Asia Pacific Private Equity Insights
I posted the below in my introduction to the forum, but I figure maybe not too many people have seen it so am re-posting here. Apologies if this breaks any rules (I'm just trying to be helpful).
Hi guys, I'm more than a few years out of college (let's say I'm 30 years old) and work in Hong Kong in private equity. Before anyone starts asking any questions, let me be very clear that I do not work for a PE house or make investments. I work for a consultant/advisory firm.
A bit about me. American born, raised and educated to Asian parents, so I'm first gen, speak two Asian languages (at various levels) and have been doing this for over five years now, based in Hong Kong, covering Asia private equity (includes VC, Credit and some funky strategies as well).
What do we do? Essentially the big institutions and other investors (Sovereign Wealth Funds, Public and Private Pensions, Endowments, Private Banks, Family Offices, etc) all pay us a fee to tell them which funds to invest in, or which geographies, or how to weight portfolios. It's sort of outsourced fund due diligence. An even easier comparison is that it's Private Equity Fund of Funds but without actually investing.
This means that I (and my colleagues) essentially get to see tons of data and meet tons of people in the industry, since we have to evaluate funds, we meet Partners/MDs and their IR staff, who pitch the funds and provide data, placement agents (who raise capital for funds and take a cut, like regular investment banking), other investors, Fund of Funds etc.
How can I help? Well since I've been out of school for about 8 years now, I'm happy to answer career questions (where I've stumbled, made mistakes in interviews, how tough it is to change careers - which I know very well personally), culture in specific shops, how good shops are performing, how shops are set up, what people look for in candidates (I don't know as much about interviews for PE funds since I've never done one - have only heard about them) etc etc etc.
I'll start with some hints. Most funds in this region generally suck and have not performed too well. It's a lot of public market beta and a ton of shops are very very heavily key man driven and tons of very mediocre people (I guess like in any profession). Just something to keep in mind if an interviewer is giving you a tough time...
Please ask away. All I can promise is that I will do my best to be honest and frank in my answers.