How much does group vs. individual ability matter in the on-cycle process?

I've heard from multiple people at MF PE that basically if you're not at GS/MS/EVR/PJT etc., HHs try to push you to smaller/worse funds and that the first interview spots at top funds are reserved for people in those top groups (by top funds, I mean the "typical" definition e.g. MF, H&F, etc.)

Is the prevalence of people in top groups exiting to top shops a function of their individual ability, or is it because top shops have an easier time getting interviews in the first place?

Sure there's a selection bias because people with the highest ability tend to go to top groups. But hypothetically if you're a rockstar at a "tier 2" bank/group like JPM/Citi/BAML, are you even going to get a chance to get in the interview room and demonstrate your ability, or are you going to have a lot harder time getting looks from firms?

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Comments (3)

Sep 18, 2019 - 10:17am

This is pretty accurate from my observations this on-cycle process. This hasn't always been the case, but since this process has been earlier and earlier, only top groups in top banks seem to have a safe bet on getting MF and even most UMM interviews.

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