Urgent: Partners Group vs MMPE

I am an international student who is studying at a top 10 university in the US. I received an offer from Partners Group and a solid MMPE (~5 billion) and I am conflicted choosing between the two. MMPE could be a better offer considering that Partners Group does not have a strong brand name in the US, but I think Partners Group has a better brand name internationally and that would be an important factor if I ever want to return to Asia. Partners Group has been rapidly expanding its direct PE investments, so I consider that a good sign hut am still hesitant because of their overall reputation. Pay is slightly above street (huge pay bump this year compared to last year). I will be in Denver for 1-2 yrs and will be transferred to the NYC office after that. Currently leaning towards Partners Group but any insight would be much appreciated!

Comments (13)

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm

I know people at PG that have gotten on cycle looks and offers. Their analyst program is fairly long standing and is probably one of the best offered by PE firms (in terms of training, not necessarily exits). You won't likely have as strong as a support structure at the MMPE than at PG.

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs

PG's analyst programme is really strong, I know a few people who have been through it and feedback has always been positive. Arguably gives you a better foundation than MM PE which likely will not have the resources to provide you with proper training.

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mrharveyspecter, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The two comments above mine about training are very important, especially if you're coming out of undergrad. Training and branding both matter a fair amount in the early days of your career. One of the big pros/cons with starting out directly in PE is that you often times don't get great training, which makes it harder to move around later on in your career. 

There seems to be some low-key dislike for Partners Group on this forum, mainly due to lower than market comp, but it's a very solid firm and is international, which plays well for you. Denver is a great city and your dollar will go far there. Plus you'll get a good brand in Asia should you want to return and honestly a decent brand in the US as well. I would be curious as to what team you'd be on, are you on the direct team? 

Hard to compare to a generic MM firm, but the MM firm at $5B is pretty sizeable. So not a bad option either. I'd try and assess, either from the partners, or the juniors at that firm what the training program looks like, how common it is for folks to move from analyst to associate. If people have left, where have they gone? Lateraled to other great firms? Or do they kind of get struck moving sideways. 

I lean slightly towards PG for you, just given size, brand, and training. MMPE sounds good too, but probably slightly better if you were more US focused longer term. Can't really go wrong with either though, trust your gut and go with the people you'll think you'll get along with best.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs

Is the MM firm $5B fund size or AUM? If you can give a sense of names it would be helpful for people to help give advice. MMPE is not created equally, some is very prestigious / awesome training ground and there are plenty of no-name shops that just burn analysts on sourcing all day.

Also if it's Audax since I know that's their ballpark fund size, run for the hills. Not enough money in the world for anyone to take an analyst job there

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other

Take Partners Group.   I see the concern a bit more if you are coming from a U.S. only perspective but with the international flair, Partners Group is a probably a much better choice.  Training is decent, not bank-level but still structured.  Compensation lags, but not as much as it used to and is probably fairly compensated for the WLB and actual 25 days of vacation. Arbitrary IC deadlines on Thursday nights / Friday afternoons suck but turn out to be pretty nice as people start logging off after submission on Friday so weekend work is semi-limited compared to other seats.   Also Partners Group due to its large size campus / analyst class still can feel like an extension of college where there is a bullpen and people get drinks after work where at a MM PE fund, you might be the only person under the age of 25. 

Denver isn't the most ideal, especially since its not Denver its Broomfield which is materially worse (you need a car, 30 min commute out of city) and its pretty non-diverse.  The access to hiking and skiing are pretty sick though. COL with the lower compensation is probably equal since you have to factor in 500+  a  month for a car, insurance, and gas to get to Broomfield.    

Recent more stronger exits from the firm at the junior levels across both international and U.S. include Blackstone Credit, KKR Infra, Sixth Street, Ares Special Opportunities, TA Associates, ECP,  EQT Infra, KKR RE Credit, Tishman Speyer, TA Associates, Vitruvian Partners, HIG PE and probably a few extras I'm missing.   For exits, I'd focus on getting at least one rotation onto direct infrastructure and direct private equity but people have been successful from their credit and real estate verticals as well. Mid / senior level exits have been pretty strong as well, so the platform is viewed as a whole well by the industry.    

Lastly Partners Group as a firm is run relatively conservatively (ie; high payout ratio to public shareholders) with a ton of different vehicles / management fee streams so there is a ton of platform stability with some levers that can be pulled if there is a recession rather than firing half the workforce.  

  • Prospect in IB - Gen

150 all in comp living in Denver is definitely above market to be clear. One thing to note is don't bank on moving to NYC after 1-2 years. It is essentially only 3 teams out of 12 that are based out NYC and those only take on an as need basis, so vast majority of NY requests are denied as the firm is trying to expand through denver, not NY.

Take PG if you want the best learning experience and outcomes, take MM if you want to be in NY

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other

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