 years later and after living in Provo, Boston, Toronto, Boulder, Denver and Brooklyn, I'm returning. But rather than a homecoming, it feels surprisingly like another fresh start, with the bonus benefits of knowing my way around and being close to my family. We went to my parents' house for Thanksgiving weekend, and while driving around the area, I frequently checked the emotional barometer. I was delighted to feel a new relationship with the place, and a comfortable eagerness to bring my family there.

People complain that the DC metro area is crowded, expensive, and traffic is terrible. Luckily we're coming from New York City, from which reference point anything is an improvement. My heart flutters at the thought of all those parking lots.

Over the weekend we spent a little time examining maps and exploring neighborhoods to get a feel for our housing options. We hope to live as close to Ed's office as possible, which may mean living as close to the orange or blue metro lines as possible (the office is at the Rosslyn metro station.) We don't expect Ed's hours to be as long as they are now, but we've learned to make a short commute a high priority. That would put us in Arlington or Fairfax counties; beyond that, we don't know exactly where we'll be. I've learned more in the last 2 weeks about northern Virginia geography than in 18 years growing up. But keep in mind only 2 of those were driving years...

The timing is a little unfortunate in that we'll miss Dave & family, who are moving to England in the spring, by only a few months. But hopefully they won't stay over there forever, and we can get the next generation of cousins together for some formative years. And "Nana & Bobba" (my parents) aren't going anywhere - it will be great to be close to them. Of course we also look forward to reconnecting with friends that are still, or newly, in the metro DC area, and hosting visitors.

So that's the news - post any comments, advice, ridicule, threats, etc. below.

10 comments:

Maren said...

Threats, let's see... you'd better, um... hmmm. Nope, can't think of any threats. Congratulations! That's very, very exciting. Ed, I hope you love it and enjoy the newness of the little company.

Kari, I'm with you on all that emotional stuff. We've been round and round the idea of living in the DC area someday, but we have never found an ideal area to live in which had a decent commute. Good luck with the housing search!

I'm selfishly glad you're not moving to CA, UT or CO, even though I know you'd enjoy those, too. It will be so nice to be able to see you when we travel down to the old homestead!

Just Katy said...

Congrats on the new job! I think there are a lot of great things about the DC area, but I do love a good museum. Good luck finding a place to live, and hopefully we'll see you around.

Lindsay said...

Congrats! It sounds like you'll be going to a place where you'll be happy. You sure will be missed in this neck of the woods, though!

kat said...

ahhh! new job, semi-new location. although i would say mostly new, as the adult version with your own munchkins should be a totally new experience there. i'm sad you're not coming out to co, but i'm working through it. :)
congratulations!

Mia said...

Congratulations on the new job! I agree with your decision to be as close to work as possible, long commutes are hard on all involved. I have a sibling in NY and Forrest has one in DC so hopefully we will run in to you all sooner then later.

Jenny said...

I am so excited for you guys. Sad that you will still be far away. But it sounds like a great opportunity for Ed. I work for a small company and have learned so much because of the close proximity with the partners and all thier knowledge.

I have fond feelings about DC. I traveled there with my Mom and Dad when I was 14 or so and I would love to go back. Brad spent the summer prior to us getting married in Maryland outside of DC somewhere selling pest control and didn't get to see much. Count on us to definitly visit. You may get sick of us - we still talk about getting back to New York too before you leave. I guess time will tell.

Disco Mom said...

Jenny - I cannot imagine there's any stone you left unturned here. I've never seen such efficient tourists. But you guys are always welcome in either place!

SuperGabers - The Mom said...

SaahhWhhaaeet! We accept our replacements for D&M and kiddos.

Jenifuz said...

Congratulations!! I haven't been on the computer very recently so I just saw the announcement. We are so happy for you. Keep us updated!!!

Tona said...

I can imagine that part of why it feels fresh is because the area really isn't the one we grew up in. It's changed so much (except for the immediate neighborhood of the old homestead) that you ARE moving to a new place.

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