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Managing Partner vs. General Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A managing partner and general manager are both responsible for overseeing the operations of a business. Though these roles share some similarities, there are several key differences between them. In this article, we discuss the differences between a managing partner and general manager, and we provide additional business management professions you may be interested in pursuing.

What is a Managing Partner?

Managing Partners are responsible for the overall management and operation of their company. They develop and implement strategies to achieve the company’s goals, and they also oversee the day-to-day operations. In some cases, Managing Partners may also be responsible for marketing and sales initiatives. They work closely with the company’s Board of Directors to ensure that the company is on track to meet its goals and objectives. Managing Partners typically have a great deal of experience in the industry in which their company operates.

What is a General Manager?

General Managers are responsible for the overall management of a company or organization. They develop and implement strategies and policies to ensure that the company meets its goals and objectives. General Managers also oversee the day-to-day operations of the company, including the management of employees. They may also be responsible for the financial management of the company, including the development and implementation of budgets. General Managers typically report to the Board of Directors or the company’s shareholders.

Managing Partner vs. General Manager

Here are the main differences between a managing partner and a general manager.

Job Duties

General managers oversee a specific aspect of the business, such as sales or production. They often work on teams to develop strategies for reaching goals and may report to the managing partner or another executive who oversees that department. For example, a general manager in a clothing store might lead their team in developing marketing campaigns, designing merchandise displays and selecting locations for new stores. Managing partners have more broad responsibilities. They’re responsible for leading the firm’s overall management strategy and direction. This includes making decisions about hiring new employees, redesigning processes, setting budgets and creating policies.

Job Requirements

Managing partners and general managers typically need a bachelor’s degree in business administration, management or another related field. Some employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well, but it is not required for entry-level positions. Additionally, many managing partners and general managers pursue certifications through professional organizations like the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) or the Project Management Institute (PMI). These organizations offer training programs that teach professionals how to use accounting software and other tools they might need on the job.

Work Environment

Managing partners typically work in an office setting, often spending their days in meetings with clients and employees. General managers may also spend time in the office but are more likely to travel to different locations where they oversee operations. They may visit construction sites or meet with vendors to discuss new products.

Both positions can be stressful, depending on the company’s needs. Managing partners may have more responsibilities that require them to make important decisions quickly. General managers may experience stress from traveling frequently and working long hours.


The specific skills used on the job by a managing partner and general manager can differ depending on the company, but there are some similarities. Both positions typically require excellent communication skills, as they need to be able to interact with employees, clients and other partners effectively. They also both need to have strong organizational skills to keep track of deadlines, projects and goals.

Managing partners often need to have more financial knowledge than general managers, as they are responsible for the financial health of the firm. This can include skills like budgeting, bookkeeping and investment planning. General managers may need to have a more in-depth understanding of the day-to-day operations of the company, as they are responsible for ensuring that all departments are running smoothly. This can involve skills like project management, process improvement and team building.


The average salary for a managing partner is $124,458 per year, while the average salary for a general manager is $63,331 per year. The salary for both positions can vary depending on the size of the company, the industry in which the company operates and the level of experience the employee has.


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