GS AIMS Private Equity Group

I've been looking into the Private Equity Group within GS AIMS recently (saw a posting a few weeks ago) and noticed a lot of former analysts were able to exit into PE buyout shops, despite the group doing primaries / secondaries / co-investments, rather than LBOs. Would anyone have insight into why this is the case?

I've been reading forums on here that have said it is tough for guys in these sort of FoF roles to get into direct LBO shops, but it seems this happens routinely at GS AIMS PEG.

Any insight would be appreciated!

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Comments (53)

Aug 5, 2019 - 8:18am

To my understanding they do a large amount of co-investments and do a lot of diligence side by side with other sponsors before deciding to invest. I'm assuming the analysts in the group leverage that experience for pure PE roles down the line. And yes, many exit into MM PE roles.

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Aug 6, 2019 - 12:05am

Thanks! Do you think part of the reason for the good exit opps there is because these guys are analyst in the team (I would imagine staying on as an associate there would make it tough to leave just as with any IBD role)?

Oct 6, 2019 - 4:23pm

Analysts are part of a pool and work on everything: growth capital, funds of funds and co-investments. Associates are specialized: some work only on primaries/funds of funds (ie investing in funds only), others on co-investments (almost similar to direct PE), others on seed investments (like VC). It might explain the difference in exit opportunities.

Aug 5, 2019 - 11:14am

I would first double-check what kind of roles these people are exiting to. All of the people I know who worked in AIMS and exited to PE are in investor relations roles - not to say that investor relations is bad, but it is very different than investing roles. You'll find plenty of AIMS alumni at mega funds, but I would venture to say that the majority of them are in investor relations. Again - nothing wrong with investor relations - but I would make sure that these cases don't inflate your perception of AIMS, especially if you want to in an investing role in PE.

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Sep 30, 2019 - 11:09am

They also work on venture capital / seed investments.

Why do they have good exits? My guess: GS brand name, they work on a broad spectrum of investment opportunities (including LBOs, valuations, DCF etc. with co-investments and seed investments), they develop a strong knowledge of the PE industry, trends and funds performance (they are LPs).

Oct 8, 2019 - 10:14am

AIMS = alternative investment manager selection

A lot of what these guys do is diligence other private equity platforms, very fund of funds like.

Would be wary of anyone who mkts this as an investing role. They maybe have historically done a bit of direct investing, but it's very narrowly defined and limited. Some have successfully exited to real investing seats, but few and far between.

This group is generally FoF and secondaries, a lot is manager selection diligence and portfolio reporting - so pretty administrative in nature.

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Oct 12, 2019 - 2:17am

You have no idea what you're talking about. Re-read my post.

Co-investing is separate and apart from FoF or secondaries, so you're either confused or incoherent.

To put this matter to bed, this group is generally not an investing role. They may do some co-investments, but this experience will be few and far between in this group and no one in the mainstream PE/HF world really values it anyway because you're not sourcing, leading, executing deals in the way you would in a typical PE seat.

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Most Helpful
Oct 13, 2019 - 8:52pm

I have had a handful of friends work in the PEG team and this characterization is just not accurate.

There are several parts of AIMS - they have investor relations teams, risk teams etc., but they also have a private equity investing team that focuses on primaries, secondaries, co-investments and GP stakes. While it is not necessarily 100% comparable to a typical PE seat, this is an investing role.

My friends have placed onto the PE investment teams at Berkshire, TPG, Bain, Apax, Francisco, General Atlantic, etc. so I would find it hard to believe a purely administrative role, as you characterize it, would yield these types of exits. Generally the entire analyst class places into these types of roles, so I wouldn't categorize them as "few and far between" either. They do have some individuals place into IR roles at megafunds, but those are from the investor relations team within AIMS, not the investment team in most cases.

In terms of comp/culture, I have heard analysts generally get paid in line with the analysts at GS in the investment bank, but that hours are better (generally minimal weekend work, get off fairly early on Fridays etc.).

Jul 8, 2020 - 2:45pm

Decent group, but would do EB or GS IBD over at any chance. Does FoF, secondaries, co-investment, and a few on GP stakes. In terms of exits, they are not at the level of GS IBD or EBs, but a notch below generally. Modeling exposure is substantially less (e.g.: working on a secondary LP valuation vs M&A). Would never join this group if your past an analyst if you want to PE direct investing (you've missed the boat; associates and above prob couldn't cut it in a solid PE direct investing shop, but this was a decent opportunity; also just kind of sucks to have a career giving others money to invest when you could do it urself same idea with secondaries). You can make money off secondaries, but they aren't particularly interesting lol. For FoF, your giving someone else money to do direct investing when you could just do it yourself (I think FoF will collapse soon enough, the diversification can be accomplished by any competent pension plan or large family office, no need for double marginalization same for HF FoF). Avoid if other banking opportunities at comparable firms available, better opps, better training, prob more interesting. If you joined prob try to lateral to EB or IBD asap. And as to the above, these guys are definitely not routinely going to mega funds (no Warburg, SLP, BX, etc) lol (sure there may be exceptions that could involve external factors of work), but do place fine just at good MM (otherwise people would say do this over GS IBD or EBs) [also no HF exits]. Def not a bad opportunity though (the above comments seem harshly biased in opposing directions and stray from reality prob to make group look good or bad to people looking up for diligence).

Jul 8, 2020 - 5:23pm

probably most objective comment here without taking sides - SB'ed!

whilst not impossible, I think it's a far stretch to say that this role places you on the same standing as an EB/BB person recruiting for many reasons already highlighted on this thread.

it's usually a totally different world in FoF if you ask me. no hate for it but co-investments are ridiculously different from direct investments. it's the huge reason why some sovereign wealths who can do both set up 2 groups and hire different people to begin with. Leaving the lifestyle choice aside, if you like PE, the most straightforward way to get there is to.... do PE!

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Jul 23, 2020 - 12:13am

Have had a couple kids from my school come through here and would qualify this a little bit. Most of the kids that have had success recruiting out of this group do join directly out of undergrad, so agree on your point that its not necessarily the group to join if you're more than a couple years out of undergrad and are looking to ultimately go into direct PE. And yes, these kids are not routinely going to megafunds, so if the end all be all is Apollo or something, this is not the group for you, though just from a quick LinkedIn search i saw a few people on the investment team in the flagship funds at TPG, Advent, Bain, Warburg and KKR, so its definitely not impossible, but it doesn't seem commonplace to your point, although I think each analyst class is only a handful of kids so its not like there's a massive sample size either. On your HF point, not necessarily accurate, the couple kids I know that ended up in PE all got looks from large l/s HFs (Viking etc.) and I think a couple kids from their class ended up at D1 (the big Viking spinout) and Stockbridge (Berkshire's public arm). I think the fact that there isn't much placement at HFs is more self selection given everything that is happening in that industry, particularly on the l/s side. Where you are correct is that that they definitely aren't getting looks from distressed/special sits, capital structure arb etc. or credit HFs like you probably might from GS banking groups. Generally though, from what I've heard the hurdle is not necessarily getting looks at most large funds but if you're looking for deep value investing, distressed or special sits roles (whether it be at Apollo or at special sits HFs etc.) or any role where bankers are exclusively hired (and consultants aren't), its going to be more of an uphill battle than if you were in GS banking. Hope that helps.

Jul 27, 2020 - 10:39am

Will echo that analyst class sizes are only a handful of people (5+ a year), and that from what I know, the majority of recent classes have gone on to UMM/ (some) MF.

It obviously isn't GS TMT/FIG, but it is an investing group running some of Goldman's largest PE funds (newest secondaries fund seems to be ~8bn+).

If given the choice of a role in a top IB group, it's most likely worth taking that. But for better hours, on par analyst pay, and slightly worse exits, it seems like an attractive place.

  • Prospect in Other
Jul 26, 2020 - 11:16pm

Lots of valid points here - will just add that analysts in this group get paid similarly to IB analysts at GS, tend to work less hours, and still exit to UMM and some MF. You're 100% right on EB and GS IBD exits being better though.

Jul 28, 2020 - 12:56am

To the above. I think a couple may have placed a MF. I'm not sure about interviewing at Viking (not that a big of deal to interview) and have never heard about placement into Warburg or Bain, but some very solid funds and here and there a MF (although not sure of the group in the MF). Also, to the above, D1, which is a great place, has a private equity group within it so working there doesn't necessarily mean your in the L/S business (could be). Overall, as stated above, they definitely get into good middle market funds, but not on the same level as a Moelis/Evercore/PJT type of group or even remotely (this is where the smartest undegrads are going today not BBs). That being said, perfectly good opportunity, but certainly not top. You won't develop the same skillset as in banking (M&A, etc), but will be instead doing secondary LP valuations out of a template model. Nor will you build LBOs. Instead, when your doing a co-investment, the GP will send the model and you will "tinker" with it. This group does primarily FoF and secondaries and has a much smaller co-investment platform. Petershill is also a very small team. Many people join PE straight out of college so it isn't exactly rocket science and should be very learnable, but will be more of a learning curve for someone exiting this group in terms of modeling. Frankly, I knew an analyst in the group who was disappointed with their exit and said they wish they had just done consulting instead. They would have gotten the same level exit and wouldn't have been bored and done less than interesting work for 2 years. Ultimately, the pitch they like to give is that they have solid exits, paid approximately same as bankers, and maybe work a few hours less on weekends. I think working a few hours sounds nice, but it isn't the appropriate long-run perspective. Probably equal to decent exits at like CS or worse groups at JPM with less MF potential. In the end, the focus on "Top" funds often seen on WSO is misleading and pushes people to the wrong direction; some of the mega funds have pretty weak returns; don't let the focus on "prestige" distract you.Good investors build "prestige"

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 28, 2020 - 4:12pm

Worth noting that depending on your interests, this group could actually be an exit opp rather than the gateway to a future one - saw on LinkedIn that one of the new hires came from 2 years in GS TMT

Aug 1, 2020 - 5:32am

I've had candidates interview for my group from here. Not the strongest folk given they don't have direct transactional experience so have to draw from studying experience more than anything. We still view IB analysts as stronger than those coming from this (type of) group.

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 31, 2020 - 6:50pm

Hey all - thanks for all the insight above!  Anyone have any info on what I would expect as a base salary and typical bonus at the analyst level straight out of college?  And analyst hours?  Guessing somewhat similar to associate but would love anyone's insight!

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 31, 2020 - 8:14pm

Comp is similar to banking -- maybe a 10% discount at worst. Hours are about 60-75. Source: Know a former analyst from the group. 

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