PE recruitment from MBB (fall 2022)

New MBB employee looking to recruit for PE this year (and next year if that doesn't go to plan). Thinking of trying to target firms like bain cap which are more consultant-friendly (and I've heard often don't even make you do paper LBOs) as I haven't had much time to prep. Questions:

  1. I've heard of some people getting offers already but no headhunters have even reached out to me- does anyone know anything about this year's timeline? And should I be reaching out to them myself?

  2. Which UMMs/MFs are specifically very consultant friendly?

  3. Any resume formatting tips for PE instead of consulting would be helpful

  4. Tips for interview preps/ what to expect

  5. In general I feel like there are fewer resources for PE online than there are for MBB, particularly when trying to avoid firms which focus more on technical financial skills. If anyone could point me in the right direction for resources that work that would also be greatly appreciated. 

  6. I've heard there's an April recruiting window too- is this still on cycle and do most firms recruit then?


Comments (8)

Most Helpful
  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Aug 16, 2022 - 11:15pm

I did the MBB to MF PE jump -- my thoughts:

  1. Unfortunately not super in tune with on-cycle these days but haven't heard anything yet.
  2. MF: H&F, Advent, Bain Cap, Francisco, Permira, Apax, and I've seen TPG/Warburg take a few as well. UMM: New Mountain, Golden Gate, HGGC, Berkshire, Charkesbank, Serent, etc. A lot of firms don't update their websites for the new crop of associates immediately so you can go on LinkedIn to get the most up to date background info to see who they hire.
  3. Highlight your due diligence cases, including a one line summary and a couple of bullets about what you did on each diligence. I'd include strong hard stats if you have them as well e.g., SAT, GPA, etc.
  4. Know your due diligence case work like the back of your hand. Be able to talk about those deals as if you were an investor. What were the key drivers, would you invest, at what price, etc. Also, I would recommend prepping 3 statement LBOs but you have to at least be able to do a paper LBO and be able to look at the key numbers and determine what's driving returns.
  5. WSO has a solid PE prep pack that folks use. This website I believe is actually where I first learned the mechanics of an LBO: Otherwise I think there are some other posts on the forum that highlight good resources. 
  6. I haven't heard of another specific window outside on-cycle. Everything outside of on-cycle is just off-cycle in my experience.

Didn't go super in depth here so feel free to ask any follow-up questions

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Aug 18, 2022 - 3:54pm

It's really about starting from the basics and practicing. No real short cut. I'd start by learning the accounting fundamentals--three statements, how they tie, etc. It'll take time but isn't difficult. Then from there you can start by learning how to do a paper LBO, then an LBO w/o a full BS/CFS build and then full three statement LBOs. In particular I think there are a lot of resources online that explain how the LBO works step by step and that's what I found most helpful getting over the hump in my understanding.

  • Associate Consultant in Consulting
Aug 18, 2022 - 7:16pm

You didn't have to learn this for the interview process though, did you? 

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Aug 18, 2022 - 11:07pm

It'll depend on the shop. Even if you don't need to know a three statement model, understanding the mechanics will help with answering other interview questions. Frankly, my view was that I was obviously going to need it on the job so I would need to learn it sooner or later. Sure, MFs do provide training but usually it's pretty cursory. I was thrown onto a deal pretty quickly when I started and the VP who I worked with came from a MF that didn't take consultants. He didn't care that I was a consultant and frankly just wanted a clean model. All that to say I'd suggest just picking it up now. 

Aug 17, 2022 - 10:01pm
CadStud, what's your opinion? Comment below:

On your fifth question, Peak Frameworks offers an on-cycle PE recruiting guide that has good reviews. I haven't used it but iirc it's not super expensive. Not sure how consultant friendly it is.

  • Associate Consultant in Consulting
Aug 17, 2022 - 10:40pm

I wouldn't do oncycle this year if you're not confident yet. If you take interviews with firms and don't land the offer, that's it, you will not get another chance for an Associate role there ever again. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 18, 2022 - 11:47pm

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