European PE Recruiting for Americans from H/S/W

I am going to H/S/W and my only real goal is to get a MF job in Europe (in all likelihood London but there are two other possibilities based on language fluency). Let's ignore pre-MBA experience conversations because I don't want to identify myself by covering my CV here.

I don't have much of a network at H/S/W yet and the career services team hasn't been very helpful. Here are my questions (apologies if this looks like a drawn out diligence questionnaire...)

  1. Is there structured recruiting for European MF offices at H/S/W?

  2. If so, do they recruit at the geography level, or is it like undergrad recruiting where you recruit for the firm and specify an office of interest?

  3. How do you approach the topic of visas with them? I see the firms I want to work at are all historic and currently approved Tier 2 General Visa sponsors (the visa category I will need) in the UK

  4. What story do they expect? The reality is that my fiance and I have frequently gone and just want to live there rather than the US.

  5. Is the easiest way to secure a FT offer to intern with them over the summer?

  6. Should I intern with a European fund in the US (e.g., CVC / Apax NYC) and then request they transfer me to London? In this instance, do they typically only sponsor for Tier 2 ICT (inter-company transfer) instead of Tier 2 General visas? (Unlikely anyone has the answer but want to ask while I'm here).

  7. How much of a role here does networking play? Should I begin immediately?

  8. In general, what differentiates Americans who successfully look to recruit for London/European PE roles?

  9. What else have I failed to ask that I should know?

Pan European Monkey Camondo would appreciate both of your thoughts specifically.

Thank you all.

Comments (9)

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jul 31, 2020 - 10:37pm

I think you have failed to consider that pay is lower and progression is slower across the pond... I'd urge you to play the long term game instead of romanticizing about living in Europe/London.

But if you must, start out in NY office of MF and then transfer there. NY imports have better European career outcomes than organic ones, because 1) you are seen as better/NY trained, 2) have been closer to NY powers, 3) and are seen as taking one for the team. Lots of good examples, Baratta for instance

Plenty of good US MFs in London which are pro-US->International mobility- BX/KKR/APO/Advent/WP/Bain, even Apax. UNLESS you really do want CVC, heard mobility is poor

  • VP in VC
Aug 12, 2020 - 1:07pm

Thank you. Pay is less important (the money is good regardless). But you make an interesting point about progress and path, e.g., Baratta.

Do you know anything about period of time in NYC before transferring, how carry dollars are transferred, how to initiate the process, etc.? This may be a stretch question, but putting it out there in case either you or someone else on the forum knows.

Aug 2, 2020 - 8:42am

Reading each one of the questions I am actually unable to provide meaningful responses. While I certainly made a similar transition, my experience was very different as I didn't go through the MBA / Internships, nor did I speak with MFs, nor did I need to deal with needing a visa. I sadly won't be of much help.

For what it is worth, if you make more than 175k GBP / year salary, you should be in a special visa category that makes life much easier. I didn't go through this process though.


  • 1
  • Investment Analyst in HF - Event
Aug 2, 2020 - 8:44am

If you didn't go through the MBA / internships path, how was your process? Currently at a distressed fund and would maybe look to move in similar capacity to london in the future (international so mainly if visa stuff doesn't work out here in the US)

Aug 2, 2020 - 10:59am

Straight up cold-emailing PE funds directly and headhunters. I was also well progressed post-MBA so there was no structured hiring.


Most Helpful
Aug 12, 2020 - 2:08pm


Let me try to answer a few of your questions:
1. Not entirely sure about that. Most of the MF in London use a very small number of headhunting firms. If you send me a private message, I will give you a few names, so you can have a chat with them and understand the market and the hiring process.

  1. At least in Europe, they hire recent graduates for a specific team in a pre-agreed geography (e.g. You apply to an Associate role in the TMT team in London, the Healthcare team in Madrid, etc).

  2. Very easy topic to raise. I probably mentioned that here in the past. My former partner required a visa to join her MF. The HH asked the question at some point, let the fund know and once she got the offer their legal team sorted out everything. It was incredibly quick and seamless.

  3. You have a life project in Europe, in other words you are unlikely to fly back to the US anytime soon. Might be tricky if the assets you cover are very different from one geography to the other.

  4. A HH will answer these questions better than me.

  5. Again, to be discussed with a London-based HH. She got transferred to another global office, but only after a few years on the job.

  6. Definitely not as much as in the US. That being said, nothing beats a strong network, so if you know people within these organisations who can explain how things work and also make a warm introduction or back you internally, go for it. I can talk about CVC as I interviewed there a long time ago - I worked with the team on a deal and they invited me to the process as they enjoyed working with me. I did not solicit them.

  7. They can fit the European mould and usually speak a few languages.

Hope it helps.

  • 3
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