Is BCG a viable route to private equity or venture capital?

CaptianLevi's picture
Rank: Monkey | 30

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 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 (4)

Dec 29, 2018

Hi Brian-Seabrooks, check out these resources:

  • Is BCG a viable path to Private Equity? this is a viable path towards working in private equity. My goal is to do 2 years of consulting after ... Bain? I realize that MBB consulting isn't as good a route to PE as investment banking(I don't ... consulting), but are the PE exit opportunitie
  • Private Equity vs Venture Capital- Differences and Similarities determine your carry. Typically, pay in private equity is more than in venture capital. To illustrate ... knowledge, etc. PE vs VC- Exit Opportunities Exit opportunities between private equity and venture capital ... is the Difference Between a Private
  • From Private Equity Associate to VP in Private Equity banking if they want to break into private equity. It is by far the simplest and most effective way to ... is far, far more difficult than investment banking. In order to get into private equity, it's ... the truth is all of the above is too valuable
  • Off The Beaten Path: Commercial Banking to Private Equity (The Non-Traditional Route) skill for any analyst/associate role at a private equity firm is good modeling skills. To offset my ... Hey everyone. The ink has just barely dried on my accepted offer to join a boutique private equity ... the only way to get your 'out-of-the-box' resume in the shortlist is for someone at the firm ...
  • McKinsey or Bain to Private Equity Capital Private Equity HeadHunters The best way to transition is to use headhunters. All of the top PE ... transition to private equity as a pre- MBA associate. how to get into private equity from consulting ... the most stra
  • Consulting to Private Equity only paths to private equity. Consulting Friendly PE Firms Here is a short list of middle market ... private equity funds that have historically hired consultants. If you are looking to exit into PE you ... Equity Consultants at firms that ar
  • Venture Capital Salary versus BB and Private Equity below video. Read More About Venture Capital on WSO Private Equity Vs Venture Capital- Differences And ... Similarities Venture Capital And Growth Equity: Pipeline And Industry In General Private Equity Vs. Venture ... all would be much appreciated. VC analyst salary compared
  • More suggestions...

Hope that helps.

Jan 3, 2019

No for BCG, PE selection within MBB mostly for Bain or McKinsey - due to their strong corpfin/PE practices. BCG would be ranked last for PE exit out of MBB, not recognized for it's finance track. Try for McKinsey or Bain (also stronger in terms of branding), will have better exit opps.

Source: Personal contacts

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Jan 3, 2019

Any MBB is a viable route to PE but it is much harder/you need to find the right fund that is willing to hire consultants. Also, it is important that you work in the right practice in the MBB. It is NOT enough that you work at a MBB. You need to get exposed to PE deal flow with commercial & operational due diligence work. You can get this via

BCG - Private Equity and Principal Investment Practice
Bain - Private Equity Due Diligence Practice
McKinsey - Private Equity and Principal Investment Practice or Strategy/Corporate Finance - M&A or Divestiture practice

As someone who hired people from MBBs I can tell you that BCG and Bain have a slight advantage due to the ring-fence concept for PE due diligence. It is a little bit unclear to me how McKinsey assembles the teams for PE due diligence (from Private Equity and Principal Investment Practice? from Corporate Finance practice? from Restructuring practice?) and McKinsey candidates always struggled to explain to me how they maintained an exposure to PE work. Bain has the longest established dedicated PE service offering.

As you recruit for PE positions you need to have a solid deal sheet with cross-industry deal experience, variety in deal size ($100m - $30+b), and variety in work (market sizing, competitor assessment, industry analysis, value creation identification, cost reduction identification, identification of growth opportunities - new services/new products, performance improvement, working capital optimization, synergy analysis, etc.).

KKR has KKR Capstone and this consulting arm gets involved in due diligence and post-deal performance improvement/value creation projects. Blackstone has the Portfolio Operations Group but they are mainly focused on post-deal work (less on due diligence). Here is a good article that summarizes the various setups of the larger firms:

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Jan 29, 2019