Alternative routes into PE

UmamiSalami's picture
Rank: Baboon | 128

Aside from IB (and people who do PE right out of undergrad) where do the most private equity people come from? Is corporate development the next most common transition?

Comments (119)

Jan 29, 2016

MBB consulting is the next most common

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Jan 29, 2016

Like @chinchopperchinchopper" said, consulting. And in reality anything else is an outlier and not really worth considering as an option. CD is more likely an exit from IB and PE and while it can happen, it's really uncommon.

Jan 29, 2016

corporate development to PE is very, very rare. IB is the most common. MBB consulting is too, although the percentage of that compared to IB is much smaller.

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Jan 30, 2016

How common is the move from leverage finance or mezzanine finance to private equity?

Jan 30, 2016
msc0702:

How common is the move from leverage finance or mezzanine finance to private equity?

Ton of PE guys were ex-lev fin bankers as analysts; especially in more credit focused shops (like turnaround and distressed PE shops). On mezz shops, this is usually post IBD stints, so I would think more difficult from mezz to PE as a lateral hire but definitely still doable; just maybe not as likely going from 2 yr lev fin analyst stint to PE associate standard path. @msc0702

Jan 31, 2016

lev fin - doable, happens. mezz - not so much.

Feb 1, 2016

Commercial banking is another avenue. Much more common to see ex-commercial bankers in MM firms that utilize regional banks as their primary source of debt financing. Not only is the ex-commercial banker's relationship with his/her former employer of value to a PE firm, for a niche PE firm specifically, an ex-commercial banker brings valuable relationships and a knowledge of the focus industry that can enhance deal flow. These guys are essentially salesmen...

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Feb 9, 2016

What? I have never heard of anyone moving from commercial banking to PE, MM or not. That makes no sense that a PE firm will hire someone from a regional commercial bank just because they will maintain the relationship with their previous employer.

Feb 9, 2016
straight cash homie:

Commercial banking is another avenue. Much more common to see ex-commercial bankers in MM firms that utilize regional banks as their primary source of debt financing. Not only is the ex-commercial banker's relationship with his/her former employer of value to a PE firm, for a niche PE firm specifically, an ex-commercial banker brings valuable relationships and a knowledge of the focus industry that can enhance deal flow. These guys are essentially salesmen...

Link or it didn't happen.

Feb 11, 2016
EightAceTres:

Link or it didn't happen.

Random firms that I'm aware of:

http://www.scfpartners.com/team/ http://www.capstreet.com/capstreet-team/

I personally work with more than one in my shop.

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Mar 30, 2016

I don't think I've ever seen someone go straight from commercial to PE. Commercial banking provides a fine middle class American dream, with a decent salary and a 9-5 lifestyle on most days, but it basically a salesman going door to door to meet monthly quotas.

The best route is likely Commercial Banking at a shop that has an IB arm, then to PE. Comerical > IBD (Corp. Banking > PE. This is still very difficult.

Feb 9, 2016

sorry, commercial banking is not a viable route.

Feb 12, 2016

I just found some old threads where people said that you could move into energy PE from project finance... thoughts? I called a project finance guy and he said that technically project finance is a type of commercial banking, so is it an exception?

Feb 15, 2016

How about from S&T to PE?

Feb 15, 2016

I went engineer > MBA > infra PE.

Feb 15, 2016

Infra PE?

Feb 15, 2016

Google: Infra PE

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Feb 15, 2016

I've heard of Big 4 to PE being a thing in the UK, don't know much about the specifics.

Feb 15, 2016

Yes, that's correct.

The path in the UK is usually: Big4 Audit > Big4 CorpFin > MM PE.

Sometimes people break into CorpFin straight out of uni, but the above is more common. Would add that some people break in straight after they're ACA qualified and skip the stint in CF altogether. Same path applies for breaking into IBD.

Array

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Feb 15, 2016

Doesn't really work for breaking in as an analyst or associate. But I've seen places take on Operating Partners who were serial entrepreneurs with no finance background.

Feb 15, 2016

So, recently admitted to a top-mba(HBS). I want to work in PE but have no prior finance experience. I heard that it is really tough to go MBA>IB>PE. Is MBA>MBB consulting>PE more viable?

Or is it more likely that PE is not a realistic career goal for me at this point.

Best Response
Feb 15, 2016

Lots of doorknobs in this thread treating PE as one uniform group when in fact, there are many layers to the PE landscape.

Of course, if you focus on top-tier PE firms (Blackstone, KKR, Apollo, Bain, etc.) the only paths to there are from consulting outside of IB.

However, the farther down the food chain you go, the more unstructured the hiring process is and the more likely people from non-traditional backgrounds (commercial banking, Big 4 advisory, etc.) can break in. There are more firms than you can imagine with sub-$500M in AUM that are plenty busy doing lots of regional and middle-market work and almost hire entirely through local relationships.

Think about, what does a smaller local player want to hire? Someone already embedded in the local deal scene or some know-it-all from Wall Street that doesn't give a shit about the community? (An exaggeration to make a point) There are a lot of qualitative factors that people don't consider on this board.

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Feb 17, 2016
LeveragedTiger:

Lots of doorknobs in this thread treating PE as one uniform group when in fact, there are many layers to the PE landscape.

Of course, if you focus on top-tier PE firms (Blackstone, KKR, Apollo, Bain, etc.) the only paths to there are from consulting outside of IB.

However, the farther down the food chain you go, the more unstructured the hiring process is and the more likely people from non-traditional backgrounds (commercial banking, Big 4 advisory, etc.) can break in. There are more firms than you can imagine with sub-$500M in AUM that are plenty busy doing lots of regional and middle-market work and almost hire entirely through local relationships.

Think about, what does a smaller local player want to hire? Someone already embedded in the local deal scene or some know-it-all from Wall Street that doesn't give a shit about the community? (An exaggeration to make a point) There are a lot of qualitative factors that people don't consider on this board.

This exactly.

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Feb 18, 2016

No way. You think a $350mm PE shop in, lets say Dallas, gives a shit if you care about the community? If you're a commercial banker in Texas? Seriously, think this through. PE seniors (I'm at the VP level and in charge of hiring associates) give a shit about 2 things: (i) someone that can get shit done well and timely and (ii) someone they can get along with. The first part is extremely important, and is very risky. PE shops don't have the ability to take a chance on someone. If I'm hiring 2 associates a year, they need to kill it. I can't take a chance that one or both of them will suck. Deal teams are way too lean. And whether it's true or not, given that most PE guys came from IBD background, we're going to prefer guys with that background as well because we know it's a much safer bet than anything else and don't want to take a chance on a Big 4 guy no matter how brilliant he may be.

It's sad but true. Put yourself in my shoes. Two guys, both seem brilliant, one is Big 4 and one is IBD. I'm going to go with the IBD guy every time. At the minimum, I know he has no qualms working 90 hours a week if needed.

Feb 19, 2016

I understand this mindset. However, it's entirely dependent on the fund. Lower-middle market funds that operate in a niche market segment are more prone to straying from the conventional IBD-->PE candidates. The partner in charge of hiring at my fund (a banker himself for 10+ years) has stated his preference for not hiring associates from IBD.

That's not to detract from your two hiring criteria. We only hire based on inside referrals, which mitigates the risk of hiring some piece of shit associate.

Feb 19, 2016

I'm much more of this attitude. I didn't get into PE through IB so I don't have that personal bias but I'll hire an IB'ER 9/10 times for a generic associate role, and I'll leave aside niche products like O&G or HC where a specific engineering or science background may be helpful. Like everything you've said, deal teams are too lean to take a risk and I know that a decent performing IB analyst has the skill set to at least be good, so from the employer's perspective there's isn't much reason to take a risk on someone outside of that. It doesn't mean I haven't hired outside of IB and it's worked out but I play the odds and the odds tell me that someone who's been an analyst will almost certainly be able to perform the job and will hit the ground running. If we're looking for more niche roles, like someone to be more operational we'll look towards consultants, and I'm more apt to bring on a Big 4 type if I know them, have worked deals with them and thought they were top notch (after you ask to circumvent the NDA and contract about poaching employees...). Honestly I'm more likely to hire a non-IB person into a higher level role because they have some sort of professional background and accomplishments that would fit us and/or a need we have.

I'm not saying that non-IB'ers never get hired into PE associate roles, but as someone who has been in the lower MM to MM for a while, the vast majority of the people I know in PE come from an IB background, especially for the last 10-15 years.

Feb 15, 2016

Do you guys think there is a shot at going valuation -> PE pre-MBA? I know I could be in the valuation side at a PE firm but i'm talking about on the deal side.

I'd obviously have the modeling exp. but I think the no-deal exposure (at least compared to a banker) would hurt me.

Nov 26, 2016

What about equity research?
Is ER->PE common?

Nov 27, 2016
Kevin25:

What about equity research?Is ER->PE common?

No.

Dec 3, 2016

Has anyone seen someone move from a long/short HF to PE?

Dec 21, 2016

My path:

MBB -> bank long/short prop desk -> $40Bn+ PE fund -> SWF PE

Very, very unusual though.

Also, I have seen one case of Corp Dev -> HSW MBA -> PE MF and one case of Corp Dev -> PE MF, though 70% of the investment professionals I've met there had banking background, ~20% MBB, ~10% other PE funds/etc.

Dec 21, 2016

I don't really have much substantive to add to this thread other than that 1 is my plan and of the people I've talked in PE they have all stated it's definitely doable, you just need to have a quick learning curve and be looking to make the switch almost immediately. Also that since there are less slots its more competitive (meaning that MM PE shop that hires Stifel analysts may only hire BB associate level hires).

Definitely interested in hearing more experienced thoughts on this.

Dec 21, 2016

I worked as a structural engineer and heavy industrial construction superintendant in an engineering consulting firm for three years prior to doing my MBA. I leveraged this experience networking with an infrastructure private equity office and was able to land a job in infrastructure private equity directly out of the MBA.

I understand you're trying to be MECE with your points above, but you don't necessarily need to set up a play to go for the three-pointer - sometimes you find yourself open and free to take a shot.

If you're set on PE then plan #1 and #2 can become great pivot points (especially if you can get a good brand name stamped on your CV), but nothing is stopping you from trying to get into a PE shop directly out of school.

My 2 cents.

Dec 21, 2016
undefined:

I worked as a structural engineer and heavy industrial construction superintendant in an engineering consulting firm for three years prior to doing my MBA. I leveraged this experience networking with an infrastructure private equity office and was able to land a job in infrastructure private equity directly out of the MBA.

I understand you're trying to be MECE with your points above, but you don't necessarily need to set up a play to go for the three-pointer - sometimes you find yourself open and free to take a shot.

If you're set on PE then plan #1 and #2 can become great pivot points (especially if you can get a good brand name stamped on your CV), but nothing is stopping you from trying to get into a PE shop directly out of school.

My 2 cents.

Isn't one of the main issues that IBD/MBB recruiting is done before PE recruiting starts so if you wait for and then strike out at PE recruiting you've also missed the other two?

Dec 21, 2016

Full time IBD/MBB recruiting is usually September/October for the following summer full-time starts. I'm not sure when PE recruiting is to be honest. The process of my office doesn't fit the typical schedule and so I got hired in August, started in September and worked the probationary period (full-time) while finishing the second year of my MBA (took all my courses in the evenings).

I don't see why you couldn't go through recruiting for IBD/MBB in the fall and try to land the best gig possible. Then also follow the recruiting process for PE and if you get a better opportunity just renege on your previous offer. I know it goes against the honour code, but you don't owe any of these companies and they won't show much compassion if you don't perform either. You owe it to yourself and your family to secure the best opportunities possible and if they're reasonable they'll understand that. There are ways to act professionally and be a gentleman about it - you're not necessarily burning bridges.

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Dec 21, 2016
undefined:

Full time IBD/MBB recruiting is usually September/October for the following summer full-time starts. I'm not sure when PE recruiting is to be honest. The process of my office doesn't fit the typical schedule and so I got hired in August, started in September and worked the probationary period (full-time) while finishing the second year of my MBA (took all my courses in the evenings).

I don't see why you couldn't go through recruiting for IBD/MBB in the fall and try to land the best gig possible. Then also follow the recruiting process for PE and if you get a better opportunity just renege on your previous offer. I know it goes against the honour code, but you don't owe any of these companies and they won't show much compassion if you don't perform either. You owe it to yourself and your family to secure the best opportunities possible and if they're reasonable they'll understand that. There are ways to act professionally and be a gentleman about it - you're not necessarily burning bridges.

Ya - I was referring to the internship timeline of like January/February of your first year. But I appreciate the insight. Definitely an interesting take.

Dec 21, 2016

Geez kid,

You need to be a little more laconic in your posts. I currently work at a fund. BlackRock is the better bet in this case. The demand for i-banking backgrounds has suffered abeyance until further notice. (At least 5 years) Good luck.

"In the end, there can be only one..."

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time

Dec 21, 2016

I don't know enough about that program to comment on it. But as far as how hard the path through corporate strategy to energy PE is, well, take a look at the management bios of First Reserve, Riverstone, Lime Rock, etc... How often do you see non-financial services backgrounds? Not that often, right? There's your answer...

Dec 21, 2016
alexpasch:

I don't know enough about that program to comment on it. But as far as how hard the path through corporate strategy to energy PE is, well, take a look at the management bios of First Reserve, Riverstone, Lime Rock, etc... How often do you see non-financial services backgrounds? Not that often, right? There's your answer...

Thanks for the response. Well I've definitely been forwards and backwards over the Bios on First Reserve/Denham/Highstar etc. The vast majority of course come directly from IBD backgrounds, slightly less so in Infra. funds, but as I understand Corp Strat. teams are very small in comparison to the number of people employed in FO financial services, and I'd assume they often pursue senior management positions. I guess what I'm saying is I don't mind sacrificing 100-150K in salary over 2-3 years and maybe tacking on an extra couple of years to my career progression if there's a statistically significant probability of reaching the same destination with a ~7 year horizon?

"Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns or dollars."

Dec 21, 2016

For energy PE your best bet is energy finance, meaning, IB (think Barclays and JPM, big players in Houston IB). An engineering focused job plus MBA can land you into PE, but in an "engineer" type role (still not a bad gig) where you can help analyze the operational aspects of energy companies.

Joining as a financial analyst in big oil won't do you any good. Commodities S&T is not as removed but still specialized in the sense that it's not PE related.

If you are interested in industry but not finance, then I wouldn't recommend PE for you. Your best bet is geology or petroleum engineering, then join an integrated oil firm (XOM etc) where you will be a revenue generator, not a cost center. Being a geologist, chemical engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, etc. will be very lucrative and you can even have a great work/life balance like a 9/80 schedule. You also have opportunities to work on a rig for two weeks then off for two weeks. Those roles are far more hands on and industry oriented. IB and PE are purely finance, and industry knowledge isn't as prized as financial knowledge. So by the end of the day you should ask yourself whether you want to do something industry or finance.

Dec 21, 2016

@ electriclighto: Thanks for the advice. I'm not an engineer, although I started university as an engineering student, so even though I'm interested in this rather quant/science oriented graduate business program, I'm still more financially than operationally motivated.

I would never be a "financial analyst" haha, I'm looking for something of comparable selectivity (sp?) to IBD, which of course I may still pursue.

The main question is what is best for energy INFRASTRUCTURE PE? Of course PE guys dealing with portfolio companies, LBOs, etc. are likely to be bankers as they're focusing on the value of firms. I, however, would like to end up at a team like First Reserve's Infra team, Denham, or Highstar's Infra. where I could invest in midstream and upstream ASSETS over long holding periods.

My logic might be flawed, but it seems that the complexity of deepwater, transmission, and midstream assets would mandate a more highly technical and broader knowledge base than would be demanded by traditional PE roles at companies like Limerock, Riverstone, First Reserve (PE), NGP etc.

"Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns or dollars."

Dec 21, 2016

I would venture to say those in infrastructure PE are still in PE, as in those investments would need to be valued and exited. The underlying knowledge for these types of skills can be found in engineers with experience in that particular industry but my best guess is that those groups still recruit from traditional finance roles like IB. Truth is the particulars of industry (like deepwater, transmission, and midstream assets) only need so much knowledge - like fee structure, operational costs, contracts, location, competition, etc. - and not anything intensive like how a blowout preventer is designed or what not, which makes it easier for, say, energy IB analysts who have learned these things on the job to be targets for those firms.

Dec 21, 2016
electriclighto:

I would venture to say those in infrastructure PE are still in PE, as in those investments would need to be valued and exited. The underlying knowledge for these types of skills can be found in engineers with experience in that particular industry but my best guess is that those groups still recruit from traditional finance roles like IB. Truth is the particulars of industry (like deepwater, transmission, and midstream assets) only need so much knowledge - like fee structure, operational costs, contracts, location, competition, etc. - and not anything intensive like how a blowout preventer is designed or what not, which makes it easier for, say, energy IB analysts who have learned these things on the job to be targets for those firms.

Thanks electriclighto, I'm sure you are right. I love finance but I just hate alot of the aspects of investment banking. I guess I was just desperately looking for an alternative to two years of being an excel jockey. Odds are, I'll suck it up and do my tour in IBD. It'll be my personal Vietnam.

"Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns or dollars."

Dec 21, 2016

bump

Dec 21, 2016

1. Kind of, but top consulting also works
2. Haven't seen a single one of those guys in PE, maybe growth equity firms

Dec 21, 2016
wallstreetoasis3:

1. Kind of, but top consulting also works

2. Haven't seen a single one of those guys in PE, maybe growth equity firms

Thanks for the reply.
1. If you can't get top MBB either (I'm assuming you mean McKinsey/Bain/BCG)... then what can you do to break in (assume you work at the tech firm pre-MBA)?
2. Where have you seen them progress to if they want too leave the tech firm?

Dec 21, 2016

bump

Dec 21, 2016

Keep trying to break in.

Biz dev type roles at a Google/Facebook are for, as others have mentioned, ex-banker/consultant/PE types. You'd probably have a better chance of getting that job as a Google engineer than as a Google...IDK, whatever their business rotational thing is for fresh college grads. (That being said, marketing at Google would be pretty sick. their ad team is pretty legit).

    • 1
Dec 21, 2016
LBJ's hair:

Keep trying to break in.

Biz dev type roles at a Google/Facebook are for, as others have mentioned, ex-banker/consultant/PE types. You'd probably have a better chance of getting that job as a Google engineer than as a Google...IDK, whatever their business rotational thing is for fresh college grads. (That being said, marketing at Google would be pretty sick. their ad team is pretty legit).

If you work in corporate/business development or a sales/business strategy role at Google/Facebook/Apple can you move to the buyside?

I've seen people at these firm start off in another role (on the business side) and lateral to corp/bus development (without a consulting/banking background) and am therefore curious.

Dec 21, 2016
hopesanddreams:
LBJ's hair:

Keep trying to break in.

Biz dev type roles at a Google/Facebook are for, as others have mentioned, ex-banker/consultant/PE types. You'd probably have a better chance of getting that job as a Google engineer than as a Google...IDK, whatever their business rotational thing is for fresh college grads. (That being said, marketing at Google would be pretty sick. their ad team is pretty legit).

If you work in corporate/business development or a sales/business strategy role at Google/Facebook/Apple can you move to the buyside?

I've seen people at these firm start off in another role (on the business side) and lateral to corp/bus development (without a consulting/banking background) and am therefore curious.

Did corp strat at google/facebook etc. and transitioned (not vc). This is probably more true for the higher level people, but they do value operating experience. PM me for deets.

    • 1
Dec 21, 2016

bumpity bump

Dec 21, 2016

Plenty of info in the private equity forum if you do a search. And you're right, it is too early to be thinking about this stuff.

Dec 21, 2016

Generally easier to do BB --> anything than MM --> anything. Unless your MM shop has close contacts at certain PE firms.

People tend to think life is a race with other people. They don't realize that every moment they spend sprinting towards the finish line is a moment they lose permanently, and a moment closer to their death.

Dec 21, 2016

depends.

the good part about some good boutiques / MMs is that you work exclusively with M&A deals, which is what most PE shops look for. A lot of the times if you are in a BB, you might not even get to close (or maybe even touch) a M&A deal your first year. However..if you are in GS or ms then it's a different story because the names will get you the interview anyway

Dec 21, 2016

small sample size be damned - the one MM PE associate i've spoken to about this mentioned that they look to MM banks before BBs when recruiting new associates

Dec 21, 2016

The best advice I can give you is to take a look at the MM PE shops that you are interested in working at and look at the backgrounds of their associates. MM PE shops almost always list their full members with bios. They also seem to have a habit of hiring from the same banks/groups. Some always seem to get their associates from BBs while others look to the prevalent MM banks.

Dec 21, 2016

is that amount what he told you, or what you think?

Dec 21, 2016

He told me with a smile on his face, "Most people in my position make 200K+ with a 100% Bonus"

Dec 21, 2016

how difficult is it to get a position in a good p/e firm considering how hot that field is and the number of applicats? what can someone do to help boost their qualifications?

Dec 21, 2016

Where did he get his MBA?

Dec 21, 2016

This guy is 25 with an MBA in his pocket, and is a PE Senior Associate ?

So this guy graduated from College at the age of , let's assume, 22. Went straight to Grad school, got a job offer during his internship from a PE shop despite having no prior experience. So he graduates and joins them at the age of 24, and is suddenly now a Senior Associate at 25 ?.

Unless of course he graduated early from high school and College which would give him two years work experience in between, which still isn't enough I believe, to land a spot in a good MBA program.

There are a lot of holes in this story mate, he's probably 27-29 at the very least or simply a genius that was in high demand.

Dec 21, 2016

Usually MBAs join PE shops as Vice President or Senior Associate. Compensation of $200k or more is market. Associates or some Senior Associates are pre-MBA positions.

Dec 21, 2016

Take a look at the websites of some PE firms you'd be interested in, specifically the team pages. 90%+ of the associates will have come from IB, so your best bet is to get into an IB analyst program. Start contacting headhunters (Oxbridge, Glocap, HSP, Dyanimics Search, etc.) and networking with alumni so you can try to lateral.

CFA may be of some value, but probably moreso if you were looking at HF's. A better use of your time would be talking to headhunters and networking to get into IB.

Dec 21, 2016

You might want to do some research into the one year program at Northwestern, it has a good set of requirements and is mainly for people interested in staying in the industry they are currently in.

Dec 21, 2016

you need transaction experience. which means you need to get into investment banking first. that's the best way to break into PE. getting your MBA without any of that is useless

Dec 21, 2016

you need transaction experience. which means you need to get into investment banking first. that's the best way to break into PE. getting your MBA without any of that is useless

Dec 21, 2016

The obvious exit from those two jobs, if you're after more money, wouldn't be to PE but (though, if you really want it, that might be doable) but to a HF. Job 1, obviously, positioning you well for a credit HF, and job 2 for an equity hf. Why do you want PE in particular?

Dec 21, 2016

Interested in PE because of the earning potential. Credit HF vs. Equity HF, which is more lucrative? Is it comparatively harder to get into Credit HF from FI vs. Equity HF from Equity Asset Management?

Dec 21, 2016

Interested in PE because of the earning potential. Credit HF vs. Equity HF, which is more lucrative? Is it comparatively harder to get into Credit HF from FI vs. Equity HF from Equity Asset Management?

Dec 21, 2016

Bump. Interested in going into PE or Corp. Dev. from an AM firm due to the financing and structuring of deals and a more operational strategy. Let me know what you think. Need an MBA to hit the reset button?!

Thanks.

Dec 21, 2016

Venture Capital or Angel

We've got half a million shares in the bag!

Dec 21, 2016

It's kind of random without knowing more about your experience, undergraduate school, test scores, etc.... but my guess would be that you should try and go for your MBA ASAP (apply this year for start in 2012). If you can get into a top school, then you'll probably be able to get a job at a good bank in IBD afterwords (though there's no guarantee, even out of a top school, as you'll be a career switcher).

If you work at the bank for a while, and make the right connections / gain the right skills, you could move over to PE. That said, associates in banking do not move over to become associates in PE that often (of course they do sometimes, but you don't see it much)....from what I've seen, top PE firms generally want associates who've been analysts in banking or started in PE as analysts (superior modeling skills, etc.), but they do sometimes bring in veteran bankers at the higher levels (director, etc) to help with capital markets activities and do other "banker stuff".

I stumbled on an example of this the other day when I was masochistically reviewing the resumes of managing directors at HF - http://www.hf.com/team/Team.aspx?membercode=tWatt

Dec 21, 2016

the CFA isn't going to help I don't think... you should do an MBA if you can get into a good school

Dec 21, 2016

Go into venture capital. Shouldn't you know this?

Dec 21, 2016

need more details on what kind of "entrepreneurship" you were doing. slinging crack? VC seems like itd be the logical path

"I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people"

Dec 21, 2016

The entrepreneurship is theoretical and should be considered as at least a few steps up from crack slinging. Int Pymp, entrepreneurship is ongoing so can't go to bschool now.

VC is a solid idea.

Assuming around age 30 it seems like paths will be MBA ==> IB associate/VC, straight into VC, or maybe IB analyst (since exit opps are best, but age might make this not possible)?

Dec 21, 2016

yeah dude Venture Cap

Dec 21, 2016

Try and work for a portfolio company of a PE firm in the industry you are/were an entrepreneur in. If you kick ass there, they might want to keep you around full-time, or for other projects. It's a gamble, obviously, but it might be your best shot. I've met 2 Associates that came from the portfolio company route, and both are now at respectable PE firms (one at a megafund, the other at a well-liked MM).

Dec 21, 2016

I would look at the profiles of several private equity funds and see for yourself... just from my sampling, most are from investment banking backgrounds (focused on the associates/principles/vps)...

Dec 21, 2016

1st of all, you need to define which size of fund that woud be for. Small caps recruitment has few things to do with hiring in the largest funds.

Second, assuming you're speaking about upper midcaps/Large caps funds, it is true that IBD is the most common path. From my XP, I would say that is (i) because hours at KKR and the likes are closer to those you put in in m&a than in consulting (ii) still, at associate level you tend to do a lot of analysis / modelling which you've been trained for during your previous IB experience.

I would also say that it depends which fund you're talking about. Some big US funds have string hiring pipelines (like GS IBD for PIA, or Bain consulting for Bain Cap), and hence have different profiles.

Whilst I agree with your point that the management consulting XP would turn out to be a great asset, I would also keep in mind:

(i) that the transposable skill set acquired during a consulting experience is largely dependent on the types of assignments you've worked on. The kind of experience acquired by someone who's worked on XX vendor due diligences for PE funds is very different than the one of someone who's mostly worked on macro and organisational studies. Not saying one is better than the other, just that relevant work experience differs.
When they hire you from IBD, they know exactly what you've been trained at.

(ii) that, once again, you're still in for analysis and modelling when reaching PE. How involved you are in taking the strategic decisions for your portcoms depends largely on how senior you are.

Dec 21, 2016

interesting. it sounds like industry-specific mc experience would be more valuable for the same industry-specific pe firms, but at the higher levels. and it sounds like the more generalized IB skills will be more valuable for all PE firms, and at the starting levels. sounds like IB is generally the better way to go.

thank you very much for your insights. they are greatly appreciated.

best,

blue

Dec 20, 2017

@Guest1655"
@TexasMonkey1868"
@ledger123"

I am having trouble breaking into investment banking and landed a corporate banking role. It might be my only door into finance. I really want to get into VC or PE one day and am okay with small shops, not aiming for bulge brackets or large PE shops. Would any of the routes be possible below? I know it will be tough and unlikely, but are they still doable?

Corporate Banking > VC/PE

Corporate Banking > MBA > VC/PE

Corporate Banking > MBA > IB > VC/PE

Corporate Banking > IB > VC/PE

    • 2
Dec 20, 2017
  1. Depends on what kind of consulting and which consulting firm you came out of. Assuming it's a top tier mgt consulting firm (McK, Bain, BCG, etc), then no.
  2. If you're older than 30 (which i assume you are if you have an MD and spent some time in consulting), pre-MBA assoc will be almost impossible to get. Post-MBA assoc could be a possibility, but strong likelihood it would be in an operational role and not the investment team. From there, you could do a lateral move onto the investment side, which i've seen done many times. Another option is going to b-school if you're willing to spend $ and time on another few years of school.
  3. Similar answer to #2 - There are definitely opportunities in PE for guys like that. If you've recently been promoted to associate consultant, the time is now to apply for a pre-MBA assoc job. If you've been in it for a while, the time is still now, but I would apply to both pre-MBA and post-MBA and see if you can get traction with either. If nothing works out, b-school is probably the last option.
Dec 20, 2017

Thanks for the info. I am actually 25, I have not had consulting yet, I am just finishing up my MD and am interviewing for consulting as an associate.

Any other takers/opinions?

Dec 20, 2017

In short, my thoughts would be that : If your MD/UG are from good school and then you get a consulting gig and Mck/Bain/BCG you can simply apply for a PE gig in a few years time and you shouldn't have a problem. If your MD/UG aren't from good schools and/or your consulting firm is not a great firm it'll be more complicated and you may need to consider an MBA down the line

it's PE and you're taking a non-conventional path... so a prestigious resume is key to making things work smoothly.

Dec 20, 2017

Duperme,

I'm really interested in hearing your story. Are you disheartened with being a Dr? went in for the wrong reasons? etc (assuming you don't mind of course)