Back to IB from PE to Break Into Mega Fund?

Monkeys - My question is pretty simple, but a situation which does not seem to have many precedents (on LinkedIn or on this site): is it possible to go back to banking after leaving IB for a PE gig in order to help "move upstream"?

Background - spent a year at a "2nd tier" EB (Greenhill, Centerview, HL). Moved to an industry focused LMM PE firm as an analyst for a two year program. Have realized that recruiting to UMM / MF PE firms would be nearly impossible from here, but that is ultimately what I want to do. Thus my question is simple - would lateraling to an IB group that is known for sending analysts to MF's / UMM's be possible? Thinking BAML M&A/FSG ideally (although no connections to the group yet). Would I be able to recruit out after a year? I would ask to be considered for analyst roles as obviously the associate pigeon hole can be problematic.

Also - would these top IB groups even see me as an attractive candidate given my situation? I will have stellar reviews when my time here comes up this summer and 3 closed deals.

Please let me know your thoughts / what other approaches there may be. Thank you!!

Comments (5)

Feb 26, 2019

from a very "unqualified" perspective. I would think the switch back to banking would be pretty easy to sell in an interview. Might have a hard time selling the PE switch when you try for the second time - as the story doesn't align (Back and forth). Have you thought about an MBA and then switch into MF PE. If you have good enough scores, you could have a good chance at landing within an M7 and make the transition there. I have a couple of friends that have done similar career shifts.

Feb 26, 2019

A few points:

  • your judgment will be questioned because you left a bank and joined a comparatively small fund relative to the MFs. So you will definitely need to think about how you will position why you chose the LMM fund and why you are now interested in MFs
  • would really try to go to a better bank than BAML to increase your chances if you are dead set on MFs

Just my opinion

Most Helpful
Feb 26, 2019

"Thus my question is simple - would lateraling to an IB group that is known for sending analysts to MF's / UMM's be possible? "

Possible? Yes. Wise to do so? Questionable.

If what you say about yourself is true, you should have no problems getting into a good IB group. That's not the problem. The problem is getting a MF PE offer, which is no guarantee even for the best analysts from those groups, and assuming you do get the offer, you still are facing the problem of those roles not being long term jobs anyway (and I'm sure you know that the vast majority of junior PE guys don't stick around long enough to make partner or even partner track roles). Moreover, if you follow that path, you're kind of stunting your career path in terms of learning - all you would be doing over the next 4 years or so is essentially the same stuff you did up to now... but with more preftige and maybe more $. You'll obviously learn from the deals you work on, but you'll certainly miss out on a lot of junior/mid-level management experience.

If I were you and dead set on MF / upper MM PE, I think the better route would be to lateral directly to a larger firm rather than taking a stepping stone job (fine for college kids, probably not as advisable for someone with 4ish years of experience as you're essentially hitting the pause button on your career growth for a couple years.)

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Mar 12, 2019

Awesome - thanks for the good insight here. I agree it would be frustrating and probably a bit foolish to essentially repeat the 4 years of experience under my belt. Just one point I probably didn't make clear enough - I will only have the analyst title while I'm here which further complicates lateraling.

Thus, with my three years of experience so far (less than a year in IB but over two in PE), I'm not sure if this makes me a strong b school candidate for the m-7 which would also be a potentially suitable platform to lateral from. In short, I'm quite honestly not sure what other options there are given the circumstances, especially given I only have 6 months at most before I'm jobless

Mar 13, 2019
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