Moving from McKinsey/Bain analyst to PE associate

If anyone has made this transition could they maybe share some insight into what the process was like relative to the standard IB -> PE recruiting path? Specifically, do most people recruit first or second year, would a banking internship right before you start significantly help your odds or potentially make you look like too much of a robot/tryhard, what tended to differentiate the BAs/ACs who were successful, etc. Any relevant insight would be much appreciated since there isn't much about this specific transition on any of these boards.

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Comments (10)

Jan 2, 2018


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Jan 12, 2018

Would love to help but unfortunately I came from BCG...

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Jan 16, 2018

Are you trolling or would you like to offer insight haha. I specified McK and Bain since they're the biggest players in the space and I've heard place the best.

Jan 16, 2018

A little bit of both.

Having now been through the recruiting process myself and helped people a year below me navigate it, I'd say the path from MBB to PE is much more real / standardized / available than most people on this forum acknowledge.

Headhunters will often reach out in year 1, but the vast majority of consultants end up recruiting in year 2 because 1) they feel more prepared and 2) a growing contingent of firms will only interview / recruit 2nd years. That said, you should respond to the headhunters even in year 1 to express interest and meet for a coffee chat - this will put you on the top half of their list going into year 2.

Typically, the best candidates will have navigated their way into DD / corp dev cases (never hurts to mention it on your linkedin page, tucked in with a few other case experiences) and performed well there - If you're in a major office that has relationships with PE firms, the PE firms will often reach out to the relationship partner to see who they should be talking to / get a feel for a candidates reputation.

Once you're on their radar, it's all about prepping an adequate amount for each stage and presenting yourself as thoughtful and polished...there are plenty of guides on this forum to help with that stage of the process, but for consultanting-friendly funds there will be much less emphasis on live modeling tests and much more emphasis on case-interview style problem solving

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Jan 16, 2018

i am not 100% but my impression is that there are far more pre mba entry points than post mba (a consulting associate would have 4 years of work ex which would probably fall into the senior associate category)

Jan 16, 2018

Honestly I don't think there's much of a difference. There are so few jobs in PE to start with your best bet would be to apply as an analyst, that way if you don't get a job you can try again post-mba or after a couple years of work post-mba

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Jan 16, 2018

Pitchbook is best, buts it's pretty expensive. CapIQ or Factset also work, but aren't quite as powerful for PE.

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Jan 16, 2018

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