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?