2021 On-Cycle Private Equity Recruiting

Given how much of a black box the PE recruiting cycle is, I thought it would be nice to have one thread where users can post regarding updates to the 2021 on-cycle process. For example, if folks could give updates about recent firm events they've been to, I know that everybody would appreciate the information.


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Comments (144)

Sep 3, 2019 - 3:48pm

My sense is if you're at all qualified you'll get the invite. Pretty much a mass blast based on talking with peers

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Sep 7, 2019 - 11:44am

Pace is really picking up seems to be all squished this upcoming week. Any thoughts on being able to study this week and be ready or should one take themselves off on cycle?

Which firms have you heard holding events? I'm aware of TSSP and EPC

  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Sep 11, 2019 - 11:17am

Be ready to go as early as this weekend. Not a guarantee it'll happen but you never know. I've heard from multiple friends and sources that most of the MFs are ready... It'll likely kick off again with a SF-based fund (GG, Thoma Bravo) coming out to NYC on a whim to interview kids, then everyone will go. That's how it happened the past few years. Good luck to those of you about to go through this shit show

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2019 - 1:52am

Why would I troll about this at 2 AM. A friend of mine got an offer from a firm and that same firm is having interviews tomorrow. Name is good enough that megafunds will follow. Believe me if you want. Idc.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 12, 2019 - 3:50am

Some serious advice -- if it's a surprise to you that on-cycle is kicking off, don't go to interviews, don't burn any bridges with head hunters, and don't freak out.

The people who will land jobs in the next couple of days are not surprised. They have multiple touchpoints with the firms launching through coffee chats and cocktail hours, they've been prepping all summer, already met with HHs and are in the absolute best groups on WS. They're also probably not on WSO right now. If this isn't you, that's fine. It wasn't me.

There will be plenty of opportunities to move to the buyside later this year and throughout your careers. You don't need to feel anxiety about locking in an offer for two years from now, three weeks into your first job out of college just because roughly 100 kids will over the next few days.

-- Sincerely,

A second year analyst who watched this circus play out last year, pulled his hair out and was offered interviews with TPG and Apollo 6+ months later... because funds will underhire... because there's risk involved in hiring exclusively applicants who don't yet know how to do the job they're being hired to do.. even if they have otherwise spotless resumes..

Sep 12, 2019 - 4:23am

Pulling out of oncycle. any tips on how to maintain those bridges so I get interviews and offers at megafunds like you did? When did you start prepping and hitting up headhunters recruiting as a 2nd yr? I am assuming you're at a MF? How did you structure your response to why you didn't go your first year?

Sep 14, 2019 - 11:37am

Following this. I have no interest in doing this madness 3 weeks onto the desk. If I recruit as a 2nd year, could I negotiate to start after the 2nd year, or do I have to wait until the end of the 3rd year?

Sep 12, 2019 - 9:32am

FYI - TA has been running a process for an immediate 2019 / 2020 start. This could be what you're hearing about, or they're kicking off since their interviewers are ramped up anyways.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2019 - 2:14pm

TA Associates is doing "coffee chats" for 4 hours where you meet the partners. That's not a coffee chat anymore. They just don't want to be the ones who kick it off but they might as well be at this point.

Sep 12, 2019 - 2:19pm
1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions :

TA Associates is doing "coffee chats" for 4 hours where you meet the partners. That's not a coffee chat anymore. They just don't want to be the ones who kick it off but they might as well be at this point.

Curious to know if any first years were invited. May be that firms are running different "on-cycle" processes for first and second years (ie 2021 start for the former and 2020 start for the latter)?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2019 - 2:23pm

There are also people (1st years) who are going BACK today for more "coffee chats."

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Sep 12, 2019 - 2:28pm

I know this process gets crazier every year and things change year to year but GOING TO THE FIRM's OFFICE and sitting there for A FEW COFFEE CHATS sounds like an interview to me...

Traditionally, most coffee chats and other 1-1 meetings are not at the firm office - which I believe is to **ENSURE **that no one think it's an interview

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2019 - 2:40pm

If it's really solely TA associates I don't think that would push things over the edge. Top notch candidates who prefer buyout over growth won't take a TA offer at this stage.

Sep 12, 2019 - 7:26pm

A few upper MM names have interview requests out (for interviews tonight) and some other upper MM names will be sending them out tomorrow.

Separately - have heard a few larger names will not go immediately (I think a few publicly have stated this or at least their HR has talked to our HR about this).

Interestingly TA HR has been denying that any recruiting was going on during the day today (to our HR team) so unclear if they're internallytalking to deal teams or how close they are to any process which is going on there.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2019 - 8:33pm

How will firms even ask about deal experience?? Most people only hit the desk a month ago (some even less). There's no way anyone has done anything significant on a deal or talk much about it...

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Sep 13, 2019 - 9:12am

If you are asking this question at this point, chances are, you are not ready. Sorry to break it to you.

Sep 14, 2019 - 4:17pm

If you're a first year analyst and are unsure if you're prepared enough than there's not much upside to going through the on-cycle process this time around. Being able to leave IB after two years instead of three will be meaningless in the long run of your career. Just start prepping and introduce yourself to headhunters after all this dies down.

Sep 13, 2019 - 9:59am

Given that on-cycle was really early this year and candidates have barely hit the desk for about a month or less, does this mean that potentially more spots will be open during the off-cycle process? I've heard some of the bigger funds were still filling 2020 spots as of a month or two ago.

Sep 13, 2019 - 10:14am

Yes this is what's happening.

Even more reason to sit this one out if youre not fully prepared

  • 2
Sep 14, 2019 - 4:09pm

Assuming you're a first year analyst and are not interested in on-cycle 2021 I'd recommend just laying low till this craziness dies down. Spend your time preparing for headhunter introductions and then reach out to them once this process is over. They'll have much more time for you. At that point you can tell them you're interested in off-cycle opportunities and/or participating in next year's 2022 on-cycle process.

Sep 16, 2019 - 11:37pm

Thanks for the advice. How do you best position yourself for HH intros? Would you recommend reaching out the HHs or talk to analysts who has received offers to get a warm intro? Also, I've heard that HHs expect analyst to know/be specific of what kind of opportunities you're looking for (investment strategy, fund size, industry, etc.) Based on your experience, how specific does that need to get?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 15, 2019 - 6:55pm

Unsure if the process is complete. But offers were given out on Thursday.

Sep 14, 2019 - 7:45pm

Heard LGP had interviews. Anyone know if they are done?

Sep 15, 2019 - 2:19pm

What "deal experience" is everyone even talking about? The model outputs they twice pasted in the slides during their SA stint?


Sep 15, 2019 - 5:21pm

For people in the Netherlands: the FSA (financial study association) organizes a yearly event for PE named PE cycle. The event takes place in Amsterdam. I've never been there since this year is my final year of my bachelor, but I believe that it is a good event since there are a handful of companies present. Something similar is most likely organized in Rotterdam by the financial student association in Rotterdam (idk what the name is).

Edit: Why is there monkey shit thrown? Not everyone is from the US of the UK

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