Late associate / early VP in MM IB trouble getting into PE

Curious for everyone’s thoughts on moving to PE as a 3/4 associate or VP 1… it seems like there’s essentially zero interest from PE funds due to 1) too experienced for associate role and 2) not experienced enough for sr associate role. At this point getting a bit desperate and am taking whatever interviews I can get at micro funds. If I can’t get any looks should I wait to re-recruit or just take what I can get at this point? I didn’t expect even small (<1B) funds to just flat out reject without a first round. Maybe headhunters are issue and I should try to network or something but I’m not sure what to do. Don’t feel like making $175k all in as an associate at LMM but if I want to get into PE may be only shot. 

Appreciate everyone’s insights. 

Most Helpful

You’re in a weird spot. As an associate you’re really just a glorified analyst and you’re going to have a hard time convincing firms you’re willing to eat shit for way less pay. As a VP, you’re going to be expected to lead deal processes and why would they take a risk on you when there are thousands of folks who already have PE experience they can hire? It’s also a tough hiring market and firms can afford to be picky with their hiring now. 

If you have a really compelling reason why you want to go to PE (as in would benefit the firm, not just because you want to make more money or work fewer hours) then try networking with investment professionals and see if your story resonates. Otherwise, might just be time to give up and focus on your current job. 

Thanks for the input and exactly my thought as well… it’s a tough position to be in. Only getting LMM looks but I think PE would be interesting long-term for me. The 50%+ cut in comp is killing me but if it’s only way in I think I just have to eat it

I know an IB VP who made the transition to principal. He was covering financial sponsors during his whole time so he got to develop relationships for a number of years as well as having a decent track record that they knew that he'd be legit for the position.

Lateral to a bank with better coverage of your sector, get the promotion to VP and then try to move after a year or two at the VP/principal level covering the same space. You are in a tough spot rn as you are too senior for an associate role, but don’t have the name brand, relationships or experience leading deals that would be needed for a more senior seat.

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