The possibility of transitioning from MBB to private equiy.

Hello everyone. I have a question about changing career, and I would really appreciate some help.

I've been working in consulting (Bain) for 2.5 years now. This, at first hand, appears as a powerful CV entry; the problem though, I've been working in the middle east (Dubai). I worked primarily within the financial sector, lots of work with SFWs & PEs. My goal is to break into PE in NY or London, after a top MBA. I'm a CFA charterholder and I already have a top European MSc. I only came back to the middle east to be close to my family, but sadly I lost my mother a few months ago. So really I'm kinda desperate for a change, to be completely honest.

I worked on many distinguished projects in finance within the region. The only problem, obviously, is the nature of the work I've been involved in. 75% of the projects were sponsored by governments. A friend in the US told me that it's actually not going to be possible to break into private equity for this specific reason. Furthermore, he told me it's going to be even more complicated because I have no connections to the industry there (US). I'm taking it with a grain of salt, so please tell me what you think. I have a 770 GMAT and I'm all set for an MBA application (2024 class). I could certainly get a PE internship here, but I have to decide now.

Thanks everyone.

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Comments (13)

Mar 24, 2021 - 3:12pm

Given your experience in the region already, have you considered trying to secure a role in PE or for a SWF. I understand a number of SWF (e.g. Mubadala) have direct PE teams.

Mar 24, 2021 - 3:14pm

Perhaps you could then leverage this experience by transferring to another location. NY and London are popular overseas locations for SWF and Pension funds.

Mar 24, 2021 - 8:13pm

I see the logic here, but very rarely do consultants move to SWFs or PEs. They have special requirements that get even tougher if you're an Arab expat such as myself. 

 Also, I really want out. I'm no longer motivated to stay here. I heard about getting an IB associate position right out of MBA then network my way into PE. Does this sound plausible?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 5, 2021 - 1:19pm

Perhaps you could get into non-ME SWFs, like GIC, Temasek, Khazanah, KIC? One route would be to do elite USA MBA and recruit for those positions in NYC/London, most places have offices there

Mar 24, 2021 - 8:49pm

Firstly, I am sorry for your loss.. While, I am not in a place to chime in and hijack the thread, if you would have some time, I would love to be able to DM you and get more information about Consulting and PE in the Middle East (if you check my post history you'll see that I created a thread on it a couple of weeks ago but unfortunately it didn't get a lot of traction.) Let me know if this would be okay with you. Thanks in advance!

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  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Mar 25, 2021 - 2:48pm

Do you like consulting/helping companies operate efficiently? 

If I were you, I would look for PE firms with internal operating teams. Some have leadership programs where you get placed in one of their portfolio companies. I know that its not the same as for PE investment position but it's a way in the industry. Also, many consultants don't like the fact that they don't have the power to make their clients take action on their recommendations. Well, in a PE group those companies have no choice but to take action. 

I have seen ppl go from operating role to investment and vice versa. I cannot comment on how you would be viewed with ME experience. I think London might be more open compared to NYC

Apr 5, 2021 - 6:54am

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 5, 2021 - 11:43am

Can you post it here too? Would love to hear your insights too, as I am a first year analyst at a top group in the middle east but am interested in making a transition to the US.

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