Do your associates just not care?

Our AS1 comp was 340 and AS2 was 385. So I think they're reasonably comped but what do I know. They also get co invest with leverage. 
 

However, our associates just don't seem to care. I'll be in office and they'll say hey sorry heading out going to soulcycle and go MIA for an hour at 6pm on a Tuesday ? Or 1pm on an IC submission weekend when the partner is waiting for a draft? They'll be on video 20% of the time on calls and when I ask for notes because I missed something they will have missed it too 9/10 times and I'll need to embarrass myself and ask the partner. As soon as they get 2-3 tasks they immediately start saying they have a lot to do and asking what priorities are and it's too much so I've stopped asking for 20-25% of things including the most fundamental excel side analysis which I just complete on my own and the partner and I handle. This is on top of legal work streams I handle, general deal shepherding and owning all facts, numbers, process updates including model. I.e. I get asked about model, valuation not the associates. They can do NDAs I guess which is a plus. When I ask to schedule calls they forward to the admin. I asked you because there's some commercial judgment on who to include, which to prioritize. I can also just ask my admin too.

 
Even the most basic tasks like calling and Uber when we're traveling and at the airport fall on me because they're absentmindedly scrolling instagram. 
 

Their first reaction to a new deal / task is "how long will this take?" "Will it ruin my weekend?" "I have plans and don't want to scramble last minute." 
 

We also don't require MBAs and heavily promote from within. I just don't get it. Why did you join if you didn't care? 

 
dumbanalyst1234

Honest question. What's wrong with taking an hour on a Tuesday to work out? Assuming they will log back in after to complete work

This is an old school mentality so maybe newer folks will disagree with me. But as an associate your orientation should be how do I make the life of the people above me easier to justify my existence and ultimately be considered indispensable? You do that by helping them finish their day earlier not submitting things later so they have to stay up later and it goes up the chain or spills into the next day. 
 

the practical advice is work out early or late and on the weekends. But unfortunately it's not possible in this job for an associate to go at prime time gym hours. That's the trade off 

 
Controversial

You sound a bit painful tbh dude. You don’t own them. You’re 2-3 years above them, big deal. If you want the good ones to work with you and stay then you also need to make it attractive to stay 

 

Workout classes are at specific times. And early mornings aren’t realistic for everyone, especially juniors being asked to pull late nights.

The rest has a good bit of merit, but keep in mind if your firm recruits like most, these associates don’t actually want to be there. Offers are given out for on cycle recruiting far before people have an understanding of if they like IB, let alone PE. The associate job is sold as a lifestyle step up from being an analyst in banking, but in most cases is totally false (and certainly with expectations like yours from seniors). The money is good but not good enough, and the path to promotion is long and fairly arbitrary.

Anyway, if the need for something is truly an emergency, then you need to make that clear. But very few things should rise to the level of being forced to skip a regular workout carved out of an hour in the evening. I could certainly care less about getting something to my VP an hour earlier because I give a shit about him getting to bed sooner.

 
Most Helpful

This is ridiculous. If I'm working 80+ hours a week, probably on some bs work you created, then I don't need to skip the gym to justify my existence. Keep patting yourself on the back for hopping on the phone with legal and agreeing with whatever approach they told you was best. And no shit you get asked about the model, would hope you have some clue how it works if you're headed to IC with it.

Did you ever tell them not to use the admin, or are you just getting salty about it without communicating anything? 

You sound like a real drag to work for. Hope you enjoy the next 20 years of answering your partner's emails within 30 seconds on Saturdays.

 
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It’s context specific. If your boss is waiting for something, then use your brain and don’t take 2 hours off in the middle of the evening. If it’s for something a couple days out then no problem working on it how you see fit. I’ve always made it clear that I’m fine with the latter, but the problem now is that I’m seeing associates disappearing when we have things that are due urgently, which causes problems for everyone up the chain. 

 

I agree with this about setting expectations for timelines but having worked with a few different mid level managers in PE (ignore my title), they always treat every work stream as a fire drill and then sit on the work for days at a time when it was never urgent (obviously their schedules are much busier but if there’s no true deadline no need to create false deadlines just to sit on work). This then leads to no time able to do anything else and always walking on pins and needles because if they need something, drop everything to make sure every task is done asap. 

Not everyone is also like this so probably my luck of the draw. As with most of these jobs, comes down to who you work with (contrary to most, my managers in banking were like the above comment and knew when to say things were urgent and when it wasn’t worth staying up late on a random weekday / save stamina). 

 

We have a guy is not performing, has been made aware of it, and he's still fucking about like we're all chilling. Simple deliverables taking days to complete. Genuinely can't get my head around it, if I knew I was not performing I'd be working my ass off to at least not that have brought up at next performance discussion. Nobody's hiring right now either so fuck knows what his plan is if he gets laid off.

 

I work at a LMM PE firm and we have one associate and me. We had a morning meeting and I had to make the slide deck on the morning of, which was problematic as I only had 2 hours to do it. I needed to coordinate with our advisors for valuation spreads and my associate was just not responsive during this time, which led to me doing all of the work with no help from my associate on numbers that I just had no clue about. He ended up making the revisions my MP asked him to do in the middle of the meeting (LOL) and we had to send an updated PPT to everyone after the fact and used my version of the PPT during the meeting.

It all worked out and my MP gave me high praise but I definitely agree with you that some of these associates nowadays just don't have the fire lit up their asses.

 

Debatable. The larger fund sizes recruit so far in advance that some people slip through the cracks. They spend 2 years burning themselves out in IB, then hit their PE seat. By this point some have already decided they don't want to work in finance long term, so they'll do the minimum to not get let go, earn their salary, an okay bonus and then leave for an MBA since they're on a 2 year programme. If you know you're not looking to return and just want to build up the resume, a lot lose their drive to be serious.

 

Dang, I'm fighting for my life til like midnight every night responsible for all the analysis, modeling, notes, all the admin stuff etc. Hopefully a few years down the road this will start to open more doors if my peers at MF's are all clowning like what OP has said. currently at a $700mm fund with a big drop in comp compared to OP's associates.   

 

OP you seem like the problem here

turns out most people don't wanna work for an insecure hardo 

I'm also going to guess you're not a big goer of the gym yourself

Idk dude I consider myself lucky to be here I used to clean a liquor store

 

Are your associates affluent kids from good backgrounds, if so they have no reason to care. Hire more PSGs

 

This is something that needs to be addressed quickly. Get in someone’s face and tell them to get it done. If they don’t respond then they aren’t interested in the job. 
 

Hire slow, fire fast. A million kids want that seat. I don’t agree with some posters, you don’t sound like a psycho type A guy, the stuff you are asking for us pretty basic. 

 

I agree with you 100% (VP in PE here) and have experienced the same issue with my juniors. Apparently, attending personal dinners on a weekday is more important than attending advisor calls or addressing a time sensitive matter that a partner specifically asked for. 

Most of my peers at other firms are experiencing it as well. It's just supply and demand tbh. Over the past few years, there has been a sizeable jump in opportunities on the buyside while the talent pool has shrunk as more bankers have pursued tech / entrepreneurship / other opportunities. A lot of people were also able to raise first-time funds in the past 2-3 years which wasn't as easy prior to the pandemic. My guess is some of these funds will shut down over the next 4-5 years which will change the supply/demand dynamics back in the employers favor and change this type of associate behaviour. Look at what's happening to the tech sector after hearing many programmers/software engineers brag about working 3 jobs at once and still having time for SoulCycle / travelling all over the world / etc. 

 

Agree - an old associate during my banking analyst years told me ever year the quality gets worse, and I also never performed at the level the top people older than me did. And now I see it with my analysts and interns being worse, even though I'm just an associate

 

When I hear about these types types of situations I generally think of three things. 

First, they genuinely think they are competently doing their role. Has this expectation been communicated to them? It is entirely possible that if you told them to be better that they could step up and be better  

Second, have you trained them? If the work product isn’t up to standard did you show them what standard was? 

Third, what is your interview process like? Most of what you seem (rightfully) concerned about appears to be things you can screen for in the interview process. 

It is entirely possible (and plausible) that these employees are duds. They could have just slipped through and just be a good interview. However, PE isn’t that difficult of a field. I would be surprised if they actually are such duds. But it is possible. I don’t work with them so I don’t know. 

 

It sounds like you do have some bad associates and I’ve definitely witnessed some similar stuff amongst juniors at my firm (ignore the title, I’m a senior associate at an UMM that hires analysts as well as associates out of banking).

Honest question though, along the lines of what someone alluded to above with PE not being the path it once was. Do you ever wonder if the value of the marginal hour of work has just come down super meaningfully in this industry? The reality in the UMM space in my experience is that everything is banked, been owned by multiple sponsors for the last decade, being sold in a competitive auction etc. It rarely feels like all that incremental diligence is really uncovering some unique insight that will give you an edge in these highly efficient processes that generally result in some sponsor paying a market clearing price.

The reality is the funds need to deploy all this capital, and getting deals done is a result of where partners feel they want to lean in to get something across the line. As a result, I feel a bit less motivated to go the extra mile given it’s all a bit of a dog and pony show at the end of the day.

Maybe our firm just has a shit process or the tides will turn on this dynamic if the industry isn’t able to ride a levered beta trade for the next decade. We’ll have to see.

 
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OP sounds like he hasn't gotten laid in like 3 years jesus christ. Have you tried directly communicating? Most IBs don't teach analysts how to read minds during their stints, so its helpful if you actually verbalize your expectations rather than just bitching when they're not met. Also, go to the fucking gym. If you're mad at your associate for getting a 1hr pump in, you're a fucking pansy. If anything get in there and spot him. 

 

OP sounds like he hasn't gotten laid in like 3 years jesus christ. Have you tried directly communicating? Most IBs don't teach analysts how to read minds during their stints, so its helpful if you actually verbalize your expectations rather than just bitching when they're not met. Also, go to the fucking gym. If you're mad at your associate for getting a 1hr pump in, you're a fucking pansy. If anything get in there and spot him. 

Fuck that go to the gym on your time not mine. Not my problem you're not an "early bird" become one 

 

Sounds like you’re the problem, get a life. Glad I don’t work for your undoubtedly shit fund that fuels your insecurities 

thanks for all the MS

 

Do your associates have carry? If not, that’s a pretty big reason for a lot of it in my view. The whole notion of them being expected to be fully motivated by the fact that you do direct promo is unrealistic - I’m sure your firm like most others in PE is incredibly late to notify of if the promo is actually there and you should know that it’s always uncertain in this industry (can quickly get screwed by a lateral hire above you, etc.).

Agree with a lot of the general sentiment, but you have to realize that the world is changing and people aren’t necessarily willing to sacrifice their entire lives to pursue a PE career at this point

 

In defense of the original post, if there are important timelines (submitting to IC and have to get a draft to partner for review) then yes your Associate should be locked in and not aloof. But  many work streams are not time sensitive to that extent and you shouldn’t have your juniors think everything is a fire drill (otherwise will lead to burn out and ultimately churn).

Probably should over-communicate with juniors with regards to timing, etc. (and vice versa they should check in with you too). Truly believe a lot of these issues are just related to lack of communication and poor time management, not lack of ability (most people can do these jobs, it’s mostly about the right fit and culture for each person to thrive in). 

 

Tbh, and a bit off-topic from comments above, you sound like you're gonna burn out in a few years. Definitely don't sound like Partner material or "I'm gonna be doing this for the next 30 years".

People that do IB/PE for life are jacks of all trades...and masters of all trades. I.E. incredibly analytically sharp but also incredibly politically and socially cunning, finding ways to get people to do things that often people don't want to do/realize they did for you.

You wanna be the guy that the Partners look at and say "Wow this guy is always dependable/comes through....and makes it look so easy running the junior team while being a real human"  and that associates say "This guy hasn't drunk the kool-aid, is relatable and views me as an equal rather than as my boss, while getting shit done together". Whether either of those hypothetical statements would be completely true is irrelevant...but that's the perception you're going for from your seniors and your juniors.

You just kinda sound like a grindy undifferentiated execution monkey .. no offense .. with pretty low emotional EQ.

 
iggs99988

Tbh, and a bit off-topic from comments above, you sound like you're gonna burn out in a few years. Definitely don't sound like Partner material or "I'm gonna be doing this for the next 30 years".

People that do IB/PE for life are jacks of all trades...and masters of all trades. I.E. incredibly analytically sharp but also incredibly politically and socially cunning, finding ways to get people to do things that often people don't want to do/realize they did for you.

You wanna be the guy that the Partners look at and say "Wow this guy is always dependable/comes through....and makes it look so easy running the junior team while being a real human"  and that associates say "This guy hasn't drunk the kool-aid, is relatable and views me as an equal rather than as my boss, while getting shit done together". Whether either of those hypothetical statements would be completely true is irrelevant...but that's the perception you're going for from your seniors and your juniors.

You just kinda sound like a grindy undifferentiated execution monkey .. no offense .. with pretty low emotional EQ.

"No offense" hahaha man I struck a nerve huh

 
iggs99988

Tbh, and a bit off-topic from comments above, you sound like you're gonna burn out in a few years. Definitely don't sound like Partner material or "I'm gonna be doing this for the next 30 years".

People that do IB/PE for life are jacks of all trades...and masters of all trades. I.E. incredibly analytically sharp but also incredibly politically and socially cunning, finding ways to get people to do things that often people don't want to do/realize they did for you.

You wanna be the guy that the Partners look at and say "Wow this guy is always dependable/comes through....and makes it look so easy running the junior team while being a real human"  and that associates say "This guy hasn't drunk the kool-aid, is relatable and views me as an equal rather than as my boss, while getting shit done together". Whether either of those hypothetical statements would be completely true is irrelevant...but that's the perception you're going for from your seniors and your juniors.

You just kinda sound like a grindy undifferentiated execution monkey .. no offense .. with pretty low emotional EQ.

"No offense" hahaha man I struck a nerve huh

Not really. Just pointing out a personal observation. You can take it or leave it :)

 

When I ask to schedule calls they forward to the admin. I asked you because there's some commercial judgment on who to include, which to prioritize. I can also just ask my admin too.

Ignore title my ASO years are behind me.

This is the only part from what you've mentioned is unreasonable. Asking associates to play admin is categorically different than asking them to be available.

 

Seeing as how I’m likely going back to PE after B School this’ll bite me in the ass, but honestly it’s funny as fuck how many threads there are of butthurt VPs. 
 

Some of the things mentioned are definitely ridiculous, but I’m glad associates are taking a stand and doing what they want to do, cuz apparently y’all can’t do shit about it except complain on WSO. They haven’t ever had this much power, so it’s honestly kind of funny to see it play out. And sorry, they went to Soul Cycle because they realized that the “urgent” request had no practical urgency, and realized that the VP either (1) didn’t know that, (2) is getting way too antsy, or most likely (3) didn’t even attempt to push back with the Partner, knowing full well there was no urgency to this task, and promised that they’ll look into by the next day for no fucking reason, and then pings the associate. Thus, Associate takes it into their own hands because they don’t respect a spineless VP and forces him to stay up late to review some dumb ass piece of work that’s gonna get completely overhauled the next day when the partner changes his mind. Finally, there can be consequences for seniors not respecting juniors’ time.
 

Fundamentally different from my years getting absolutely fucking destroyed, and then when I finally get the duck out of there my VP gives me the parting feedback of “you’ve been great, but sometimes you seem unhappy.”

 

chihayafull

Seeing as how I'm likely going back to PE after B School this'll bite me in the ass, but honestly it's funny as fuck how many threads there are of butthurt VPs. 
 

Some of the things mentioned are definitely ridiculous, but I'm glad associates are taking a stand and doing what they want to do, cuz apparently y'all can't do shit about it except complain on WSO. They haven't ever had this much power, so it's honestly kind of funny to see it play out. And sorry, they went to Soul Cycle because they realized that the "urgent" request had no practical urgency, and realized that the VP either (1) didn't know that, (2) is getting way too antsy, or most likely (3) didn't even attempt to push back with the Partner, knowing full well there was no urgency to this task, and promised that they'll look into by the next day for no fucking reason, and then pings the associate. Thus, Associate takes it into their own hands because they don't respect a spineless VP and forces him to stay up late to review some dumb ass piece of work that's gonna get completely overhauled the next day when the partner changes his mind. Finally, there can be consequences for seniors not respecting juniors' time.
 

Fundamentally different from my years getting absolutely fucking destroyed, and then when I finally get the duck out of there my VP gives me the parting feedback of "you've been great, but sometimes you seem unhappy."

"Ya'll can't do shit." Edited, too personally revealing. Let's just say the partner and principals rely on me to judge promotion worthiness since they're too removed. Maybe if it's a 2 and out sure I can't do shit. But if not, then I can

 

Everyone think's they're gonna be a player's coach until they're actually in the driver's seat

Sounds like you've never, really, been in a position of overseeing others on a day to day basis to get deals done - sounds like you were IB analyst->PE associate -> MBA, meaning you were always producing work, not the one ultimately responsible, outside of lower priority deals where a top analyst/associate would work directly with senior management. 

Just wait man. It'll happen to you. You're cranking through something that has multiple senior eyeballs on it, all is looking great, you send what should be the last turn of comments and....nothing. No response. 1 hour goes by (you thought you'd be done by now...), so you swing by the associate's desk - gone. You email to chase. 20 min later you get: "will revert back to this in a few". Partner/MD texts or emails "where are we on this? Need to review before too late." And suddenly you're stuck. You ping the associate on realistic timing, and get crickets. You didn't think you had to communicate how important this, or the expectation that in the process of turns/revisions, one shouldn't step out, because it should have been obvious especially to associates who have 2.5 years of finance experience. Suddenly though, YOU are the asshole, because you are now the face of the delay to the partner, and you are the face of forcing the associate to work when they don't want to. 

So yea, maybe you'll be the most loved and revered VP who never has an issue...but not likely.