Huron Capital - Detroit - Can anyone share their experience they had as an Associate?

Hi All - looking for some insight on the associate experience at Huron Capital based in Detroit (huroncapital(dot)com)   -It would be really helpful to know what type of experience associates at the firm get and what general consensus is on the firm. Curious if there is any semblance of work life balance or if it is banking 2.0. I saw a few people on LinkedIn who left the associate role before they had 2 years of experience so trying to figure out if there is anything driving people out of the firm.


My understanding is culture is extremely bad from friends who have worked there.  They have since gone to other PE shops where they note the culture is much better. 

There is a few other shops (not pure buyout) in Detroit that can do super interesting deals that I would check out.  

Fontinalis I would assume would be super interesting.  

Rockbridge I would assume may be very well funded to do some really interesting stuff with Dan Gilbert's new found 30b.  

There's also a couple people in the Michigan area I could see launching shops in the next couple years which I would think wouldn't have trouble fundraising. 

What have you heard about Blackford? Seems like most of their associates don’t even really come from IB and that they don’t have a committed fund?

Nothing positive. Pretend to compete in auctions, are not legit buyers for deals over $4mm EBITDA IMO. Junior guys turn over frequently. I think they do have a very small committed fund (Fund I was $50mm, not sure if they could raise a second but they were trying).

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Deal by deal model: PE firm doesn't have discretionary capital so they find a deal and then pitch that deal to investors for funding. The investor has no "blind pool" risk as they know what deal the PE sponsor is buying into.

blind pool model: the standard in PE. A firm goes out to institutional investors and raises discretionary capital to spend within their fund. It's a 'blind pool' for investors as they don't yet know the specific companies which are going to be acquired.

By retail I mean they: 1. Can't attract institutional capital (foundations, endowments, pensions, etc) and onboard small cheques from high net worths and 2. Partner with a wealth management firm where advisors load in like 25-150k cheques from high net worth clients - seen as "dumb money" in the industry.

They underwent a process around two years ago with Sixpoint to do a NAV loan. They for some reason asked Sixpoint to tap the secondary market to see if funds would be interested....pretty much every credit shop said they needed like 12% and they were like that's in the ballpark. Wasted everyone's time with DD for 3 weeks and then gave the deal to a bank for 6 percent lol. I got the vibe that no one on the mgmt team knew what they were doing.

Friend worked there and said work/life balance and culture was good. Lots of activity but highly resourced. Comp in-line with market which translates well bc cost of living in Detroit is a fraction of NYC/LA/CHI. Most people leave bc of Detroit factor. They also had a few home-run exits recently

Worked at Huron for two years (associate), now just finished Wharton.  I enjoyed my experience there, though I had gotten lucky with good VPs and some interesting deals.  I had colleagues that got the short end of the stick and got stuck in some bad silos with partners trying to hang on to their titles, and their egos/incompetence led to some bad experience for the associates.  Good news is I know they got rid of most of these duds, and the folks I worked with are now taking the reigns - I presume its much better.  If you know what you are doing, they give you a super long leash - portco board meetings/strategy meetings, site visits, on every call etc. Firm is smaller so when we had a deal it was typically you and the VP running the entire show so you get tons of experience.  I went to B School and was surprised how much more access I had compared my school mates.  You'll work long hours when you're getting a deal through the finish line but I used to leave at 6:30 and do work if I had it at night in normal weeks.  Always some head banging moments when dealing with partner egos or putting out fires but overall its a serious shop and I'm glad I went.  People still there are quality.  Feel free to PM if more curious.

If you enjoyed your experience, are you going back post B school?

I worked at Huron for 3 years in the recent past and feel many of these comments are being overblown. While there was clearly a history of poor leadership/culture in the more distant past, everything that I have heard more recently is that the firm has moved away from these people. There is a crop of recent partner promotes that have clearly stepped up into leadership positions and I personally loved working for these folks. They are young, hungry and super smart. Also - while there were some underperforming deals in the older funds - I've heard first hand that there have been multiple highly successful exits more recently which should position them well for future fundraising. 

I was given tons of responsibility as an associate working on lots of deal flow (platforms and addons) and interesting portco work. Its definitely a place that promotes from within and allows people to grow and develop. I personally wouldn't have traded my experience over those years and have zero regrets. I don't know of any better funds to work at in Michigan. I would suggest that anyone considering joining Huron (or frankly, any company) draw their own conclusions from first hand discussions rather than putting too much weight on some of these old and anonymous posts that could be driven by any number of ulterior motives.

Just to share some personal experience for those who are thinking about joining and to address some of the older comments. Huron is a strong MM PE firm that has recently gone through a rebrand and refreshed investment strategy on specific verticals. A lot of the previous comments about culture are very outdated and not reflective of what work life balance is actually like. It's a great team to work with who care a lot about professional/personal development and provide meaningful responsibility to their Associates. They invest in providing resources to the team which allows you to spend significantly less time on grinding through data and rather focus on strategic and critical thinking which tends to be more interesting. Associates will get great deal experience and learn from some really smart senior folks. Send me a PM if you're interested in learning more.

LOL - if it wasn't obvious enough from the last three posts from prior employees, these guys are reaching out to people that left within the last few years (and there are plenty of them!) and trying to get people to post nice things to help fix their inability to recruit suckers. The returns are shit (although there is some truth about recent good exits - maybe not enough to overcome their underperformance though), so many of the people just suck (especially the senior guys - the old sr. partners are not active anymore but still eating up half the economics and sucking the life out of the place), and the job is miserable for the junior folks (WLB is mediocre, you'll spend tons of time working on shitty port cos, you bid way below market multiples on platforms and there's barely any equity left to deploy). Would be surprised if they ever raise another fund (been saying fund 6 is coming for like 5 years now) but regardless just stay away.

I've never heard a good thing about this place from people who have worked there and people that have dealt with them. These guys think they are the ones finding alpha in under-the-radar segments like imitation crabmeat and lab-grown diamonds but they tend to end up eating shit on their returns. Supposedly some recent good exits that may counterbalance some poor performance though to be fair, but not sure if it will be enough. They aren't known to have a great culture from what I've gathered and an off-market vesting schedule. High turnover as well. Be careful here. The only reason worth talking to these guys is if you're a Michigan native really wanting to move back to the area and even then, I would be wary. 

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