Graduate Career Advice - Off-cycle PE Analyst Offer vs Off-cycle IBD (London)

Hi guys,

Recently graduated from university with great grades (top in year at a target in hard subject) but no IB offer. I did a summer internship in BB IBD 2020 (virtual) but did not convert, was in the 35% that did not convert, but they didn't convert any interns in my team as extremely limited availability, most of my work was intern project based which is a bit BS.

Didn't successfully recruit to a good bank FT (managed to get Stifel /Cantor Fitzgerald offers), probably due to over focus on my final year grade at university, however have managed to get an off cycle analyst offer in PE (Cinven / EQT / Carlyle) but unsure if I'll be able to convert it. Also received an offer for off cycle IBD M&A at a tier 2/3 bank (DB / Barc / HSBC) which has high conversion.

I am highly likely to take the PE offer as it's a very unique experience and I think it will give me great exposure / network to buy side investing which is my ultimate goal. The firm is also prestigious within London and it was a very competitive process, even taking the no conversion factor into consideration. Most of last year's cohort have gone onto top IBD programmes / MBB / PE grad, however most of them converted their internships.

Is it too much of a risk to hope for an opening for a 2022 analyst role at a top bank and take the PE offering? I haven't secured a 2022 grad role yet in IBD, and feel like I've missed some openings. However I know that some of them open at the start of next year / before summer for spaces?

Please let me know your thoughts!

Cheers

Comments (22)

Dec 5, 2021 - 2:00pm

(DB / Barc / HSBC)

One of these is not the same. 

As long as it's not HSBC in that list, I'd take the IBD OC. Pretty hard to not convert an OC at a bank.

But seems you've kind of already made up your mind here? 

Dec 6, 2021 - 8:37pm

All people I know that did an off-cycle in PE did not convert, so apparently its quite hard (but also depends on team). However, all those guys were able to secure BB FT positions due to network they gained from the internship – therefore I would go for PE for the experience as well as recruiting network you get through that.

Dec 7, 2021 - 6:02am

Thanks for the insight. This is for London, so analyst 1 applications are quite standardised in comparison to America - I assume seniors have less impact on giving interviews (i.e. still have to do online tests to pass initial screening and video interviews).

How would you suggest I leverage the network from the PE experience to get a FT offer at BB banks? Should I reach out to the IBs I work with and arrange a coffee chat or is it more naturally flowing than this?

Thanks for your help!

Dec 9, 2021 - 8:06pm

I was talking about London too – yes processes are very standardised, but occasionally certain teams may look for additional Analysts anytime throughout the year. Recruiting for those positions is limited and you can usually only get them via referral, hence leverage network. If you perform well at the PE just speak to some of the Assocs (who presumably worked at a BB not too long ago) and flag interest about placement into a group in IB, ideally they will keep their ears open and help you get your CV in. That's the way it worked for some of my friends who interned at MFs.

Dec 7, 2021 - 6:07am

I'd take an internship that can covert in 99% of cases, easier to apply to full time roles having a backup option vs. being unemployed. I know it has worked very well for some people but I am risk averse and would not risk it. You can always do your OC and recruit for FT at better banks or lateral after a year. But obviously this really depends on your circumstances - can your family support you if you were to be unemployed etc? 

Dec 7, 2021 - 8:08am

Thanks for the advice Pan European Monkey - your info on other forums has been very useful to me in the last couple of years.

The reason for not taking the OC is the fact it's for a tier 3 bank and potentially non-M&A (details TBC over next couple of weeks; could be DCM / Lev. Fin).

Whereas the PE firm is elite (in terms of deals, calibre of associates and calibre of interns - ex GS / MS / JPM / MBB / EB). Having gone through both recruiting processes I reckon I'd learn alot more and build a better network in the PE firm vs joining the OC at a bank. The major problem is I'll need to recruit for FT during it.

My main questions to you are:

  • what is the timeline / process for recruiting into FT 2022? Last year I saw some advertised very late (i.e. a couple months before starting date).
  • what should be my strategy for securing a FT 2022 grad role at other banks in London (most processes are standardised and have very limited vacancies, should I re-recruit to a top BB / EB OC?

Cheers

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Dec 7, 2021 - 10:31am

FT 2022 recruiting started in August/September and most places have already done with it (I personally got an offer in an EB in late September and they have finished few weeks later with the recruiting).It is also true that some places could potentially reopen the application or interview through connections for some new slots in winter/spring. For this reason I think that networking could be important in your situation (you could know about reopen processes in some teams through your connection - a couple of friends got their FT offer last year in this way).

Dec 7, 2021 - 10:53am

Look I get it, the prestige yadiyadiya, but this is just my view and that's fine if you disagree with me, this is my advice from a professional that is few years into his career. 

FT 2022 has already started if not wrapped up (usually wraps up by December), to get a FT role over the next year or so I'd think that an OC is the best route. 
 

Question you need to ask yourself is also why are interns at this PE fund going to top places - is it because they had already converted a top summer internship or did they get their top job after spending time there. Truth is (and I have friends who have done these at Cinven, Carlyle, Apollo) that most people go into these PE internships already with a return offer from their top IB firm. 
 

Dec 7, 2021 - 8:13am

Regarding financial security, I fortunately do not need to support my family directly, however I am from a humble background.

I don't live in London, so I would need income to support me renting here, however an internship is suffice for 6 months.

I will figure out in the first month if the internship is convertible. If I don't think it is, I will push hard on networking for other places and spend most of my evenings / weekends / lunches meeting as many people as possible.

  • Intern in PE - Growth
Dec 7, 2021 - 6:30pm

if it is HSBC its only 3 months though, with those who convert coming back in July. spoke to a friend their last year all their OCs convert given that they don't allow you to apply directly to IBD 

Dec 14, 2021 - 8:56am

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