Do people ever regret moving to PE?

Summer analyst at a BB in IBD. Really enjoying my internship and plan to return full time, same group if I get the offer. Our staffer is an analyst promote to VP and I was able to chat with him a bit about his experiences last night and why he stayed; his response was that after you put in your dues as an Analyst and Associate you get an excellent life as a senior banker and (to my question) that many of the other analysts he started out with who jumped now mention to him how they regret having moved. Was curious if this was anyone else's experience, or whether (either to MM PE, megafund, hedge fund, corp dev, etc.) anyone could speak to exiting, in hindsight, possibly having been a mistake (or at least not so obvious a decision to have made). Would also love to hear from analyst to associate (or beyond) promotes on their experiences or from analysts who made the jump who are glad they did. Thanks.

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Comments (19)

Aug 6, 2016 - 4:54pm

Know someone who did pre MBA PE after 3 years of banking analyst program and returned to the same bank as a 2Y Associate. I guess you could say he was "held back" by a year. He's now a VP2 and seems to enjoy it and will be a career banker. No MBA, target UG.

My personal experience is that banking isn't a bad career option if you don't absolutely hate it as an analyst. Buyside is a better learning experience with better hours but hard to say 5+ years down the road every buyside track could be as lucrative as having stayed in banking the entire time. Really varies by person and by the opportunity.

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Aug 6, 2016 - 6:14pm

Regretting the move to PE? (Originally Posted: 12/30/2011)

I've come to a crossroad and been offered a job at a MM PE firm. I currently work in trading at a European MM bank. My question to you guys who have made the jump from S&T to PE; Do you ever regret doing the move?

-I hate trading other peoples money.
-After 6-8 years I'll be eligble to sit on the board of companies they purchase.
-They'll sponsor the b-school of my choice. (If I choose to attend one)

-I'll have to forgo my earned bonus for 2011 if I make the switch (I get 20% of what I earn in commission), longer hours and have to work some weekends.
-I'm not terrible at what I'm doing now, but this is a whole new skillset I need to learn. (Also a pro, but for now I'll list it as a con)

Please, no high school or college students giving advice. You haven't worked in this industry for more than an internship.

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Aug 6, 2016 - 6:15pm

I'm not sure if you'll get a lot of responses from people who have made a direct transition from S&T to PE, because that should be quite rare. You don't build the skillsets typically desired for PE (re: financial modeling, company analysis) in S&T and typically people will have to do something in between like IB or consulting before being able to move to PE.

The two jobs are quite different. It really depends on what you want to do long term. PE is much slower paced - there's a lot of modeling, due diligence, monitoring involved. If you like looking at companies from a long-term perspective and like thinking like a LT investor, it could be interesting to you. If you prefer the fast pace of the markets, you don't particularly care about doing a deep dive analysis on companies to invest in them, then S&T is a better fit.

Aug 6, 2016 - 6:16pm

@Kanon Thanks for the insight. I don't know why I was offered a position there as I don't have much experience in modeling or analysis (beyond BSing with clients).

It's tempting, but the uphill struggle with my lack of knowledge is weighing down on me.

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"This financial crisis is worse than a divorce. I've lost all my money, but the wife is still here." - Client after getting blown up

Aug 6, 2016 - 6:17pm

I'm really surprised you got an offer if you don't already have a good idea of what PE is about or have a lack of knowledge in modeling. Didn't they ask you to do a case study and assess your understanding or your reason for wanting to make such a drastic switch?

With PE, you're still dealing with other people's (LPs') money. You could get a gain for yourself if after a certain number of years you get to commit part of your salary/bonus to investments, but you're still primarily answering to investors.

You should really ask yourself where your interests lie. If you see learning new skills in PE as an uphill struggle that you're not ready or willing to commit your time to, maybe you're not interested in it enough to make that jump.

Aug 6, 2016 - 6:18pm

I know what PE is all about. It is just that for now my skillset is subpar to what my potential future colleagues have (Already own and read Darkside of Valuation by Damodaran and Financial Modeling by Benninga.) I haven't used this on live deals except research for my own small stock portfolio (~$200k), which I know counts for shit.

No case studies. I was just approached after having interacted with them over the last year. Don't know if they want to increase their understand within a certain field, upcomming deals, source for funding or if its an investment in current business or for the future. I have no idea why me.

This leads back to my original question; Anyone with S&T background regretting their move to PE? (S&T --> B-School --> PE, S&T --> IBD --> PE, whatever route with S&T --> PE)

CNBC sucks

"This financial crisis is worse than a divorce. I've lost all my money, but the wife is still here." - Client after getting blown up

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Aug 6, 2016 - 6:19pm

Find out why you were asked to join the firm and what area you will work in.

I have met a few S&T guys in PE, but they tend to be either in fundraising or used in the exit process (rare).

Honestly, the bulk of the work isn't creating models, its originating deals and fundraising (something you may be good at). There is a trend toward outsourcing back-office (modeling) work, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

More info would help.

Aug 6, 2016 - 6:20pm

I have a close friend of mine made the jump from S&T to MM RE PE. It is uncommon, but definitely possible. One thing I would warn you about is, is that if you like to work in a fast-paced environment, PE probably isn't for you.

The amount of time spent in a data room can drive anyone crazy. That's just my take at least. But again, from a job security stance, you are probably better off in PE.

Aug 6, 2016 - 6:21pm

how much sourcing is involved in this role?

------------ I'm making it up as I go along.
Aug 6, 2016 - 6:22pm

First off, I would like to thank you all for contributing to this thread. Secondly, just got off the phone with the Director over there. He said it would be a rotating/loose role with some fundraising, client meetings, crank some numbers and act as a sparring partner (can't divulge much as it is regarding potential deals.) The only thing I have some experience in is sparring with clients and equity issuance.

I would take a paycut, increase the hours, slower paced, but would end up with some more applicable skills than BSing with clients. I'm leaning on declining the offer since the position is a crossover of consulting, fundraising and investor relations. Sounds cheesy to me, more or less hiring for my Blackberry. But then again, I might be wrong.

Any thoughts from you veterans in the PE field? Do you also see the red flags or am I just color blind?

CNBC sucks

"This financial crisis is worse than a divorce. I've lost all my money, but the wife is still here." - Client after getting blown up

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Aug 6, 2016 - 6:23pm

Well, we have some in house fundraising guys that pull USD 250k a year plus 2% of what they raise. Definitely not a meager wage. As well, depending on how successful you are you can make partner a lot faster than investment professionals. Only two things count in a good firm, sourcing proprietary deals and sourcing capital. Owning the capital raising portion can open doors.

This seems like a good start. Besides, once your in a MM firm where you go is up to you.

Aug 6, 2016 - 6:24pm

I've never heard of this jump occurring given the skill set is different as mentioned above but never say never given your post, PE is slow and if your a trader as most have mentioned I'd be careful. All I can talk from is personal experience as I was in S&T and went into IB and I now understand why everyone told me that each professional is an entire different bred.There are days (most) where I miss the fast paced nature of the markets. So I'd say be true to what you want and if its PE knock the shit out of the park.

its one way or the other: hate me or admire.
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Aug 6, 2016 - 5:00pm

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