PE from Wealth Management?

Good afternoon all,

I feel naive for asking, but Is it possible to make the jump from Wealth Management/Advising to Private Equity? I entered the broker business 5 years ago knowing that advising was as far as I would make it without a 4 year degree, so I looked at it as a way to gain client facing & market experience while I finished my degree. I've now graduated from a reputable college, majored in Economics (good GPA), and am at a Wirehouse (hold Srs.7, Srs. 63, Ins. and taking the CFP in a month, although I know most of this is irrelevant to PE). I've always been absolutely fascinated with PE/VC and would jump at an opportunity to make the transition, but I'm afraid that I've gone too far down the rabbit hole and am probably too old at this point (29). Probably doesn't help that I'm in MN either.

Any insight would be much appreciated. Thank you.



Comments (7)

Best Response
Jun 12, 2017 - 7:30pm
saconsult3, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't want to discourage anyone here, but I do think that a transition is highly, highly unlikely given your background and career stage. It's tough enough for kids with very traditional target undergrad ===> BB banking backgrounds to land certain PE jobs, so I would say that unfortunately, your chances are very slim.

That being said, I've seen crazy things be done through hustle, networking, and pure dumb luck. If it's really your passion it never hurts to try, so I'd spend some time on here reading some of the multiple networking guides, other posts about breaking into PE from non-traditional backgrounds, etc. There's some great ones on here. However, if it's not a real dream / passion of yours, I would seriously consider devoting your time and energy elsewhere.

I would add that even if you are successful, your path is almost certainly going to be indirect, with another stepping stone (or two or three) in between your current role and going to work in PE

Best of luck in the process.

Mar 27, 2022 - 10:38am
christian_5, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I know this post is old but i thought i would share my two cents.  Though the path from WM to PE is tough, it's not impossible and 29 is really not that old in my opinion though age does matter.  The reason for that is, as you progress with experience in a different industry, you are perceived as less likely to be successful in a more jr role where your hours and frankly even how your treated will be longer and with a lower level of esteem than what you might be accustomed to.  I will also say it depends on the type of PE you are focusing on.  As way of example, RE PE tends to be more entrepreneurial and forgiving on background and education than generalist PE shops.  Also, networking can sometimes land you a role with a more regional shop focusing on the lower middle market space for example vs at a mega fund where pedigree matters more.  I am in my early 40's and am currently in a sr. Associate role in Acquisitions for a $6Bln real estate fund. I transitioned from wealth management (7 years of experience) to Institutional Fixed Income which gave me the structured finance background in commercial real estate which helped me convince the right people to give me a shot as an Analyst at a Commercial Brokerage Shop ultimately leading me to PERE after a little over a year.  What earlier posts mention about making a few pit stops before landing in PE is 100% true. There is no direct transition i have heard of from wealth management directly into PE without going the Analyst route via IB in the case of generalist PE or CRE brokerage or REIB for RE PE. I would say if you have the opportunity being at this point in your early 30s to go back and get an MBA from target school, there's a good chance that you may be able to get recruited into IB As an analyst or associate (less likely given lack of modeling experience) and cut your teeth.  A couple years of proving yourself here and lasting through that grind and you will likely find exit ops in PE. The last thing I'll say is that WM experience can play An invaluable role as you move up the ranks, at least on the Acquisitions side. The soft skills start to become more important than the hard skills which are most important in JR roles and your skills in negotiation and relationship building is what will win you the deals.  Anyone that says that the wealth management experience is a detriment is only viewing it from the purview of the initial challenge of going from retail to High Finance.  The reality is that if you are able to pull it off and get into PE, what was before a hinderamce can actually be your biggest advantage ocer traditional PE candidates.  

Apr 27, 2022 - 11:37am
JerryOfTheDay, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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