PE FoF Prep

Hi Folks,

From what I've read it appears FoF's take some serious heat on this website. With that being said, I received a job as an analyst at a pretty large PE FoF. I start in the next few weeks and was wondering how to best prepare for the position as an analyst. 

If you've worked in the FoF area or have any knowledge, what would you recommend brushing up on prior to beginning? I looked throughout the website and couldn't find any information related to this question specifically so anything would be helpful.

Thank you!

Comments (17)

  • Research Analyst in HF - Other
Sep 8, 2021 - 3:18am

Read publicly available reports from state pension funds when they recommend funds to invest in and shit. SBCERA has a ton. It's not that tough of a job, all about evaluating the returns of the funds, the promise of the strategy, and PM + team etc.

Most Helpful
Sep 8, 2021 - 2:42pm

Once you get started, the best source to get up to speed will be your firm's drive. Read all the old investment memos that you can get your hands-on. This will help you to gain the background/knowledge of GPs in the portfolio and hopefully help you get deeper on some of the differentiators among the managers in your portfolio. The analytics in the job are really basic modelling, pivot tables, and maybe a value bridge or two. It's not super deep. 

To really differentiate yourself as an analyst/associate, it's about having the qualitative knowledge of managers and using that knowledge to make better manager decisions (hires, re-ups, terminations). You won't be asked to do this from day 1, but you'll differentiate yourself as an analyst if you understand who the top partners are at top shops, the different subsectors where certain GPs are strong, and can help make relative comparisons among managers (i.e. why you would invest with vista versus thoma on a go forward basis).

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Sep 8, 2021 - 3:30pm

Prep for FoF? Sure, start hitting the pub each evening to work on your drinking/pouring form and increase your overall tolerance. Maybe toss in some daily exercise routines of ramming your head into a wall repeatedly from 9-5. Should be good to go. 

Sep 10, 2021 - 12:31pm

Just to be clear, there can be a huge variance in FoF work / life balances. Pensions and endowments tend to be pretty cushy, endowments can be all over the place (but still generally pretty chill), and multi-family offices can often be total nightmares while single family offices tend to have better lifestyles. Depends on philosophy of the shop (AUM gathering, # of different portfolios / products, co-investments or not, maturity of existing portfolio vs. need to constantly source new investments, etc.).

Sep 8, 2021 - 6:59pm

Know nav modeling. This was key I frequently spoke to some of the secondaries analysts at my internship and they were required to do things like update portfolio values using nav modeling, look at prospective deals using nav to calculate the discount and potential pay off.

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Other
Sep 8, 2021 - 10:09pm

They mostly operate in the primary and secondary. From what I've come to understand I think I'll be focusing on analyzing managers and their portfolio companies, DD on potential investments, client reports, etc. Position is on the east coast so I'll be remote for a bit. Like most new jobs, though, I still am not entirely sure what to expect which is why I was hoping to hear from some people who are more familiar. 

Sep 10, 2021 - 12:36pm

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