Chicago PE firms (comprehensive list and tiers)

Didnt see a thread for a full list of Chicago PE firms
How would people rank the firms into tiers based on MBA placement, comp, deal flow (obviously firms are different based on industry focus but wanted to get a better sense of all these firms)
Some stand-out ones BDT, GTCR, BDT but also wanted to hear how people would rank the rest:
Wynnchurch Capital, RoundTable, Vistria, Cressey, Water Street, Pritzker, Shore, Valor, Sterling, Avathon
Wind Point, Flexpoint Ford, Victory Park, Arbor, May River, CORE Industrial, ParkerGale, Periscope Equity
Linden, Longshore, Frontenac, LaSalle, Birchwood, Chicago Pacific, RiverGlade, High Point, Waud
Baird Capital, Concentric Equity, Kinzie, NextGen, Silver Oak

Any insight would be appreciated and how these firms compare to each other

Comments (47)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
2mo 

bump

  • Intern in IB - Cov
2mo 

Big 3 have been discussed a lot but very interested in hearing more about MM and LMM shops like Shore that have really good returns

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
1mo 

Have never heard Chicago Pacific mentioned before, but I am aware of them.

Waud is a pretty big name. They're obviously strong in healthcare, but I went to a few recruiting events with them. In addition to their office being a horrible purple theme, they seemed idk stiff and unpersonable to me. I'm pretty sure it's Two and Out as well.

  • Director in IB - Cov
1mo 

Waud is respectable, but the culture is toxic. Associates are focused on fewer portcos to cover, but are heavily involved with them, including lots of monotonous support activities.

Chicago Pacific doesn't know how to compete in processes and it's going to be harder and harder for them to grow fund size given that.

Most Helpful
  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
2mo 

Cressey: I like them a lot from the times I worked with them. The senior people were mostly out of the picture, but seemed fine. The VP was really agreeable and reasonable. And the associate was cool and nice (never dumped work on me, helped out where he could) - he saw me drunk as a skunk at brunch and asked me about it the next week and said "don't worry I was f*ck*ng hammered." They seem nice and sharp (made like 30x on one deal). I think they work quite hard and it may be 2-and-out. 

Vistria: People seem to like it. I don't know for sure what WLB is like, but I think it varies by group (good in some, ehh in others, but fine overall). They seem to be doing well (pulling in capital, lots of well connected big names).

Water Street: excellent in HC but a sweatshop. They brag in their job postings about how hard they work (bad sign). The one person I know who went there, quit after ~1 year.

Pritzker: PPC, TPO, PSP or DNS?

Wind Point: sharp investors. They're nice people and you'll get good experience there. They work very hard though and some of the people were a tad over the top intense when I interviewed there.

Edit for MBAs I know of:  

cressey: wharton

vistria: HBS

WPP: lots of Kellogg and (i think) Booth. more direct promotes or people going directly to other things

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
2mo 

may river: not familiar first hand but i know of one person and have only heard good things about her. one associate is a friend two friends. i met him out one night and on a personal level (not familiar w/ work obvs.) he seemed cool.

new harbour: again not familiar first hand but i met one of the midlevels in a bar and he knew me from a mutual friend. seemed like a good dude. knew of an analyst who went there. he wasn't in my group but he was chill. at booth now.

CIVC: work life balance seemed okay but i was told they have no culture (eg, dont talk at work about non work related, very dry and no camaraderie).

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
2mo 

I guess MDP doesn't exist

  • 3
  • 1
  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
1mo 

no clue what they get paid. they like to hire Asc3 and Sr Asc from other funds as VPs. its basically a fraternity of people who want to keep that vibe and can afford to do it. they rent out a club when they close a deal, they go on the founders boat during the summer and say to invite girls, etc. not trying to be hater - seems fun and the people there all seem to like and enjoy it. have to imagine culture is ok if people are spending that much time outside work w/ their coworkers.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
27d 

street or above street?

1mo 
DoddFrank, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You have a 40+ post thread with quality insights and detailed descriptions - what more are you looking for? Some prestige ranking from a prospect at Northwestern?

Array
  • 1
1mo 
emul0c, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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4d 
Tyrone-Wells, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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