Need an MBA to climb the ladder?

Morgan9800's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 59

It's all in the title .. Do people in PE need an MBA to get promoted to Principal, Partner after the associate stint?

It's a bit unclear what happens after the associate level, you do 2 years in IB as an analyst, 2 in PE as an associate, and then what? do you need to get an MBA to be able to come back and get promoted?

Keen on hearing what you think.

Comments (7)

Best Response
Dec 1, 2016

As always, the answer is "it depends." It depends on your fund's culture. It depends on the geography you are in. Generally speaking, large cap, anglo saxon (influenced) funds tend to follow the 2 year IB, 2 year PE and then MBA model. From what I have heard, the fight for the post-MBA positions where you are on a partner track are few and competition is fierce. That said, funds are starting to open up to promoting well performing associates without needing an MBA. This is even more the case if you work for a mid-market fund, which tend to be more flexible with this requirement. If you are performing extremely well, then your PE fund will put in a lot of effort to keep you.

I cannot speak about the situation in Latin America or Asia. If you are in a more local European market (think France, DACH or CEE), funds certainly tend to be quite open to promoting from the inside. I can only offer anecdotal evidence. I have three friends who worked in the markets listed above who were associates and got promoted to principal.

It is a rather recent trend, but it might be worth checking out the profiles of principals at the funds you'd like to work at and have a look whether they have an MBA or not.

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Dec 1, 2016

makes sense! thanks!

Dec 1, 2016

You are more than welcome! Please let me know if you have any other follow-up questions!

Dec 1, 2016

Will definitely stalk some Principals and Partners on LinkedIn before coming back if I have more questions ;)

Dec 1, 2016

Haha enjoy your stalking! ;)

Dec 1, 2016

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