Considering a switch to BD in PE

Hi fellow monkeys,

Here is the situation. I've been at my firm (F500) for about a year and a half in an analyst position within the executive group primarily focusing on corporate finance, investor relations and some corporate strategy projects. I've also passed the first 2 CFA exams and taking on the 3rd one in June this year.

I was contacted by a recruiter for a BD analyst position in a respected local MM PE fund. It's a difficult place to break in without IB experience which I don't have and it sounds like a good opportunity even though I'm afraid I won't like the job function. However, I see value into learning the "sales" aspect of high finance.

My short term goal is to get into a M7 program in the next 2-4 years and I am thinking having PE experience even though it's not investment team exp would help my case. How is BD at PE valued by an admission committee?

Also if you guys could shed some light on:
- What is the average pay and & % bonus you've seen for BD at PE at the analyst/associate level?
- Would the BD experience help me land an investment team gig straight out of MBA? I am thinking I will have to do an IB stint first but I am wondering if some of you have made the direct transition?

Thank you for your time.

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Comments (10)

Jan 25, 2019

Hi Macronmania, just trying to help:

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I hope those threads give you a bit more insight.

Jan 27, 2019

Bump...

Jan 29, 2019

Anyone?

Most Helpful
Jan 29, 2019

IMO, if you truly want to get into an M7 school and eventually end up on the execution/decision making side of things, do not go into BD. Those guys get pigeon-holed as much as anybody and rarely are able to break out of it.

That's not to say that BD roles at a reputable MM PE shop is a bad job. They are actually pretty great when you factor in comp, lifestyle (once you've graduated from traveling 24/7), etc.). Just one man's take, but I would definitely recommend trying to get into IB as analyst, doing a 1.5-2 years, PE associate, M7, PE VP. Nothing wrong with getting on "the track" after two good years doing corp fin.

    • 2
Jan 29, 2019

Thanks for the honest feedback, that's exactly what I'm looking for. Another factor to consider is that I am in South Florida and there are literally no decent IBs around and probably 4-5 respectable MM PE firms so opportunities are limited... I was thinking of relocating for an MBA but not before then. Oh well, I've got some thinking to do.

    • 1
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Jan 29, 2019

After rereading your post, I suppose if you are truly dedicated (and believe you have the stats to get in) to getting into an M7 and wanting to get into IB afterwords, it may not be a horrible idea. I would certainly still get the CFA as it will show you have the analytical bandwith and dedication to understand the finance concepts in banking. You'd also get good experience with sales and understanding different investment styles and what not, which would help in banking. You'd have to be comfortable with the traveling load though.

Sorry for walking back my initial comment and adding even more uncertainty. I would recommend truly thinking about your priorities, what you want to achieve, and how you plan on getting there.

    • 2
Jan 29, 2019

Well I definitely have the bias of a non-target kid that wants to rebrand himself through the classic M7 => BB IB route. I think I've got a decent profile as I was a foreigner full ride athlete at my school (team captain, most wins all-time, arthur ashe award etc), hopefully I'll have the CFA wrapped up by the end of the year then I can focus on GMAT. I think M7 is a reach, but 7-15 doable. We'll see.

Your final comment is spot on, and probably is what kept me up the last few nights... a new opportunity and being exposed to the PE world does naively sound exciting to me.

    • 1
Jan 30, 2019

Chiming in given my current role (see username):

The skillset you leverage as a PE BD professional is somewhat overlapping but largely distinct from the investment / execution role. BD is all about relationship and project management... think of it as a sales job, except instead of selling a widget, you're selling your firm as a potential exit strategy for an owner. If you're the extroverted type, it doesn't get better in finance as you're still exposed to deals (to a point), but actually get to talk to humans instead of spreadsheets.

That said, if numbers are more your speed, I'd recommend the IB -> PE track, unless this is a sourcing intensive execution role (Insight, Summit, etc.). Some firms will have BD guys do some technical work, although it's mostly back of the envelope (ie quick determination if a company is worth the investment team's time) and scattered. All depends on your LT goals

    • 1
Jan 31, 2019

Great to hear from someone currently in a PE BD role, thanks for your feedback. I would definitely consider myself extroverted so I am thinking if I get the job I give it a try and if it doesn't go as planned I reset my career track in 2y with an MBA.
A few questions if I may:

-How large is your BD team? Is it expanding? Seems like the industry trend is to hire more and more BD guys.

-How much travelling do you have to do?

-Does your initial screening/recommendation for the investment team on deals that you bring on carry some weight? In other words, are you respected for the work you accomplish?

-Could you ballpark base + % bonus for analyst/associate/VP? It's difficult to find data points.

Final round is tomorrow so any additional color would be very helpful...

    • 1
Feb 8, 2019