Comments (59)

 
Best Response
Feb 20, 2011 - 7:39pm

Im so sick of the prestige thing around here, its quite ridiculous and childish. I came to this site from M&I which seems to take a more logical approach to banking careers, this site seems to be full of geeky ass ivy schoolers who cant get girls so instead of ranking hot chicks they are obsessed with minuscule differences between banks and their perceived prestige.

You know whats prestigious? Getting a fucking job.

We've got half a million shares in the bag!
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Feb 20, 2011 - 7:44pm

it's a silly topic, really... all those firms are at the top and if anyone ever had the choice to choose between them (which has probably happened 1-2 times in the history of mankind) then it would be merely a matter of personal preference. Also, H&F and Warburg Pincus and a few others are roughly on level with those in terms of prestige.

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Feb 23, 2011 - 10:12am

Blackstone - like exclusivity. avoid bidding wars
KKR - will play in auctions
Carlyle - especially strong in industrials and C&R
TPG - turnarounds and operations, not afraid to bid high
Bain - definitely not afraid to bid high.. dumb money

all will opportunistically tap the debt markets to extract dividends/achieve cost savings.

 
Feb 23, 2011 - 8:43pm

DJ Long Straddle:
zsurf nailed it.

If you dip lower, then you get CVC (actually could be considered with the other shops noted), Hellman & Friedman, and Advent.

I actually would put H&F at top tier with KKR and BX, etc... they are smaller (as a lot of PE firms should be to keep returns higher), but those guys dominate. Check out there returns on the Calpers website... that's really all that you need to do to realize the sickness.

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Feb 23, 2011 - 8:20pm

oneortheother:
Why is Bain Cap dumb money? I thought they were known to have the most "pedigreed" employees (at least judging from the website)

1- "not afraid to bid high, dumb money" doesn't equate to the professionals at a particular firm literally being stupid

2- even if it did, why would Bain being known to hire pedigreed professionals somehow negate that?

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Feb 23, 2011 - 8:40pm

oneortheother:
Why is Bain Cap dumb money? I thought they were known to have the most "pedigreed" employees (at least judging from the website)

So you equate pedigree with performance in the business world? If you ever start a PE/HF, please let us know. I will be sure to bet against that.

It would be funny if a young PTJ/Soros' profile was posted on this site. I bet they would be pooh-poohed for their lack of pedigree (futures broker and a stockbroker at a small firm). Here is the thing: If you want to be like Soros/PTJ/Kravis you don't chase pedigree. You chase excellence in your profession. Kravis left a really "prestigious" position at an investment bank to start a small buyout shop. Would you have the balls/foresight to do that? Ask yourself that when you dream of making it big.

 
Feb 24, 2011 - 9:13am

DJ Long Straddle:
Good point int. pymp...my comment was along the lines of fund size, but either way they are nasty.

yeah... they're smaller. But I consider "top" to include a combination of AUM, performance, resumes of the professionals, etc.... and in those other categories H&F dominates.

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Feb 24, 2011 - 10:46am

Prestige doesn't matter. If you're really looking to rank PE you should do it by total funds raised and funds on-hand to invest for the current year.

This prestige thing on WSO is getting really old. These threads should be immediately closed.

 
Feb 24, 2011 - 11:55am

acs_london:
If you're really looking to rank PE you should do it by total funds raised and funds on-hand to invest for the current year.

Thats the dumbest thing I've ever heard. You might as well rank them based on the average age of the senior partners. How about you don't rank them at all, unless you have a very specific context, which would make the rankings meaningful.... i.e. "what are the best known middle market PE firm that does large deals?" "what are the largest PE firms?" etc...

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Feb 24, 2011 - 1:55pm

Marcus_Halberstram:
acs_london:
If you're really looking to rank PE you should do it by total funds raised and funds on-hand to invest for the current year.

Thats the dumbest thing I've ever heard. ...

I work part-time in wealth management. Those are some of the metrics we use to rank PE funds in order of importance to target their partners.

 
Feb 24, 2011 - 11:58pm

Marcus_Halberstram:
acs_london:
If you're really looking to rank PE you should do it by total funds raised and funds on-hand to invest for the current year.

Thats the dumbest thing I've ever heard. You might as well rank them based on the average age of the senior partners. How about you don't rank them at all, unless you have a very specific context, which would make the rankings meaningful.... i.e. "what are the best known middle market PE firm that does large deals?" "what are the largest PE firms?" etc...

fund size alone shouldnt be a decisive factor but the guy however has a point. the megafunds (KKR,BX,tpg...) that people on WSO salivate about, happen to have the largest funds (AUM) / dry powder.

 
Feb 24, 2011 - 3:17pm

bankers almost certainly rank by likelihood to play in auctions and utilize traditional debt financing. ranking depends on perspective. from a banker's perspective, the top buyout firms are those that consistently access the capital markets.

 
Feb 24, 2011 - 4:23pm

As I see it:

1- bankers care about how much dry powder you have to invest and to a lesser degree they care about which of your investments are ripe for an exit (incumbent banks i.e. those that participated in the LBO, typically lead these anyway, so no one is too concerned with this, since if you're an incumbent, the exit business will come to you, and if you're not, well then you're not very likely to get to participate). Actually, they also care about brand as they want to be seen doing deals with top tier PE sponsors.

2- I don't really care why or what wealth managers care about, but common sense implies they have a set piece of capital to invest in the PE asset class and they want to spread it wide and thin across top performers with an obvious longevity (i.e. SAC over new ex-Goldman trader's garage head fund)

3- as an analyst/associate, I personally would be most concerned with what types of doors a PE gig will open for me in the future and what I will learn on the job... both of which are pretty closely related... although as I see it, the brand name will open doors more doors, while what you learned and how intelligently you can talk about it will keep you there.

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Apr 23, 2015 - 9:10am

would add a top niche player category to the list. also fast growing, top returning funds are likely to be better careers long term. you want to join the next KKR not be employee #500 at KKR.

Would add Marlin Equity Partners to the list of top niche / up and coming PE shops. they invest mostly in software/tech but also in services, industrials, consumer. Think of cross between Vista and Gores (several ex heads of Gores are at Marlin now). Understand Marlin has tier 1 returns and is growing very fast which is a major positive (look at AUM trajectory of last 5 funds). They also have a flexible mandate so they compete against top growth equity funds, midmarket funds, turnaround funds depending on the type of deal, but they are also competing against the big names e.g. Advent, KKR in the upper mid market. Will be interesting to see what happens - the next fund could be $3bn-$5bn if they continue to perform as historically. Based on their website, they're also attracting ex bankers from top firms/schools e.g. wharton, yale, / GS, MS, HL, etc. They also have a highly operational focus like Vista.

 
May 4, 2015 - 2:25pm

Newbie question: Top 20 PE shops? (Originally Posted: 10/12/2006)

Hey, I apologize for the newie question, but would you guys mind listing the top 20 PE shops and which tiers they belong in? How many analysts out of i-banks do each of these take per year?

 
May 4, 2015 - 2:27pm

Top MM PE differentiation (Originally Posted: 09/25/2008)

I'm looking to tap some knowledge of fellow users - what are some differentiating characteristics between the top middle market private equity shops (examples include new mountain, madison dearborn, gtcr, golden gate, berkshire, etc)?

Mainly looking for cultural differences here, but any differentiating characteristics are welcomed. Please only respond if you have actual knowledge; not speculations based on the website.

 
May 4, 2015 - 2:28pm

Can only tell you what I know from being on the other side of the table, but Berkshire is very detail oriented in their diligence. They will go all out and really ask a lot of prying questions, but not in a bad way. They are respected as very intelligent and a top name in the middle market. Additionally, based on the interactions I've had with some of their mid tier guys (principal level), they are actually a good bunch (as opposed to jerks). Warning though: My sample size is relatively small. If you're interested in Boston, definitely put them at the top of your list.

~~~~~~~~~~~
CompBanker

CompBanker

 
May 4, 2015 - 2:29pm

Top Mid-Market/Boutique PE Shops (Originally Posted: 01/20/2009)

Can somebody point me to or provide a few names of the top middle-market or boutique PE firms out there. I know there are many, but which firms would be considered the Evercores or Jefferies of the world (if we were to compare the PE and IBD landscapes)?

Also, what firms are known to be stromg in Tech. Any insight would be great. Thanks

 
May 4, 2015 - 2:31pm

Top PE funds (Originally Posted: 10/09/2010)

When analysts choose PE firms and discuss the top ones, is there a preference towards bigger vs better returns? I have seen some small funds ($1 billion) with all GS/MS analysts and larger ($5-10 billion) funds with multiple middle-market associates, so I assume the former would be more selective due to returns or demand something else? Bigger fund isn't necessarily better in PE right?

 
May 4, 2015 - 2:38pm

@philliesphan, agree with you in spirit

but highly doubt 99% of the population is delusional enough to essentially sacrifice the best years of their life for any amount of money. You know those people who really don't care about money and just do what they love? They live much wealthier lives than any banker I know.

 
May 4, 2015 - 2:41pm
"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan
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