[London RE] career advice needed

Hi monkeys, hoping somebody from UK/London market could help out.

Bit of background:

Went to a non-target for finance (pretty strong for politics & law (top 25 ish)), 2.1 law degree, graduated in 2019. Didn't secure any IB internships during the degree, even though sent out hundreds of apps during the 3 years. Networked my butt off after 2nd year and landed an internship in a no-name, super hush hush family office (Im not even allowed to disclose the family name) focusing on RE, which I managed to convert to full time after graduation. Everything was going great pre-covid, but once the first lockdown hit, it all stopped- haven't closed a single deal since (spent the lockdown working on my modelling skills, learnt how to model most asset classes, waterfalls etc from scratch AND more importantly got a pretty solid KD in warzone ;) ).

So far, I've got two deals under my belt (~50m each and one pending). Been trying to jump ship for exactly a year now with no luck- interviewed with 5-6 debt/equity funds, made it to final round with all of them and even though the feedback was great, they'd either go with other candidates who have more deals under their belt or scrap the position all together. 

I've so far developed a pretty solid relationship with one of the smaller recruiters, but they only seem to get 1-2 analyst/associate roles per quarter. From personal experience, bigger/more established recruiters won't even engage and one guy from gold group flat out told me that for acquisition roles he only talks to candidates with oxbridge-> BB backgrounds

Now, what I could use some help with:

What would be the best approach to line more interviews up? Does cold emailing/ LinkedIn work in London? At this point i'm not aiming at BX or any other top shops, looking for smaller equity/debt/bridging funds or developers who aren't that focused on prestige. However, even the smaller shops seem to be going through Dartmouth partners etc, without a dedicated careers page on their sites.

Comments (7)

Jun 3, 2021 - 12:58pm

Cold emailing and LinkedIn are always worth a shot. IMO though, if the culture and pay is okay at your current shop it wouldn't hurt to ride out the pandemic so you can get a couple more deals under your belt afterwards. TONS of shops are holding off on acquisitions right now, you're not the odd man out, so its an easy story to tell once you've got a few more deals done as to why the overall number is a little low for your years of experience.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 16, 2022 - 8:38pm

Cold email and LinkedIn is always a good route. Recruiters put you in front of people, but they'll also eat your pie too. If you can go direct, do it. There's a lot of talk here that networking doesn't help much in London, but it does. No matter where you are in the world, private markets requires people interaction to some extent.

Also, have you tried going the brokerage route? You're still only 2.5 years out of school. Spending a year or two at a brokerage, under a good broker (make sure to do your DD before joining), can go a long ways.

Jan 18, 2022 - 4:21am

In deserunt velit delectus. Dolorum impedit et eaque id quasi nisi inventore et.

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