Is MFPE the holy grail or overrated?

It seems like everybody just wants to eventually move to mf pe on this forum, I'm really curious, it this just because of this website being an echo chamber and there r actually many better options, or is mf pe rlly the top spot to be?

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Comments (12)

Most Helpful
May 1, 2021 - 2:07pm

The thing that was surprised me was how non-competitive Sr. Associate/VP spots were internally. It's immediately clear within the first 6 months that 80-90% of the associates have no interest in sticking around and moving up. Watching partners grind with you for weeks during a key phase of a deal several times a year is pretty disheartening let alone the decade+ grind to get there.

Don't get me wrong, getting a VP spot is highly competitive, but in a MF class of 15, it's probably 3-4 people competing for 1-2 spots. The primary source of competition is external. Frankly, there are a lot better ways to live.

May 1, 2021 - 4:07pm

Bschool, go to MM/UMM PE, go to HF (you'll be able to interview for the top ones from a MF firm vs out of IB) or exit to industry. There was a really great post that I can't find right now about a former MF associate posting where people from his class ended up a few years down the line - I don't think a single one was still at the same firm and most of the people were at lower check size PE firms that had better WLB or doing start-ups. 

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  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
May 1, 2021 - 3:35pm

On the whole it has been an underwhelming experience. I played myself by getting caught up in the ideas that prestige and making $300k my third year out of school matter at all.

  • The job is accounting and project management which is boring and frankly not that challenging; the challenge is the endurance of working for sometimes weeks/months straight
  • The people are generally type-A finance hardos that are not particularly pleasant to spend time around (no, [piece of analysis] doesn't need to get done today, tomorrow actually would be fine)
  • There is little respect for personal lives as a general industry norm
  • You top out what you're learning pretty quickly; you either know accounting well enough to figure things out on your own, or you don't; you either can run a process clean enough that the wheels don't fall off the bus, or you can't
  • There is little room for creativity or self directed work; generally you just recreate old templates and do more processing than design or creation of anything unique

There are certainly pros but since you asked about whether it's overrated, then yes, as an end in and of itself it's pretty overrated. It can be a necessary stepping stone, which increasingly is what I've noticed the position being used for. If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably chill as high up in the lower middle market up until the point that every deal you see is banked.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 1, 2021 - 7:00pm

Thanks I was wary of this, and am trying my luck out at a LMM PE firm (just raised a ~$500M fund) close to my home town, rather than aiming for a UMM or MF right out of IB. Fingers crossed it works out.

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