How does the PE partner track work?

I often hear that people are aiming for post MBA "partner track VP roles." Are these roles a direct path to partner, unless you really fuck up? Or is it still very hard to become a partner in this position?

Comments (14)

Feb 21, 2020

It's very hard to become a partner at any well-known fund. Track record, sourcing ability, personality, fit with firm culture, office politics, current number of partners all play a big part. A lot of funds will advertise "partner track" but the reality is that the guys at the top don't want to share economics.

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Feb 21, 2020

this is why you see guys find a niche then move to a smaller shop who's lacking in that niche. faster track to partner than the bigger shops.

Feb 21, 2020

Lol "partner track" is what they use to advertise the role...honestly probably popularized by recruiters. Going from VP to partner is no easy feat at any fund.

  • VP in VC
Feb 21, 2020

I'll add that the difference is generally stagnation in current role (take a ticket) as opposed to being kicked out (like pre-MBAs)

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Feb 22, 2020
VP in VC:

I'll add that the difference is generally stagnation in current role (take a ticket) as opposed to being kicked out (like pre-MBAs)

Building on this, is PE not up and out like banking, or will you be asked to leave after a few years at VP?

Array

Feb 21, 2020

It mostly denotes a role that doesn't have a set expiration date. So in associate recruiting, "non-partner track" would mean you get kicked out after 2 or 3 years regardless of performance

Array

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Feb 21, 2020

Thanks for the quick and insightful answers. On a side note, is it harder to make partner in PE or MD in banking?

Array

Feb 21, 2020

Partner in PE without hesitation. Lots (but not all) of banking MDs just grinding their way to the top. Partners in PE all earned it, either with deal sourcing ability, fundraising ability, or both.

Edit: assuming the monkey shit is some bitter banking MDs realizing they grinded for years to be wage slaves forever! Throw all the MS you want if it makes you feel better :)

Array

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Feb 21, 2020

Forgot one thing there, actually having good investment judgement...

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Feb 22, 2020

Partner track just means normal. As opposed to the rarer non-partner-track which is used for special cases where the person is being hired for some specific function that's not the all-encompassing investment professional role.

The only reason firms make people partner is because they can't afford to lose them. It's done out of necessity. Nobody makes partner as a natural rite of passage.

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Feb 25, 2020

While I don't doubt that is this true at some firms, i don't think it is the rule. My experience is that firms with healthy cultures and good returns are focused on growing the franchise. In general it is hard to grow your AUM and the value of the GP without having really strong junior partners.

Feb 25, 2020
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