Breaking into PE Canada

AKhalid's picture
Rank: Chimp | 15

I am seeking good advice on how to break into Private Equity in Canada. I've read about 8 different articles here on the same topic, so I understood good basics about the topic and how to reach my goal. However, I am trying to find a piece of specialized advice so allow me to share my bio with you. I am a civil engineering graduate from Egypt who always had the passion to finance and almost zero passion for engineering, so my GPA in Engineering is total trash, around 71%.

By my senior year, I decided to undertake CFA level 1, so I did and passed with my grades being almost within the top 10% worldwide. I was able to spin off my story and land job in Corporate Finance where I learned and worked in capital budgeting and rationing, Then I was able to land a job in Asset Management and spent almost a year there till I was able to land my current job now in a top national private equity firm as junior Private Equity analyst. Since I wanted to Join the PE scene in Canada I found that I need to have top national credentials from Canada to have a chance of being recruited on or off-campus.

I was able to land a spot on the Queen's MFin program, which is supposedly one of the best reputed ones, correct me if I am wrong. Which will start in June 2020 and finish my May 2021, so here is my plan. I want to finish CFA level 2 During my MFin program, and since I am so into Alternative Investment I am planning to tackle the CAIA at the same time through efficient time management in addition to gaining some Canadian experience through the student-managed fund in Queen's. I have above-average financial modeling skills and currently learning Python and finish CFA level 3 by June 2022.

I know the competition is through the roof in Canada and I don't have the most competitive application due to my emerging market experience, which they will discount to almost zero and low undergrad GPA, that's why I am trying to learn as much as possible and gain as much experience as possible, while using a decent MFin program to slightly cover up my undergrad and position me competitively in the market.

What's the best-detailed route to reach my goal? Should I seek Investment banking for a year or two first? If so, whats the most efficient way that may guarantee someone with my current stats to be able to land a spot at a top investment bank there and what exactly should I do? Or should I seek an internship/ rotational program in place like CPPIB in it's PE department?

I am sorry for the long discussion! I genuinely need and appreciate the help!


Comments (4)

Nov 9, 2019

The Canadian space is very competitive, highly recommend you break into IB first in Canada. Do a few years and then figure it out. Also, learning coding won't really help in PE. CFA is definitely not a requirement and most people in PE don't have it but not a bad thing to do if you have the time

Nov 10, 2019

Thank you for your reply! I was wondering do have any specific advice on my case that could help me secure an IB Analyst role? which banks for example could be more acceptable to take in someone with my stats?

Nov 10, 2019

I'm confused why you would go get an MFin and not an MBA if your goal is to work in private equity

Nov 11, 2019