London IBD vs Continental Europe MM PE

Hi all,

So I have the option to start at at Tier 2 BB (BARC/CS/Citi) in London. But I also have an offer to start at two PE funds in continental Europe (West/North-Europe). The first one has an AUM of around €800m, is situated in a nice city and is a traditional PE fund. The second one has an AUM of around €15bn, is situated in a second tier city and operates as a family office with no investment horizon (and allows some outside capital). I liked both teams (around 15 investment people), with about 5 juniors (age <30) at each place.

Even though I would like to end up in PE, I am not sure if it is the right place to start. Both firms invest mostly nationally and I would like some international experience as well. Next, the amount of juniors is quite low. I know in IBD life is hars, but you make friends for life. I am not sure I would go drinking with these teams (60% are seniors go to their wive and kids). Furthermore, I have the idea that starting in PE would really limit your options afterwards.

I feel like I should start in IBD in London and go to PE from there, but happy to hear opinions.

Comments (6)

Jan 21, 2018 - 7:39am

There is a lot of value in having a strong network. Unfortunately, you have to think long-term because the real value of this starts to show itself around VP/Principal level.

You also make another good point. In these kind of small shops the social aspect is a bit of a coin toss. Before you go in it's hard to understand how much of a connection people really build. Is it drinks on Thursday night, holiday trips and crazy offsites? Or more like team dinner once a year?

Personally I think the IBD route has been the gold standard for good reason. You learn best practices, get to know a lot of people quickly, and you'll get to explore your limits (not sure if the last thing is really a positive!).

It's nice to keep optionality until you know for sure what you want to do.

  • 1
Jan 21, 2018 - 4:53pm

I would go with IB, it gives you more opportunities to learn.. life as analyst in a €0.8b found might be a bit boring, because deal flow is less constant.. you can easily go in PE from BAR/CS/citi later on

Jan 23, 2018 - 11:47am

Thanks for the advice guys.

The connections and higher deal flow are indeed the reasons why I was thinking of joining the BB. As far as I know the team had drinks about once every two weeks and does some off-siding.

LDNBNKR: It is true I could end up at those places anyway, but the cities really aren't that special. Taking into account that there won't be a lot of social activities from the office, I am slightly scared that I will be bored. Sure a lot of time will be in the office, but therefore I want my time outside the office to be nice, which I slightly doubt. If I got a position at a nice PE in London I would more likely choose it.

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