Answering questions PE in Spain

Good morning to all,
I am open to give back to the community by answering (most of) questions about PE.
About myself, ending my second year as an investment analyst at a MM Spanish PE. Prior to this I was an off-cycle analyst while finishing my master's degree in industrial engineering. Did some internships in industrial companies and consulting.

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Comments (29)

Most Helpful
Jul 26, 2020 - 6:15pm

Hey, thanks for doing this!

I'm currently working as a PE analyst ( hopefully soon to be associate) in Portugal, and would eventually like to move to Spain.

I've been following quite some funds in Spain (portobello, sherpa, etc), and night have some questions:

1) I know that many of these funds operate in all Iberia. Would you think a Portuguese speaker could break into PE in Spain? My Spanish knowledge is intermediate, meaning I can fully understand but I have a rather basic level when it comes to maintaining a conversation.

2) How's compensation like? As a first year associate in Portugal I can expect to make around 75-85k all in. Are salaries in Spain for MM in line with these?

Thank you once again for your help!

Jul 28, 2020 - 8:14am

Hi jjmnj!

Totally correct, usually Spanish PE fund have an investment area that covers iberia (Spain + Portugal). However, apart from Sherpa I think that most of MM PE only do 1 investment (2 max) per fund. Most of your coverage/origination will be within Spanish companies and for that it will be helpfull to improve your Spanish.

Compensation should be similar, maybe a little bit higher. This depends if your firm gives you share of the carry or not.

At the end: A + B + C = aprox the same in all firms. Therefore higher annual comp if not receive carry but less exposed to long-term upside.

A: annual base salary; B: annual bonus; C: annualization of carry

Hope this helps

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Sep 6, 2020 - 10:52am

Yeah, totally correct, Madrid is more active in PE and could potentially serve as a hub for LaTam transactions.

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Aug 12, 2020 - 8:24am

Hi OP!
I'm an MSc in Finance graduate starting an off-cycle internship at a MM boutique in Madrid (mostly M&A). I expect to become a FT analyst after 6 months. What is the average salary for first year analysts in Madrid? I can't really find any info on this. Is there a big difference between BBs and boutiques? I guess the BBs only have regional offices in Madrid.. whereas working for a boutique like mine would enable me to gain more deal exposure. What's your take on this?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 3, 2020 - 4:52am

The friends I know working at some of the BBs in Madrid have a 65k EUR base as A1, not 55k...

For MM PE in Madrid if you come from a MM IB Boutique you will compete against Big4 peers, the deal exposure is not that important as the brand name when it comes to getting opportunities in such a small and competitive world (You will also find MBB consultants trying to make their way in, so there´s a huge competition for decent funds, making the branding a very important thing. Also large deals usually bring complexity and more workstreams that can lead to better exits, and normally in this market those are covered by BBs, sometimes EBs and local banks such as BBVA or Santander)

If you try to go for a UMM / MF you will have a big trouble to recruit if you dont come from a EB/BB so try to think about what exit opps you are looking for and try to make a move if needed (if you are not dead-set on UM/MF you should be fine for LMM)

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Aug 12, 2020 - 11:59am

Are there any decent size funds in Barcelona? If so which ones? How common is English spoken in PE firms in Spain? Would love to live and work in Spain some day.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Aug 12, 2020 - 12:52pm

There are some but quite small and you will have a real pay cut.

Spanish is needed as most are just analyzing the Iberia market, would be a wise choice to start learning Spanish if this is your goal

Aug 14, 2020 - 6:13pm

Thanks for the AMA, very helpful

I would like to ask what you think is the best way of approaching PE recruitment in Spain as an IB associate at a BB in London. How doea it usually work?

How common is it that the major European funds (Advent, Civen etc..) recruit for their Spanish office?

Many thanks!

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 3, 2020 - 4:48am

Cinven has 6 people at their Madrid´s office if I am not wrong, same for Advent. This year Cinven hired an analyst and expanded a little bit the office, but still they are very small, and most of them are seniors, so expect no turnover or very little.

Sep 6, 2020 - 7:04pm

Appreciate you doing this.

I'd like to ask you about recruiting into PE in Madrid as a foreigner. For context I'm a US MBA student.

Is breaking in similar to the US in that you need to network and network or is recruitment more formalized? Do most PE firms in Spain prefer former bankers?

Sep 7, 2020 - 4:32am

Yes, networking is definitively very important because it is a shadow market.

Most PE prefer former M&A bankers or management consultants with 2-3 years of experience.

As already mentioned in other posts, being foreigner is only a liability if you are not fluent in Spanish. Additionally, I would say that having a local network is an asset that is harder to have as a foreigner.

Sep 7, 2020 - 7:56am

Thanks. I am fluent in Spanish, but don't have a network in Spain yet.

Based on compensation it might make more sense for me to join a US firm with an Iberian presence, then go on assignment rather than transfer.

Aug 7, 2021 - 6:15pm

Thank you for your post.

I am a non-target undergraduate currently trying to get a summer internship for next summer. It would be possible for me to get one in Private Banking (thanks to networking), but I also want to try my luck in getting one in PE, M&A, AM, MBB or related in Spain or the UK?  Should I try networking more? What do you recommend? I don't mind the firm not being top tier, as I want to learn and gain an insight to see what kind of role I would like the most.

Thank you.

Sep 6, 2021 - 11:22am

You're welcome. It depends on what you want to do next. If you envision yourself doing private banking in the mid-term, I would suggest you the internship you mentioned. If you want to do VC/PE or M&A, I would highly recommend you to look for an internship in an M&A or PE.

As it is widely spread thoughout different posts, networking is often the key to land a desired internship. 

Hope it helps

Aug 25, 2021 - 1:50pm

Hi, thanks for taking the time out to answer some questions. 

I'm a Native Spanish & English speaker (US undergrad, semi-target). I got an offer for Summer IB 2022 (rising undergrad junior). Have thought about PE in the future after the 2-3 IB stint. How can I best prepare myself for PE in Spain? I saw you commented to be on the M&A group, what about ECM or Industrials? - they seem to get a good deal flow. Also, how would you compare the Spain PE vs US PE culture? I've thought of the possibility of working abroad and would appreciate any advice you may have.

Sep 6, 2021 - 11:44am

hi, I think that the best way to secure a full-time offer at a PE firm after 2-3 IB stint is to previously do an internship. And for that, you need networking.

Regarding your second question, I think there are better posts that explain advantages and disadvantages of M&A vs. ECM or Industrials. In my opinion, any of them would work.

Lastly, I would say that tickets in Spanish PE are lower than tickets in USA which in the end results in a slightly different work. Regarding with culture, I think it varies from firm to firm rather than from country to country. Never been in american PE, so I think I can add very little to that.

Hope it helps

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Sep 6, 2021 - 1:36pm

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