Private Equity vs Banking as First Job (from the Philippines)

Hi guys so I'm a graduating college student who is currently torn on what role to choose as I start my career in finance. I'm taking BS Economics from the Top 1 university in the Philippines. Even though PE sounds like the obvious choice for some of you, it might not have the same brand name effect that might be valuable for me if I decide to move to other companies in the Philippines. But the "PE Analyst" role has a good effect if I apply to jobs or to an MBA abroad.

  • Private Equity (PE)
    • Relatively newer firm (less than 2 years)
    • Everyone in the firm started in banking first, everyone has a good background
    • Out of the 20+ people who were chosen to move into the 2nd round, I was the only one who passed and I got an offer despite competing with experienced hires
    • Pros: Super rare opportunity, I can contribute to the foundations of the firm since it's still new, I won't just be another employee out of a thousand
    • Cons: brand name might not have much brand name effect since it's new, but PE is huge in other countries so can give a plus to my resume, but still not in terms of brand more of hIe role itself
    • Can be pro or con: they expect me to learn the ropes as I go, not much hand holding, good that can be used to this habit of learning myself but I would like a little more training in my first job
  • Banking
    • 2 options, both management trainee (MT) programs: Top 3 PH bank under Investment Banking or Financial Markets Rotation (strong focus on treasury, chances for IB, private banking, etc) under Top 2 PH bank
    • Also interviewing with Top 4 PH bank for management trainee role as well but not too keen on it
    • Context: MT programs are basically our version of giving you a rotationary role first where you rotate different teams or you're treated as a trainee and they give you lectures and trainings for different areas of the bank
    • Applied for a Citibank role but they are pretty slow with starting the process and I don't think I'll be able to push through with it anymore given the timeline
    • Pros of banking: good brand name, if I work abroad I can say "Worked for the 2nd largest bank in the PH", I'm attracted to climbing up the ladder but I know it takes so long, I can get those bank connections since banks are known to work together naman then it's typical to get pirated by a multinational bank like Citi or HSBC or JPM
    • Cons: Bond of MT programs where they make you stay for 2-3 years and if you leave, you have to pay, this rubs me the wrong way because what if an opportunity abroad opens up? They'll fault me for that? This is not a thing in other countries or multinational banks. They justify it
      • Top 2 PH firm for fin markets role offers quite low like not Top 3 PH university levels for sure. This compensation only goes up after 8 months of training.
    • Pro or con: more "Traditional path", usually people start here and then eventually go to PE, I can skip it so faster trajectory for me but I also lose that banking foundation

Basically my thoughts are:

  • If I choose PE, can I still try banking in the future or will that be hard to break into banking if I've established myself in PE?
  • I'm just really conscious of not getting that banking network where I can get connections also from multinatonal firms
  • Kind of scary to go PE since they really expect me to learn the ropes also, while being there to guide me a bit. I'm honestly not that affluent yet with financial modelling but they did like my investment recommendation report which I built from a 3 statement model up to FCFE, FCFF, etc.
    • I take this as a good challenge though
  • Banking has a good upside if I stick it out and climb the ropes
  • I like all the people i've encountered, so that's challenging as well

Addition note:

  • The offer I got from the PE firm is lower than expected, I thought it would be MBB analyst levels but it was not. Do you think I can still negotiate?

I know at the end of the day, it is really up to me and my preferences but I appreciate any insight or thought about this. If you're from another country, what would make me my prospects look better if I go abroad to a financial city like New York or SG?

Comments (5)

Most Helpful
Jun 22, 2021 - 5:25pm
ebitda-d, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Vero iure ullam illo magni ut et. Placeat molestias magnam et nostrum.

Nostrum tempora reiciendis eum reiciendis porro deserunt. Iste officia asperiores quaerat expedita magni delectus. Maxime eveniet nihil rerum ut. Nam officia accusantium consequatur quasi magni maiores nihil.

Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

August 2022 Private Equity

  • The Riverside Company 99.4%
  • Apollo Global Management 98.9%
  • Warburg Pincus 98.3%
  • Blackstone Group 97.8%
  • KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) 97.2%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

August 2022 Private Equity

  • Blackstone Group 99.4%
  • The Riverside Company 98.9%
  • Ardian 98.3%
  • KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) 97.8%
  • Bain Capital 97.2%

Professional Growth Opportunities

August 2022 Private Equity

  • The Riverside Company 99.4%
  • Bain Capital 98.9%
  • Warburg Pincus 98.3%
  • Apollo Global Management 97.8%
  • Blackstone Group 97.2%

Total Avg Compensation

August 2022 Private Equity

  • Principal (8) $676
  • Director/MD (22) $599
  • Vice President (82) $363
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (82) $276
  • 2nd Year Associate (183) $266
  • 1st Year Associate (352) $226
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (28) $157
  • 2nd Year Analyst (74) $134
  • 1st Year Analyst (217) $122
  • Intern/Summer Associate (25) $68
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (260) $58