Lateral Recruiting in Growth Equity

Hey guys,

Current 2nd year analyst at a LMM ($1.5bn AUM) growth equity shop. I've recently seen some discussions around growth equity recruiting from IB or out of undergrad on the forum but haven't seen much about going from one GE shop to another. Would love any insight on this. Specific questions being:

  • How often to do growth equity funds make lateral hires from other funds?
  • What's the typical recruiting process in this case? Who should I be talking/reaching out to for networking (recruiters, associates, partners, etc.)?
  • How best should I position myself to compete with candidates coming from IB for an associate role (I don't have IB background)?

Any feedback is welcome. Thanks all.

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Comments (14)

Sep 14, 2021 - 8:03pm

Bumping to help get your questions answered.

Would you mind sharing some Q/A with myself? I am curious how you were able to break into growth out of undergrad. Did u you attend top target? heavy networking? Any advice to build technology knowledge to eloquently speak on trends in market during interviews. 

  • Analyst 2 in PE - Growth
Sep 14, 2021 - 8:16pm

Attended a semi-target in the midwest. Knew I wasn't a great fit for IB early on and networked hard in the buy side. Ironically wasn't able to land any positions that I networked heavily but was able to secure an offer from a fund that I barely spoke with. 

I recommend just trying to stay on top of recent deals and active investors (especially one's that recently raised a fund) in a space you're interested in/recruiting for whether it's tech, healthcare, etc. I personally subscribe to newsletters from PitchBook, Term Sheet, Axios Pro Rata, Strictly VC. Clouded Judgement is also a good one if you are interested in cloud software companies. 

Sep 14, 2021 - 10:02pm

It's similar to other buyside lateral processes. Big firms will use recruiters, mid size ones will be a little more likely to run their own processes. If I were you, I'd make a list of firms that you like and start building relationships with folks at those firms. Depending on what type of firm you're looking for, I'd also look at some of the recruiters that cover more of the MM growth firms. 

It's a hot market and in my opinion and experience, for a lateral hire, an experienced Associate/Senior Associate that has done solid buyside deals is almost always more valuable, especially to a MM shop, than someone from banking. You should have a leg up in recruiting as long as you're looking at the right types of firms.

  • Analyst 2 in PE - Growth
Sep 14, 2021 - 10:33pm

Makes sense. Appreciate the help! Fortunately have a couple solid deals under my belt. 2 quick follow up questions

Would it be better off then to try to lateral after I make associate vs now as a 2nd yr analyst? (Most likely will make associate if I stay)

How do you find those recruiters that cover MM funds? Any names that that come to mind?


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Sep 19, 2021 - 10:26am

If I were you, I'd continue to do a good job at your shop so that you make Associate, while recruiting in the background. Getting the Associate bump will only help you during lateral recruiting for other buyside shops. The promotion also makes it clear that you are recruiting for lateral associate roles vs if you're still an analyst, firms might be a little more wary of you, especially given that analyst experiences at buyside shops can be variable. TLDR, recruit regardless of your title, if you find a great associate lateral role before you leave, take it, if not, do enough to make sure you get promoted.

Recruiters that come to mind, Oxbridge, Bellcast, Gold Coast Search, HSP, Carter Pierce, Ratio. Basically, I'd just avoid CPI and Amity. Well I wouldn't avoid, I'd still reach out, but I wouldn't expect much. I'd make sure you're on the list for all of these firms, but as someone who has spent his whole career in LMM/MM tech and growth, the first few are the ones that we've hired and that have generated the most real opportunities for me.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 17, 2021 - 12:41pm

Is GE lateral recruiting similar to IB in that you can move from MM to BB fairly easily at the junior level? For example, LMM GE firm to somewhere like Level Equity or Lead Edge, or even Insight/GA at either the analyst or associate level.

Sep 19, 2021 - 10:30am

It is not. Moving from a LMM/MM firm to a larger one is tough. Not impossible, but the large GE funds are tough to break into. I just wrote this on another post, but in my limited experience with those types of funds, they're pretty technical, meaning a banking background is often times the best fit. LMM/MM growth doesn't give the same type of training as banking does. There are also just far fewer seats on the buyside than there are in banking, so it's not like you can do a year at William Blair and then lateral to Citi or something like that.

That is a big reason that starting in LMM/MM is somewhat limiting, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, plenty of money to be made in the space, but don't think that you can join a regional, tier 2/3 fund as an analyst and then end up at Insight or IVP after 2 years. Your best bet would be banking or maybe a PM role at Google/FB depending on how growth-y the fund is.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 19, 2021 - 1:33pm

What about moving from a fund like Level Equity/Silversmith/Lead Edge to like GA/Insight/TA/etc even though it doesn't make sense to move to a larger fund? Just wondering though.

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Sep 19, 2021 - 5:09pm

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