Wellington WLB and Comp Progression vs MF PE

Hi all,

I'm a college student who recently completed an internship at a MF PE. It was a good experience where I was given a lot of responsibility and was forced to learn/produce a lot, but something that concerns me is the number of hours, week after week, a career (if I were so lucky to be able to stay) at a MF PE would require. I think I like the investing style, but the 65-85 hours a week for a large portion of an investing career at a MF PE seems unavoidable and pretty brutal.

Frankly, I simply don't think I want to work as many hours as that. I want to have significant time to devote to my future family and volunteering. For this reason, I've started the search for something else that doesn't require as many hours but would still satisfy my desire for investing. I have been in communication with Wellington for a few months, and it seems like an awesome place to work from the few conversations I've had with employees there. I wanted to get a sense for the pros and cons of making a career in MF PE vs at Wellington. Could someone please share insight to how comp progresses at Wellington vs a MF like KKR/Bain/TPG? What about WLB? And finally, how likely is it that you get promoted to a senior level position (PM or MD) if you start out of undergrad and are very good at your job? (I know I don't really have a great way to gauge how good I would be as a long-term performer, but I like to think I would do well with a hard work!)

Comments (33)

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  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
1mo 

I don't have any data points on comp for you but Wellington is very well regarded on the street - good culture, internal and upward mobility, top brand if you ever want to go do something else. AM is an interesting job and that is one of the best seats. Don't think it will be a 40hr work week if that is what you're looking for, likely 60ish (call it 7-7 with next to no weekend work) and closer to 70 during earnings.

MF PE will pay more over the long run (you have significant carry included here) but that is over many years of brutal workloads, certainly some weeks higher than 85hrs if sprinting on a deal. If you didn't like the WLB at the internship I would really think you'd hate PE and leave pretty quickly.

My 2 cents - comp is important but not the most important. If you hate your job and WLB you won't get very far in that career. I would take the Wellington offer, you will learn a lot and if you want to lower the workload a bit more once you have a family you will have plenty of exit options.

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
1mo 

I'm inside one of the larger AMs that are private - $20 MM is like 0.01% of partners or senior PMs who have stayed for 20+ years. 95% of PMs make $1 MM to $8 MM (if they're lucky to even hit the high range this year given market vol). I want you to realize that we're paid off AUM and you can look at T. Rowe's AUM to have an idea of the shrink in the industry ($1.8 trillion in Q3 21 to $1.2 trillion YTD). Don't get me started on fees % charged. $20 MM is not the norm at all and you shouldn't be quoting 3 std dev figures to generalize pay. It's like quoting the tech CEO pay for people who the PM program out of a MBA, it's meaningless. 

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
1mo 

Totally agree the top PMs can make ridiculous figures, but that's very very far to the end of the bell curve and fee rate is only going down so that will continue to be under pressure throughout this guy's career. On average a MF PE career will pay more than the average LO AM career, with outliers like your example. But the average LO AM guy works way fewer hours, so it's not a bad tradeoff IMO

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
1mo 

Thanks for your response! I would definitely be ok working 7-7 or 8-9 or something. I think the thing that was concerning me about MF PE was the idea that I could be in my late thirties with three young kids and still have to grind in the office until midnight for a few weeks in a row at certain parts of the year. I know that might sound kind of weird from a college student, but I just want to make sure I have a job and career progression that matches with my other priorities in life (a future family)

  • 1
  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
1mo 

I'm looking around and PMs are sweating that they're down 18% and down vs. benchmark for the 2nd year in a row by 2%+ and there's nothing they can do at year-end and they got expensive mortgages and schools to pay off. Bonus pool are lower by X% vs. last year and they're gonna get comped mostly by performance. What's worse to you? 

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
1mo 

Haven't seen VC / growth, not many startups either. I'm sure you would be attractive for a startup's finance roles, but the people who join AM often are a different type of person than someone looking at a high-risk, high-reward startup - perhaps more common if you're close to the tech sector and focus on growth or pre-IPO companies. Typically "investment management" as a whole is the most common exit - maybe you go work at a HF, big pension, university endowment, IR. Have seen PE/alternatives moves done, often internally. Really though, people don't tend to leave.

AM is a huge business area, so instead of exiting entirely lots of people bounce around within their company or the larger AM field if they don't like their seat. Maybe you don't like active so you give insurance a try, or head into alternatives. Most of these AM companies are very good about internal moves and even encourage them, if you look at their leadership they have moved around a lot while moving up the ranks. 

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other
1mo 

Comp at Wellington specifically is insane if you can make it to the PM/Partner level with your own sleeve then fund. Their culture is truly unparalleled as well. Source: prior intern there 

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other
1mo 

Their research associate program (investing role straight out of undergrad) is ~3-4 years and pays in line with other AM roles around all in $120K-$170K. They also strongly, strongly encourage everyone to get the CFA done during this time. Then if you become an analyst your comp jumps to $250K - $500K. Then the senior levels split between becoming a PM and staying as a career analyst. The PM I worked under that summer I heard took home $10M after a top quartile return that year. 

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
1mo 

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