Has PE been good for you / better than IB?

There’s a lot of discussions on here how PE is worse than banking (or at least the same) but with higher stress hours.

Does anyone feel it’s more intellectually stimulating than banking, better wlb, or just glad they made the switch over?


I am in London MM

For me - overall yes

  • Better culture
  • More interesting work 
  • Better hours - way more flexibility in getting things done, not much weekend work 
  • Carry (decent amount) at associate level

Downsides are: 

  • Lower cash comp than I would get (materially) vs. IB 
  • Lean staffing can be painful - but is also efficient

Oh yeah, it's just the title in London MM - I have changed it now lol to Assist VP - because it's basically Senior Associate. 

But yeah, its basically the same as Associate / Senior Associate. 


Having done a few internships in PE and having multiple friends in PE, the general experience seems to be that life is better if you move to a MM fund. Hours are often better, work is interesting as you get to be very involved in all aspects of a deal / business, and often more relaxed environment. Meanwhile, most of my friends who have moved to US MFs have been very disappointed. Hours have been as rough as banking but with much higher responsibility, work has not been very interested and quite similar to banking but much more technically heavy, and people often consist of the worst hardos from IB


Initially - yes: 

- Work is more interesting 

- Base pay is slightly lower but bonuses are less volatile

- Hours are better

However, sometimes I think that all the trouble with recruiting and worrying about career progression / etc wasn't worth it.
Especially when I see how (comparatively) easy it is to progress in banking up until DIR. 

Maybe the people who stay in banking and optimize for WLB are the smartest bunch? 


Do you mine asking. are you speaking from experience in Europe or US?


It's a more interesting job than banking and I think good to try, but it was not better for me. Hours weren't as bad and comp was roughly the same, but the culture of my firm was far worse and the overall stress of the PE job was way worse than IB.

After holding out hope that PE would be better than IB for 2 years, to find it's a pretty similar experience (save for maybe 10% less hours a week) shocked me pretty hard. I went to a pretty sweaty shop and think that burned me out a bit faster than expected, but it was not the improvement I expected.

All other things equal it's a (slightly?) better experience than banking, but not good enough for me to get comfortable in the lifestyle. Hope that helps.


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