Did 2021 on-cycle recruit, joined a MF PE firm that I'm not that excited about...

Background: Did 2.5 years of Nat Res / P&U at top BB, joined MF PE in NY/HOU this fall

Last year, I took the best offer that I thought would give me the most optionality moving forward. Currently just a month into my job, took no breaks between my last job and current, and honestly can't see myself doing another 2 years of intense hours...feel like I'm going to burnout within the next 6 months. Honestly I just absolutely hated my old bank and remote WFH made me hate the people there even more so I felt like I had to make the move. 

Questions I have for WSO: 

  1. What is the minimum time I need to work for at my current firm and it not be seen as a red flag? Does switching jobs in the COVID-era give a "free pass" in the sense that people are more liberal in terms of not being too stringent on this? 

  2. Other than the hours, another reason I'm not that excited is because my firm's strategy is a bit vanilla. I'd like to try out some special situations stuff (always was interested in credit, never got the chance to) or try out some different verticals (tech perhaps, but I don't have strong conviction there) - what level would I get considered for in terms of hiring?

  3. Should I be participating in this fleury of 2022 on-cycle activity at all? Gotten a lot of calls with HHs that I haven't responded to, and not sure if I should have been more open

  4. On the topic of HHs - how do I discuss with HHs what I'm looking for? How soon should I be talking with them? I had a constant dialogue with most of the well-reputed ones during my banking stint so the relationships are already there

  5. Does being at a top MF PE actually help get looks for future roles that are still fairly junior? I'm not trying to do 2 years here and then lateral as a Senior Associate (I know being at a top PE shop would help in this case). Not sure if this is a stupid question but don't top PE programs in general want fresh year 0s to groom? 

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Comments (30)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 16, 2021 - 9:11am

Good luck OP hopefully someone has good insight to answer your questions.

I'm in your shoes currently recruiting on cycle for energy MF PE. what first should I avoid? Is this a KKR / BX MF?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Sep 16, 2021 - 5:31pm

Hey - also recruiting on-cycle for energy MF PE but the only person around my circle that is. How are you feeling about it? What are your tier 0/1 destinations? 

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Sep 16, 2021 - 5:40pm

I didn't recruit for O&G funds and had zero interest in Houston, was more looking at Infra / renewables.

Despite the name Blackstone Energy Partners has 0 O&G investments and is fully focused on Energy Transition. Carlyle / Apollo have been pretty big on power. KKR and EQT Infra have very broad mandates as to what constitutes "infra". Then there's obviously GIP / Stonepeak who are very disciplined and focus on energy / transport primarily.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Sep 16, 2021 - 10:56pm

Different poster but pretty much the seat/position I'm in right now…don't want to be Houston either. If you got offers at all these places, how would you order your choices here?

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Sep 16, 2021 - 11:29pm

So I actually got offers at a few of these, below what I know:

- KKR Infra: Menlo Park, really broad mandate - their definition of infra is really anything with hyper stable cash flows, e.g. I've seen them look at <1% churn services businesses (no contractual obligation)

- EQT Infra: NYC, similar to KKR, more relaxed

- MSIP: NYC, similar to KKR and EQT above

- Carlyle Infra: NYC, power focus (they have a dedicated airports team in DC), relatively small fund and does a lot of asset deals

- Blackrock Infra: Greenwich, similar to Carlyle above

- Apollo NatRes: NYC, focused more on adjacent / first derivative stuff (e.g. O&G services, renewable O&Ms, etc.), classic Apollo culture

- Blackstone Infra: NYC, $20bn of permanent capital so looking to hold $1bn+ equity checks for 10-15+ years, core / core+ platform focus with a lot of digital infra too, most of investment team from corporate PE backgrounds, 80% of hires from Harvard / HBS

- Blackstone Energy: NYC, $4bn fund w/ automatic 30% co-invest from BCP so effective $6.5bn fund, focused exclusively on energy transition / first derivative stuff 

- Oaktree Infra: NYC, also platform focused, pretty sweaty and mediocre returns (same goes for all of Oaktree)

- GIP: NYC, #1 fund in the world in terms of size and returns ($22bn with all 3 funds at ~20% IRR), super disciplined mandate on transport / energy / water (i.e. no adjacencies / digital), will do asset deals and most people have an infra background, heard culture / hours are rough but didn't speak to them

- Stonepeak: NYC, somewhere in between Blackstone Infra and GIP

- Warburg Energy: Houston, one of the last true O&G investors, they used to even do upstream stuff but probably not anymore (my info here is dated)

- Riverstone: Houston, traditionally an O&G / midstream name but have recently begun expanding into power as well

- Antin: NYC, platform focused espec. in power, strong returns and underappreciated brand in the U.S.

Then there's all the Canadians / SWF types (Brookfield, CPPIB, OTPP, OMERS, Mubadala, GIC, Allianz, IFM, Ullico) etc. which are very low cost of capital and the experience there is hardcore infra (vs. the MFs above which focus more on platforms / corporates in the broader infra space). You also get paid less - significantly less.

Finally there's places like iSquared and MIRA which fall somewhere in between the two buckets. MIRA closer to the Canadians, iSquared closer to the MFs IMO but others might disagree.

I probs missed a few but hope this helps.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Sep 17, 2021 - 12:05am

Did y'all get these opps from the Houston office? Joining a top group for FT next summer and wondering how the On-cycle will play out.

Sep 17, 2021 - 3:54am

To answer your questions:

  1. What is the minimum time I need to work for at my current firm and it not be seen as a red flag? Does switching jobs in the COVID-era give a "free pass" in the sense that people are more liberal in terms of not being too stringent on this?  - Usually at least a year. Anything less usually raises suspicions as to why you weren't there longer or if you have commitment issues to a job. COVID doesn't really give you a free pass here given you can perform the same job remotely as you can in person. Not saying it's right or fair but it's what it is. Others correct me if my view is overly myopic

  2. Other than the hours, another reason I'm not that excited is because my firm's strategy is a bit vanilla. I'd like to try out some special situations stuff (always was interested in credit, never got the chance to) or try out some different verticals (tech perhaps, but I don't have strong conviction there) - what level would I get considered for in terms of hiring? - Sure you might but again, need to have been at your firm at least a year before you start looking. And even if you do land a gig in special sits, your life will be just as bad in terms of balance so think to yourself if that will move the needle for you in terms of accepting such rigor

  3. Should I be participating in this fleury of 2022 on-cycle activity at all? Gotten a lot of calls with HHs that I haven't responded to, and not sure if I should have been more open - you can conversate with the HHs on your situation and see if that'll yield any results, wont hurt. But I'm inclined to think that any fund looking to hire would be highly skeptical of recruiting someone who is a month or two into his PE job. Certainly when I was in PE and recruiting this would've been a red flag the recruiters would've bought to my attention.

  4. On the topic of HHs - how do I discuss with HHs what I'm looking for? How soon should I be talking with them? I had a constant dialogue with most of the well-reputed ones during my banking stint so the relationships are already there - See above. Going to be tough convincing the same ones to get you a job right after you started the one they helped you get. Poor optics for them and makes you look unreliable in their eyes. I'd wait till a year and then start floating the idea to them. I know you think you're not going to make it but unfortunately this is the timeline which will be required. If you can't make the six months right now then why are you trying to go to a different PE fund as a serious question?

  5. Does being at a top MF PE actually help get looks for future roles that are still fairly junior? I'm not trying to do 2 years here and then lateral as a Senior Associate (I know being at a top PE shop would help in this case). Not sure if this is a stupid question but don't top PE programs in general want fresh year 0s to groom? - not really sure what you are asking here, please rephrase

  • 7
  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Sep 17, 2021 - 4:08am

Thanks! Appreciate the advice, was  happy when I saw you had commented on my post as I'm accustomed to seeing great stuff from you. A year seems to be the sticking point here. Unfortunately I think my firm is on a December-end schedule so by staying a year and then leaving, say in July, am I leaving money (7/12 of a bonus) on the table or will PE funds usually pay out what I'm vested? 

1-4 make sense to me. With 5 I meant moreso that since I'm looking to stay <2 years and recruiting isn't as fluid as it might be @ the Senior Associate mark, do 1) good funds even hire people @ the interim-mark (namely, associates with a year of work experience; unsure how common this even is) and 2) do newly-minted Associate 1s have to "restart" at the incoming firm as an Associate 0 or does that year of work experience carry over with them? 

For example, I heard there was a mass exodus at Apollo this last year with Associates at all levels quitting (presumably with some of them finding new jobs). Curious to see how many land on their feet and not have to take a "reset" in work experience by leaving intra-year (ex. 8 months in, 18 months in, etc)

Sep 17, 2021 - 4:18am

Thanks for the words.

To be clear, you will not be paid out on any accrued bonus you earned if you leave early. Just the way it is. 

And I see what you mean on 5, I can't really answer as I don't have any personal exp or friends who have experienced this. But I'd imagine if you joined a new place after a year from your current MF then you would come in as a 2nd yr rather than an A0 unless it was a totally different strategy and they felt you needed to start from scratch. Hard to say without context

  • 4
Sep 18, 2021 - 7:35pm

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