PE Analyst Program Experiences

This is a space for everyone to share their PE analyst program experiences. They're so new that it's difficult to really understand what it looks like and how they affect your career. We need a space to share stories and experiences. 

Just a few prompts to jog your mind: 

  • Give Pro/Cons

  • Provide an assessment of your training and learning experience

  • Did it make you want to be in PE long term?

  • Do you feel behind/slow? 

  • How long does it take to get over the learning curve?

  • What are your best stories?

Strong work, team!

Comments (37)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 7, 2022 - 8:14pm

Interned in EB IB, went to a MF analyst program, sincerely regret it. Still interested in PE long-term, but am now switching firms (going to a UMM that's more interesting to me) and have realized the IB analysts got in more reps and broadly are better prepared. Sure, it's a great move if you stay through associate but for those of you who end up deciding your firm isn't for you (and it'll be more than you than you expect), it makes you worse. I got caught up in the prestige whoring of this website, but that's wildly shortsighted. The only firm the analyst program prepares you well for as an associate is your firm / you end up with a smaller network in the industry which is the only valuable thing long-term; would recommend against it in retrospect

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Aug 7, 2022 - 9:26pm

Did your firm have an established Analyst program or was it one of the newer ones? I've generally never heard of someone regretting going to one of the MF PE programs compared to their time in banking. What makes you think the UMM PE would be that much better?

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 8, 2022 - 2:31am

This. Went the opposite route but still holds true. Interned in a UMM PE analyst program. Realized pretty quickly that my peers in banking were getting significantly better training / more reps / actually staffed appropriately. As mentioned, it's easy to get caught up in the prestige whoring, but the fact that these programs are so new (in general) really should make people think twice. Not saying there aren't good PE analyst programs out there, but compared to banks, which have been training analysts for decades, the PE route is definitely a bigger gamble IMO.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Aug 8, 2022 - 8:12pm

If you get an offer from BX/KKR/WP, then I would accept it. I would hesitate accepting Silver Lake since they had a reputation of not promoting analysts to associates when I was recruiting FT for PE. Bain and Ares are a toss up (I personally would not take them because of location). There has been an increase in the number of bankers while the number of pe spots has shrunk due to the analyst programs.

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Other
Aug 8, 2022 - 2:32am

Curious on Partners Group Analyst Program from current/ past Analysts? Seems like a good buyside opp, but it's based in Denver (pros and cons). Would love to know the experience that you got, culture in the firm, exits, etc. 

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other
Aug 8, 2022 - 8:22pm

Curious on Partners Group Analyst Program from current/ past Analysts? Seems like a good buyside opp, but it's based in Denver (pros and cons). Would love to know the experience that you got, culture in the firm, exits, etc. 

You are underpaid relative to peers (banking or other PE analyst).   Exits from the program have been pretty good, probably similar to a decent but not amazing coverage BB IBD group.   

Recent name brand US exits from the program I can think of include Sixth Street Infrastructure, TA Associates, KKR Real estate Credit, Ares Special Opportunities, Energy Capital Partners, Tishman Speyer.  Quite a few LMM PE and out of industry moves as well. 

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Other
Aug 8, 2022 - 9:05pm

Thanks! Any specifics on culture and learning opportunity? Like how much would an Analyst be able to do. It's intriguing because of the rotational program, being able to rotate into say Infra and PE for two years. But not sure how much an Analyst would get to do with Associates also coming in from banking at the places that have Analyst programs. Also, is the KKR exit person from the FA program? Didn't seem like it on LinkedIn.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 9, 2022 - 8:38pm

I have some contacts that are at partners group and went through the analyst program. Here's what I know.

The culture seems awesome. It seems people are smart, work hard, like to enjoy their free time, and work max 65-70 hours but average around 50-60.

I believe they have an onsight gym and maybe food etc.

Base pay I think is around $100k with total comp around $115-$130k for a first year analyst out of undergrad.

They do a rotational program where you do a 2-3 years in different groups and decide what you like the most. Groups include real estate, private debt, I think infrastructure and a few others.

They do not care about an mba for upward mobility I believe. I also heard you can start coinvesting in their deals pretty early on. You get like 3-4 weeks off a year starting. I think it's a good place if you are interested in PE but don't know what you want to specialize in, you don't want to do banking, and you want to have a good work life balance.

If interested on more, feel free to ask and I can look up previous conversations I had with some of the people I know! Hope that's helpful.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Aug 8, 2022 - 3:29am

Anyone have thoughts on PE analyst programs at bain cap, kkr, bx, ares, vista

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Aug 8, 2022 - 7:47am

Bump also wondering if the above opinions apply for any of these MF analyst programs

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Aug 8, 2022 - 11:25pm

The reason PE analyst programs are tough as stated above is not only because they are new, but oftentimes you are the only analyst or one of a very small number of analysts on your team so they don't care as much about analyst training than if there were 40+ like at a large bank. Also, the reason it is harder than IB analyst programs is because there are so few analysts that the responsibility and pressure is higher for you to perform and make less mistakes than an IB analyst. For example, KKR groups literally have 1-2 analysts per team - I'm sure you can image the responsibility/pressure and more lack of structured training if you're the only analyst in a specific group. Also with less fellow analysts means less people your age/going through what you are for help or just to shoot the shit. Will be tons of married people/older people who won't want to hang out with you as much (or at all) compared to a large analyst class. 

Think of it like skipping a couple grades in school. 

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Aug 9, 2022 - 11:55am

Interned at a BB and then joined a MF analyst program after school (BX/KKR/WP). I have no regrets doing it, but recognized the tradeoffs entering the program. Sharing a few thoughts below, based on my experience: 

Cons 

  • Less reps than banking: training is less standardized, reps and experience are highly dependent on team and getting staffed on the right deals early on. Have to be very proactive about pursuing your own learning and development 
  • Smaller analyst classes: you start off with a slightly smaller junior network but wound up getting really close with other analysts and had enough connections from target classmates / prior internships that it hasn't really mattered yet. You also shoot the shit with the other associates (which are pretty close in age) 
  • Not as standardized skillset: Every firm (sometimes groups within firms) does diligence slightly differently, and emphasizes different types of work. I found my peers in banking all did very similar work (and built the same skills) irrespective of what bank they joined. It was a lot more consistent at the end of 2 years 
  • Org is not designed to train junior talent: Lean teams and a fast pace / high criticality of work isn't the best set up to learn in. Team is still very invested in your training, but the onus is on you to make sure you develop at the right pace 

Pros: 

  • More responsibility earlier on. There's usually an opportunity to start operating as an associate a year in. The team actively encourages (and expects) you to contribute during meetings and share your perspective on the deal. Few other entry-level jobs give you a chance to think that thoroughly about investing 
  • Less grunt work - don't get me wrong, you're still going to get handed all the BS tasks, there are just less of them than in banking
  • Exposure to different types of work - Work is generally more varied, and you build a skillset that is a little more well-rounded than banking. Some tasks may be closer to what a MBB consultant would do 
  • Access to great exit opps: Access to some HF / VC funds after your two years that wouldn't otherwise consider you unless you had 4-6+ years of experience. In my program, all the analysts that left went to other great funds (healthy mix of PE/HF/VC). Many stayed on as associate too. The brand carries a ton of weight wherever you want to go after
  • Greater access to senior people - on 2-3 person deal team, you are spending a lot of time with partners / directors and build a pretty good relationship with them. You also have a chance to build a working relationship with portco talent / industry advisors

Ultimately, the way the programs are designed everyone will have a different experience. I would recommend it to those that feel pretty scrappy about their development and will do the work to make the most out of the experience. 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Aug 9, 2022 - 4:49pm

Basically, are you saying that more entrepreneurial/self starter type people who thrive in a less structured, "go get em" type of environment would be the best fit for PE analyst programs vs IB?
 

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Aug 10, 2022 - 8:15pm

Pretty much - I think the ideal candidate is someone who considered IB but wants / feels ready for a bit more of a challenge and who wants more exposure to investing

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Aug 10, 2022 - 8:07pm

Obviously can't say with certainty as on-cycle is always a toss up (and would have to assume I'd stayed at the BB where I interned), but I believe I would've been competitive and at least received interviews 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 9, 2022 - 3:29pm

Interned in banking and am now working as an analyst in a PE investing role at one of the BBs. Purposely keeping this vague to prevent identification. Title is not accurate. 
 

Pros:

Exposure to investor mindset- close access to partners and participation in IC meetings has allowed me to really understand why an investment makes sense or doesn't make sense. A lot of the IB analysts that have interviewed for our group have trouble thinking through why an investment makes sense in isolation and within the context of our broader strategy. 
Exposure to seniors- I interned at a very lean bank and even there, I would rarely get one-on-one meetings with MDs. In PE, the partners are constantly asking my thoughts about potential investments throughout the diligence process and checking in to see how I am. 
Agency- In my group, we invest in multiple ways in multiple industries and if I show preference for one specific space/type of transaction, I actually get staffed on more of those deals. In IB, I just had to do whatever the staffer assigned.

Hours- There are some long weeks in PE. When you are in an auction or presenting to IC, the hours can get very long. However, on an average basis, the hours are much better than IB. Save for a few known PE sweatshops that I've worked with, most shops have much better hours than IB
 

Cons:

Organization- I think IBs organize their analyst programs better than any other jobs for new hires. There is a clear education structure and timeline of development. In PE, a lot of the learning is just done on your own with higher expectations, so it is hard to catch up to others if you start out behind. 
Camraderie- Given the tiny sizes of analyst classes at most PE shops and the nature of there being so few other young people (only other young people are pre-MBA associates), the bond that IB analyst classes have just isn't present. You are often working in much quieter spaces than PE floors and are expected to resolve most questions yourself. 
Pay- Hardly any shops will pay PE analysts as much as EB IB analysts make even though those PE analysts likely had offers from those places. 
 

Pro/Con:

Travel- Travel for work is unique to PE because you will most likely never do it during your IB analyst stint unless you are unlucky enough to be staffed on a roadshow. Travel is cool when you first start doing it because you get to have paid for travel and go to new places. Unfortunately, like in consulting, many of the site visits/board meetings that you go will not be in glamorous places and will just be full of work.

Network- Your network in PE will be very different than your network in IB. In IB, your network will be close knit with the other analysts who are your own age and will go on to do great things and have opportunities for you as you progress in your career. In PE, your network will pretty much be people older than you and whether they may be people at your shop, sponsors, founders, or bankers, the connections likely won't be as strong but these connections will largely be in more desirable positions sooner. 

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Growth
Aug 9, 2022 - 10:01pm

Work at a growth shop (GA/Insight) and thoroughly enjoy my experience.

While it's true that you probably won't get the same "reps" as in banking / be as model intensive, you're trained to think more like an investor and you spend a ton of time recognizing patterns and trends that lead to disruption of incumbents and get to meet incredible founders routinely (you also meet tons of boring ones as well). In terms of exits, most of my class ended up at great VC, crossover funds, or founded their own companies. Most of these opportunities would be extremely difficult to land if you tried to recruit straight from banking. The other great thing is you travel here and there for conferences and get to meet incredible VCs on a regular basis, eventually becoming close friends with people who tend to be forces to be reckoned with in the earlier stage landscape (this is my way of countering the point of having a small analyst class). Lastly, the small analyst class is perfect since you're extremely unique when applying to new roles down the line compared to the 150 GS analysts all applying to the same firm

Aug 10, 2022 - 2:41am
jmwiii, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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