H&F vs CVC vs KKR (London) [urgent]

Guys my sister received offer from these three funds as PE Associate in London. All the offers arrived through last 10 days and she has to decide in 1/2 days. It's really an hard decision and I wanted to ask on this forum as it provided me useful help in the past (she's not using it).

She would like to take H&F but thinks that overall KKR is better brand. CVC maybe has more capital to deploy in EU?

Her background is BA at a top tier UK uni and analyst for a year and a half at top TMT group in London (think american BB level).

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Comments (11)

Dec 20, 2020 - 10:24am

I like what H&F does - large deals with high leverage and high multiples, high growth, but you are not going through a lot of deals given how concentrated the portfolio is. Also given the small size of the team it seems to me that there is less geography/sector specialisation at the junior level (besides obviously areas they play in).

KKR in Europe has had quite a few issues, with a high partner churn, some not so great investments but it may be somewhat like banking 2.0 given the size of the platform. More sector specialisation and geography coverage is to be expected.

CVC has quite a different approach to PE than the two others, and I like it, they do all kind of deals, from minority stakes (see what they do in sports), to Mid-sized deals (Theramex) to Super large cap deals - ie bidding for TKE.

May I PM you for to ask few questions?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Dec 20, 2020 - 2:15pm

Think from a brand perspective all three are incredibly respected and could be perceived as #1 depending on your criteria. H&F with the best track record of all large-cap funds, CVC with the largest platform in Europe and KKR with arguably the best brand name (tied with BX). 

A few points to highlight though:

H&F

- These guys take diligence to the next level which is why they never lose money but also why the hours are absolutely insane (on a MS Media Comms level)
- Portfolio is highly concentrated on a few high multiple bets (mostly Tech/Fintech/Media etc.), your chances of closing a deal in your two years is smaller than at the other two
- They are known to practice a more US-style 2-and-out system for associates; not as strict, but definitely more movement than at the other two

KKR

- Obviously incredible brand; apparently some issues with seniors in the past, potentially now fixed; in general: very much Banking 2.0
- Generalist associate program but will be put into a sector after a couple of years
- Important to note that at the moment the firm has an incredible deal flow which would likely constitute a great but very sweaty experience, plus, it needs to be seen whether all of these deals will be good investments

CVC

- Usually perceived as the #1 PE firm in Europe with a very strong track record in various silos (albeit a bit less international brand cachet compared to KKR); culture a bit more European apparently, meaning less sweaty
- High deal flow; cannot go wrong

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  • Analyst 3+ in IB-M&A
Dec 20, 2020 - 4:39pm

This is the same dude who has been asking about inane fund rankings and similar all week. Check out his post history. Creative way of asking the same question though, got to give you that...

Dec 20, 2020 - 5:00pm

KKR is not the same as in the US, would decide between H&F and CVC. If she likes tech investing, H&F is the way to go but be careful, that place is sweaty. Team is sharp, worked together with them on a deal, but they work hard as deal teams are incredibly lean. CVC is super successful in Europe and do interesting deals. Would decide b/w H&F and CVC and then choose based on team fit rather than brand. Also, H&F might push for doing an MBA so if she doesn't want to study again, would keep that in mind.

Dec 21, 2020 - 7:51am

Big LOL to the comment above. I'd argue KKR is one of the best places within PE (if not, the best) to go also in Europe. They run pretty lean, have a dedicated Europe fund (currently investing from Europe V) and the last 2 Europe funds have both been very successful (1st quartile). They will probably raise a new Europe fund next year which will be even larger than the previous one, and I heard culture is apparently very good as well. On top of that KKR brand name is just in a different universe, which would help her wherever she will go if she decides to leave at some point. H&F and CVC are also very respectable shops of course (although H&F is a massive sweatshop with a pretty bad German culture and CVC has deal-carry structure so big elbow culture), but if I were her I would always pick KKR over the other 2

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