McKinsey BA to PE

Analyst 1 in Other

I am an incoming BA at McKinsey in a large US office (Chicago, Boston, etc). I chose to join the Digital practice since I wanted to do some technology work. After some time at McKinsey, I would like to enter PE, ideally related to technology. However, I studied engineering as an undergraduate and don't know anything about finance. While I know I'll be able to do plenty of non-digital work as a BA, I'm wondering how many opportunities I'll have to work in PE. I don't know any finance or accounting, so will the firm teach me all of these things if I want to do a PE diligence case? Or would they expect I already know it?

Comments (8)

Apr 19, 2020

MBBs can place well in PE. Make sure to be staffed on CDD projects and potentially transaction teams.

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  • Analyst 1 in Other
Apr 19, 2020

Is that going to be tough to do since I know 0 finance and accounting?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Apr 19, 2020

Nah, it's less about finance and accounting and more about commercial viability (i.e. market growth trends, competitive strength, route-to-market, etc.) of whatever the target is. The accountants will do DD on the financials side of things.

That being said, for PE interviews, just practice a few LBOs. Finance and accounting sounds scary to any layman but if you're working in IB or consulting I don't think intelligence is an issue - just put the time in.

  • Analyst 1 in Other
Apr 19, 2020

Is that something they'll teach me once I'm on the job or will I not be able to get on those cases without putting in a good amount of time to study first?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Apr 19, 2020

Nah don't think so - not sure how McK works internally, but I've never heard of any entry requirements for any case. You may have to probably highlight your interest to your staffer / network with EMs or APs who are within the PE group.

Try searching for old threads here or on Reddit if you haven't - that'll probably give you a better flavour of VDD / CDD engagements, and on going from consulting to PE

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Apr 19, 2020

Do DD projects, and pretty much anything in business is easy to learn. My guess is that if you got a McKinsey offer you've read about Case in Point and pretty much self taught yourself some stuff. Finance and Accounting should be very straightforward for you as an engineer. Just read about the 3 statements (maybe buy an UG financial accounting text book for the basics), read Pearl & Rosenbaum's book to get a good understanding on Finance/Valuations. With that you should be able to do few practice of modeling tests and you'll be fine.

I would look into some of the AMA or now Q&A/AMW from consultants that made it to PE, they outlined pretty clearly what they did/how they prepared.

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Apr 24, 2020

As stated above, do your best to be staffed on CDD projects (or VDD, if CDDs do not work out). There are usually no formal requirements to be staffed on these, although they tend not to put newbies on them for their first case due to the fast pace and tough ramp-up involved.

Start reading about valuation methods at a high level and LBO models on the side and you will be ready to recruit relatively early.

Keep an open eye for interesting strategy projects in tech, so you can pepper deal exposure with more in-depth projects. In addition to being generally interesting, these projects can give you an edge when recruiting specifically for tech PE.

Apr 25, 2020
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