Megafund/UMM PE Analyst Program Discussion Thread

Since this topic has been coming up a lot recently, I figured it made sense to compile a list of the top UMM/MF PE analyst programs (current ones, not like LGP or TCV which discontinued) and thoughts on them to help people make the call between these and traditional BB/EB roles. Note that this isn't just buyout programs.

Blackstone – Hires for a bunch of different groups, including Private Equity, REPE, TacOpps, Secondaries (Strategic Partners). Arguably can't beat the name brand, pays somewhat below street because they can
KKR – Newer and smaller program compared to BX. Also hires for multiple groups (including PE, REPE, NGT, Infra, Macro). Kind of speaks for itself, although NGT is apparently somewhat sourcing oriented
Warburg Pincus – Analyst program has been around for a while – have been told that the culture is a bit rough (a bit sweaty) but top notch all around
Vista – Cares a ton about the online exam results and loving tech. Nuance here is 1) pure tech/SaaS focus 2) in Austin or Chicago
Bain Capital – Romney and Boston. Hires for PE, and historically Ventures and Credit but think those programs might've gotten axed
Insight – Sourcing quotas on start-ups, but great name-brand if you want to do growth/VC; promotes up to associate after which I believe you aren't a sourcing monkey anymore
General Atlantic – Ditto Insight
Ares – LA, hires for PE and Credit, PE program has been around for 5+ years (credit is new)
Silver Lake – Very tech-focused and intense, smaller and target school heavy class
BDT – Newish Chicago fund that raised a ton of dry powder, merchant banking model so half banking half investing
Apax – Hires for growth and traditional buyout – growth is 85% sourcing focused, buyout role is newer
Audax – Probably the gold standard for a MM PE analyst role, only hires from target schools, has a credit arm in NYC but everyone else is Boston or SF
GTCR – Only hires from intern class, the other big Chicago fund

Let me know if I'm missing anything, didn't include some of the smaller shops since don't really think too many people would take those over BB/EBs.
Source: Going through/went through the FT recruiting process for over half of these so if you guys violently disagree with any of these takes blame my contacts
Edit: Changed Vista and Ares' descriptions as per comments

Comments (51)

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jul 17, 2020 - 7:01pm

Not only does it only pay sub 150k (worse than most BBs let alone EBs) it's also a 3 year program, meaning when all your friends are getting paid their first year associate comp after hopping to the buyside in two years, you'll still be a third year analyst, wearing a tie, and getting grinded with shit pay. Blackstone's analyst program is only worth it if you're sure you want to jump to a hedge fund -- their hedge fund placement is unheard of for any analyst program, sending kids to shops that usually recruit PE associates.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 16, 2020 - 10:28pm

Does Golden Gate take analysts? Thought they like exclusively hired out of ND for a little bit and then stopped

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jul 17, 2020 - 12:36am

Would caution against thinking about summit / insight / ga / kkr ngt for those truly interested in PE -- growth equity is not late stage private equity and the skills you learn while sourcing are not transferable, nor will you get associate looks at PE shops after being an analyst in a sourcing role at a growth equity firm. These are all great programs that pay well with good cultures and are a great fit for those who are truly passionate about early stage investing and meeting founders. If you want a career in VC or growth, absolutely take it. But if you want to do large cap technology buyout stick to Vista and Silverlake, or the two years of TMT banking that can get you to to the other big players in the space. Source: friends who worked at insight / ga and absolutely hated waking up in the morning to go cold call people and wound up going to bschool bc their only exit opps were to corpdev or another sourcing role.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 26, 2020 - 12:57am


Facts: Personally know two alums who went from IB internships to growth analyst roles, got promoted to associate, then exited to senior associate/VP level at UMM buyout firms. They were both geniuses but the point is good people will always get good jobs. Anyone can carve their own path.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 17, 2020 - 5:51pm

Can anyone speak to the UMM firms on the list? Are processes different than MF at all? Are experiences less structured than traditional MF programs?

Particularly funds such as GTCR, Crestview, BDT, GGC, etc.

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Jul 17, 2020 - 5:53pm

List of reputable MM/UMM PE firms that recruit Analysts out of undergrad: (off the top of my head)

Audax Group
Crestview Partners
LLR Partners
Parthenon Capital
Stone Point
Vector Capital

Currently an Analyst at one of these firms, and took the offer over a top BB group.

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other
Jul 19, 2020 - 10:50pm

Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs:

List of reputable MM/UMM PE firms that recruit Analysts out of undergrad: (off the top of my head)

Audax Group
Crestview Partners
LLR Partners
Parthenon Capital
Stone Point
Vector Capital

Currently an Analyst at one of these firms, and took the offer over a top BB group.

Partners Group but pay is not very competitive.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 17, 2020 - 11:16pm

Can someone confirm if KKR's all-in is 185k for first year analysts? That sounds like such cap, but I have seen that number on a couple of threads.

Jul 18, 2020 - 6:21pm

It's 90K base. Not sure what bonus is. 95K doesn't sound ridiculous. I know other top shops are 180K all in for first year analysts so their smaller teams might end up pushing KKR to 185K.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jul 20, 2020 - 11:15am

Can confirm WP and SL are both around that point - both are really sweaty places to be (would argue worse than BX) so the comp bump helps mitigate that to some extent

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jul 18, 2020 - 2:50pm

True, but to be fair the OP called it a "newer" program when it's been around for 5+ years (one of the older and more established programs for PE at least - Credit is new)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 20, 2020 - 11:24am

They have a sophomore intern program that's pretty built out I believe. Most sophomore interns don't return for junior year though-I think the idea is to give exposure early on, send the kids to banking, and recruit them back later after they have more experience

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 21, 2020 - 10:00am

For FT: start during various times between May-July. Basically all of them try to finish up recruiting just about when the IB summer program ends because they want to confirm you have a return offer and then offers go out the first few weeks in august

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Other
Jul 21, 2020 - 4:39pm

Know Partners Group has been scaling up NA recruiting the past two years, and have seriously upped the comp. I think 95 base now

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 21, 2020 - 7:38pm

Unsure of bonus target for analysts but big caveat with this one is that it's not a pure private equity program. Analysts rotate through value creation group, private debt, REPE, etc. Couple that with being in Broomfield, CO and you have quite a different experience than many of the other firms being listed.

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