Jump from consulting to PE?

Hi everyone - first time poster here, looking for advice/insight from the gurus and forerunners in this forum.

I'm 5 years into consulting with good career progression (been promoted every 1-2 years) and have worked almost exclusively on the M&A side (buy side diligence/advisory, mostly insurance related). Recently some of my friends have made the jump from consulting to PE and I'm considering the same. After some conversations I landed an offer at a MM PE firm ($2bn+ capital commitments) with 200k base + 75% target bonus + a small amount (a few bps) of carry, which sounds like ~ a senior associate role. I'm tempted, but unsure if I should leave the good career path in consulting behind. Has anyone in this forum done/seen the same jump, and any perspectives on whether it's worth it?

Some additional thoughts as I'm weighing the pros/cons:

  1. The cash comp will likely be better in the short term if I stay. I'm expecting 400-500k/year for the next 2 years and potentially 600k+ if I get promoted in 2 years, so making the jump would be for the long run and the shot at multi-millions

  2. I do like my current role, but occasionally I still have to do non-deal stuff and PE work may be more interesting if it's just doing deals (pricing, structure, diligence, sourcing, etc.). I also don't get to see what goes on behind the scenes as a consultant so getting that exposure upon the switch is exciting as well

  3. I like to work hard and average ~55-60h/week with a 70h+ week every month or two, but am a little concerned that PE will be even more intense which can cause the work-life balance to deteriorate. Just recently got married and thinking about having a baby next year so can't really afford to work significantly more

  4. Also considering if this jump will be easier/harder to make a few years down the line, after the next promo, and whether those years would count towards a higher PE position. This exact opportunity likely won't be there but if insurance M&A continues to be hot and PE firms are open to hire at the VP level then it might be better to wait and take the more guaranteed promo before jumping ship

Thanks in advance to everyone who pitches in!

Comments (8)

Most Helpful
  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jan 4, 2022 - 5:23pm

PE work may be more interesting if it's just doing deals

Former consultant here who did mostly M&A work as well as strategy. Doing deals is cool but the majority of this job is not business diligence of companies. It is dealing with surprisingly incompetent portfolio companies and internal reporting and all kinds of mucking around in endless crap. Consulting is much more meaty work. 

Also considering if this jump will be easier/harder to make a few years down the line

I'm amazed you got this role with as much experience as you have anyway. This might be the last All Aboard! call you hear for the PE train. 

Just recently got married and thinking about having a baby next year so can't really afford to work significantly more

During deal sprints you can expect to work 100h+ / week and completely leave your wifi to raise your future kid solo. I might consider pushing back the due date by a year or two if you take this job, just my 2c. I don't exactly see a lot of good fathers in this line of work. A good father in PE is one who holds his screaming kid while also on a conference call. A great father is one who remembers to mute himself while his kid is screaming. Don't count on <70h weeks unless you really know you have some unusually good cultured PE firm in front of you.

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Jan 4, 2022 - 5:51pm

Sounds like you're doing well & earning solidly at consulting. Why do you want to leave?

IMHO it seems like the jump to PE might be rough for a few years (less money, less seniority, longer hours) for the shot at making more. But PE has apparently been going through a squeeze at the top where promotion timing to VP/MD is taking longer and longer, and fewer are making it there. Like the other commenter said, this could be your last push to jump on the PE train, and idk what other things you need to factor into your decision, but it seems like consulting might be best.

Plus, the $600k+ you can earn in a couple of years is a fuck ton of money. If you're at MBB that could jump to $1M+ when you become a medium-tenured partner. Sure it might not be PE MD money, but it's "all my needs and reasonable wants are met" money.

  • Anonymous Monkey's picture
  • Anonymous Monkey
  • Rank: Chimp
Jan 4, 2022 - 8:28pm
Anonymous Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Also the fact that op can leave MBB and get a senior industry role that might payout even more in the future. Op just keep making friends and building a positive reputation so when you're looking for an exit op you can make a viable transition. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 4, 2022 - 9:48pm

Nice username.

Jan 5, 2022 - 1:09am
To pe or not to pe, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts. Sounds like the only reason why I'd jump would be to try PE at sort of a last viable opportunity and shoot for the higher end pay, at the cost of more hours, lower near-term pay, potentially less interesting work, a group that is less fun and tight-knit, and likely missing out on actually being a dad. Think I'm leaning towards staying just based on discussions in this forum.

Of the two people who've made similar jumps I've spoken to, one said PE was miserable but opened doors, while the other seems to genuinely enjoy it. I'll speak to a third this week and see how it goes. Thanks again everyone and please let me know any further thoughts or insights!

  • Analyst 2 in Consulting
Jan 10, 2022 - 7:04pm

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