PE Recruiting 2020 Information Thread

Picking up the pieces from some various threads it is evident that HH's have begun to reach out to some via LinkedIn, and analyst programs are beginning shortly for many banks. This can be a place to update if HH's have reached out to you, virtual coffee chats / happy hours, and other various recruiting tidbits, rumors, and so forth.

When you provide an update, please provide a brief profile (presuming that you post anonymously). Bank (BB, EB, MM) <- ideally including top, mid, bottom, etc), school (target, semi-target, non-target), and group (coverage, m&a).

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Comments (346)

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 6, 2020 - 8:37am

Current associate at a megafund. I can confirm that no one is thinking about recruiting now. Considering we aren't even in the office yet recruiting is pretty low on our list of priorities. My guess it'll pick up again starting in September when we're back in the office and banking analysts are starting to finish training. Of course someone could kick it off but I doubt it.

To make sure you don't feel worried, if you are a coverage / M&A analyst at a BB or independent firm, you will likely get headhunter emails from all major HHs and a chance to impress in August or so depending on the potential timeline

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Jul 6, 2020 - 12:44pm

EB target - HH's have started collecting info. Smaller HH shops covering MMs have reached up for initial convos (but not first rounds, mostly just to pitch opportunities and give advice) but the larger ones are just collecting info. No one knows when on cycle will kick off

Will echo associate above from what I've been hearing. Some banks won't be out of training until into Sept and Oct so unless PE shops want to recruit negative desk experience it might be later

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jul 6, 2020 - 2:30pm

My current understanding is that those types of HH get your email from 2nd/3rd year analysts

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 6, 2020 - 6:19pm

I'm going to EB (EVR/MOE/PJT) and have had a HH in the same tier of CPI/Amity reach out informally. Might just be a unique circumstance though

Most Helpful
  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 6, 2020 - 8:01pm

Same associate as above. Don't worry if headhunters haven't reached out to you. you will almost certainly get emails from HHs when you get your work email (if you don't have it). Reached out to our headhunter (CPI / Amity / HSP) and they apparently have not begun talking to incoming analysts. My guess is some time in July / August will be when the real email blasts are going out

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 6, 2020 - 8:54pm

Of course. I want to add that just because you're receiving emails now does not mean you're the strongest candidate and just because you're not getting emails does not mean you're a weak candidate. HHs are well aware they will miss a lot of people early on, and many strong candidates (especially now) will wait a year or go off-cycle (I also generally recommend that most people go off-cycle or wait a year. LA majors especially are generally stronger candidates once they have some real banking experience). It is also perfectly acceptable to email a headhunter if they missed you (assuming you're a BB coverage banker or independent M&A banker) since they want to meet basically every independent / BB analyst they can (its their incentive to place, and if they miss a potential hire from, say, a mid-tier coverage group at Citi that hurts their earnings). The only groups they won't miss anyone from are places like MS M&A or PJT / Moelis (Evercore is so big now that I'm sure they won't get everyone, and I would bet their placement numbers go down). Once the HH's start reaching out en masse (again, I expect it to be sometime in mid-August but could easily go earlier or later) you can feel free to reach out. Our HH said that they expect to talk to first years late August / early Sep atm

Sep 16, 2020 - 6:47am

If they don't reach out to you, feel free to reach out to them to set-up the initial chat. That's really all you need to get slotted into the recruiting opps as long as you present yourself well

Jul 7, 2020 - 9:19pm

Does anyone have HH firm recommendations to reach out to (I've only met with Oxbridge so far) or general tips for MM PE recruiting? From what I understand it seems less structured than MF or UMM funds. For background, I'm starting my second year on a MM Healthcare LevFin desk (all-sponsor backed deals).

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 8, 2020 - 3:30pm

interested. if they don't reach out to you, can you still end up in the process by trying to get in touch with the HH? I went to a target and have a good GPA so want to shoot my shot on cycle but worried I won't get looks from HHs

  • Analyst 1 in IB - CB
Jul 8, 2020 - 11:12pm

Thoughts on recruiting to PE (any level) as a corporate banking analyst at upper tier BB? Understanding is that it is very difficult, might be better suited pursuing private credit roles if the debt interest is there or moving into IB first. General advice on career path welcome

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jul 13, 2020 - 11:44am

has anyone gotten past modeling materials handed down by older analysts yet? especially interested in the top EBs who knock it out of the park with recruiting, like Moelis / PJT.
anyone interested in doing a swap?

Jul 15, 2020 - 9:59pm

Also interested in swaps of interview materials/models. Can we PM?


  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 17, 2020 - 12:58am

Analyst at moelis, have also accumulated a good amount of material. Crossed daily DM limit,so cant Dm. Happy to swap materials.

Jul 14, 2020 - 8:25pm

Has mass outreach from Headhunters started yet for 2022 oncycle?


  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 15, 2020 - 2:14pm

Incoming analyst at BB. I think some HHs have reached out to target schools to gather resumes but haven't reached out to candidates individually yet. I feel like that wouldn't happen until, at the earliest, half-way through training. Of course I could be wrong, no one can predict anything at this point.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 15, 2020 - 4:16pm

Confirming the target outreach to gather contact info, which was only 1 HH for my school at least. Haven't heard from them or anyone else yet (BB).

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 15, 2020 - 8:50pm

It was through a club, just 1 place who did a casual info session. I think it was just an event the club happened to put together, and I'm really not reading into it. Seemed like it was a convenient way to get contact info at once honestly, doubt it'll remotely be a difference. I'd listen to the associate above who knows what he's talking about :)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 20, 2020 - 5:59pm

Not the analyst, but my club also had an HH phone call. Not too much info, they just explained who they are, who they recruit for, and some stats/profiles of analysts they place. We had sophomore and juniors on the call too, so I wouldn't put too much weight on it

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 15, 2020 - 10:08pm

Ivy target (not H/W) at an EB (PJT/MOE/EVR)...nothing directly from HHs but they have reached out to 2nd years to gather the emails of our entire class

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 15, 2020 - 10:28pm

Same associate, again. I actually asked our HH straight up if they were doing any resume gathering or anything (it is absolutely ridiculous how early it is) and they said they were not as of now. Top headhunter that represents our MF and numerous other targeted firms. HH's will normally find your email from existing analysts who signed through that headhunter, from alumni from your school, and from just finding out what your name is and guessing your email. Again they have every incentive to talk to as many analysts as possible (whether from GS TMT or Jefferies, not to knock on them but to highlight there are a range of firms they want to talk to) since it is not like HH's represent only MFs or UMMs but also a lot of MMs. Additionally, if they find a great candidate from DB who is a great fit for a top firm like Carlyle they will happily put them in the interview. Feel free to reach out to HHs in Sep or so (reaching out too early is detrimental)

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 15, 2020 - 11:14pm

Happy to help. If there are any other q's, please reply to this comment and I will respond.

  • Intern in IB - Restr
Jul 15, 2020 - 11:38pm

Hey man, awesome info, thank you! Would you say now is a good time to create a profile and submit your resume in HH websites? Or would you wait till you hit the desk to polish/update your resume? Also, when HH initially reach out to you, do they ask for an updated resume?

Also, why is reaching out to HH too early detrimental?

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 16, 2020 - 12:32am

They'll reach out to you; just wait for them to do so. It isn't exactly detrimental to reach out now but it doesn't really serve a purpose and if you aren't ready for convos w headhunters (like knowing exactly what you want in terms of geography, strategy, etc.) then you can come across badly

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 15, 2020 - 11:41pm

You folks don't actually believe this guy is real right? He's likely just another incoming analyst trying to get a leg up on recruiting. On-cycle interviews started in August last year....

What incentive does this guy have to ask his firm's "HH straight up" for a bunch of random hardos on WSO? You guys are smarter than this, come on.

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 16, 2020 - 12:36am

Believe me or not, makes no difference to me. However, recruiting last year actually doesn't mean that much. We're in a world-wide pandemic and recruiting will 100% be delayed because of it. Firms like Blackstone have opted out of on-cycle recruiting (at least that is what they said publicly) and many strong firms have delayed their start dates so analysts may not even be on the desk until September or later. Most PE firms aren't even back in the office yet, and believe me, recruiting isn't going to be top of the list of priorities when we do go back in en masse. Who knows If someone will kick it off even earlier / same time as last year but I doubt it. If I were in your shoes I would prepare for mid-Sep kick off anyway to be safe.

I reached out on behalf of recent graduates from my undergrad entering into consulting and banking who reached out and are looking to learn more about my firm and the process. Since I was on here anyway thought I'd add.

Aug 21, 2020 - 9:03pm

Your student resume is fine for now, as long as you've added your bank and group right under Education.  As soon as you do gain some traction after training, start to add some bullets.  Even if you're initially focused on pitches, it will give the head hunters some guidance & direction for initial conversation with you. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 16, 2020 - 11:35pm

Had an introductory call in the last two weeks with a recruiter and they told me that recruiting for summer 2022 starts won't happen until early 2021? Can anyone confirm they heard anything similar? I was expecting the process to be delayed a bit but 6+ months surprised me a lot...

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 17, 2020 - 11:32am

No one knows when recruiting will kick off. Anyone who says they do or even has a real idea is probably lying or at best guessing. Every year there are rumors: "I heard it will be before Thanksgiving / Halloween this year," or "I heard firm X is planning on flying to NYC to hire kids" etc. Most of these rumors are generally exaggerated or false but people also tend to dismiss each year's cycle as "no way that's going to happen." I remember when it kicked off on Halloween, no one thought it could be before Thanksgiving, but that's what happened.

That being said, I really think this year it will end up getting pushed, for a number of reasons. Right now, most firms are not in the office (at least a couple have offices open but no one is forced to come in) and it is really difficult to imagine firms hiring people based on nothing but a Zoom call, resume, and modeling test. PE is a human interaction business and the face-to-face component is crucial to all aspects of PE, including meeting candidates. So I can't see it kicking off unless many firms are back in office, which could be in 2021 (depending on the second wave etc), which could explain what the HH said. However, who knows. Maybe certain firms are ok with hiring without meeting face to face. That will hurt kids from non-targets, analysts who start later than others, and analysts who are not in BB / EB banks, and kids who have strong interpersonal skills. I can't see hiring without meeting someone face to face happening, but every year we've been wrong about when it will kick off, so maybe we'll be wrong this time.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jul 17, 2020 - 8:57pm

Do you think that KKR and other MFs doing their 2021 FT analyst hiring virtually indicates that they would be open to doing virtual hiring for associates? I know PE firms invest more in their associate hiring but firms like KKR usually have a 2&out structure so maybe virtual hiring is not that big of an issue if most of the associates leave after 2 years anyways.

  • Prospect in IB - DCM
Aug 3, 2020 - 11:01pm

Couldn't you argue the same thing about face to face interactions for investment banking summer interns? Yet HR is working around that and going forward w Zoom super days

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Aug 3, 2020 - 11:15pm

No, its pretty different. Hiring an intern for an IB is a totally different game than hiring a PE associate. For one, an intern is expendable: you can always cut them at the end of the summer at minimal cost. Second, investment banks are huge -- there are hundreds of analysts per class. Interns are also expected to be trained and not do particularly difficult work. Hiring a PE associate is many times more expensive, and are often doing difficult / crucial work for PE firms from day one. PE firms are also a lot smaller, so a mishire could be a Terrible fit culture-wise. Also, depending on the firm, you could be hiring with an eye on potential partner / MD track positions, which makes hiring each associate very important, whereas banks rarely expect interns to stay past their full-time analyst programs (except maybe CVP)

Jul 17, 2020 - 9:10am

I was told the same by a top HH last week. It seems they really want to push recruiting to 2021, especially under current circumstances, but who knows what'll happen if someone kicks it off

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 28, 2020 - 5:31pm

Spoke with a few alumni who mentioned partners would be uncomfortable hiring somebody without actually meeting them in person. This leads me to think it'll get pushed back a little until in person interviews can take place, but who really knows as all it takes it one big firm to kick off virtually.

Jul 29, 2020 - 2:28pm

Yeah can confirm but from what I can gather this doesn't mean much. Seems like SG just wants to start collecting info and meeting candidates since it will be more difficult virtually. I don't think this implies much regarding when the on-cycle process will kick off. Most US PE firms aren't back in the office yet and with the way things are going, many's post-Labor Day plans are up in the air. Seems like recruiting will still be pushed back considerably compared to last year. Although, as usual, who tf knows

  • Prospect in PE - LBOs
Jul 31, 2020 - 2:34pm

Should we start reaching out to headhunters who have sent emails (e.g. SG)? Also my bank (and possibly a few others) have not started on the desk and did not get our work emails. Should we reach out to not be missed?

  • Intern in IB - Restr
Jul 31, 2020 - 11:33pm

SG JUST SENT AN EMAIL saying their "recruiters will not be interviewing candidates this summer". Anyone know how to interpret that??

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 31, 2020 - 11:43pm

got this as well. at a top EB (EVR/MOE/PJT) and had a different, well-known HH reach out last month saying recruiting was likely to be virtual. Have no idea what to think now

Aug 1, 2020 - 9:23am

Yeah SG sent an email last night pulling back on their email from earlier this week. It said, "As a clarification, our recruiters will not be interviewing candidates this summer. We look forward to speaking with you down the road!"

It looks the industry had really wanted to push back recruiting this year and so when SG tried to jump the gun, they got a lot of blowback from PE firms and/or other HHs so they had to pull back. Makes it seem like recruiting will definitely be pushed back somewhat imo

Aug 1, 2020 - 10:30am

Was the email from a specific recruiter in SG or from a generic SG address?


  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 2, 2020 - 2:26pm

I got the initial email but didn't get this follow up. Did you enter your info in the link? Haven't done that yet so may be why I missed their second email

Aug 3, 2020 - 10:57pm

Has anyone heard from HSP or Ratio? A friend at PJT RSSG mentioned getting an initial email from one of them?


  • 1
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Restr
Aug 3, 2020 - 11:15pm

Dude holy shit who cares if your friend from PJT RSSG got an email already? Just wait for the HH's to email you. If you're at a reputable firm they'll come to you as soon as you get a work email.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Aug 4, 2020 - 4:01am

I've heard from HSP - it was an introductory conversation, we went through my background, deal experience, what I'm looking for. No concrete timeline for on-cycle recruiting yet beyond things being delayed this year.

Aug 5, 2020 - 8:53pm

Any update on timeline? Do people think on-cycle will happen virtually, or will firms wait until 2021?


  • 1
Aug 6, 2020 - 10:05am

Even if they wait until 2021, it's not like everyone is gonna be vaccinated in January, so I personally couldn't see firms letting dozens of 20-something-year-olds from all over the country into their offices with senior people for full days of interviews. But I also couldn't imagine the process getting pushed until next summer. This is just my opinion but I feel like firms will wait until at least their employees are back in the office (so they can better coordinate) and they have a virtual recruiting infrastructure/plan set up, and then will recruit virtually. But this will be interesting. Would love other people's perspectives (esp. if better-informed)

Aug 6, 2020 - 10:36am

Agree on this. I don't think they're willing to wait a whole year. Definitely think recruiting will be virtual for most rounds and possibly even early superday rounds, and then for final cuts of only a few people they'll probably bring them in-office one at a time to decide via in-person meetings.


  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 22, 2020 - 8:14am

Would HH's be interested in speaking with an analyst from a top BB overseas? Or do funds only recruit domestically?

Aug 25, 2020 - 12:15am

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 31, 2020 - 1:13pm

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 2, 2020 - 12:34pm

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 27, 2020 - 4:36pm

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 27, 2020 - 5:05pm

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