London - Most Prestigious Grad Roles

What would you consider are the most prestigious funds (HF as well as PE) that hire graduates with 0 full-time work experience in London? (i.e. looking at opportunities you would take instead of a fulltime IBD role at GS, MS, JPM, assuming that long-term target would be buyside anyway)

From the top of my head: BX, MAN, Bain Capital Credit, Cevian Capital, and the merchant banking arms of GS and MS...

Comments (63)

 
  • Investment Analyst in PE - LBOs
Dec 16, 2020 - 7:25am

They do - not sure about London though. In Stockholm and Switzerland they actually hired a couple of Analysts straight out of school. I belive a previous internship at Cevian is required.

 
Jul 4, 2018 - 5:22am

All of the above only recruit Europeans with at least 2x6months internships. I have never seen Bain and/or Cevian recruit without FT experience. GS/MS/BS is for RE (not saying its bad however not my thing). if you put Man in you could add pretty much any big HF such as Citadel, P72...

 
Jul 4, 2018 - 4:18pm

Pan European Monkey:

All of the above only recruit Europeans with at least 2x6months internships. I have never seen Bain and/or Cevian recruit without FT experience. GS/MS/BS is for RE (not saying its bad however not my thing). if you put Man in you could add pretty much any big HF such as Citadel, P72...

I dont consider these 6 month internships as full-time experience. I am aware that you need multiple top tier internships for these funds to even consider it...
So you tell me that Citadel and P72 are recruiting grads? (Assume we exclude quant, data scientist role, rather looking at L/S, Activist Funds, MergerArb etc.

 
Jul 4, 2018 - 11:14am

Cevian does for sure (be it extending FT offers to their interns or hire external without FT experience - I know two examples each), but they don't actually have investment operations in London. They invest in the nordics from Stockholm, and in DACH from
Pfäffikon /Zürich.

The only office is basically just an IR partner plus assistants.

Don't know people at Bain credit but I wouldn't be surprised if they hire former interns as analysts.

 
Jul 4, 2018 - 11:17am

Oh and obviously add Silver Lake to that lost, who hire 1-2 analysts per year (either former interns or external - the process is run by KEA Consultants every fall).

Bx obviously has roles in PE, TacOpps and RE PE, so couple of shots for that firm.

There's also a guy at CD&R that started as an analyst as his first full time job, and Cinven takes 6months interns and that might be able to convert (the Frankfurt office did that with 2-3 guys, not sure they take analysts in London as well).

Also have a look at Park Square Capital (big credit fund).

 
Jul 4, 2018 - 4:50pm

Have circulated in the London market for a while so have built up a bit of perspective. I think the consensus would say Blackstone (PE, Real Estate, TacOpps), Bain, Silver Peak, Ardian UK PE, GS Merchant, Cinven PE, Point 72 (although I did hear that their recent recruits don't exude competence - this might be at the Analyst level, rather than grad though) and Millennium AM (rarely take grads, although there is some precedent). I'm sure I have missed a few, but these are the ones that stand out to me as very impressive gigs.

 
  • Investment Analyst in PE - LBOs
Dec 16, 2020 - 7:27am

Comparing Ardian with a basically dead fund like Terra Firma is a strech..

 
Jul 5, 2018 - 7:46am

I would put Ardian and CD&R many notches up from Terra Firma and 3i. The latter two have limited deal flow, a few headliner clangers and are simply less competitive for IBD Analysts to get in. Ardian is no.1 or no.2 in terms of AUM in Europe, which shows they must be performing well for LPs to gain access to that much capital. My perspective is that both Ardian and CD&R are on the same level (or there abouts) as Cinven and CVC, and a notch below Blackstone, Carlyle, Bain Capital etc, I'm unsure how I would view the principal investment divisions of GS or MS in relation to Ardian and CD&R though - I feel that's more up for grabs.

 
Most Helpful
Jul 5, 2018 - 10:32am

Pretty laughable to put Ardian and CD&R in the same bucket as mid cap European funds that have struggled for a decade, but okay.

With respect to Bx PE, they have an extremely weak track record in Europe, which led to very limited dealflow in recent years until the Schenck acquisition in Sep'17 (TBD how that will turn out) - note that the ThomsonReuters F&R deal was led from the US. Obviously still an awesome brand and quite good training for juniors, but for me personally more a gig for the first two years to secure a great exit rather than a good place to be long term (everyone I knew left for great long term opportunities within that time frame).

GS MBD is clearly a worse choice than most direct platforms, they switched to do primarily co-invest / minority type of deals, they cut their fund size by 50%, divested most portfolio companies etc - GS SSG is much more interesting across various strategies, including liquid investments as well as (tech) growth equity.

MS MBD shut down its corporate PE practice in Europe in 2016/17. I believe they continue to do some infrastructure and RE from here though, but those are not great platforms either.

Silver Lake ramped up its London office quite a bit over the last two years, and did two deals after having done nothing for years since Global Blue. It's a nice opportunity, also because the firm has a proper analyst program across all offices and corresponding training (unlike other funds that only have the occasional analyst in Europe).

Park Square does pretty boring credit stuff in my opinion, but I know juniors there that are pretty happy and it's easy to switch to more complex credit stuff afterwards.

Generally I would suggest not to underestimate how powerful a buyside analyst position can be from a recruiting / exit point of view, irrespective of the specific brand - while I'm personally a big fan of the classic GS/MS/JPM IBD prestige stuff, funds usually first try to interview one of the PE analysts in Europe instead of one of the >>100 T1 banking analysts (A1-A3) as it's much harder to get those positions, they've already shown that they want to invest, have the "investor mindset" (whatever that means, but headhunters and recruiters love it), are comfortable with small team sizes without any back office or intern support etc etc

Whether you actually need the structured IBD training depends on your experience (UK guy with 1 banking internship and nothing else vs French dude from HEC with 6 months GS, 6 months Cinven internships, among others) as well as your willingness to teach yourself in your spare team (which on average you'll have much more as a buyside junior).

Just do your research and talk face to face with people in the industry instead of going for what's "most prestigious", as people who base their decision solely on those criteria usually end up not being successfully in this industry in the long term.

Further, the chances of you being able to choose between more than 2-3 of those options, if that, are pretty close to zero, so focus on securing one first.

 
Jul 7, 2018 - 6:39am

Funny to read this from a HF perspective when you know and deal with a large chunk of the managers listed at C-level

Don't look too hard for prestige kid. In the HF world unless you want to be an analyst for life you want to be running money ASAP. In that context it's performance that counts, fuck prestige. I'd you want a few names od groups that let juniors run money faster just pm me. I think it's widely known however that Man do give juniors a small allocation although this may be PM dependent.

Offshore liffe
  • 1
 
  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 24, 2020 - 12:51pm

Coming from the HF world, would agree with this. Nothing beats the true experience of seeing your pnl  marked to market everyday and having to work towards keeping that up. Think the element of 'prestige' is more of you want to be at a shop with large and stable AUM. If you're at a platform that matters less though of course. 

 
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Dec 2, 2020 - 4:59pm

I'm wondering what general thoughts are on activism and Cevian in Europe when compared to other top buyside opportunities such as private equity MF

 
  • Associate 2 in HF - Event
Dec 18, 2020 - 8:09am

Heard from multiple sources that the interview process is one of the hardest out there. Would put them on par with MFs in terms of prestige, but don't know how relevant this is, considering they only take 1-2 analysts per year. I don't have information concerning pay but would say overall one of the top shops on the buyside.

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Nov 29, 2020 - 5:58pm

Agreed on most of the names posted here but why Park Square, looks like a pretty run-of-the mill debt shop? Also feel like people discount GS MBD too much.

Would add Partners Group to the list, although I don't know if they run their Analyst program in London or Switzerland only.

A lot of HFs hire out of school, but more for quant roles (Citadel, Marshall Wace, Man Group, etc.)

 
Nov 29, 2020 - 7:52pm

They used to do really cool stuff in Pref Equity/Mezz/PIK/Junior debt but now they became a boring low risk shop.

 

Partners is a bit shit in the sense that you have to rotate around different teams over your 3 years - sure makes you build a varied skillset but you don't know where you'll end up and as a PE shop imagine hiring a guy that did PE in his first year as an analyst and then did DL and FoF for the two following years - there are better candidates out there that I would rather hire.

 
  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Dec 1, 2020 - 1:09am

How do you rank GS MBD relative to other megafund PE roles?

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Dec 1, 2020 - 5:29am

I don't know shit tho, but in my mind a bit lower than the MFs, but overall one of the best gigs one can get out of college (I fail to see how a graduate role there won't get some interest from HHs in case you wanted to recruit for larger UMM/MF/HF). It is true that looking at PE fundraising totals (PEI 300, LBO style direct PE only) they are smaller than I would have imagined. And the Goldman brand is amazing whatever you do afterwards.

 
Dec 2, 2020 - 5:32pm

Principal at your single-family office - along side your daddy of course ;)

I had a flair for languages. But I soon discovered that what talks best is dollars, dinars, drachmas, rubles, rupees and pounds fucking sterling.
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