IFC - Investment Analyst in PE team - can someone shed some light please?

I'm currently in the middle of giving interviews for consulting firms, and my long term goal is to end up on the buy side eventually.

I got to know about an opening at IFC for an entry level investment analyst role in its PE team. The Job description says that the work chiefly involves helping investment officers in managing IFC's investment in PE firms. Can someone who's aware of this role shed some light on how valuable this experience could be? Specifically:
1. Would this be a good workex for someone aspiring to apply to top 7 MBA programs in the US ?
2. In terms of prestige and quality of work, how does it compare with other roles like MBB or IB at GS/DB/etc.
i.e. basically those folks that I would probably end up competing with for MBA seats?
3. Even if I get into top 5 MBA what sort of signal would experience at IFC send out to recruiters at PE firms or hedge funds?

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Comments (16)

Jan 23, 2018 - 8:14am

you're right, IFC usually co-invest with other PE houses which does all the analysis and due diligence
they got burned on the souq.com deal and only got saved by the liquidation preference

Jan 23, 2018 - 8:42am

So you're saying IFC > MBA > PE/HF too is a difficult route ?

Seems like pre MBA background also dictates where you end up post MBA. In general, what kind of backgrounds are good routes to get into buyside after an MBA?

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Best Response
Jan 23, 2018 - 1:28pm

One girl in my bschool class came from the IFC (she had worked at Goldman IBD before) and 2 of my classmates interned there for the summer. I think generally speaking, this is a position where the prestige people generally associate with the IFC doesn't necessarily match the actual job experience which I understand to be a bit so-so. Lots of co-investments where the GP drives the projects and the IFC is a bit of a passenger and lots of politics with fund allocation and hiring (your nationality plays a big part in determining opportunities and needless to say, people from the third world get a huge leg up). So I think definitely a good experience as far as getting into business school, but I think it would be very difficult to move to a good PE/HF unless they invest in emerging markets. If you have the option, I think you'd do better to start at MBB or a top bank and then do the typical 2+2.

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Jan 23, 2018 - 10:14pm

Completely agree. I went through the World Bank recruiting process and can confirm saykouk 's comment that it's a pain, simply for the sheer amount of time it takes to get through the whole thing. I wouldn't quit your job to wait for a World Bank/IFC offer.

To answer your specific questions:

1. Would this be a good workex for someone aspiring to apply to top 7 MBA programs in the US ?

Yes, I think so. I haven't seen too many people from that background at M7s, and it sounds nice, a mix of "save the world!" and practical experience. A lot of that is perception, though, but it's certainly a solid background for an MBA application.

2. In terms of prestige and quality of work, how does it compare with other roles like MBB or IB at GS/DB/etc. i.e. basically those folks that I would probably end up competing with for MBA seats?

If you have an offer for MBB or a BB, I'd take that every time over the IFC. The IFC is a very cushy, well-paid but extremely bureaucratic gig (with an amazing cafeteria, I've heard), but the work you do won't be anywhere near the stuff you'd touch at GS or McKinsey. Plus, the whole World Bank Group (WBG) is in love with Master's degrees, which don't make a difference for MBB and BBs, which is a silly way to put lots of qualified candidates out of the running when they're comparing resumes. So I'd take one of the former over the WBG.

3. Even if I get into top 5 MBA what sort of signal would experience at IFC send out to recruiters at PE firms or hedge funds?

You would similar work, on the surface, but you wouldn't be prepared to do MF PE Associate-level work. So, if I were a PE recruiter, I'd think, "That's nice, but not quite up to par with what I'm after. Next."

All that said, it's a good job to have for the right type of person. In your case, I'd target IB or the buyside directly if PE is what you're after.

Dec 26, 2018 - 10:17pm

Hey, sorry for reviving an old thread.

Just wondering if you could shed some light on the recruiting process for IFC? Interested to find out more. Albeit probably more from a lateral hire perspective - currently an associate with a BB and looking to find out more.

Happy to provide more details/connect through PM if helpful.

Thanks!

Jan 23, 2018 - 10:15pm

IFC Investment Analyst straight out of Undergrad? (Originally Posted: 01/14/2017)

Joining the IFC as an Investment Analyst straight out of undergrad...is it possible? Or is finance experience a prerequisite?

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