My PE Recruiting Process

Post #2: Update as of Feb 21, 2014
It has definitely been a stressful month. Recruitment has fully kicked off for me and I was surprised at the amount of traction I've gotten so far. With each interview, my responses have gotten better and I learned to BS better on some of the questions. I think the most frustrating part of the whole process is still the waiting period for headhunters to get back to you on job opps. It's especially frustrating during periods where I've exhausted LinkedIn and all other possible job posting boards and can't do anything but wait for responses. Another reason I was frustrated was probably because I haven't worked out in months because I've been busy with work and recruiting. I felt disgusting mentally and physically.
Update on the recruiters:
A lot of job opportunity emails from recruiters for hedge funds and corporate development roles - not really what I was looking for but I'm keeping my options open. I think I've reached out to a decent number of recruiters so I've been slacking off a bit in terms of soliciting recruiters. At this point, I should be following-up with recruiters just to refresh their memories of my resume.
Permsol - I had sent a follow-up email to my contact at the firm after my last post; additionally, a colleague of mine was contacted by the firm for a job opp and he referred me for the job. So I finally was able to get in touch with someone here. The recruiter had one job opp I was interested in and I submitted my resume not realizing the job is located outside my preferred geographical location. I was selected for an interview and took it because I just wanted some interview practice.
Amity - Received a contact through a generous poster at WSO (thanks a bunch!) and was able to schedule an introductory meeting with the recruiter. She had the same feedback as everyone else - not much in the market right now but recruiting season will kick off March / April
CPI - Most responsive recruiter out of all. They sent across a couple of job opps that I was really interested in.
Websites:
Still think LinkedIn is the most useful tool to use for the job searching process. For those of you who doesn't know this, LinkedIn offers a month of premium LinkedIn for free. I took advantage of this and updated my LinkedIn and added all my headhunter contacts to my network. In case you're not familiar with job search on LinkedIn, here's what I did to find jobs on LinkedIn:
- On the homepage, click "Jobs" on the menu bar on the top of the page
- In the search bar, type in job description (e.g. private equity associate)
- On the left side there are filters you can apply to the job search (e.g. locations, company etc.)
- If you click on a posting that may be of interest, it brings you to the job opportunity page where you can either apply directly on LinkedIn or directs you to the website where you can apply. LinkedIn Premium members can also see how competitive your resume is compared to the applicant pool.
- Additionally, at the bottom of the page, LinkedIn has a section for similar job postings which I found pretty useful.
Google is also a useful tool to search for any job postings if you know how to use it but it can take a decent amount of time to find them.
- On the search bar, type in the job description title (e.g. private equity associate)
- On the search results page, click on "Search Tools" below the search bar; click on "Anytime" and select "Past Month" or "Past Week" to filter out the old job postings
- I usually do this once a week so I select "Past Week" every time I do this
Progress as of Feb 21, 2014
Fund 4: A small / MM PE fund in CT (not Greenwich / Stamford) that I was not really interested in; Raising its second fund targeting close of $750mm. Found this through a headhunter I found on Google. First round was a phone interview that was really technical. I was asked to talk about the deals on my resume and was grilled on the model of one of the projects. They were looking to learn more about my thought process on the deal and whether I understood why I did what I did. I was asked to meet with the fund for a second round and walk them through a model I worked on; purely technical interview (e.g. why did you make certain assumptions in the model). Received an email a week later that they're moving forward with another candidates.
My thoughts: I took this interview purely for the interview practice. The dealbreaker was the fact that it was out of my geographical preference and I would have to move to a different city and that's not something I was looking to do. The guys I met seemed like a good group of people but I was just not willing to give up my current residence in the concrete jungle. The interview was definitely the most technical one out of all the interviews and definitely a great learning experience.
Fund 5: A sovereign wealth fund trying to establish a presence in the US. I found this job through one of the headhunters I reached out to. The interview didn't go too well. One of the questions I stumbled on was "what do you think is the investment strategy of a sovereign wealth fund", to which I responded with "I believe a SWF has an investment strategy to invest in safer assets and hold it for a longer time horizon compared to a traditional PE fund."
My thoughts: I didn't have high hopes for the fund post the interview. Mostly because my answer to the SWF question was weak and wrong. And also because I discovered the head of the US office had just switched over from another PE fund whom we kind of screwed over on its first deal in the US a year ago. So unfortunately, I did not get a second round. I wasn't particularly bummed about not advancing with this opportunity because I didn't think I'd be a good fit at the fund.
Fund 6: A megafund with $7bn dry powder; industry focused fund looking for an immediate start. First round was very technical; I met with 2 VPs and a senior partner. The VPs asked purely technical questions and the senior partner was semi technical and some fit questions. I didn't think I'd get a second round but I was asked to come back for a second round. Met with 5 senior guys at the fund and was given a case study and model afterwards; unfortunately didn't not get asked to go back for a third round.
My thoughts: I was a bit bummed I didn't get this job purely because (1) rejection still sucks no matter the number of times being rejected and (2) it was a very well reputed fund in the industry. However, I didn't connect very much with the junior guys so maybe it just wasn't meant to be.
Fund 3: I was asked to go back for a second round. I met with a vp and 5 senior guys at the fund. The questions centered around my deal experiences so I was grilled on every project I listed on the resume. I thought the interview went well. I really liked the people I met so far and it seems like a great opportunity ($4 bn dry powder). I was asked to conduct an online assessment that took 3.5 hours at my own convenience.
My thoughts: It was definitely not a good idea to begin the test on a Monday night at midnight and I didn't get home until 4am that morning. I was sort of nervous on the result because it's one of those tests where I had no grasp on how well/bad I did. Luckily, I was asked to come back for a third round a week later. I met with the most senior guys at the fund and they were both asked behavioural questions. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.
_______________________________________________________________________________________

Post #1

I've just recently started recruiting for PE and figured I'll keep the PE-hopefuls at WSO updated throughout the process and get some advice from the more seasoned guys here.

A little bit about myself:

  • 3rd year at a MM IB firm
  • Industry coverage with 4 other team members in the group
  • Graduated from non-target undergrad with a degree in Econ
  • Female, Non-Caucasian

Situation overview: Started out in the typical 2-year analyst program at the bank and really liked my experience the first two years. While some of the guys from my class started recruiting as early as 6 months into the job, I truly felt like I could do banking forever. My hours weren't that bad the first year - averaged about 75 hours a week; mainly because my group was recently established and the 2 senior guys were still building the pipeline. First year experiences included industry research, pitchbooks, formatting, etc., which I enjoyed doing. Did not gain much modeling experience because the industry is very niche and group members didn't trust me to build the models (models were over 10mb). Modeling was done by the associate, VP, and director of the group. I reviewed precedent models and online tutorials to get a sense of what it entails.

At the end of year 1, received mid-tier bonus because I "wasn't as strong as the other analysts". I think he was just looking for an excuse because (1) there was no formal analyst ranking system and we do not work with other groups so there was no way he would be able to compare the analysts and (2) the group generated 0 revenue since I joined. I was fine with the ranking considering the circumstances and the fact that my hours weren't so bad the first year.

Finally got to model during my second year. I was tasked with modifying and running a refi-model without any sort of training from team members. Difficult at first (I haven't even built a basic lbo model at that point!) but was successful after asking VP a lot of questions - definitely a huge learning experience for me. At the same time, I was having problems juggling priorities because I was the only analyst in the group and was being stretched in all directions. The model took a lot of my time (to get a sense of how big / intricate the model is, it took me 20 hours to change the calculation period from semi-annual to quarterly). Associate got annoyed at several occasions because I was tied up with the model.

At the end of year 2, received mid-tier bonus because: (1) I was only spitting out outputs and not putting in any effort in thinking about what the outputs meant; (2) I need to speak up more; and (3) I need to socialize more with the other analysts and build up my network (not sure how this is relevant to my performance; irregardless, I couldn't disagree with this more. I talk to almost everyone (at the junior level) at the office). Anyways, got an offer to stay for 3rd year, and it went downhill from there.

I've basically lost all motivation to work. I'm still the sole analyst in the group. I'm still doing the same b/s that I've been doing for the last 2.5 years (profiles, industry research, books, etc.), and my associate is getting on my nerves (usually happens when you have to work with someone everyday for the last 2.5 years and that someone micro-manages).

Recruiting process: Finally started recruiting for PE in November after realizing how much I disliked the job. Figured I can get the intro meetings out of the way before recruiting season kicks off. I asked the other analysts for a list of headhunters to reach out to and prep materials to use.

Below is the list of recruiters that I reached out to in November using the following criteria:
(a) Size - MM+
(b) Location - NY, LA, SF, London, Asia
(c) Industry - Prefer to be generalist but open to my current industry as well (although I am not interested in my industry, it seems to be the next big thing. It's only smart to use all the leverage I can).

List of Recruiters (let me know if there are any other recruiters I should reach out to):
Bellcast Partners - One of the very few recruiters who reached out to me second year; not very responsive on setting up a meeting; finally was able to schedule a meeting to meet end of Jan.
Mercury Partners - Another recruiter who reached out; have not set up an intro call but have been receiving job opps through email
JSB Partners - Referred to by Friend A in hedge fund; no response
iFind Group - Referred to by Friend A; met in person in November; firm is more focused on HF / FoF jobs
The Mergis Group - Referred to by Friend A; met in person in December; firm is more focused on HF jobs
Greenkey Resources - Referred to by Friend A; spoke over the phone in November; job opps so far have been corp dev / IB jobs
Atlantic Group - Reached out to me through LinkedIn; spoke over the phone in November; more focused on corp dev jobs
SG Partners - No contact at this firm besides the resume drop email (if anyone has any contact here, please forward!)
Michael Page - Applied for a job through its website (large recruiting firm and not PE focused); met in person in November; more focused on IB / general front office positions
Oxbridge - Met in December; provided typical recruiting advice; have yet to hear from them
Opus - Have yet to speak on the phone with them but have been receiving job opportunity emails
Search one - Met in December; have yet to receive anything from them
CPI - Met in December; most responsive / successful recruiter so far; received several emails of interest
Permsol - Unresponsive
Long Ridge Partners - Spoke in December; more focused on HF
Amity - Have tried 2 different recruiters at this firm; both unresponsive;
McKibben Group - Unresponsive
Dynamics - Spoke over the phone in Jan;
CarterPierce - Spoke in December; mostly west coast; have received a couple of emails from them
Henkel Search Partners - Met in December; have yet to receive any emails from them
GloCap - Met in December; have yet to receive any emails from them
Selby Jennings - Reached out through eFinancial in Jan; Like Michael Page, it is a large recruiting firm and not PE focused

Websites that I've used:
eFinancial - limited job opps but useful
Go Buyside - limited job opps but useful
LinkedIn - most useful of all; highly recommend

Progress as of Jan. 15, 2014: It has been 2 months since I've kicked off the recruiting process. I have interviewed with 3 megafunds (industry focused):
Fund 1: One of the largest funds in my industry with over $100bn AUM. Found the job through LinkedIn. I first spoke with the firm's HR department for a quick intro / background discussion. First round interview is with one of the directors; thought I did horrible but got called back for a psychometric test the week after. Got an email 2 hours post the test and was told my results were really high, and scheduled a third round interview for the week after. Met with 5 team members for the third round and was asked some relatively difficult questions in regards to the return on the deals that I worked on. Didn't think I did well. Received the rejection call 2 days later. Main feedback was I need to think more like an investor.
My thoughts: I was severely unprepared for this. I did not know what to expect and only reviewed the basic Vault guide for PE, Breaking Into Wall Street PE, and the random prep materials from colleagues and whatever I can find on the internet. This was a huge learning experience as it got me thinking more from buy side's perspective.

Fund 2: MM / MF, with $12bn AUM and $3bn of dry powder. Found the job through LinkedIn. HR sent across a form to fill out with typical interview questions: why PE, where do you see yourself in 5-years, etc. Scheduled first round interview for the week after. I mentioned this job to my peer and he also applied for the position. Scheduled first round interview 2 days before mine, and told me that the interview was not at all technical. He met with the 5 team members + HR. I had 1 on 1 interviews with 4 team members (1 VP & HR had to jump onto another call) and genuinely liked everyone I met and the fund's strategy. Fairly basic interview questions: walk me through your resume, tell me about your deals, etc. Both my peer and I received a rejection email from HR a week later. I asked for feedback from the team but did not receive a response
My thoughts: Really wished I got some type of feedback from HR but I guess they were looking for a certain fit.

Fund 3: One of the largest funds in my industry with $5bn of dry powder. Found the job through a random website which directed me to a recruiting firm's website. Spoke with recruiter over the phone and set up a first round interview the following week (this past Monday). Met with one of the associates at the fund. The interview was a combination of fit and technical. He had a list of questions (e.g. where do you see yourself in 10 years; what are your main strengths / weaknesses etc.) and 4 case studies (e.g. given a CIM, how would you go about evaluating this company). At the end of the interview, I was told they're still looking through resumes so it'll be a while before I will hear from them
My thoughts: I think I did fairly well on the interview. Stumbled on a couple of fit questions but was on point with the case studies. Recruiter said the fit is very important at the firm so we'll just have to wait and see...

My group head / MD pulled me into his office in December and asked me what I planned to do next year. I gave him an honest answer - I told him I have not decided yet and have just started looking. It would be ignorant of me to not to. And he agreed and told me that while I do good work, he's not sure whether I would get an associate offer, that I haven't shown a desire to become an associate. I told him I agreed with him and that I had lost motivation at work, mainly because my learning curve has plateaued and I've been doing the same work for 2.5 years. His advice to me is to figure out what I want to do and go after it 100%. And if I wanted to do PE in my current industry, he'd be more than happy to put in a couple of good words for me. yes - I know it was stupid of me to tell him that I was looking but he would eventually figure it out and I didn't feel like lying. Better to be honest about it especially in a group with only 5 people.

And so here I am, browsing through WSO for any advice and tips it may offer while I wait on emails from headhunters, checking my personal email every 5 minutes. Wish me luck!

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Comments (52)

Jan 15, 2014

This is remarkably in-depth. Good luck in your process, especially given the wall it looks like you're coming up against at your current firm.

Jan 15, 2014

Can't add any value but just wanted to chime in to say good luck!

Jan 15, 2014

Wow, thanks a lot for the post. Really valuable to see your experience in-depth. Good luck in your pursuit!

Jan 15, 2014

wow great info, thanks for sharing, frontpage asap

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Jan 15, 2014

I assume that you are calculating AUM as total AUM across all funds and not their PE fund...

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Jan 15, 2014

Nice write up and the realistic tone of it is great. Sounds like you are getting really good looks. I'd say maybe throw an app in to some other MM IBD shops just in case. Might help to be in a better environment and get more hands on modeling.

Jan 15, 2014

Fill us in on how you used LinkedIn during your search.

DLJ Analyst Class '96

Jan 16, 2014
TheMilkman:

Fill us in on how you used LinkedIn during your search.

Seconded.

OP, hope you continue this thread as you go through the recruiting process and develop it into a series. Good luck!

Jan 16, 2014
ThatIsNotMyName:

The model took a lot of my time (to get a sense of how big / intricate the model is, it took me 20 hours to change the calculation period from semi-annual to quarterly). Associate got annoyed at several occasions because I was tied up with the model.

And I bet you still stubbed it incorrectly...

Don't take this the wrong way, but the fact that this took you 20 hours to do this (and in your second year) tells me a lot about you and your bank/group. First, that you had very little experience modeling, and second, that your group let you spin your wheels on making a simple period adjustment. My cursory judgment is that your analyst experience did not adequately prepare you for PE interviews and that your experience was absolutely atypical.

Best of luck

    • 1
    • 8
Best Response
Jan 16, 2014
Solidarity:

And I bet you still stubbed it incorrectly...

ThatIsNotMyName:

The model took a lot of my time (to get a sense of how big / intricate the model is, it took me 20 hours to change the calculation period from semi-annual to quarterly). Associate got annoyed at several occasions because I was tied up with the model.

Throughout my analyst tenure and first year or so in PE, I was obsessed with modeling details -- things like getting the stub period exactly right, building detailed D&A waterfalls, worrying about revenue builds and tying them out to market growth / market share forecasts, trying to project deferred taxes, etc. I was under the impression that this was a science damnit, and the model had to be a perfect representation of the next five years.

My view changed after participating in meetings and taking note of what was discussed and what wasn't, seeing a couple investments move through the lifecycle, and getting exposed to countless company-supplied forecasts. My take-away is that worrying about things like stub periods and building complex models for complexity's sake is a waste of time. A better approach is to start with as simple a model as possible and only add detail around key, identified issues, and even then, add as little detail as necessary -- just enough to come to a defensible position. This means that if the company doesn't have a lot of PP&E and you don't plan to make a lot of pro forma changes there, don't build a complex D&A waterfall. If you aren't revamping the fixed cost structure, don't do a crazy SG&A build-up. If you don't know that you'll be exiting the investment in exactly 5.25 years (which you don't), just stick to a standard 5 year model and forget the stub period.

This approach will result in two things: (i) your forecast will be more accurate (the more things you try to forecast the more things you will inevitably get wrong), and (ii) you will have more time to model the things that matter. And having a cogent analysis and story on the things that matter is what impresses the big guys.

ThatIsNotMyName:

And so here I am, browsing through WSO for any advice and tips it may offer while I wait on emails from headhunters, checking my personal email every 5 minutes. Wish me luck!

Only thing I would suggest beyond the usual advice (e.g. have your technicals down cold) is to try and find funds that have an industry focus in line with your expertise. If you can sound smart about an industry in front of the senior guys that will go a long way. Re: "thinking like an investor" questions. Just think in terms of what creates value in an LBO: (i) revenue growth, (ii) margin expansion, (iii) cash generation / deleveraging, and (iv) multiple expansion. They give you a company, talk about it in terms of these concepts.

    • 6
Jan 16, 2014
labanker:

My take-away is that worrying about things like stub periods and building complex models for complexity's sake is a waste of time. A better approach is to start with as simple a model as possible and only add detail around key, identified issues, and even then, add as little detail as necessary -- just enough to come to a defensible position.

This is spot on...that Solidarity guy sounds about as thoughtful as a mannequin.

Jan 16, 2014

@labanker a valuable write up. Thanks for sharing. Sure it would help OP too.

Jan 16, 2014

+1. Solid commentary.

Jan 16, 2014
labanker:

Throughout my analyst tenure and first year or so in PE, I was obsessed with modeling details -- things like getting the stub period exactly right, building detailed D&A waterfalls, worrying about revenue builds and tying them out to market growth / market share forecasts, trying to project deferred taxes, etc. I was under the impression that this was a science damnit, and the model had to be a perfect representation of the next five years.

My view changed after participating in meetings and taking note of what was discussed and what wasn't, seeing a couple investments move through the lifecycle, and getting exposed to countless company-supplied forecasts. My take-away is that worrying about things like stub periods and building complex models for complexity's sake is a waste of time. A better approach is to start with as simple a model as possible and only add detail around key, identified issues, and even then, add as little detail as necessary -- just enough to come to a defensible position. This means that if the company doesn't have a lot of PP&E and you don't plan to make a lot of pro forma changes there, don't build a complex D&A waterfall. If you aren't revamping the fixed cost structure, don't do a crazy SG&A build-up. If you don't know that you'll be exiting the investment in exactly 5.25 years (which you don't), just stick to a standard 5 year model and forget the stub period.

This approach will result in two things: (i) your forecast will be more accurate (the more things you try to forecast the more things you will inevitably get wrong), and (ii) you will have more time to model the things that matter. And having a cogent analysis and story on the things that matter is what impresses the big guys.

I don't really disagree with you.

She's the one building 10 mb models and getting dinged on technicals. I'm sure we could all speculate as to which one of two possible industry verticals she works in...

Her experience was atypical. She was the only analyst in her group? No modeling until year 2? I've built models with full blown schedules from scratch, and it hasn't taken half of the time it took for her to adjust the accounting period.

Most analysts should not take this to be a realistic expectation of what will happen over two years. That was my point.

Jan 19, 2014
labanker:
Solidarity:

And I bet you still stubbed it incorrectly...

ThatIsNotMyName:

The model took a lot of my time (to get a sense of how big / intricate the model is, it took me 20 hours to change the calculation period from semi-annual to quarterly). Associate got annoyed at several occasions because I was tied up with the model.

Throughout my analyst tenure and first year or so in PE, I was obsessed with modeling details -- things like getting the stub period exactly right, building detailed D&A waterfalls, worrying about revenue builds and tying them out to market growth / market share forecasts, trying to project deferred taxes, etc. I was under the impression that this was a science damnit, and the model had to be a perfect representation of the next five years.

My view changed after participating in meetings and taking note of what was discussed and what wasn't, seeing a couple investments move through the lifecycle, and getting exposed to countless company-supplied forecasts. My take-away is that worrying about things like stub periods and building complex models for complexity's sake is a waste of time. A better approach is to start with as simple a model as possible and only add detail around key, identified issues, and even then, add as little detail as necessary -- just enough to come to a defensible position. This means that if the company doesn't have a lot of PP&E and you don't plan to make a lot of pro forma changes there, don't build a complex D&A waterfall. If you aren't revamping the fixed cost structure, don't do a crazy SG&A build-up. If you don't know that you'll be exiting the investment in exactly 5.25 years (which you don't), just stick to a standard 5 year model and forget the stub period.

This approach will result in two things: (i) your forecast will be more accurate (the more things you try to forecast the more things you will inevitably get wrong), and (ii) you will have more time to model the things that matter. And having a cogent analysis and story on the things that matter is what impresses the big guys.

ThatIsNotMyName:

And so here I am, browsing through WSO for any advice and tips it may offer while I wait on emails from headhunters, checking my personal email every 5 minutes. Wish me luck!

Only thing I would suggest beyond the usual advice (e.g. have your technicals down cold) is to try and find funds that have an industry focus in line with your expertise. If you can sound smart about an industry in front of the senior guys that will go a long way. Re: "thinking like an investor" questions. Just think in terms of what creates value in an LBO: (i) revenue growth, (ii) margin expansion, (iii) cash generation / deleveraging, and (iv) multiple expansion. They give you a company, talk about it in terms of these concepts.

Thanks for the advice. And yes - I am also looking at funds within my industry. I'm definitely using whatever leverage I have to try to get into PE. My only concern is that I would be pigeonholed to this industry if I land a gig at a fund that is my industry focused.

Jan 19, 2014
Solidarity:
ThatIsNotMyName:

The model took a lot of my time (to get a sense of how big / intricate the model is, it took me 20 hours to change the calculation period from semi-annual to quarterly). Associate got annoyed at several occasions because I was tied up with the model.

And I bet you still stubbed it incorrectly...

Don't take this the wrong way, but the fact that this took you 20 hours to do this (and in your second year) tells me a lot about you and your bank/group. First, that you had very little experience modeling, and second, that your group let you spin your wheels on making a simple period adjustment. My cursory judgment is that your analyst experience did not adequately prepare you for PE interviews and that your experience was absolutely atypical.

Best of luck

No stub period involved. As I've mentioned above, I was very novice at modeling at the time. And the fact that it wasn't the typical LBO or M&A model didn't help either. I had no precedents to based it off of and the only resource I had was my VP and very limited internet tutorials.

I agree my analyst experience was atypical and did not prepare me for the PE interviews, which is why I have been practicing building lbo models and reading a whole lot of PE interview prep materials.

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Jan 16, 2014

At the start of your second year, you finally got the chance to "modify" and "run" a refi model; yet you found this difficult? This may explain why you can't get past the HH's.

But I commend you for making it past the first rounds on any of the opportunities you've got called for, coming from the scarce modeling/technical experience at your current shop (this isn't ENTIRELY your fault). Usually, PE only recruits top bucket analysts from top BBs/elite MMs for the type of funds you described (note: I think you're also confusing total AUM with fund size). By way of curiosity, where have past analysts from your shop gone?

I'm actually quite surprised you're getting looks at decent sized PE shops coming from the shop you're at. I doubt any of them are MF's as all the HH's you listed in your post that recruit for these type of funds have not got back to you yet. CPI maybe a bit of an exception.

You're industry experience sounds like clean tech, right? Which may explain why you're getting a look at any PE fund given the specialized nature of this sector.

Good luck!

    • 1
Jan 19, 2014
johnny_quest:

At the start of your second year, you finally got the chance to "modify" and "run" a refi model; yet you found this difficult? This may explain why you can't get past the HH's.

But I commend you for making it past the first rounds on any of the opportunities you've got called for, coming from the scarce modeling/technical experience at your current shop (this isn't ENTIRELY your fault). Usually, PE only recruits top bucket analysts from top BBs/elite MMs for the type of funds you described (note: I think you're also confusing total AUM with fund size). By way of curiosity, where have past analysts from your shop gone?

I'm actually quite surprised you're getting looks at decent sized PE shops coming from the shop you're at. I doubt any of them are MF's as all the HH's you listed in your post that recruit for these type of funds have not got back to you yet. CPI maybe a bit of an exception.

You're industry experience sounds like clean tech, right? Which may explain why you're getting a look at any PE fund given the specialized nature of this sector.

Good luck!

From my experience with headhunters, as long as you have a decent number of transactions in which you played a major role in the modeling aspect and can speak to it they are willing to add to their distribution list. I think the fact that I'm at a MM makes it a lot more difficult to engage the headhunters' interest. Luckily for me a lot of PE funds are trying to invest in my industry so it makes my life a bit easier.

And no. I'm not confusing AUM with fund size. The only reason I used AUM is because it is easily accessible on their website versus the total size of the fund. I said they MFs because they have several funds and their total capital raised comparable to most MFs.

Most of the analysts that left did not go to PE. I'd say as about a third of the class will be in PE at the end of our 3rd year this summer. Some of the guys transitioned into corp dev, IR, and they banks.

Jan 15, 2014

You better pray no one in your BO group figures out who you are on WSO and tries screws you because they realized you're trying to jump ship. This isn't cool.

Jan 16, 2014
kidflash:

You better pray no one in your BO group figures out who you are on WSO and tries screws you because they realized you're trying to jump ship. This isn't cool.

I may sound like a total idiot in saying this, but I did not understand why people threw the shit at me or why you said the above.

My words were sincere: I wished op the best, and I genuinely didn't want to lose the post because of any later modification. I was inspired on reading it.

Can you please help me understand why you said it isn't cool? I'm a sincere guy and always strive to say what I mean. If what I have to say is negative but won't help someone, I'd rather not say it unless I share a good rapport with the listener. People where I work know this. I would never use an online forum to insult someone anonymously or do what I wouldn't do in person. I look forward to your reply.

    • 1
Jan 16, 2014
ReardenCapital:

I may sound like a total idiot in saying this, but I did not understand why people threw the shit at me or why you said the above.

My words were sincere: I wished op the best, and I genuinely didn't want to lose the post because of any later modification. I was inspired on reading it.

Can you please help me understand why you said it isn't cool? I'm a sincere guy and always strive to say what I mean. If what I have to say is negative but won't help someone, I'd rather not say it unless I share a good rapport with the listener. People where I work know this. I would never use an online forum to insult someone anonymously or do what I wouldn't do in person. I look forward to your reply.

Your first sentence just sounded like a douchebag thing to say whether you meant it or not...

BTW I didn't MS your post, just trying to help you locate some common sense.

Jan 16, 2014

Thanks, @BBParty . Based on your comment, I think i've put the op at risk by quoting her post. I tried to remove the quoted post but was unable to edit my comment at all. I've sought Patrick's help in this regard. I will remove her quoted post from my comment. I now realise why it wasn't appropriate to state the first sentence the way I did.

EDIT: requested Patrick to remove my comment. It's gone.

    • 1
Jan 28, 2014

Such a bro thing to say.

Jan 19, 2014
kidflash:

You better pray no one in your BO group figures out who you are on WSO and tries screws you because they realized you're trying to jump ship. This isn't cool.

As I said, my group knows I'm looking into and they're fine with it.

Jan 16, 2014
ThatIsNotMyName:
kidflash:

You better pray no one in your BO group figures out who you are on WSO and tries screws you because they realized you're trying to jump ship. This isn't cool.

As I said, my group knows I'm looking into and they're fine with it.

@kidflash said that to me, not to you. He said that in your support because I had quoted your entire post in a bid to save it. It wasn't a good idea, which I realized due to @BBParty and kidflash.

I requested Patrick to remove that post and he was nice enough to help. That's why you won't see it just above kidflash's comment. That said, you're not the back office. So why you considered he said that to you is kinda hard to figure out. In fact, he was one of the first few to wish you luck.

Even people at my back office group know that I'm looking to move to FO. But, tbh, your efforts are a lot greater than mine. You seem to be going in the right direction. All the best.

Jan 19, 2014
ReardenCapital:
ThatIsNotMyName:
kidflash:

You better pray no one in your BO group figures out who you are on WSO and tries screws you because they realized you're trying to jump ship. This isn't cool.

As I said, my group knows I'm looking into and they're fine with it.

@kidflash said that to me, not to you. He said that in your support because I had quoted your entire post in a bid to save it. It wasn't a good idea, which I realized due to @BBParty and kidflash.

I requested Patrick to remove that post and he was nice enough to help. That's why you won't see it just above kidflash's comment. That said, you're not the back office. So why you considered he said that to you is kinda hard to figure out. In fact, he was one of the first few to wish you luck.

Even people at my back office group know that I'm looking to move to FO. But, tbh, your efforts are a lot greater than mine. You seem to be going in the right direction. All the best.

That makes more sense. I thought he was warning me to be careful in case my back office people finds out.

Jan 16, 2014

Do analysts working at MM banks usually not get as much modelling experience as someone at a BB?

Jan 19, 2014
explosions09:

Do analysts working at MM banks usually not get as much modelling experience as someone at a BB?

I can't say for sure on the difference in modeling experience between MM and BB. That being said, I don't see much of a technical gap between someone who's worked on 50 models vs someone who's worked on 75. And as Solidarity said, my case is atypical. Because of its niche nature and complexity of the models in my industry, I was not exposed to modeling until my second year. The other analysts in my class had a lot more exposure to modeling during their first year here.

Jan 16, 2014

@"ThatIsNotMyName" ,Thank you for your incredibly detailed write-up of your recruiting process. I want to wish you all the best in your search.

Jan 17, 2014

With all due respect, I have to add that (imho) it's a bit short-sighted on your part to think that how you socialize with your co-workers ( /your interpersonal skills in general) has no bearing on your performance in banking, given the relationship based nature of the business....Granted, it's not so much (or at all) about that at the analyst level, but within the context of any job (and especially banking) it definitely comes into play when evaluating performance. You (not you specifically, you in general) will always find it difficult to get very far in anything if people don't like working with you. Again, all just my opinion.

Good luck with your search, but as someone above alluded to, your experience doesn't sound like the norm in banking. If you loved it in the beginning and it's just the people/nature of your current experience that have soured your attitude towards the industry/job, perhaps a change of employer would be as refreshing/rewarding as moving to PE? Again, I'm sure you've thought about all that in making your decision, so just my opinion. I only mention this because I know people who love a job in one place and hate the same job in another, and it rarely has anything to do with the job.

    • 2
Jan 19, 2014
notthehospitalER:

With all due respect, I have to add that (imho) it's a bit short-sighted on your part to think that how you socialize with your co-workers ( /your interpersonal skills in general) has no bearing on your performance in banking, given the relationship based nature of the business....Granted, it's not so much (or at all) about that at the analyst level, but within the context of any job (and especially banking) it definitely comes into play when evaluating performance. You (not you specifically, you in general) will always find it difficult to get very far in anything if people don't like working with you. Again, all just my opinion.

Good luck with your search, but as someone above alluded to, your experience doesn't sound like the norm in banking. If you loved it in the beginning and it's just the people/nature of your current experience that have soured your attitude towards the industry/job, perhaps a change of employer would be as refreshing/rewarding as moving to PE? Again, I'm sure you've thought about all that in making your decision, so just my opinion. I only mention this because I know people who love a job in one place and hate the same job in another, and it rarely has anything to do with the job.

I understand networking is a huge part of banking / finance but my point was why it was brought up in my review when it doesn't affect the quality of my work. I socialize on my own time - I don't see the point in taking coffee breaks during the day when I have crap ton of work to do. I'd rather finish my day earlier and grab drinks at the bar.

I liked the job because I was learning, and learning is a big motivation factor. I just feel like I'm getting bored with the job and it's time to move on.

Jan 18, 2014
ThatIsNotMyName:

I understand networking is a huge part of banking / finance but my point was why it was brought up in my review when it doesn't affect the quality of my work. I socialize on my own time - I don't see the point in taking coffee breaks during the day when I have crap ton of work to do. I'd rather finish my day earlier and grab drinks at the bar.

I think you're still missing the point. Being liked at work is actually pretty important, these things do matter because they affect team dynamics and the flow of the organization. It's actually how you can stand out, because it's not exactly difficult to find someone who can do the technical work, it's the combination of being able to do the technicals but also come off as really likable that makes you into a good employee.

Jan 19, 2014
highwaysix:
ThatIsNotMyName:

I understand networking is a huge part of banking / finance but my point was why it was brought up in my review when it doesn't affect the quality of my work. I socialize on my own time - I don't see the point in taking coffee breaks during the day when I have crap ton of work to do. I'd rather finish my day earlier and grab drinks at the bar.

I think you're still missing the point. Being liked at work is actually pretty important, these things do matter because they affect team dynamics and the flow of the organization. It's actually how you can stand out, because it's not exactly difficult to find someone who can do the technical work, it's the combination of being able to do the technicals but also come off as really likable that makes you into a good employee.

GoVolckYourself:
ThatIsNotMyName:
notthehospitalER:

With all due respect, I have to add that (imho) it's a bit short-sighted on your part to think that how you socialize with your co-workers ( /your interpersonal skills in general) has no bearing on your performance in banking, given the relationship based nature of the business....Granted, it's not so much (or at all) about that at the analyst level, but within the context of any job (and especially banking) it definitely comes into play when evaluating performance. You (not you specifically, you in general) will always find it difficult to get very far in anything if people don't like working with you. Again, all just my opinion.

Good luck with your search, but as someone above alluded to, your experience doesn't sound like the norm in banking. If you loved it in the beginning and it's just the people/nature of your current experience that have soured your attitude towards the industry/job, perhaps a change of employer would be as refreshing/rewarding as moving to PE? Again, I'm sure you've thought about all that in making your decision, so just my opinion. I only mention this because I know people who love a job in one place and hate the same job in another, and it rarely has anything to do with the job.

I understand networking is a huge part of banking / finance but my point was why it was brought up in my review when it doesn't affect the quality of my work. I socialize on my own time - I don't see the point in taking coffee breaks during the day when I have crap ton of work to do. I'd rather finish my day earlier and grab drinks at the bar.

I liked the job because I was learning, and learning is a big motivation factor. I just feel like I'm getting bored with the job and it's time to move on.

A number of things wrong here which may have contributed to your apathy / performance / rut - whatever you want to call it and the fact that you're at a midmarket firm may have helped perpetuate this

1) Banking is a social job - like it or not internal politics matter and frankly being human and wanting to interact with others is not a bad trait to have and it doesnt have to be over a drink at a bar

2) PE is a social job - sometimes all it takes is for the chairman or CEO to like you to get a deal. In fact at the senior level, PE and banking both require quite social people

want to be anti-social and grind? go to a hedgefund - it will work and you can be as cerebral as you want

3) despite how much your MD "supports you" a level of caution against pure honesty is helpful for a number of reasons but not limited to a) optionality b) comp c) reputation

I've had friends be "honest" and then get completely fucked by people who appreciated thet honesty. When you be honest with your boss, you transfer your optionality to him for free

I understand that banking / PE require social interpersonal skills, and that's one of the reasons I joined banking. However, I think you have misunderstood. I never said I was not social - I just don't like to shoot shit when I have work to do or when my MD is around. I would say because my group does everything in-house, I've been less shy about introducing myself to the junior guys within the bank (definitely a perk of being a female). But since my MD has made that comment, I've been a bit more obvious about my social/networking skills.
As to the honesty comment, I agree that there should be some level of secrecy with the group and that's something that I've been slowly learning to do.

Jan 22, 2014
ThatIsNotMyName:
notthehospitalER:

With all due respect, I have to add that (imho) it's a bit short-sighted on your part to think that how you socialize with your co-workers ( /your interpersonal skills in general) has no bearing on your performance in banking, given the relationship based nature of the business....Granted, it's not so much (or at all) about that at the analyst level, but within the context of any job (and especially banking) it definitely comes into play when evaluating performance. You (not you specifically, you in general) will always find it difficult to get very far in anything if people don't like working with you. Again, all just my opinion.

Good luck with your search, but as someone above alluded to, your experience doesn't sound like the norm in banking. If you loved it in the beginning and it's just the people/nature of your current experience that have soured your attitude towards the industry/job, perhaps a change of employer would be as refreshing/rewarding as moving to PE? Again, I'm sure you've thought about all that in making your decision, so just my opinion. I only mention this because I know people who love a job in one place and hate the same job in another, and it rarely has anything to do with the job.

I understand networking is a huge part of banking / finance but my point was why it was brought up in my review when it doesn't affect the quality of my work. I socialize on my own time - I don't see the point in taking coffee breaks during the day when I have crap ton of work to do. I'd rather finish my day earlier and grab drinks at the bar.

I liked the job because I was learning, and learning is a big motivation factor. I just feel like I'm getting bored with the job and it's time to move on.

A number of things wrong here which may have contributed to your apathy / performance / rut - whatever you want to call it and the fact that you're at a midmarket firm may have helped perpetuate this

1) Banking is a social job - like it or not internal politics matter and frankly being human and wanting to interact with others is not a bad trait to have and it doesnt have to be over a drink at a bar
2) PE is a social job - sometimes all it takes is for the chairman or CEO to like you to get a deal. In fact at the senior level, PE and banking both require quite social people

want to be anti-social and grind? go to a hedgefund - it will work and you can be as cerebral as you want

3) despite how much your MD "supports you" a level of caution against pure honesty is helpful for a number of reasons but not limited to a) optionality b) comp c) reputation

I've had friends be "honest" and then get completely fucked by people who appreciated thet honesty. When you be honest with your boss, you transfer your optionality to him for free

Feb 1, 2014
GoVolckYourself:

When you be honest with your boss, you transfer your optionality to him for free

Great advice.

Jan 17, 2014

OP, what do you mean by dry powder?

Jan 17, 2014
BigLawBigSchmaw:

OP, what do you mean by dry powder?

Raised money that hasn't been invested yet.

@ OP: +1 for the interesting write-up, best of luck! Keep us updated.

    • 1
Jan 17, 2014
BigLawBigSchmaw:

OP, what do you mean by dry powder?

Dry powder = cash ready to invest, not tied up in illiquid investments

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/drypowder.asp

Jan 17, 2014

> 10mb models for banking?! I've worked with a few around that size but they were VC and PE firms who work down in the weeds of the projects (startups or mergers, mixed with financing and sticky time-tables/provisions). I'll also add that they crash my excel every third time I save them and they're more annoying than impressive.

Good luck with your pursuit! Try to link up with other analysts you started with to see where they are now and if they know anyone hiring. Chances are at least one could turn you on to a few leads.

Make opportunities. Not excuses.

    • 1
Jan 17, 2014

fyi dont look up permsol, their site is covered in trojans....i assume why its also unresponsive

WSO Vice President, Data
@JustinDDuBois

    • 1
Jan 19, 2014
Justin DuBois:

fyi dont look up permsol, their site is covered in trojans....i assume why its also unresponsive

Thanks & noted. I actually got a call and voicemail from them yesterday. I called back and left a voicemail but has yet to hear back.

Jan 17, 2014

Good luck

Jan 20, 2014

Original post is depressing. I spoke to 3 recruiters, got 3 interviews and made it to 3 final-rounds.

"It's all about the fit" - If you lack interpersonal / social skills or do not believe it is important, you should not bother trying to advance in PE. I spend at least 25% of my day bullshitting with office colleagues.

Jan 15, 2014

This. Honestly almost all business jobs require some type of sales skills/interpersonal skills. However, this is even more evident in industries like PE/IB, where as you get higher up in the value chain, your rolodex is your value add-on. If you're a terrible person to be around, you're going to hit a wall really quick.

However, the fact that OP made it to final rounds in all her interviews makes me question whether everyone is blowing this out of context.

Jan 20, 2014
kidflash:

However, the fact that OP made it to final rounds in all her interviews makes me question whether everyone is blowing this out of context.

Re-read the description of how her interviews went for the 3 funds. She never made it to any final rounds. She would have to go to at least another round for all 3 funds or possibly 2.

Jan 22, 2014

Investment comes down to experience and judgment. The model is just one piece. Although some places are super fcking analy about literally every aspect of the model (SILVERLAKE - god couldn't stsand it).

Don't be hating on the op - i've seen people with absolutely 0 transaction experience but great at interviewing and BS get lucky and land a job at a mega fund and absolute geniuses who just got bad luck and had to go to some crappy PE job

You can pickup alot of it on the job anyway and the first couple years in PE will tell you if you will make it - not everyone ends up as the top dealmaker you read about - plenty of ppl fail out of PE, go back to banking or a new career altogether

Jan 26, 2014

non Caucasian and poor bonuses , whats new?

    • 1
Jul 23, 2014

*ThatIsNotMyName, thanks a lot for sharing. Great post!

Aug 12, 2014

@"ThatIsNotMyName", did you succeed at your pe recruiting?

Aug 14, 2014