Is BCG a viable path to Private Equity?

I'll be doing a summer internship at BCG San Francisco this summer. I'm wondering if this is a viable path towards working in private equity. My goal is to do 2 years of consulting after college and then look for an operationally focused private equity role after going to business school. Also, I'm interested in knowing how the PE exposure at the BCG SF office compares to the PE exposure at the NYC office?

Also, how do the PE exit opportunities for BCG compare to those at McKinsey or Bain? I realize that MBB consulting isn't as good a route to PE as investment banking(I don't want to do banking for various reasons, and I think I'd learn more and develop better skills doing consulting), but are the PE exit opportunities for IB really that much better than for MBB? Is it easy to pick up the financial modeling skills that are necessary for PE without doing IB?

On a slightly separate note, do large PE firms like Blackstone, KKR, and Apollo have workers that are not mostly focused on the financial 'deals', and instead are more focused on pre deal due diligence or creating operational improvements for portfolio companies?

Comments (12)

Dec 29, 2018

Search around here for more info on the specifics, but the general consensus is that MBB is a decent path into PE, but it will limit you at some of the top MFs.

Certain PE funds really value the consulting experience while others prefer bankers.

Bain tends to place the best into PE given their strong PE practice, but with proper execution you could do fine from any of the MBB.

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Dec 29, 2018

Call me the expert of banging your head against the wall trying to get into a not-totally-ass-PE fund from non-Bain and McK, and let me tell you, it will not be easy from BCG.

If you want to corroborate what I'm saying just go get a LinkedIn search going and look at absolute number and % of people who move from McK/Bain to PE vs BCG.

Dec 29, 2018

N =1, but was a viable path for me at least. My fund views McK = Bain = BCG for our Associate hires..

I know BCG NY has a PE due diligence ring fence team, as does Boston. Not sure where else does, but NY and Boston were the first two, so they're probably strongest.

Dec 29, 2018

You can look at my walkthrough for more details, but I'll give my two cents on some of your questions here.

  • BCG is definitely a viable path to PE. Is it the path most taken? No, but MBB places fairly well at more operationally focused funds.
  • I view MBB firms fairly similarly in terms of landing a PE job. Bain might have a tiny advantage (better network in PE, more opportunity to work on DDs), but wouldn't place much emphasis on this.
  • For MFs, some don't hire consultants for deal execution, but rather for their ops teams (Ex: KKR Capstone). Others will hire consultants to be PE associates but expect them to do everything that bankers will do. I haven't heard of a fund separating tasks for their PE associates based on background.
  • SF and NY are fairly similar in terms of prestige BUT working in NY will be much easier logistically for on-cycle.
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Dec 29, 2018

A Consulting guy very recently made an AMA about recruiting for PE from Consulting. You could find a lot of answers to your questions in the post.

https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/ama-2nd-yea...

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Dec 30, 2018

Loads of hardos will throw monkey shits at me but you need to realize that PE is basically Banking 2.0 So for whatever reasons you don't want to do the IB stint, those issues will most likely pop up in PE especially at the highly institutionalised places that you've mentioned (I.e Apollo, BX).

Dec 30, 2018

Correct for larger funds but at smaller ops heavy ones it's quite different, especially if they stick you on the board of a portfolio co...

Dec 30, 2018

Absolute agree with you. I guess it depends on the type of fund that OP wants/will be able to join.

Dec 30, 2018

Yes

Dec 31, 2018

Agree with most of comments posted. Just give one more insight: pe shops, especially buyout firms, pay more attention to add-on buyouts, connoting the importance of operation improvement which is the exact strength of consultants.

Dec 31, 2018

Yes. I worked in PE and came from MBB. If you can't get the job, it's on you not the firm. BCG will open plenty of doors. Placement is less than Mck and Bain, but in large part that is self selection. Ask around your office I'm sure they have sent plenty of people to brand name firms over the years

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Jan 3, 2019
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