How far would you agree that ‘only the cream of the crop’ of bankers make it to top PE?

Would you say that the people who left to the best exits from your banking group were true rockstars? Was it by a significant margin?

Or would you say they were maybe marginally better but had better luck in recruiting etc

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Comments (14)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 3, 2021 - 8:00pm

More like are the most competent analysts the ones that exit to the best places

I'd guess that's at least somewhat correlated with ranking but not entirely 

Jun 3, 2021 - 8:14pm

From my experience the people who did "best" (if by best you mean the most well-known MF and UMM funds, which is just one way of looking at things), were those who prepared the most for the recruiting process and really nailed the story of "Why PE and why xyz fund?". I think the bottom bucket analysts had trouble, but that's more because the brainpower & desire wasn't there. Among mid-bucket and top-bucket analysts I didn't notice much of a difference in exits. 

To be honest, if you are recruiting on-cycle being top-bucket doesn't matter much since recruiting happens so early into the job. For off-cycle it's a different story.

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Jun 6, 2021 - 7:06am

This is actually a good question. Most recruiting for PE happens early within the first year of banking (barring the 2nd/3rd yr analysts who recruit) and so you tend to see a mixed bag. Some analysts will get an offer for PE and sort of fuck off for the rest of their analyst career whereas some analysts will get the offer and excel given the type A personality. Given I was analyst a while back and saw less accelerated PE recruiting cycles, those who got PE offers weren't always top-bucket folks interestingly. Just from my experience so YMMW, a lot of the PE-focused analysts basically did what they needed to do to get by as an analyst but focused more on excelling in their PE interviews. And yeah most recruiters asked about what your ranking was but that's such an unverifiable statistic to evaluate so a lot of people would just "embellish" (read: lie) about their standings.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jun 9, 2021 - 2:58pm

I would say it definitely applies to one group. Only the cream of the crop asian male bankers make it into top PE. Since they are the most disadvantaged throughout the recruiting process. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 10, 2021 - 1:16am

Not the answer you want to hear, but the smartest analysts in my class didn't do pe. Also, on a longer timeline I'd argue being a top bucket analyst is more about going with the grain when being a great investor usually means going against the grain. I think the overlap of absolute top bucket banking analysts and great partners at PE firms would be very small. A different type of person excels at each. It's like the old saying that C and B students become CEOs. 

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 10, 2021 - 1:52pm

Software engineer, started their own company, family office.

Keep in mind, the decision post banking is more based on lifestyle decisions than "how smart you are". It's not like the smartest do megafund PE and the dumbest do Corp dev lol. You could be a rockstar analyst, but realize you don't like working 100 hours a week and being unable to date, so you take a job less demanding for a few years. Also, being a top bucket analyst is more based on ability to handle sleep deprivation and office politics than being intelligent frankly. There's more to life than a career. The other thing I will add-banking and PE is more geared toward risk averse smart individuals. If you are a more creative person or someone who is more drawn to risk, you likely will try to do a job that allows for more growth than either banking or pe presents.

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