Is Private Equity viewed as a stepping stone?

How do analysts recruiting for PE view it. Do they see PE as a learning experience and a tool to help them get to where they ultimately want to go, or do they view it as a legitimate place for a career. If the latter, then why start out at a Megafund as opposed to a Middle Market where they could have more future visibility and potentially avoid the MBA altogether.

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Comments (14)

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Apr 6, 2020 - 4:09pm

For those who do view it as a stepping stone, is there a specific reason? Meaning is there some door that's now open to them that wasn't there prior to the PE branding?

Apr 6, 2020 - 5:08pm

Megafunds can be a stepping stone to hedge funds but it's not necessary. Strong PE experience can be a stepping stone to business school or entrepreneurship but the real answer to all of this is that the farther you get in your career the less there is a charted out path for you. In banking most of my peers were aiming for the same thing (PE or associate promote). In PE everyone has different goals for what they want next.

Apr 6, 2020 - 4:17pm

The only stepping stone that I've seen is the ones who eventually want to start their own. Other than that they have a career in PE at a shop, get fired and go to another, change careers, take an opportunity with a friend, or retire from the industry all together.

Apr 6, 2020 - 4:52pm

No. The only higher place than private equity is heaven. The years spent in private equity will stand as the magnum opus of ANY financial professionals life. The rest of us mortal bankers have to roam the planet piling for scraps, while the demigods of the PE world enjoy their carried interest with Victoria's Secret supermodels in G6's.

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.

  • 22
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  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Apr 8, 2020 - 10:12am

Hey stop putting down the PE industry mate, those masters of the universe deserve wayyy better than Victoria Secret models and G6's!!

  • Research Associate in HF - Event
Apr 7, 2020 - 5:54pm

I used to be in PE and can speak for myself and my entire banking class when i say that it's 95% herd mentality within a subset of overachievers who are highly motivated by $. PE is definitely not viewed by someone about to enter that job as stepping stone to HFs even though people do eventually do that. Someone who wants to be at a HF will go there directly.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Apr 7, 2020 - 6:21pm

From your PE class, did a majority stay in the industry, whether it be at the same or a different fund. Additionally did those who went to get an MBA know they wanted to go back to school from the start of their pe stint?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 8, 2020 - 1:15am

Hey man, what was the transition like from PE to HF? And how much of your investing style was shaped by your time in PE. I'm a first year analyst in the thick of PE recruiting. I want to eventually end up on the public side, but quite frankly, I don't think I am ready. I have only started really, truly having an interest in investing in the last 2 years and I think 2 years of banking + 2 years of PE would give me the time (and experience) to develop my own investing style. Alternatively, I could gut out 3 years as an analyst and then make the jump a year sooner, but I feel like there are valid lessons to be learned from a few years of private investing. Am i thinking about this correctly, and is there any advice you would give to yourself as a first year analyst?

Apologies for the wall of text

Aug 10, 2020 - 3:48pm

Also following and in the exact same situation and mindset.


Aug 10, 2020 - 5:33pm
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