Madison Dearborn vs. GTCR

carlsbad83's picture
Rank: Chimp | 5

Obviously two of the top names in Chicago private equity - anyone have any insight into how they compare in terms of culture, hours, pay, prestige etc.? Was discussing Chicago PE with someone recently and realized I had very little insight into either of these firms.

Comments (11)

Dec 20, 2016

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Dec 20, 2016

Heard from someone who interviewed at MDP that it's pretty formal like old money if you know what I mean. Suits every day, I believe. Wasn't for him and he went with a slightly smaller, less formal Chicago PE.

Mar 14, 2018

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Mar 14, 2018

Any info on GTCR? See they raised a raised a recent fund in 2017.

Mar 14, 2018

Anyone complete a GTCR case study?

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Best Response
Mar 16, 2018

I had interacted with both in a transaction and know someone currently working and another soon to join GTCR. For context, my interaction happened during a sellside of a company in a sector in which both firms had a portfolio company.

MDP - definitely very formal. During the mgmt pres of my deal, the associate came in in a full suit and tie, also wore a watch and was ready with a laptop right away. On the appearance, I'd describe him as "impeccable" slightly giving off an American Psycho type vibe. He said nothing and was typing every single thing that was being said. At one point, the CFO of their portfolio company made a comment about how great the associate was, but not like in a personal way, but more like a "he's a machine" type of a way. Only a partner and he showed up from MDP side (in addition to the exec team from portfolio co), so I imagine teams are lean.

GTCR - I interacted with their TMT team. No tie. No laptops out. Even the associate was given opportunities to ask questions (the vp or partner would ask a question and the follow up to see if anyone else from the team had a question, sometimes specifically referring to the associate). Conversation was a bit lighter and they frankly sucked up to the sellside more so (in a more personable/positive way).

So anecdotally, I think GTCR culture is a bit less formal and personal than MDP. I've heard repeatedly that both firms work hard and long hours. My contacts at/going to GTCR have noted that culture/hours varies by the team (i forget which vertical, but there is one at gtcr that's a complete sweatshop. Oh btw, you do get verticalized).

In terms of rep and pay, I think they are on par with each other. Pay should be aligned with other NYC supper MM firms. Investing styles, though in my opinion, are slightly different. GTCR seemed more interested in tech aspects, whereas MDP was straight up business/ops/$$. I've come across GTCR in a more tech-y situations, whereas MDP has come up as potential buyers in a more traditional/turnaround situations. So, that leads me to believe that despite the fact that they may invest in the same sector, their approaches diverge. This may be because MDP has deep roots in industrials, whereas the TMT team I interact with at GTCR have focused on TMT.

    • 6
Mar 14, 2018

Thank you for your input, here's a nana!

Apr 28, 2019

How is MDP doing these days?

Apr 28, 2019

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May 12, 2019

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May 12, 2019
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