AMA: PE Senior Associate from Post-MBA Banking Role

About

Career path: Banking Analyst --> Dual Degree Grad School --> Banking Associate --> PE Senior Associate.

AMA

Happy to answer any questions, particularly about buyside recruiting from a post-MBA banking role.

WSO Podcast

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | Spotify

Mentoring

Want to work with me?

Comments (19)

Feb 12, 2020

Thanks! can you talk about how you transitioned from banking post-mba associate to PE senior associate? I heard this is a hard path from reading the forum, how did you go about positioning yourself? what types of funds are more receptive to that (i heard many funds prefer pre-mba 2+2). What in your experience do you think the fund that eventually hired you (or funds that were most interested in you) cared about the most?

Array

    • 2
Most Helpful
Feb 12, 2020

To be honest, it was hard. I started recruiting late December / early Jan, and did not find a position until mid-July. At the time, I was open to starting as a junior associate, and most places will expect this when you have no investing experience. The place I ended up at considered my age and experience, and I think took into account that if they gave me junior associate, I would probably jump ship quickly after I joined, so they took a chance on me.

It is helpful to target MM/LMM funds. Megafunds' recruiting processes are way too structured, and even if they hire offcycle, they will take someone who is trying to lateral from a smaller, less reputable buyside fund. MM/LMM funds are more open to diverse backgrounds, and if the fund is growing, they constantly need to maintain the headcount. It helps to target a firm in their first or second fund. Because they are younger with less reputation and trying to grow, they will be less selective. That being said, not all funds are created equal. It helps to be judicious of people's backgrounds and make sure you are targeting a MM/LMM with stellar MD's and Principals. I mainly worked with recruiters. It is helpful to branch out and network with investment profesisonals, but in my experience, they are more helpful for long-term and future jobs. In the short term, even if the contact you speak to really likes you, they need to have headcount allocatin from HR to be able to give you an offer.

Regarding my background, it was helpful that I was an analyst. Also, I didn't get just an MBA, and completed a dual degree program, which my current employer found impressive. I did my associate years at Goldman, and this fact was also helpful with recruiters. Other than that, you need to crush the case studies and make sure you have someone at your current job who can really vouch for you during reference checks.

Feel free to let me know if anything else.

    • 7
  • Analyst 3+ in IB-M&A
Feb 12, 2020

Job visibility post PE-Associate stunt? Where do a lot of your colleagues jump to?

Feb 12, 2020

Other PE funds, Tech, Corp Dev, Hedge Funds

  • VP in IB-M&A
Feb 12, 2020

How are your hours in PE compared to Investment Banking at Goldman?

Feb 13, 2020

Banking - Started later at anywhere from 9:30-11am. Worked until 9-10pm on a good day, midnight-1am on the regular, and 2am-4am on bad days. Occasional allnighters. Weekends, particularly Sundays, can be a jam and just like a normal workday.
PE - Start 8:30-9am. Work until 8-10pm at the office, go home, and work until 11pm-midnight at home. Latter session is optional. Weekends are more chill. You are expected to be responsive, but nothing is ASAP. Going out for dinner on Sundays is possible without giving your VP advance notice.

    • 3
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Feb 13, 2020

comp?

Feb 13, 2020

Lower base, higher bonus. Flat on a net basis. Goldman's pay is lower than boutiques, so take that into consideration.

    • 1
  • VP in IB-M&A
Feb 13, 2020

Do you get carry in the fund as a Senior Associate? At what level does carry begin to be given out- Associate, Senior Associate, VP?

Feb 13, 2020

What did you do your dual degree in? Was it a field that is relevant to the sector you're focused on now as an investment professional?

Feb 13, 2020

Law and business

    • 1
Feb 13, 2020

Thanks for doing this. As someone who is hoping to work in PE longer term but does not have pre-MBA experience and will be going to a top MBA program in the fall, I'm curious on a couple points. What sorts of activities (e.g., reading, technical practice, networking) and skillsets through work did you actively try to do/seek out? Also, if you're comfortable sharing, what tier MBA was it (e.g., HSW, M7, top 15, top 25)?

    • 2
Feb 13, 2020

WSO stuff is good for prep and practice. There is also a website called streetofwalls that is helpful.

On the job, helpful to establish a reputation for being able to do some technicals at the outset, so they keep on staffing you on teams with quant analysis. Gives you good practice and also something to talk about during interviews.

Reading - Anything on twitter or just read ONE investing book. Will only peripherally come up in interviews, Mainly a check that I knew some name in investing, signaling that I am interesting in the topic.

Went to an M7.

    • 3
Feb 15, 2020

I'm curious -- sounds like you have great credentials: you worked at Goldman and went to a very good/great school for MBA, yet it sounds like you still had somewhat of a tough time landing a PE role... why do you think this was the case? Was it timing? Targeting the wrong kind of firms? Something in the interview process that you didn't anticipate? Or is it just that competitive? Thanks!

Feb 15, 2020

Pe recruiting is very structured - 2 (analyst) + 2 (PE associate) +2 (MBA), and then you come back as a VP or senior associate after MBA. Any deviation from the usual path is seen as a negative. Most funds don't hire post-MBA associates from banking. Post-MBA banking associates don't have investing experience, so it would be difficult to start anywhere but at the bottom. But because funds hire associates in classes, if someone is too old, they won't fit into the class, and the firm would have to think about issues like promoting that person quickly, etc. I have had a firm give me the exact feedback - you would want to be promoted too quickly, and we don't have the capacity to account for that. It is easier just to hire straight from a bank and take their chances on a new employee at the junior level. If they are bad, they leave for MBA in 2 years. Let me know if that makes sense. Happy to elaborate further.

    • 3
Feb 15, 2020

Awesome, thanks so much! Surprising how structured it is, and the certain things that will be held against you.

Feb 17, 2020

What headhunters did you find most helpful? All the ones I see are just slinging boutiques.

Feb 17, 2020
Comment