Monolingual Brits for PE - Are we f*cked?

English speaking Brit here who has an FT offer for a solid EB in London – think LAZ/HL/PWP/RTH/GHL. Have looked at a lot of PE firm teams in London and surprised at how few people speak only English (yes naïve).

I know a few big PE shops have UK/IRE teams and a couple PE firms I can think of that are UK/IRE focused with respectable AUM, e.g. $1bn+ but not many… below feels too small and limits optionality for B School/career change – am I correct in this?

Considering GS/JP/MS large class sizes and increasing spring week intake from Brits (Laz London SA class was purely SW for last 2 years) i.e. increased competition from people with no euro language, do monolingual Brits still have a good chance at PE of $1bn+

Does knowing 1+ euro language become even more important when you get senior in PE or is it unimportant as you'll have your euro fluent monkey handling much of the deal for you if/when you make Principal


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Comments (7)

  • Intern in VC
Oct 13, 2021 - 6:58am

I noticed this too, I've seen where friends have applied the reason they don't get an offer is they cite language requirements needed. I speak Arabic and really broken Swedish but it's not as highly desired 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 13, 2021 - 9:33am

No - plenty of opportunities for Brits.

If we just look at Exits from MS in 2021 we've seen Monolingual speakers go to KKR, EQT, Carlyle, Permira, TPG, Global Infrastructure Partners, Montagu, Waterland etc

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 15, 2021 - 11:12am

Yes unsurprisingly as this is MS as I mentioned in my post. I'm looking at the situation for Brits who aren't in GS/MS/JP 

  • Analyst 3+ in IB-M&A
Oct 13, 2021 - 11:47am

There are definitely less opportunities as a monolingual speaker and anyone who tells you differently is lying. Ultimately, it depends how the fund and teams are setup, e.g. if it is pan-European coverage, multiple languages will be required and Brits are unlikely to even be interviewed. Most MF sector teams are setup this way.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 15, 2021 - 11:11am

Thanks though, to be fair I wouldn't want to do MF even if I was multilingual

What is the situation like in UMM and LMM. Is UMM in London realistic? 

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Oct 15, 2021 - 12:22pm

Come to America. We don't give a phuck if you know any other language than English.  Whole world has to accommodate  to us..  medical.

Why speak anything other than the sweet language of freedom.

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Oct 15, 2021 - 2:01pm

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