Full Time Megafund Recruiting

Was wondering if anyone had any information on the full time recruiting process at MF's (BX, KKR, Apollo, TPG, Warburg, etc.) for undergrad students. I'll be at a top EB for my SA stint and, though I will most likely stay for FT, I figured I might as well at least try for a few MF's now since it might give me a leg up come associate recruiting. Any advice on how the recruiting process is structured and on how to do well in any coffee chats/interviews is appreciated. Thanks.

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Comments (48)

Jul 21, 2017 - 9:54am

Basically impossible and not worth your time. BX hires some, Warburg hires a couple, not sure about KKR and Apollo.

Basically all the seats are taken by Harvard kids and Wharton undergrad kids. Focus on your full-time analyst role and you'll get at-bats on the normal recruiting schedule.

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Jul 26, 2017 - 9:46am

Basically came down to the seniors expecting analysts straight out of undergrad to be performing as well as their ex-IB counterparts. At least this is what I heard from an analyst there right now.

Jul 26, 2017 - 9:47am

MF recruiting: what are the decision points? (Originally Posted: 03/28/2016)

With such a wealth of candidates available for not many at all slots, and assuming all the 1st rounders come from reputable groups/backgrounds, what are the key decision points that influence who gets a MF role? I know for IB recruiting there were good kids on paper who just had no clue how to interview or didn't prepare well, even at targets, but I imagine MFs probably see more polish uniformly in their candidates. So, if most people have good schools/grades/groups, can speak well to their deals, can build out a decent model, and nail the usual LBO techs, what really determines who gets the job?

Jul 26, 2017 - 9:48am

It's not all that different from any other job interview - it just boils down to who they like the most. Sometimes there are factors in play that make employers "like" someone more. For example, all else equal, employers like people who went to the same school or came out of the same group, or whom they personally know (or maybe your dad is a bigshot somewhere), or people who are just naturally very personable or come off as very intelligent. You're definitely right in that candidates are more polished, but there are still big differences in the quality of candidates and how the same candidate will perform in interviews with different people.

Jul 26, 2017 - 9:49am

I suppose you're right, and Occam's Razor may apply here more than anything. Still, curious for someone who's been on the other side of the desk to chime in--how did you make the calls and cuts, and can you give us a play-by-play of what the discussion was like?

Jul 26, 2017 - 9:50am

Got cut at a mf superday for summer analyst role because of my college. 3 targets, myself and 1 other student from umich for 1 spot. The highest seniority interviewer's alma mater was mich.. Guess who got the job.

Jul 26, 2017 - 9:51am

Good advice on megafund recruiting (Originally Posted: 04/18/2011)

Always cold call prior to the megafund interview with an associate close to your background (aka same BB, same group, same ugrad, etc.) and ask for advice for your upcoming interview. This is very helpful since they give you ALL you need to know for the interview (case study tips, modeling tips, "why PE" etc.)

You just need to do this once for each interview you have.

Remember: NETWORK matters even more at the higher stages of the game.

Jul 26, 2017 - 9:52am

appreciate the advice boutique.

quick question: if I'm from a non-target (worked at Kohl's instead of target), can I still network my way into the megafunds like k-mart and sear's? how do you like k-mart anyway?

Jul 26, 2017 - 9:54am

would you recommend cold-emailing first to arrange a time and avoid catching the person at a bad time?? I'd imagine you wouldn't do yourself any favors if they're swamped with work and you are expecting to learn everything about the interview process.

Jul 26, 2017 - 9:55am
would you recommend cold-emailing first to arrange a time and avoid catching the person at a bad time?? I'd imagine you wouldn't do yourself any favors if they're swamped with work and you are expecting to learn everything about the interview process.

No, this is redundant. Call them and just ask if you caught them at a good time. If you didn't, they will let you know. Otherwise, you can email and attempt to schedule a call, but it will be hit or miss anyway, and I would prefer to try to get through directly and actually speak to the person.

Jul 26, 2017 - 9:56am

How are you unbanned...

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Jul 26, 2017 - 9:57am

Mega funds done recruiting (Originally Posted: 01/29/2016)

The fact that there hasn't been any activity on these forums shows just how:

a) detached the user base is from people who are actually in the investment banking / PE industry
b) how dead the WSO community has become

Pretty much all of the mega funds are done recruiting now

Jul 26, 2017 - 10:00am

Personally, I won't be/ decided not to waste my time on mega funds. Not that they aren't great, I would take an opp. at one in a heartbeat; however, I know where I stand and my time is better spent on networking and interviewing with middle market funds.

Also, if you go around posting saying you got an interview and then don't get an offer, you look like in idiot. If you did get an offer from a MF, (1) why would you post bragging about it, (2) how much more use can you find from this board?

No surprise there hasn't been much said, but congrats to those who interviewed/received offers.

Jul 26, 2017 - 10:01am

Well it's not just mega funds that are finished. I just used that as a benchmark because they tend to kick off the process and the entire timeline is wrapped up in a couple of days

I'm at a bank in NY and pretty much 80% of our class is done recruiting for PE, with a handful already done for HFs. I think I'm just surprised that there was no real commotion on the forum... WSO used to be so much more active (before the website just became a vehicle to market its crappy products)

Jul 26, 2017 - 10:02am

Yea, I knew recruiting was going on. Was surprised as well. Usually a very big deal on WSO.

"If you want to succeed in this life, you need to understand that duty comes before rights and that responsibility precedes opportunity."
Jul 26, 2017 - 10:04am

PE Europe / recruitment MF (Originally Posted: 01/27/2010)

hi there
i am a MF candidate at a top5 business school in europe contemplating to start working in PE after graduation From previous topics i know that the recruitment issue has been well dwelled on but I d like to get a perspective on the european market as well.

How are the odds to land a job in PE in Europe coming straight out of GradSchool?

I ve interned at a BBIB, not in M&A but in IR advisory. I have an offer for a summer internship at a fund focusing largely on upper middle market transactions (7.5€b in size) but also 2 offers to intern in M&A at BBIBs.
I m aware of the fact that the PE internship d provide me with the industry insight, a foot in the door and tech skills.
However,i do not know what the odds are to receive a full time offer afterwards since I know most PEs only hold associate positions for people with 2-3 years prior experience in PE/M&A/consulting eiher with MF/MBA degree.
IB summer analyst program d provide me with the tech skills as well plus possibly an offer.

Since this weights heavy on my rationale , what d u guys do? Is size of fund and prob of receiving an offer negatively correlated?

i d appreciate any thoughts on this.


Jul 26, 2017 - 10:05am

..ur in a good spot. if a return FT offer is what you're really concerned with, take the investment bank.

you'll definitely get interviews with the PE experience come FT recruiting.

i would personally take the bb ib since it opens up doors for networking within banking, trading, pe and hf. the pe shop may give you some solid connections (albeit much less than bbib).

------------ I'm making it up as I go along.
  • 1
Jul 26, 2017 - 10:06am

thanks for your answer cornelius.
so u mean that the PE experience will provide me with shots at FToffers not only in IB but also in PE?

Jul 26, 2017 - 10:07am

i wonder if there is really so few europe based folks around...
please guys share ur thoughts on this!!
i really want to assess the prob of receiving a FT in PE straight outta grad school!
can some smaller shops create such a position?
or is simply impossible? i mean interning at the fund is nice and all but if there is no chance at all of getting in after grad school then this is a no brainer...

Jul 26, 2017 - 10:08am

FT MF recruiting out of undergrad (Originally Posted: 09/05/2016)

I am a senior at a target (think Columbia, Chicago, Duke), have a ~3.9 GPA, interned in one of the "top groups" at GS/MS this summer and received a return offer.

which MFs recruit directly out of undergrad? And do they primarily convert interns to FTs or do they also hire FTs directly? From browsing around, I see BX PE recruits undergrads, but the ones posted on their website so far are summer internships. Do they hire FTs directly?

Understand that some MFs (Warburg, Silverlake etc) have OCR at top targets, but don't think that's the case with my target. Also understand that anyone's chances are slim when it comes to this, but just want to have a clearer picture.

Thanks in advance.

Jul 26, 2017 - 10:11am

BX, TPG, Silver Lake, KKR, all have processes that are by now finished. I would expect they hire primarily from the NY offices (Silver Lake might take from MS Menlo / Qatalyst / PJT SF) and primarily from Wharton / Harvard. I know that there are sometimes other postings at Columbia, Dartmouth, but they have since been taken down.

You are right in that most spots will be fulled by summers, but there is some limited availability. I think it would be very difficult to recruit not having summered in NY / SF however

Best Response
Jul 26, 2017 - 10:12am

It's a process that moves quickly. Seats are so limited (PE analyst classes are so small and there are so few firms doing them) that everything is entirely done and dusted within a couple weeks of the summer internship program ending.

I'm a few years removed, and the entire phenomenon is young to begin with (with the exception of Silver Lake who has been taking the top couple kids at Wharton forever [actually, the very best sometimes went to Silver Point or Apollo]), but top candidates often had their interviews lined up before they left their banking internship.

Anecdotally, my group lost a fantastic intern (who spent interned both as a sophomore and junior) to a MF, and that kid had their MF offer the Thursday after the internship ended.

Know that the circles are so tightly-knit at that rarefied level (if you can't detect the dripping sarcasm, God help you) that the MF PE analyst one or two years in (who was a standout during OCR) is often roping their business fraternity or social fraternity little or grandlittle or best friend in.

Anecdotally, that intern I referred to before was the same gender and ethnicity and program within the same school as the last analyst that fund hired. It's a machine; the funds know what type of candidate they want, and in the end it winds up being a self-perpetuating phenomenon.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

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Jul 26, 2017 - 10:19am

Megafund PE Recruiting (Originally Posted: 07/10/2012)

Can someone explain to me the mechanics of PE recruiting for analysts that are currently in banking roles? I heard from others a few months ago that it is the winter after you first start (so you start around July for FT and PE firms start interviews in maybe January). Is this true? They really recruit you 1.5 years in advanced? Can someone explain the whole process in as much detail as possible? Thanks


Jul 26, 2017 - 10:20am

I think people have posted that the mechanics are currently changing at the moment. Nobody really knows how megafunds are recruiting going forward.

Jul 26, 2017 - 10:22am

I'm curious don't PE/HF firms want to recruit top bucket analysts? How do PE/HF firms know who the top bucket analysts after 5 months?

Robert Clayton Dean: What is happening?
Brill: I blew up the building.
Robert Clayton Dean: Why?
Brill: Because you made a phone call.

Jul 26, 2017 - 10:23am

Megafund FT Analyst Recruiting (Originally Posted: 10/08/2013)

Does anyone know which MFs are still recruiting at the analyst level for kids that spent a summer in banking?

on a side note - since its now the 2nd week of October, how likely is it that MFs can get strong candidates to interview? i would think that, at this point, almost all kids have already signed return offers or signed elsewhere FT.

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