Buyside Jobs out of Undergrad

How do the people who get jobs at places like Silver Lake, Silver Point, and Blackstone do it? Are they just smarter, do they work harder, is it connections?

And how do those jobs compare to top banking jobs at GS, MS or EBs?

Comments (40)

Dec 1, 2018

It's always a combination of things, but you definitely have to be smart and hard-working to get an offer at any buyside firm.

Just using the firm's you listed and going off of the people I know at those places (others may disagree based on their own knowledge), a firm like Silver Lake wants the super hard working students, Silver Point tends to get the smartest students, and Blackstone requires special networking just to get a chance.

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Dec 1, 2018

How do they target those specific students? How do the students show their work ethic or intelligence? Does that mean Blackstone is easier to get if you network correctly?

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Dec 1, 2018

A resume gives a decent indication of work ethic. Then the cases during interviews assess how you think. BX still gets very good people, they just interview far fewer from what I know.

I didn't address the banking point initially, but these firms are generally exit opps even from top banks, so if you know what you want to do then they're much better options. It's also much more interesting work, especially if at a HF.

Dec 1, 2018

People would take any of the jobs you mentioned over any banking job. Some banking jobs are better than some of the buyside options though.

Dec 1, 2018

A lot of these buy-side shops only recruit at certain schools

ex. Ivy leagues + Stanford-> Bain Capital credit, BX, Ares, KKR, Audax, Altamont Capital Partners, Silver Point, Silver Lake, LGP, etc.

Michigan + ND -> Golden Gate Capital, Bain Capital Credit, Maranon Capital, BX, LGP

Obviously just a few but the majority of the time these firms come knocking on the doors of the best undergrad schools

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Dec 1, 2018

I go to a top school, so I think I'll have the opportunity. Just curious about what differentiates the people who get offers.

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Jan 2, 2019

SL, LGP, Ares recruit out of Ivey HBA in Canada

Dec 1, 2018

To answer your second question, it's mostly a head start. The kid who starts at slp/kkr/bx and gets promoted to associate isn't at that much of an advantage over the kid who goes ms m&a - associate at those firms, but you guarantee your entry into the industry and get a couple extra years of training.

Dec 1, 2018

Does the head start lead to faster promotion? Does it lead to opportunities at hedge funds that don't recruit bankers faster? Also, does MS M&A recruit directly or do you get placed? (that's my current understanding)

Dec 1, 2018

It's true that a lot of kids leave these top pe Analyst programs for top hedge funds, but again, the associates at megafunds can do that 2 years later (if they want to). If you look at the teams at top hedge funds, it's a mix of a) kids who went to top PE Analyst programs, b) kids who went top banking groups - hedge funds and c) kids who went Banking - top pe - hedge funds. Point being that if you're good, you can get to the best hedge funds/pe firms a number of ways, and eventually the "head starts" fade in importance. Just focus on developing your skills as an investor and networking and things work out.

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Dec 2, 2018

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Dec 3, 2018

And...?

Array

Dec 2, 2018

anybody has any insight on the recruitment process for top VC funds that take undergrads ? Insight venture, stripes, Bessemer Venture Partners and etc?

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Dec 6, 2018

Yeah OCR at HYP

Dec 3, 2018

Someone from a non-target a friend went to got Carlyle FT with only internship at a regional reit, really jealous of that.

Dec 3, 2018

Was this Carlyle buyout or Carlyle REPE?

Dec 3, 2018

Good question but pretty sure buyout.

Dec 3, 2018

The best way is to attend a target school those firms recruit from out of Undergrad. Im from Canada and I have met some people that made it into those firms out of undergrad and they typically came from UBC, Ivey or Queens.

Met 3 guys over the past years that went to KKR straight from undergrad and they all studied at UBC and did that portfolio management program.

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Dec 3, 2018

Supposedly KKR is pulling out of hiring at UBC PMF for next year after their Canada hires had visa issues and they had to go work in Ireland for a year

Dec 3, 2018
lost_canadian:

Supposedly KKR is pulling out of hiring at UBC PMF for next year after their Canada hires had visa issues and they had to go work in Ireland for a year

wow, imagine thinking you are going to be working in NYC and get shipped off to Ireland ahahh

Dec 3, 2018

I've posted about this before. I knew a guy that I summered with that did this. His path was basically

Ivy League Undergrad with Strong Grades

Dual Econ/Comp Sci Degree

Had been doing banking internships every summer and during the year since freshman year. So basically he did a BB Banking internship after his Sophomore and Junior year and a boutique during the school year.

Networked hard and ended up at a Megafund in their analyst program.

Super sharp guy and he'd basically already done a 1+ years of banking with internships and during the year work.

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Dec 3, 2018

Is it even worth it anymore given the hyper early associate recruiting process? It seems like Blackstone probably isn't giving their analysts an associate contract 2 months in but they are to IB analysts who work at other places and sign with them .

But I could be wrong

Dec 8, 2018

Don't most people who go to BXPE as analysts just do it so they can exit to great hedge funds? Ive heard BX is brutal but the analyst recruit out really well.

Dec 3, 2018

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Most Helpful
Dec 3, 2018

Currently working as an associate (former analyst) at one of the large cap PE shops mentioned above. Interned at another and did a summer in EB/BB banking. Between former internships, friends from school, and my own interview processes, I can speak to almost all the firms in this thread.

The analysts at these shops are absolute studs on paper:
* Math, Harvard, MF PE internship, recruited FT for a different MF
* Math / Econ, Ivy League, summer at 2 BB banks
* Engineering / Math, Ivy league, summer at 2 BB banks
* Finance / Physics, Wharton, summer at 2 BB Banks
* Finance, Wharton, summer at 2 MFs
* Finance, Michigan / ND / Ivey, 2 summers at MF
* Finance, Michigan / ND / Ivey, summer at MF and top BB bank
* Finance, Wharton, summer at hedge fund and top BB bank

All of them had 3.8+ GPAs and, if I recall correctly, all but one was on board of an investment / investment banking / consulting club at school. I view them as some of the smartest people in my network - standard deviations above the average banking analyst I've interacted with. Tend to have at least decent leadership / communication skills and reasonably personable.

The interview process varies by firm. Bain feels almost like a consulting interview, Blackstone grills on paper LBOs, Ares and Silver Point focus more on credit technicals, etc. You need to be technical in terms of finance/accounting and business/investment acumen, as well as an excellent communicator for fit questions. Most processes are 2-3 phone calls and 5-10 in-person interviews. 2-4 spots per shop, and typically at least one will go to a Wharton student.

Of all the people mentioned above, not one person regrets skipping investment banking. Everyone I know had the opportunity to stay on as an associate, but many opted out for a variety of reasons. Quality of workflow is significantly better and they are viewed as some of the most desirable candidates in the market. Many analysts view it as "skipping a step" in the 2+2+2 grind, in particular for those who want to work at hedge funds. The network is one real drawback, but I find that most of the PE analysts have solid networks from their schools and internships. I caveat this by saying there is a ton of selection bias - the type of candidate that is set on doing buyside out of undergrad, and is successful, is likely an extremely high achiever and is willing to learn in a unstructured environment. Most students are better off starting in investment banking, and that is in part why buyside recruiting is so competitive, because it really isn't a job for everyone. For what it is worth, the two people I know that received buyside offers and turned it down for banking have placed lights out in on-cycle recruiting.

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Dec 6, 2018

Can you share a little bit about their upbringing? How did they develop into such savages? Obviously they're blessed with a lot of intellectual horsepower, but I've always been curious about how some folks turn out this way from a nurture standpoint. I.e. how did their environment differ from that of everyone else?

Dec 8, 2018

Thank you for your insights!

Do you know anyone who's gotten an offer without being part of an investing club? Do you think that PE interviews are easier than HF interviews?

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Dec 9, 2018

There is no cookie cutter approach that led these students to be high performers. I have noticed a few common themes, but I will caveat that this is based off of a pretty small sample size and may not be representative of all top-tier buyside analysts.

They were early movers in terms of getting exposure to finance. These are often students who had freshman year internships, involved in clubs early on, doing case competitions, etc. The bar technically is so much higher than banking, so the guy or gal that has been immersed for 1-2 years will typically beat out the person who is trying to memorize the 400 questions guide two months before interviews.

They are often guided by mentors who have either been through the process or can otherwise provide introductions to current analysts / associates, insight, and prep resources. These mentors are often students 1-3 years older and are in the same investing club, fraternity, from the same high school, etc. Mentors are phenomenal resources in what is sometimes an opaque recruiting process. This is the kind of networking that is really powerful - not just cold emailing someone and hoping they will push you for an interview.

More than being smarter than everyone else, I find that the candidates are a more complete package. The analysts are expected to be technically proficient, which will weed out the vast majority of candidates, who cannot run a model without meaningful guidance. After that, the role requires investment acumen, presentation skills, teamwork, etc - many soft skills that banks expect too, but the bar is just much higher.

Nobody needs to do a certain kind of internship, or be in an investment club, or at a certain school. These are just experiences that may help improve your chances. Being at Wharton means you have the most rigorous finance curriculum and every buyside firm is recruiting on campus. A student at Dartmouth or Michigan might not have those same resources, so he or she may have to get those experiences via a different avenue.

Often times, it comes down to catching a lucky break or two and running with it. Get into that competitive club freshman year or land the sophomore BB rotational internship. If you're good and work hard, you can leverage that experience and continue to build off it.

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Dec 9, 2018

I know several people that joined hedge funds without any involvement in investing clubs, and I think that relates to your second question as well, because HF interviews are more about testing how you think, whereas PE wants the "complete package" as the above user describes.

I would also say that yes, HF interviews are considerably more difficult. Most the of the people I know that got HF offers out of school also had the opportunity to go to PE, for whatever that's worth.

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Dec 4, 2018
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Dec 6, 2018