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 EU800m, is situated in a nice city and is a traditional PE fund. The second one has an AUM of around EU15bn, 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.

All Europe
United Kingdom

Comments (6)

Jan 21, 2018

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

I would go with IB, it gives you more opportunities to learn.. life as analyst in a EU0.8b 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 21, 2018

go with PE - these are probably the places you end up after your analyst stint (which you glorify too much). Unless you woulndt wanna live in these cities, go with it

Jan 21, 2018

Hi Restless Banker,
I have sent you a PM, i would be very grateful if you could take the time answer

Jan 23, 2018

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.

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong

Jan 23, 2018