Credit Suisse —> Mega Fund | Ask Anything

I've received invaluable advice and guidance from WSO peers over the past few years, so I figured I'd take some time to try and share insights I've gained from my experiences.

Brief background: Attended a non-target, but pretty well known, UG. Currently working at Credit Suisse and have accepted a PE offer with a top MF (on-cycle). I'll keep it at that to maintain some level of anonymity.

Happy to answer any questions. I'll try to be candid in my responses and hopefully can be of some help.

Comments (47)

Oct 12, 2019

Are you in lev fin (off of your comment on another thread) or sponsors? or a different group?

Funniest
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 12, 2019

Why you trying to blow up his spot lmao

    • 2
Oct 12, 2019

All good haha made this burner account for a reason. I've actually spent time in 2 different groups. But I also have close friends throughout IBCM at CS, so I have insights into most groups

Oct 12, 2019

I'm not trying to blow up anything (whatever tf that means). I'm curious what groups at CS place in MF PE but it was answered below as someone else had the same question.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 12, 2019

Did you recruit as a first year or second year? Did group placement matter for PE looks from CS?

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Most Helpful
Oct 12, 2019

I recruited as a first year. From what I've seen the groups that place the best and most consistently into PE out of CS are: Sponsors, Lev Fin Origination & Restructuring, and then either M&A or TMT.

That being said, I've had several friends place into mega funds out of other groups at CS. Generally, CS places very well overall. If you prepare and perform well, group shouldn't matter too much

    • 3
Oct 12, 2019

Hi,

If was wondering if you were aware about how hard if would be for someone working as a valuations analyst to jump to IB and if you had any tips or advice for this!

Thank you!

Array

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 12, 2019

what kind of GPA and undergrad experience do you feel is needed to land MF offers

Oct 12, 2019

I'd say if you're at at least a ~3.7 GPA and a 1400 (~2000) SAT / 30 ACT, you should check those boxes. But prior internship experience and strong resume in general are very important

Oct 13, 2019

Does SAT really matter that much? You take those like junior year of HS, seems really odd to me that they even take those into consideration

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 12, 2019

how should a college senior going to a good group best prepare for PE recruiting? is it worth it to do interview/case/modeling prep?

    • 1
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 12, 2019

Also interested. Heard you just talk to people in the group who have already gone through the process but I feel like that it's a bit too obvious that you're trying to leave...

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 13, 2019

Also interested.

Oct 13, 2019

Continue to build your resume senior year, keep your grades high, figure out what types of firms and strategies you have interest in, learn from the recruiting processes that your mentors went through, etc.

PE recruiting is happening so early now that you've really got to be on top of it pretty early on. It's not enough to rely on being in a good group or at a good bank. There are some good threads on this, so I won't spend too much time here

    • 1
  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Oct 13, 2019

Can you comment on how well Credit Suisse's APAC Financing Group places into buyside recruitment?

Oct 13, 2019

I'm actually not too familiar with the APAC financing group. It would be an untraditional path and may be tought to gain traction since it's not a tradition IB group.

That being said, you'd be surprised how many ppl end up getting into PE out of "untraditional" paths. WSO loves to make it seem like there's only one way to make it into PE. I can tell you that at the firm I'm going to, there are a wide array of backgrounds (IB, Consulting, Direct Lending, Corp Dev, etc)

Build out a network and go for it

    • 1
Oct 16, 2019

Hey mate, AFG is definitely a good group if you want to aim for distressed/special situations firms. Relatively new but I know they do good stuff up and down the capital structure (from senior all the way to pref equity) so i would say it gives you good experience for the above.

PE is slightly different as you're looking at the other side of the coin (equity) but CS is well respected enough to get you an interview at least.

  • Intern in HF - Other
Oct 14, 2019

Thanks for this. Can you speak on how CS views mobility at the firm. How difficult is it to switch groups from say one non-modeling IBCM Group to a better group after 1 year and how would you go about doing this?

Can you also speak to the culture/rep of CS LFO&R? How is their PE & Credit Fund placement? And if someone lateraled into the group after 1 yr, could they do buyside recruiting as a 2nd yr analyst or would it be better to complete a year and then recruit as a 3rd yr analyst (but 2nd year in the new group). Thanks in advance.

Oct 14, 2019

I'd say the bank is pretty flexible in terms of being able to lateral groups throughout the analyst program. It seems to be a little more difficult to lateral from a coverage group that doesn't model to a product group than the other way around. Build out a network as you work with different teams on your deals. Find people that will push for you

CS LFO&R is very strong. The overwhelming majority of CS IBCM revenue comes from the bank's LevFin and Sponsors efforts, so naturally those groups carry the strongest reputations, deal flow and exit opps. They seem to keep the team pretty lean, so expectations are definitely high. Everyone I know that has gone through LFO&R and wanted to do PE has done so successfully (at solid firms). Same goes for those interested in credit.

You could recruit as a 2nd year, or recruit as if it was your "first year". Generally speaking, I think off cycle recruiting can be a little more difficult, but it could also give you more time to prepare. Keep in mind that recruiting processes also pop up whenever there is a need...I've even seen MF's run late processes and hire 2nd years to start at the completion of that year. So you never know

    • 1
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 15, 2019

Thanks for doing the AMA - can you provide any insight on how much your group within a bank matters for headhunter looks for MF? Do candidates from top groups in a bank exclusively get looks that people in other groups wouldn't? For example at MS/JPM, if you're in coverage and not M&A

    • 1
Oct 15, 2019

It's important to realize that your school/bank/group will always play somewhat of a role in PE recruiting. Headhunters historically have had success with certain groups and will continue to target them for that reason. So if you are at a top group at your bank, you may get a little more natural traction than other groups.

However, and I can't stress this enough, that is not to say headhunters won't reach out and you won't get interviews if you aren't in a top group. They will, and you can land great offers from any EB/BB group if you prepare enough. You'd be surprised to see the range of groups/banks that ppl place into MF's from

    • 1
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 16, 2019

Thanks for the answer, really appreciate it. Quick follow-up if you don't mind: given that most first-years won't have any real deal experience going into on-cycle besides what they might've worked on over the prior summer, what kind of questions should we be prepared for? What kind of questions were you asked?

    • 1
Oct 15, 2019

Thanks for this - can you provide any insight on how much approximately in percentage people in your MF have IB background vs. consulting background ? Do you feel there is a trend of recruitment targeting more and more people with consulting background ?

Oct 15, 2019

Tough to estimate tbh. Consulting is still a pretty small minority as most still come from IB, MM PE, and HF backgrounds. I've met a few MBB consultants throughout my PE recruiting processes. Idk if I would say that's an increasing trend, but MF's are more than happy to take consultants if they are able to lock down the technical skills through self-study

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 15, 2019

it really really depends on the fund.

  • Intern in Other
Oct 22, 2019

you have seen ppl go from HF to PE?

  • Intern in CorpDev
Oct 16, 2019

Hey, can you talk a little bit more about the securitized products group at CS? if you know anything about it and if you've seen a lot people from that group go into MF

Oct 19, 2019

Don't know much about the securitized products at CS. Seems like a lot of people choose to stay in the group.. haven't heard of many PE exits from it

Oct 16, 2019

Can you tell us anything about Credit Suisse's Consumer and Retail group? What's the culture like? Are the exits any good? Is the deal flow any good? Going off of that, obviously many of better PE exits come out of the product groups, but how do you feel about picking an industry group if I am really passionate about that industry? Will my chances at PE be that much lower from say C&R than M&A?

Oct 19, 2019

I wouldn't consider Consumer to be a top group, but that's not to say you wouldn't have a good experience. If you're passionate about it, go for it. Have heard mixed things about the group culture... but culture comes and goes in banking. There's so much turnover that it's tough to base a decision on that (unless it's very toxic at the senior level..)

You'll still definitely get solid PE looks from the group, but may have a little more to prove since you wouldn't naturally develop the same technical skill set as you would in other groups.

I'd prioritize following your interests. If you're a top analyst in your group,you'll always get looks

Oct 22, 2019

Awesome. Thanks for the info!

Oct 23, 2019

I am familiar with the C&R group. Have heard the culture is very toxic through a friend who interned there and would highly caution against joining that group. If you're at CS, the groups to be in are Sponsors, Lev Fin, TMT, M&A, and Industrials.

Oct 24, 2019

Wow that is actually pretty surprising to hear because I heard from another source that the culture in C&R was friendly and "family-like." Definitely M&A and Sponsors are up there on my top choice. TMT is ran out of SF correct? Is there a TMT in NY or is that mostly MT? How do the two groups differ between both locations?

  • Prospect in Risk Mnmgt
Oct 23, 2019

Can you detail your recruiting timeline, coffee chats in the spring/summer? any networking prior? or was it just head hunters reaching out to you in september?

Oct 23, 2019

Everybody is afraid to ask about comp now or what?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 24, 2019

comp is standard so who cares?

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Oct 23, 2019

What knowledge do you have on CS FIG and REGAL? Do their analysts place well? How does the street see these groups overall? They're obviously not in the set of groups you mentioned but FIG tends to be a big revenue driver and REGAL groups have been crushing it a lot of places the last few years.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Oct 28, 2019

bump

Nov 8, 2019
Comment
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 25, 2019