MM PE to distressed credit HF/ hybrid HF/PE in London?

Hi everyone,

Was wondering if anyone had some advice on transitioning from MM PE in London towards a distressed credit role? What I'm looking for is either typical distressed debt (i.e. the Silver Points of the world, public markets focused, diving into reorgs etc.) or, ideally, a hybrid HF/PE (SVP Global is probably the best example).

For context, my background is in mid market FIG PE (did some software and industrials as well) with your occasional takeover of a distressed bank here and there, plus an MBA at a non-HSW ivy.

Much appreciated!

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Comments (13)

  • Associate 3 in PE - Other
Aug 30, 2021 - 9:42pm

Not sure what the EU recruiting theme is for them but SVP is recruiting super aggressively in the US.  You shouldn't have an issue getting an interview there.  
 

That being said, you sure going to distressed focused is where you want to land? Pure distressed  is a hard long term industry to be in due to a limited opportunity set compared to all the funds chasing yield.  
 

Id suggest looking at more hybrid shops that do operationally intensive LBOs in addition to distressed buyouts (Stellex, Platinum, KPS, all come to mind). You probably will have an easier time getting in there with background and comp ceiling will likely be higher.

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Aug 31, 2021 - 4:04am

Nah, but as I said below, I find distressed HF work quite fascinating. I agree that a move to a distressed buy-out shop like SVP makes more sense. Btw, would you have any idea about SVP's recruiting process?

Will look into the other shops too - Stellex has a neat track record and I hear the culture is not bad, though their presence in Europe is (still) not great. 

  • Research Analyst in HF - Other
Aug 31, 2021 - 3:12am

Silver Point is actually turning more into a private markets shop and less HF-y. SVP has basically mandated all the credit/PE-related HH in the U.S. for roles, and I know they're definitely looking to buff out their Europe team as well. Talk to Hinton. They're a bit shitty if you're not a junior RX banker but they're the only ones SVP works with for associate searches in Europe now. They'll probably only put you through if you have RX experience (which you do), but if they don't get you any traction, then honestly just e-mail Alvaro yourself. He's the first point of contact and manages the process for them. They do a ton of 1st round interviews so you should definitely get a look. Stay on top of Hinton basically cuz they're slippery.

But I second that other guy - probably stay in PE - better long term prospects and it seems you're a couple years out of business school already, so it's going to be tougher to transition to the credit hedge fund oriented shops - you'll do better looking for distressed/value PE like SVP (which is basically a PE shop at this point even tho they do have a $2bn hedge fund), Apollo Hybrid Value etc. 

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Aug 31, 2021 - 3:58am

I appreciate the advice, thanks, SB-ed. Hinton is definitely capricious, will look into the more direct route. As for which is the "right" route... I arrived at the distressed credit HF party after last call, that's for sure, although it still looks like fascinating work. But I agree with you guys - I recently looked into SP again and found that they even set up a direct lending website, far more colorful than the hedge fund's site (you know, address, logo, LP login). I guess AUM for the distressed strategy is really shrinking. 

Do you have any insight into SVP's interview process? I'm assuming a mix of fit and technicals with some 3-4hr LBO model down the line or a take home case, but would love some color around it.

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  • Research Analyst in HF - Other
Aug 31, 2021 - 4:43am

Yeah so there may be slight variations, but here was the entire process for an associate role a while back - it was as follows

1) 45mins-1hr with Alvaro - fit interview, walk through resume, discuss a trade/pitch on your resume (or deal if you don't have public markets/distressed experience)

2) 45mins - 1hr with Hannah and William (or Bouk- but he's since gone to the US) - Hannah all fit, why distressed investing? what are your motivations/life goals?, William a little bit of fit but then technical questions, some probability questions, and then discussing/grilling on more trades that you've done etc. 

3) 1hr with John Brantl and HJ (2 co-heads) - basically same thing fit + discussing a trade/deal each, walking through and pitching something new if interesting. HJ also had some random distressed questions

4) Case Study - in house - 4 hours - given an LP, some financials, a middle market company with distressed capital structure - need to come up with thesis, recommendation, company analysis, valuation, cap structure (obviously easy), recoveries etc. - they'll give you a sheet that goes over the bullet points you need to address regarding your business/research views (does this business need to exist etc.?). I still have it but won't share all publicly. For the model it needs to be a full 3 statement model which was the most annoying part, cuz on the job you don't even do those. Not an LBO case (I think?) - cuz SVP doesn't do LBOs of course (I've never actually done a real LBO case for a PE fund so idk what they do)

5) You discuss comp, career progression, role, all the selling points about how good SVP is etc. etc. where you need to verbally commit to accepting before they put you in front of Victor

6) 30mins - 1hr with Victor - just a sanity check/chill fit interview - I was told Victor has never not approved a hire at the associate level that is brought to him from Europe so it's a formality thing, but he technically does has final veto of course since he runs the firm.

So that being said, Victor runs everything. Like even in Europe. Everyone under Victor is a glorified analyst. The co-heads of north america and europe are just super senior analysts - everyone pitches their investments/trades to Victor and he alone is the sole decision maker for investing at the firm. 

  • Research Analyst in HF - Other
Sep 2, 2021 - 2:02pm

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