Blackstone PE Culture?

Hi everyone, I'm a first year IB analyst interested in learning more about the culture at Blackstone, specifically the PE group. I'm wondering how the group is in terms of stressfulness/hours/diversity/mentorship etc. anything helps, thanks!

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Comments (66)

Aug 7, 2020 - 5:39pm

Don't worry about those things, they will contact you if you are a good fit now that they own Ancestry. Smartest recruiting move in decades. Heard they will layoff all recruiters once fully they fully integrate Ancestry.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Aug 8, 2020 - 4:00pm

Pretty awful culture -- all their associates always sound depressed af, they work a ton, and the pay isn't good compared to most MFs or UMMs. Also you have to wear a tie every day. Pretty much the only reason anyone goes there is the brand name, which is fair -- it's still the top brand in finance and their associates consistently leave to the best hedge funds out there. Nobody is turning down an associate offer at Blackstone PE regardless of what the culture is, so it's not like they have a huge incentive to change things.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 8, 2020 - 4:50pm

Can you elaborate on the pay differences? Obviously I don't care and would still take a blackstone offer in a heartbeat, just curious to see how it compares to the other big PE firms.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 8, 2020 - 7:19pm

Blackstone discount is applicable. Analysts are notoriously only paid 130 all-in but still anyone would take it since it's the top name overall in Finance, one of the top names in PE and the absolute top name in real estate. Their pe analyst program is unparalleled in sending kids to top equity/credit hedge funds after only 3 years (saves you 1 year of 2+2).

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  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jun 5, 2021 - 10:45am

I'd probably disagree here - I was at a top BB group and most analysts recruiting actively avoided BX given their culture. Even the interview process (stick you in a stuffy conference room and can make you wait hours for your next interview, but if you leave, you're automatically out) is indicative of the overall culture.

  • Principal in VC
Aug 8, 2020 - 4:39pm

^^ all that is true. Incidentally I've heard Tac Opps and GSO are better culture wise

Aug 14, 2020 - 10:41am

London view but spoke recently with recruiter, lot of outflow in GSO due to culture (high churn at junior levels). Tac Opps seemed good & growing.

LBO-modeling companies on a Corona-adjusted normalized proforma run-rate EBITDA basis since 2020.
Aug 8, 2020 - 6:57pm

As someone in PE right now and looking into HF, I would say it's a better fit for people that are slightly introverted and want to get away from the stress of a transaction-related role. There is arguably more stress in a HF role, but it's very different since it's caused by market activity rather than people being idiots and having to hand hold everyone through a DD process. Also there's less BS work in general and you do more deep thinking / analysis.

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Aug 8, 2020 - 8:02pm

The guys or gals at a place like Blackstone go to the best hedge funds. Tiger Global, Viking, Third Point, Eminence, D1, type places. These funds have ridiculous economics with nearly $1bn per investment professional. Do the math on a $10bn fund with 12 investment professionals, rent, and 10 back office staff as costs. It's absurd. That creates a path to 8 figures if you're promoted to Partner/PM. They also work fewer hours and no transaction nonsense.

Or you can grind it out 80-90 hours a week, have over half of your comp tied up in carry which won't be realized in 5-8 years, and wait 10 years or more to make Partner in private equity.

The best HF jobs are all else equal much better than the best private equity jobs. Unfortunately there are not many openings. The most desirable funds are very lean, have limited turnover, and everyone wants to work there. Blackstone PE hires 12 associates per year. Lone Pine might hire 1.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Aug 8, 2020 - 9:39pm

You forgot to mention if you have a few bad months on the job you're a goner. Public markets will do that to you; often times even your're right but you're just early. PE is much more logically grounded and has a longer-term horizon.

Think about the Sharpe Ratio here of your salary and job security. It's way higher for PE. The numerator (return/salary) might be slightly higher for top HF positions, but the denominator (risk) is even higher, making the overall ratio lower for HFs.

Most Helpful
  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Aug 8, 2020 - 10:49pm

Hedge funds are not interchangeable like bulge bracket banks. The multi managers have very high turnover.

Lone Pine has had only one analyst leave in recent years. She worked there for four years.

The Tiger guys typically only leave to start their own fund.

Elliott has extremely low turnover. They are an institution stronger than most PE firms. None of their analysts leave.

Darsana has had one analyst leave in 5 years. He worked there for 5 years then became a Principal at Bain.

Not a single analyst has left D1. They've been around for 3 years.

ValueAct analysts don't take risk. They get promoted strictly on work product. They're a 2 year program but most people stay for much, much longer.

Viking and Coatue have higher turnover. Viking analysts have direct P&L tie and can make a killing in a good year. They're still less attractive than the others I mentioned above.

I said this in an earlier post. The most desirable seats have extremely low turnover and pay extremely well.

But sure dude, one bad quarter and you're fired!

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Aug 8, 2020 - 8:20pm

Which of those funds is shrinking? Maybe Third Point? Tiger, Viking, and D1 certainly are not? Neither is Lone Pine, Coatue, or many other top funds.

For better or worse, if you are getting $75-200mm a year in management fees and have 8-20 IPs, everyone can still get paid $1mm or more even with mediocre returns. Maybe the junior guys will make only 400-600k...

Didn't intend to derail the thread, but this is why people work at BX. If you want to do PE and are willing to grind, you may as well go to Apollo and get paid a ton. If you're at BX there's a decent chance you just want the [Tiger Global] job that comes after. That's why half of those guys (or more) go to HFs.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Aug 9, 2020 - 9:42pm

Working in Blackstone PE has been a dream of mine ever since I was a young boy in Greenwich.

Father told me that if I could become captain of the LAX team and run a LBO model by the time I graduated high school, a coveted internship would be all but mine.

I will never forget my first tour of the place - the associates' vests perfectly ironed, the VPs' lettuce flowing effortlessly. Even greek gods feared Steve Schwarzman. I knew that landing the analyst role would bring a cascade of riches, glory, and of course, women yearning for my seed.

I thought surely I was meant for this place, but unfortunately I was turned away. If you do receive the honor of becoming the next chosen one to receive an offer, I trust you will make the right decision.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 10, 2020 - 1:03pm

Is it true that BX pays less than EBs at the analyst level? Anyone know how big this difference is, and if comp is consistent across PE/Infra PE/Real Estate?

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 10, 2020 - 3:57pm

Yes, they pay less than EBs.
From friends who were analysts, PJT/EVR would regularly pay 170+ top bucket, whereas BX would pay around 130-all in even for PE. Maybe even less if you were in real estate/infra. Meanwhile KKR's new program is doing 185+ (maybe even 205) with guaranteed bonus lol...
But that's what you pay for a long-running top brand name MF analyst program.

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Other
Aug 10, 2020 - 11:34pm

These numbers aren't right for BX. I don't know where someone started floating around 130 all in for BX on this forum, but it's closer to 160 for first year (still below street). Also pretty sure the analysts in all the PE groups (Corp, RE, Infra, Tacopps) are paid through the same bonus pool. This obviously changes as you go higher up.

  • Analyst 2 in PE - LBOs
Aug 14, 2020 - 11:14am

I am a second year at BX. First year I got paid 160k all-in, excluding my signing bonus. 130k sounds like Europe maybe, or a number from 3 years ago.

Also can confirm BCP / BREP / BTO / BIP all get paid broadly the same at the analyst level. Associate is where the bonus numbers start to differ, though base is still equivalent.

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Dec 17, 2020 - 2:15pm

The present value of getting an analyst job at Blackstone right out of UG is likely higher than the PV of being a Rhodes Scholar.  Who gives a shit if you're making $160k vs. $180k you'd make at Evercore? That's literally like doing the math on foregone income by doing a 1 year Rhodes scholar program vs. making $160k at Morgan Stanley; you'd have to be a moron to be considering it from that perspective.

  • Analyst 2 in PE - LBOs
Aug 14, 2020 - 11:27am

Can confirm as a current employee: Blackstone has a very lackluster, even borderline unpleasant, culture. There's a stuffy formality, people are only superficially collegiate and no more, hours are pretty damn tough, and level of performance-driven mindset embedded into the culture is pretty emotionally burdensome (compared to banking/consulting at least).

But honestly megafund cultures are all pretty bad. We're miles away from being as bad as Apollo or even some of the sweatshop banking groups. Also better than Silver Lake. It's not a fun place to be, but it's not hell either. If you're smart/driven enough to get the offer, you will probably be the type to take the unparalleled brand regardless, for exit opps + great MBA placement.

Also while it is true tons of analyst/associates exit to tiger cubs/etc, I can tell you that more than a few of our analysts chose BX over top HFs as their first job out of college. I'm obviously biased, but even considering the culture, I don't think there's a better place to start the first 2-3 years of your career.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 14, 2020 - 11:54am

Thanks for the detailed insight here, very much appreciated.

Any chance you could give some color on GSO's culture in contrast to PE? I've heard differing opinions here, so would be very interested in hearing a current employees perspective.

Dec 17, 2020 - 10:04am

Heard the culture at GSO is really good, this is just second hand info though. Hours are apparently decent as well. They seem to have really good returns considering they have a better risk-return profile than equity investing.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Dec 20, 2020 - 5:35am

Good culture, at least among more junior people, and pretty good hours and interesting deals across strategies - although you are expected to deliver very good work product from the get-go. The pay is also top, probably significantly better than other BX teams

Aug 27, 2020 - 12:12pm

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