IFC -> MBA -> PE

navy000's picture
Rank: Monkey | 61

A previous discussion on similar topic is here: //www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/ifc-exit-opps

Specifically, assuming the track of IFC -> MBA -> private sector PE (think KKR/TPG/Carlyle), how would the IFC investment analyst experience be rated by the recruiter at private sector megafund? How competitive would a IFC Investment Analyst graduate be compared to other BB IBD analyst graduate when applying for mega PE funds?

Some discussion in previous posts in this community brought up a few points:
1. IFC is not just doing equity investment; a lot of what they do is loan/structured finance
2. IFC has incredibly good hours compared to BB IBD/mega PE funds (not sure how true this is at the junior level, but just let's assume it to be the case)

Comments (29)

Jul 14, 2013

Aren't they focused on emerging/developing markets? You could possibly join the Asia/MENA offices of some of the MFs (eg: Carlyle), but not so sure about NYC/London.

Why are you aiming for MFs? Your experience would be better valued at smaller/MM shops focused on emerging markets.

Jul 14, 2013

The path you're suggesting will be extraordinarily hard. Post MBA PE opportunities are very difficult to get for anyone let alone those without previous MF PE experience (or any PE experience for that matter).

Jul 14, 2013

I think it's a bit funny that the OP wants to go into "private sector PE", then lists 2 public companies as examples.

Jul 14, 2013
NorthSider:

I think it's a bit funny that the OP wants to go into "private sector PE", then lists 2 public companies as examples.

Private sector fund does not mean the company is private. Pls correct me if I am wrong.

Jun 17, 2015

Those two companies are public that do business in the private sector. IFC on the other hand works with both, the private and public sector but it is not private or public either, it is a multilateral institution.

Jul 14, 2013
ricottacheese:

The path you're suggesting will be extraordinarily hard. Post MBA PE opportunities are very difficult to get for anyone let alone those without previous MF PE experience (or any PE experience for that matter).

I agree that breaking into MF I listed (KKR/TPG/Carlyle) is extremely hard. My question is the how competitive is a candidate following the IFC->MBA->MF PE compared to a IBD->MBA->MF PE candidate?

Jul 14, 2013
Mzz:

Aren't they focused on emerging/developing markets? You could possibly join the Asia/MENA offices of some of the MFs (eg: Carlyle), but not so sure about NYC/London.

Why are you aiming for MFs? Your experience would be better valued at smaller/MM shops focused on emerging markets.

Thanks for the great insight. Sure, I don't mind joining the Asia/MNEA offices, or MM PE (what are some of the names?). Don't really have a strong preference for MF PE, just because those are names off the top of the head. In this case, how competitive is a candidate following the IFC->MBA->MF PE/MM PE path compared to a candidate w/ IBD->MBA->MF PE in Asia/MNEA?

Jul 14, 2013
ricottacheese:

The path you're suggesting will be extraordinarily hard. Post MBA PE opportunities are very difficult to get for anyone let alone those without previous MF PE experience (or any PE experience for that matter).

btw, I am always puzzled by one statement "post MBA PE opp is difficult to get for people w/o pre-MBA PE experience". So, under the assumptions that PE don't take people without prior PE experience, there will not exist any people in PE since their first PE employer will not hire them because they didn't have PE experience, right?

Jul 14, 2013

btw, how do MF PE (either in developed or emerging market) look at IFC investment analyst candidate? I heard that the investment analyst program is highly regarded given it is highly selective, with most of them coming from wall street IBD Analyst.

Jul 14, 2013
navy000:
ricottacheese:

The path you're suggesting will be extraordinarily hard. Post MBA PE opportunities are very difficult to get for anyone let alone those without previous MF PE experience (or any PE experience for that matter).

I agree that breaking into MF I listed (KKR/TPG/Carlyle) is extremely hard. My question is the how competitive is a candidate following the IFC->MBA->MF PE compared to a IBD->MBA->MF PE candidate?

Not nearly as competitive. I've met people from the IFC. They are definitely more impressive than most in the public sector, but the transaction and deal experience is going to set apart someone from IBD (you need to remember that some of them get pre-MBA PE experience too) from IFC.

That doesn't mean it is impossible, particularly at the MM fund-level in an area of the World that you are familiar with/focused on.

If you have service or language experience, that should help.

Jul 14, 2013
navy000:
ricottacheese:

The path you're suggesting will be extraordinarily hard. Post MBA PE opportunities are very difficult to get for anyone let alone those without previous MF PE experience (or any PE experience for that matter).

btw, I am always puzzled by one statement "post MBA PE opp is difficult to get for people w/o pre-MBA PE experience". So, under the assumptions that PE don't take people without prior PE experience, there will not exist any people in PE since their first PE employer will not hire them because they didn't have PE experience, right?

Huh?

The line you quoted made sense -- it is very difficult to get post-MBA PE positions without pre-MBA PE experience.

Pre-MBA PE =/= Post-MBA PE

Jul 15, 2013

Interesting thread. Just promoted Associate at a BB IBD and pondering options too. At IFC I understand you cannot get promoted without a Master's degree (a World Bank bureaucratic rule), so after 2 years, most move to either b school or private sector. Also, debt analysis is actually more complex than equity analysis IMO, so IFC's focus on debt products should actually be in your favor.

I'd like to add slight twist to get perspectives. How would you compare the below two profiles (I'm aware they are both less ideal than profiles with pre-MBA buy-side experience):

1. BB IBD -> IFC -> buy-side (any size)
2. BB IBD -> H/S/W MBA -> buy-side (any size)

I'm looking at something longer term (i.e. not pre-MBA Associate positions) and be based here in the U.S. as I'm not inclined to relocate.

Essentially, is the MBA really that important for buy-side positions? Shouldn't some form of buy-side experience (even at a development focused firm such as IFC) be valued by employers at some level?

Assume the BB IBD -> buy-side shop track is not possible due to unforeseen circumstances... Thanks!

    • 1
Jul 15, 2013
cotango13:

Interesting thread. Just promoted Associate at a BB IBD and pondering options too. At IFC I understand you cannot get promoted without a Master's degree (a World Bank bureaucratic rule), so after 2 years, most move to either b school or private sector. Also, debt analysis is actually more complex than equity analysis IMO, so IFC's focus on debt products should actually be in your favor.

I'd like to add slight twist to get perspectives. How would you compare the below two profiles (I'm aware they are both less ideal than profiles with pre-MBA buy-side experience):

1. BB IBD -> IFC -> buy-side (any size)

2. BB IBD -> H/S/W MBA -> buy-side (any size)

I'm looking at something longer term (i.e. not pre-MBA Associate positions) and be based here in the U.S. as I'm not inclined to relocate.

Essentially, is the MBA really that important for buy-side positions? Shouldn't some form of buy-side experience (even at a development focused firm such as IFC) be valued by employers at some level?

Assume the BB IBD -> buy-side shop track is not possible due to unforeseen circumstances... Thanks!

how does the experience in debt analysis help in the PE work?

Jul 15, 2013

I work on the assumption that the MFs listed above (and most other PE shops) work by buying out companies using their own money (i.e. equity) and financing the bulk using debt. Return comes from the ability to repay debt and hence "growing" sponsors' equity.

Hence, equity analysis simply requires figuring out valuation, and upfront commitment will just be a certain % of equity value. Debt, however, is more complex as you need to also analyse cash generation ability, model cash flow through the corporate structure, levels of seniority, covenants, etc, which requires not just number crunching but also understanding of legal documents and debt structuring.

    • 1
Jul 16, 2013

I think the IFC experience will be viewed similar to corporate development in terms of being able to go to a MM fund (probably close to impossible to break int the Mega Funds you mentioned) in the are you covered in the IFC. IFC and Corporate Development are great at sending kids to Bschool but not sure how great they are at sending people to PE.

    • 1
Jul 16, 2013
cotango13:

Interesting thread. Just promoted Associate at a BB IBD and pondering options too. At IFC I understand you cannot get promoted without a Master's degree (a World Bank bureaucratic rule), so after 2 years, most move to either b school or private sector. Also, debt analysis is actually more complex than equity analysis IMO, so IFC's focus on debt products should actually be in your favor.

I'd like to add slight twist to get perspectives. How would you compare the below two profiles (I'm aware they are both less ideal than profiles with pre-MBA buy-side experience):

1. BB IBD -> IFC -> buy-side (any size)

2. BB IBD -> H/S/W MBA -> buy-side (any size)

I'm looking at something longer term (i.e. not pre-MBA Associate positions) and be based here in the U.S. as I'm not inclined to relocate.

Essentially, is the MBA really that important for buy-side positions? Shouldn't some form of buy-side experience (even at a development focused firm such as IFC) be valued by employers at some level?

Assume the BB IBD -> buy-side shop track is not possible due to unforeseen circumstances... Thanks!

Is possible but it just an uphill battle because you have to compete with people who have done PE before. I've seen people who had HYPW undergrad / MS/GS Banking / Mega Fund PE / HBS or GSB that could not get a PE job and end-up in corporate development. If it is hard for them and it is harder for us with no PE experience. It is possible but it is an uphill battle.

Dec 10, 2013

I always thought it makes the most sense to enter these public sector roles after you gain very solid private sector experience (let's say 2 years IB, 2 years PE). In particular, the PE experience might allow you to enter the IFC at a more senior level than just IB. Can anyone comment on that?

Dec 18, 2013

Hi all, thought I would chip in after consulting people within and outside of the MBA circle.

I agree with few of the comments up there regarding the prospects of IFC IA jobs. Investment Analysts tend to proceed to bschool after 2 years. Without a Masters there is no way to be promoted, so if one is really interested in public sector financing the career route is to get a Masters degree and pursue the associate track.

Jun 17, 2015

I'm not sure about megafunds but in EMs you will be dealing with tons of funds as you will be a co-investor or an earlier investor than a number of PE funds. In some ways you may have an edge since you should get to meet deal professionals in person and get to know them and work on things with them or sit at the other side of the table. I know IFC people have made it into PE funds and FoFs out here in Asia, but not so sure in US/Europe. Hopefully someone on this board has or has seen people do it/try it and can chime in with something more nuanced.

Jun 17, 2015

Very strong MBA placement and most end up going down that route from what I've seen. I've met a fair amount of ex-IFC people in emerging markets focused position (PE and project finance) so make sure this is what you're interested in. It's not just a "macro PE fund" - a significant chunk of their deals is debt not just equity.

Jun 17, 2015

kingb, that was very helpful. Thanks for your insight.

Jun 17, 2015

What is the group's name? IFC VC?

Jun 17, 2015

yes, that's right, that's the group's name. thanks!

Jul 30, 2019

Bump. Hopefully we have more insightful answers by now.

Aug 31, 2019
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