KKR NGT vs GA / Insight

Hi WSO community!

If given the option to join KKR's NGT team or a GA / Insight / other top growth fund as an analyst, what would be the better opportunity? Are the exit opportunities after 2 years different?

Thank you

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Comments (32)

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Jun 1, 2020 - 10:08pm

My understanding is that GA's analyst program (i.e. Thematic Sourcing program) wouldn't be any different from KKR NGT because the analysts are still >80% focused on sourcing - but please correct me if I'm wrong here.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Jun 1, 2020 - 10:19pm

Agreed that GA does have a lot of sourcing but from what I have heard is that if you source a deal there you get to continue to work on it ---> diligence/model/mgmt meetings instead of passing it on to the associate which I understand is the ngt model. Very different skill set / incentive structure

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Jun 1, 2020 - 11:51pm

I think if you take the role your exit goals should be to be an associate at that fund. If not then, why take the role? GA and Insight are two of the top growth equity firms. KKR NGT is a cut below.

  • Intern in VC
Jun 2, 2020 - 1:47am

All of these roles will be primarily sourcing. Under current circumstances, I would say go with GA/Insight. They are two of the best and most established growth shops out there. GA has been one of the best over the past several decades and Insight seems to become more prolific across nearly all stages with each passing week. Given their success and size, I believe you will gain more from the more structured analyst programs offered by these two shops over KKR's relatively new team (recently raised its second fund). Furthermore, I imagine hours at KKR would be slightly worse given the general culture at the firm. Of course, there are reasons to like KKR. For one, KKR might invest in areas that are more interesting to you (eg semiconductors), where a shop like Insight is almost entirely SaaS. The relatively smaller size of KKR's team could also provide more exposure to various stages of a deal and allow you to work more closely with partners. Smaller size might also provide greater opportunity to rise to the top of the ranks. But lets not get too far ahead of ourselves

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 2, 2020 - 5:35pm

Honestly, if you're interested in this space, the best program out of undergrad is probably Vista's. Their pe analyst program doesn't do any sourcing at all. That said, there are a bunch of compromises you make with vista (comp is below street, culture isn't great, headquartered in Austin), but its been one of the best performing pe funds of the last decade, has never lost money on an investment, and you'll get exposure to growth investments of all sizes (the fund they raised last fall is an eyewatering 16 billion) and stamp the best name in software investing in the world on your resume. Unlike silverlake, vista also doesn't only hire from one or two schools, and leans really heavily on their online iq screens, so if you can get past those (easier said than done) you have a real shot. Not a great place for sticking around in the long run, but imo the best program of its kind out of undergrad.

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 2 in PE - Growth
Jun 2, 2020 - 6:53pm

You do realize that Vista is not a growth equity shop, correct? Agree that it is a more attractive option if you're solely trying to do tech investing, but they tend to focus primarily on mid to late stage SaaS companies (after all, one thing they are famous for is cutting excess costs and increasing margins) which is a somewhat different profile than the companies that you would look at if you were to work at Insight / GA.

Also separately, SLP is much better - deals with all the issues you mention (better comp, better brand, offices in NY / Menlo). Calling Vista better because the bar to get hired is lower isn't a good reason. Regardless, either of those can be good preparation for growth equity (can lateral to an earlier stage shop) but neither is growth equity.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Jun 2, 2020 - 7:14pm

To your first point, Vista does have a lower middle market & vc/growth fund with a flexible mandate. Analysts are not hired for a specific fund though which means you might work on a multi billion dollar take private one day and a high growth tech GE style deal the next. I think that breadth of experience is very beneficial when starting out one's career to see what types of companies/risk profiles they like. To your second point, it is an apples to oranges comparison, SL has recently swayed from its tech focused mandate that worked for them in the first decade of the 2000s to a bunch of random deals (taking positions in sports teams). In the tech space they have definitely been eclipsed by Vista/Thoma, WSJ actually just wrote an article about it so google it if you disagree. All of the shops mentioned are great places to start a career though so I would focus more on getting the offers than splitting hairs on which one is "better".

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 3, 2020 - 1:02am

This is just factually incorrect - their PE analyst program is primarily sourcing, portfolio monitoring and some very basic diligence.

Interviewed in the pretty late stages for an Analyst role here and this is what I heard from all interviewers. Associates deal with the modeling, Analysts just do the bitch work and get a nice name on their resume.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Jun 3, 2020 - 9:09am

You are mixing up their research position with their private equity position, which this site as a whole often confuses. No large cap PE fund has their analysts source deals. Think about it, an analyst cant just call up a public company CEO and ask if he is looking to be acquired. Vista uses senior investor relationships and bb/eb banks for sourcing

Jun 2, 2020 - 6:26pm

I've attended info sessions for all three firms. What I've gotten from them is that jobs are 100% sourcing with limited exposure to deal process. If you do well you get promoted and if not you exit to tech growth companies or other VC/growth buyouts. Its promoted as "gaining skills most bankers acquire as senior associates from the start". But it seems like you also lose the opportunity to gain modeling and technical finance knowledge. Overall, it is a great way to get a foot in the door in the growth equity landscape, just without many opportunities outside the space.

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  • Prospect in Other
Jun 2, 2020 - 10:30pm

how do I get into the process for these analyst programs out of a semi-target? I have a strong background in tech and my school places kids into EBs and BBs, but these firms don't recruit my campus

  • Intern in VC
Jun 3, 2020 - 12:43am

Gotta network. Growth firms value hustle so start connecting with people as much as you can (Linkedin, cold emails) to try and land an interview

  • VP in VC
Jun 2, 2020 - 10:38pm

GA / Insight any day. The KKR Growth team is one of two teams of the 30-40 PE/Growth/VC teams I've interacted with that have actually been filled with hyper-aggressive folks I just don't care to work with in the least. I would rather lose a world class deal than talk with them again. It was a unique displeasure working with them. Mark my words. Anyone who is experienced on this forum will back the importance of working in a team that is filled with real, human, down to earth, understanding people; KKR Growth is the opposite. I invite anyone to get a second opinion because it is possible that the team I worked with is isolated and not representative as part of a broader culture; however, if it was, you couldn't get me to work there for 10% of the carry pool.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 22, 2020 - 11:22pm

Do any of you actually have experience working in KKR NGT or even any part of KKR? Definitely not 100% sourcing...

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Sep 22, 2020 - 11:58pm

I personally know Associates in the group who confirm the analysts are basically hired to do the sourcing grunt work ..

The group is now recruiting before kids even do their junior year internships, so they trick kids into leaving great banks to join NGT because the kids are enthralled by the KKR name. If you are lucky enough to get promoted after 2 years, probably a good move. But if you don't.. then you're 2 years in with no real technical skillset competing for highly technical associate roles with kids who have been cranking out models weekly at MS

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 23, 2020 - 9:05pm

They have done some really interesting stuff lately in tech space: ReliaQuest, Zwift, etc. You're saying the analysts don't touch the investment decks/models for these and instead sit around sourcing? Sorry if I'm a bit blunt here... this seemed to be an appealing group at the surface originally (have to say KKR brand did factor into the prestige) but seems to be not as interesting anymore.

Sep 23, 2020 - 6:34am

Familiar with GA (technology)/Insight, not so much KKR NGT so won't comment on them. Safe to assume all will be sourcing heavy at the analyst level.

GA - Arguably the most recognizable name in GE for tech, though I don't know jack about their healthcare/consumer teams. I don't know about analyst pay but at the associate level they are tops for the space. Will get exposure to the sexiest deals in the GE universe pretty consistently and the GA name carries a ton of weight for any prospects so sourcing will not be a chore in the same way it can be at lower tier GE shops (still a grind though). One thing worth noting though is that most of their associates seem to be coming from 2 years IB vs direct promotes, which might indicate the analyst program is itself is a stint vs long-term option. Can't say for a fact though whether there's pressure for 2 & out or the analysts just like taking the brand name of GA to leverage an exit, maybe someone else can weigh in.

Insight - Probably the best if choice if you want to stay somewhere long-term. This thread has a bunch of great data on specifically the analyst role. Biggest point of attraction IMO is the phantom equity + carry in sourced deals at the analyst level. Clear cut retention tactic which if you look at their performance will pay handsomely if you are around long enough to collect. They have a strong history of internal promotes with a number of partners who started at the analyst level and just never left. I've talked with them a handful of times regarding portcos (buyout & growth side) and they're consistently the among sharpest investors I've spoken to in the SaaS space. Always enjoy hearing them opine on their thesis for a given company.

I would imagine exits from either at the analyst level would be similar, maybe giving GA a slight edge just because Insight seems more focused on retaining their analysts.

Sep 23, 2020 - 10:00am

Why not ask them here? Helps out anyone else who might have similar Qs and people love using these threads for reference. My knowledge is far from comprehensive but I'll try my best to be helpful.

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 23, 2020 - 10:08am

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