Intel on Centerview Partners

Hi!

Preface:
I apologize if some of the items in the "Asks" below are redundant / can be found elsewhere (I fruitlessly searched for information prior to authoring this).

Context:
I am a junior at a non-target. I was somehow able to receive an 2020 SA offer with Centerview Partners in NYC. CVP is certainly among the uppermost names of my dream firms - it always has been. Now, I am in the discommoding situation of having doubts before signing.

Asks:
1. I understand that CVP is predicated upon hiring people who are, minimally, considering a career in banking. CVP's retention rates (A2A = 90%+) are very high. Does anyone know about exits analysts have / will made / make (I have heard that grad school is very common)? I can find very limited data from scouring LinkedIn. Also, information on whether analysts exit prior to the end of the three years would be very useful. At this point, I simply do not have enough experience to know if I want to be a career banker (advice on how to figure this out would be very helpful too).

  1. I have been told starting in banking affords one optionality later along the road. Once more, I simply do not have enough experience to know if it is IB, PE, or prop trading that I want to do in the long-run. As I consider buyside roles, I am wondering if there are any blatantly obvious issues with starting in a buyside role (i.e. pigeonholing / easier to go IB-HF than vice versa, etc.). Assuming I want to do PE long-term, is there harm in starting my career there? Would you all say CVP < BX / Oaktree / Apollo?

  2. From meeting and speaking with analysts, I understand that personality types there span the gamut. Does anyone know specifics about the culture there? I was unable to get a solid read.

  3. Any advice on how to navigate the SA experience successfully / get the max benefit out of it? Are there things I should be preparing now to be successful there?

  4. Thoughts on the generalist program. I am a fan of the exposure to different industries, but am wondering if, for the future, it is beneficial to have a specialization. I understand that analysts do not develop a specialization in such a nascent stage of their careers, but have also heard that many opportunities post-banking may / may not appreciate the coverage / product group you are in.

I appreciate any help - thank you for reading!

Comments (29)

 
  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Oct 3, 2019 - 8:37am

Just off the top of my head for exits this past cycle:

Advent
Dragoneer
Murdoch Family Office
Carlyle
TH Lee
Viking Global
Veritas
Warburg
Softbank
Sageview
Goldman Principal Partners Special Sits (London, early exit

Basically the word is that you will absolutely get looks at anywhere you want, but it is largely self-selection because most see MF as banking 2.0 where your work is similar, hours similar, and pay isn't even higher (given CVP's outsized comp). So that accounts for a lot of why they might be seen as having "weaker" exits if your sole focus is MF.

I'll come back to this post in a couple hours and answer the rest of your questions

 
Most Helpful
  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Oct 3, 2019 - 7:39pm

Ok let's see,

  1. I answered the exits question above. As far as A2A, yes it is higher than their peers but no it is nowhere near 90%. This past class was historically low but typically it hovers around 50-50 leaving vs staying. Grad school is not common, at least in my experience, the only one off the top of my head is an A2A that then left for HBS last year. There may be more but that is all I can think of right now.

Yes, you should come to CVP with the idea that you will consider being a career banker, and yes you should not be looking to leave before the three years is up – it happens sometimes and it isn't the end of the world, but it is frowned upon.

  1. This question doesn't really have anything specifically to do with CVP. I will say that due to the nature of the work, described by Blair as a hybrid between Strategy Consulting and IB, the exits seem very broad, from HF to MF to tech startups to family office. Hell, we had a newly promoted principal leave early this year to be the Global head of Financial Strategy at Kraft Heinz. If your question is whether you should do the summer at CVP and look to recruit for MF's for full-time, then it is up to you but I would personally rather see you just go somewhere else now then.

  2. Culture is amazing, no facetime at all and not many people are in the office on the weekends - people work remotely almost exclusively Saturday and Sunday. They treat you like an adult, there is no time you're waiting for to order dinner, no hard cap on dinner budget, Uber whenever you head home – little things like that. I think they do an excellent job screening for the right people.

  3. Attitude is 90% of it. Don't worry about mastering anything now, you'll learn plenty on the job.

  4. Generalist is one of the biggest benefits. You can feel free to be vocal about preferences anytime with your staffer though if there are certain things you want to hit. Don't forget it not just generalist across industries, but also you'll get to see activist defense, restructuring, and corporate strategy in addition to M&A. No capital markets but I think that is a plus. I wouldn't worry at all about specialization - they want you to remain generalist as long as possible but if you want to be all in on biotech for example, it is easy to push for that with your staffer. I know plenty of people who specifically wanted to do media or restructuring and were able to pull that off without any problems. I would argue recruiting from specific groups like Goldman TMT has little to do with specific industry knowledge and is mostly about the fact that the group reputation is amazing, deal flow is strong, leadership is excellent, and analysts there can be assumed to have a very solid experience coming out. Plus, you don't have to worry about signing an offer at Goldman and then hoping and praying that 6 months later you find out you got into a good group.

Hope this helps.

 
  • Prospect in HF - Macro
Oct 3, 2019 - 8:27pm

If one was to try to exit after the entire three year analyst program, would that significantly harm your chances of buyside recruiting?

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 3, 2019 - 8:32pm

No I don't see why it would at all. With how early recruiting is now, plenty of people are choosing to sit out first year of on cycle recruiting anyways. You're not going to get in trouble for recruiting during second year with the offer to leave after completing third year. That's pretty much what the analysts who went to MFs did. Plenty of them also just had success recruiting off cycle as well but I can't speak to that as much.

 
  • Analyst 1 in CorpDev
Oct 4, 2019 - 9:19am

What's the attitude on laterals from non-IB at CVP? Is it even possible? For example, someone at a large strategic that runs acquisition processes like an investment firm (Roper, Constellation,) but wants to move to a pure advisory role for a long term career.

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 4, 2019 - 11:46am

No idea, I haven't seen anyone do it personally. We have a new associate from Mckinsey, but that's about the only non-banker I can think of making the jump. A few former big law but even they went associate at a BB and then lateraled.

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jan 18, 2020 - 2:46am

Was chatting with a friend thats going to be going through the recruiting process in the upcoming cycle but I couldn't give a solid answer on it. Any idea what the typical summer return offer rate looks like at CVP?

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