Open Position: Associate (Former IB/PE Analyst or Associate)

Note: If you are interested in applying for this position, the application can be found at the bottom of this post or here. We understand that bonus cycles or other circumstances may impact desired timing. As we continue to build our talent pipeline, we welcome you to apply even if your preferred start date is up to six months out.


You’ve been cranking. You know your way around a three statement model, worked on a CIM or ten, and have gotten exposure to transaction processes. You enjoy deconstructing different businesses and helping to craft the investment thesis and value creation narrative.

You’re here because there’s more to finance than transactions. The deal life may not be the one you aspire to, or represent the primary skill set you wish to develop. You realize that financial planning and analysis (FP&A) processes, including reporting/BI and forecasting capabilities, and building management cultures centered on transparency and accountability are critical to supporting growth, acquisitions, and eventual business exit. You want access to that FP&A side of the finance function, while still getting the benefits and excitement of deal execution. You’ve got talent, some corporate finance skills, and now you want to find a place where you can expand your toolbox and accelerate your development.


First Water connects teams with data and companies with capital by enabling innovative access to finance capabilities and expertise through Relational Finance. Our partner companies include small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and portfolio companies of prominent private equity firms.

Our strength lies in a “mutt culture” formed through experience across finance disciplines and perspectives from both sides of the table. Team backgrounds include financial planning & analysis (FP&A), private equity, investment banking, commercial lending, consulting, and small business leadership. As a result, we are the only firm that:

  • Designs, develops, and maintains any aspect of the FP&A function, delivering data insights and forward visibility (Managed FP&A);
  • Manages capital raising and transaction processes with a deep capital network to bring the right partners to the table (Capital & Transaction Initiatives);
  • Serves as a tactical strike force for project-based initiatives, with a decade of success serving portfolio companies of private equity firms (Finance Acceleration); and,
  • Activates finance capabilities for SMBs earlier, more cost effectively, and for longer relationship durations by drawing from a holistic finance toolbox, multiple engagement models, and a team-based approach (Relational Finance).


To build the next generation of finance professionals, we pound the drum on an operational culture that promotes access to opportunities and allows voices to be heard. Key components are as follows:

  • Be a Mutt. You’re here because you strive to expand your experience and knowledge sets within finance, business, and varied situations/circumstances. You actively seek to step outside your comfort zone and advocate for opportunities to step up to the plate. In doing so, you do what it takes to get yourself up the curve in real time while managing deliverable timelines.
  • Value is our Output. Everything we do for our companies is connected to growing, preserving, and/or monetizing business value. You step back from technical work to synthesize the why and how it matters for various stakeholders. The purpose of data is dialogue, and our companies rely on us to deliver value, not just numbers.
  • Best Idea Wins. We are always better than we were [insert some period of time ago]. It is our responsibility and privilege to find better paths to deliver results to our partner companies. You think critically about innovation and tech-enablement and speak up in contributing to process improvements. It is better to be wrong than to not have an opinion.
  • Transparency is the Process. Our companies rely on us to lead and/or own critical processes they otherwise cannot manage internally. You lean into project management and documentation to provide internal and external visibility and drive confidence in our ability to consistently deliver. Transparency is not part of the process, it is the process.
  • Pedigree is not a KPI. We work in a sector (finance) where pedigree often serves as a barrier to entry. You don’t assign value based on names on a CV or letters after a name, and you treat team members and customers accordingly. Coachability, work ethic, professionalism, and intellectual curiosity move the needle here.


We are a growing, scrappy team seeking another professional to join our team as a Associate. This role is particularly attractive for somebody seeking to expand his/her finance skill sets, including:

  • Core FP&A processes (financial and operational reporting, 13-week cash flow forecasting, three statement budgeting and forecasting);
  • Financial modeling (deployment of internal build methodologies and bespoke/ad-hoc builds);
  • Data structuring/organization and Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) mechanics;
  • Data transformation and visualization (business intelligence, particularly Power BI);
  • Consultative communication for discovery, design, and presentation of deliverables with partner company management and lenders/investors;
  • Project management and process documentation; and,
  • Transaction process and due diligence support.

Many traditional finance roles run a high risk of pigeon-holing, as professionals become more and more versed in a single company, industry, system environment, and/or set of processes. At First Water, we believe learned skills should open exposure to other disciplines and perspectives, not just the next rung on ladder. As a result, we are not only building a better set of finance solutions for businesses, but we are also building the environment to cultivate better finance professionals.


  • Execute on all phases of partner company initiatives spanning FP&A and corporate development, including project management, discovery and design, component builds, recurring process maintenance, and stakeholder communication.
  • Deliverable examples include management reporting packages, BI dashboards, 13- week cashflow forecasts, driver-based three statement models, custom forecast builds, management/board presentations, and other ad-hoc requests.
  • Process documentation and quality control.
  • Occasional travel to client sites (infrequent since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic).


  • 2-3 years in Corporate Finance roles (investment banking, private equity, etc.).
  • Ability to operate independently and drive deliverable work streams, while knowing when to raise your hand for help and not spin your wheels.
  • “Competition-level” Excel skills and supreme attention to detail.
  • Desire and ability to quickly build competency in data transformation and visualization tools, particularly the Microsoft Power Suite (Pivot/Query/BI).
  • Strong PowerPoint and presentation building skills.

Additional Details – Financial Modeling:

  • A strong financial modeling skill set is integral to the position, with a preference for experience in: three-statement financial analysis, corporate finance/capitalization analysis, budgeting/forecasting, reporting/KPI dashboard templates, financial projections, working capital analysis, profitability/performance analysis, and manipulation of non-financial/operational data sets.
  • A financial modeling assessment will be conducted as part of the interview process.

Note on Remote Work / Work-From-Home

  • We are headquartered in Houston, TX, though we serve partner companies across the United States and Canada.
  • Although we value face-to-face collaboration for process design, troubleshooting, and team camaraderie, we are open to remote/work-from-home setups for the right candidates.