Pre-MBA Private Equity Associate

curious_monkey's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 133

What are some options after a 2 year pre-mba associate program at a middle market PE fund in a 2nd tier city? Can I lateral to a different fund in a different city? What level would I expect to join at? Do I need to get an MBA after the 2 years or can I advance with the PE industry without an MBA if I'm able to lateral?

My fund doesn't offer direct promote opportunities. What are some other things people do after programs like this?

Comments (28)

Apr 21, 2018

Hi curious_monkey, the silence is deafening, sorry about that.... Any of the threads below helpful?

  • From No-Name College to Buy-Side Out of Undergrad to me that I accepted. I will be working as a private equity associate. Without WSO none of this ... me. 4 Years ago I was a no-name at a no-name university and had nearly failed out of High-school. ... Equity. I really like their work, and aced all 6 rounds of interviews. They eventually extended an offer ...
  • Question to current pre-MBA buy-side analysts (who did 2 years in banking) more advisable to just finish my 2 years, try to get a pre-MBA buyside gig, and then do bschool? I had ... post-bschool are if I don't do a complete analyst stint. Are opportunities still available? Does it make ... a difference whether I complete my current analyst year and then go to bschool versus quitting after (and if) ...
  • Banking vs. The Buy-side: 10.5 considerations 8. The grass is never greener For years I dreamed of moving from banking to the buy-side believing ... plenty of people who hate their jobs on the buy-side as much as they hated banking... Again, it's ... sides of the street. Here's 10.5 things I wish I knew earlier in my career: 1. Buy-side envy Many ...
  • Experienced IB Associate Looking to Break Into Buy-Side ER/CR years ago from university and am currently an associate as a generalist at a boutique investment bank ... a more laid-back culture. Secondly, the amount of vacant positions publicly available is small. A strong ... time at some points. In the end, networking is king and that is the thing I should be putting a lot of ...
  • Wanna Jump Straight to the Buy Side? buy-side right away, there's a few things you need to be prepared for. I'll try to highlight ... question gets substituted in buy-side interviews for a slightly different question, "tell me why ... our top content from the past, click here. Deciding to Recruit For the Buy Side Most of my friends are ...
  • MUST READ! What makes a good trader, fund manager, hedge fund manager, salestrader, and buy-side trader to the number of variables involved. One former trader tells of a large bank that used a jigsaw ... Reserve or the Bank of England has decided to raise the base rate higher than expected: hear all those ... Morgan Stanley. "In sales, the person on the other end of the phone has to want to talk to you- so ...
  • Strange Success Story: from Philosophy Major to the Buy Side in 4 years private bank as an MD and we got to work on some PE deals because of that. But, after a summer where ... of this job as an apprenticeship in private equity. My job is to source deals, but I can get as ... http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/its-all-abou...) I got really lucky and ended up on a desk of a former investment banker who had gone
  • Sell Side Trading (not prop) vs Associate PM on buy side role on buy-side. I have some sell side research/strategy experience. "I am not sure why a stint ... because I am confused between sell side trading (not prop) and a portfolio associate/ associate PM kind of ... .wallstreetoasis.com/forums/private-equity-interview-questions-a-complete-guide">Interviews in Private
  • More suggestions...

Maybe one of our professional members will share their wisdom: @Michael-Morgan1 @gr0191 @skschneier

You're welcome.

Apr 23, 2018

Anyone?

Apr 24, 2018
curious_monkey:

What are some options after a 2 year pre-mba associate program at a middle market PE fund in a 2nd tier city?

Sort of depends on what you want to do next. I'm assuming from the rest of your post you want to stay in PE - from here, your options are to lateral (probably to a smaller firm) or go to B school. If you want to do something else, then you can ... go do something else. The world is your oyster.

curious_monkey:

Can I lateral to a different fund in a different city?

Sure. I doubt you're lateraling to a fund that also has a pre-MBA associate program, but you could take a look at smaller teams looking for experienced talent.

curious_monkey:

What level would I expect to join at?

Really depends on the firm. Could be an associate, could be a sr. associate that credits your experience, could be a VP if you have great deal experience and the team is small.

curious_monkey:

Do I need to get an MBA after the 2 years

Not necessarily.

curious_monkey:

or can I advance with the PE industry without an MBA if I'm able to lateral?

Sure, you could. There are plenty of people at VP-level and above positions at PE firms that never went to b-school. But a lot of this depends on your own capability set and what kind of firm you see yourself at.

curious_monkey:

My fund doesn't offer direct promote opportunities. What are some other things people do after programs like this?

Shit man, get creative. You could work at a portco, you could join a mezz / minority equity fund, you could be a mailman, you could do corp dev. If you're really struggling, and you can get a decent GMAT, pull the b-school ripcord and go figure it out.

    • 3
Apr 24, 2018

Well put, Layne!

Do you think this same advice would stand for an Associate with a non-traditional background (state school, no banking experience)? Would a well respected fund in NY even consider hiring someone like this with 2 years of PE experience or would that be unlikely?

Apr 24, 2018

I couldn't say, honestly. I've never been super interested in the classic NY firms, and I don't think my background would be very interesting to them, so I don't know what they would consider.

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Apr 23, 2018

Thanks! Makes sense.

Apr 26, 2018

After banking I did 2 years at a PE firm in NYC with a fund size of several $bn. I didn't want to do MBA and got a senior associate job at a smaller fund and am on a track to be VP after 2 years. So if things go well I will be a VP basically at the same time I would have been starting as a VP after b school. If you have decent PE associate experience there are a lot of funds that hire out of 2+2. No need to follow the herd to MBA if you aren't into it

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Apr 23, 2018

Interesting, I've seen some funds with the Senior Associate position. What does that really mean? Is it just a higher paid associate role or more like VP responsibility? Do the funds that hire Sr Associates generally have direct promote opportunities to VP?

Apr 26, 2018

Depends on firm. Broadly a MBA skipping senior associate will have a normal associate (24 years old) and will report to a Principal (normally wont have a senior associate reporting to a post MBA VP).

My firm is pretty lean. I generally do deals on a two man team, myself (sr associate) and managing director. I am just finishing my first year as a senior associate, and the plan is roughly to hire a normal associate (out of IBD) in about a year.

There are pros and cons to every team structure but on the whole I have enjoyed this layout. I basically do all of the analyst, associate and VP work.

My boss MD is not in the weeds and leaves all the business / financial diligence to me. All he will review are committee-style pages on the Key DD items. I also basically run the financing and other advisor processes (MD makes initial call to advisors and then punts the day to day to me). It is a little annoying when you first get into a new data room and spend an entire week doing vlookups and sumifs in excel at 28 years old...looking forward to having a junior guy on the team to punt work to.

The plan that at the end of my 2nd or 3rd year I will get VP promote and then 7-10 year track to MD

    • 2
Apr 23, 2018

This is super helpful, thanks! Sounds like you have a ton of responsibility.

May 2, 2018

Thanks for sharing. The insight is definitely really helpful.

Wanted to ask you a few questions since I will be joining an MM PE shop here in the next few months after my banking tenure.

  1. What was your experience like at the MF? Were you pretty involved with all facets of the transaction process (legal docs, coordinating with all the respective parties and advisors, the analysis, etc.)?
  2. Did your experience at the MF help you transition fairly seamlessly to your new firm, or did joining a very lean office require a big learning curve?
  3. Do you think you'd have the same skillset/investing mindset/perspective had you just joined your new firm straight out of IB vs. working at the MF for 2 years first?
    • 1
May 2, 2018
whartonboss:

Depends on firm. Broadly a MBA skipping senior associate will have a normal associate (24 years old) and will report to a Principal (normally wont have a senior associate reporting to a post MBA VP).

My firm is pretty lean. I generally do deals on a two man team, myself (sr associate) and managing director. I am just finishing my first year as a senior associate, and the plan is roughly to hire a normal associate (out of IBD) in about a year.

There are pros and cons to every team structure but on the whole I have enjoyed this layout. I basically do all of the analyst, associate and VP work.

My boss MD is not in the weeds and leaves all the business / financial diligence to me. All he will review are committee-style pages on the Key DD items. I also basically run the financing and other advisor processes (MD makes initial call to advisors and then punts the day to day to me). It is a little annoying when you first get into a new data room and spend an entire week doing vlookups and sumifs in excel at 28 years old...looking forward to having a junior guy on the team to punt work to.

The plan that at the end of my 2nd or 3rd year I will get VP promote and then 7-10 year track to MD

You must be my counterpart at a different firm. Do you really think it's going to take 7-10 years for MD? I have for myself 5 years to make Partner.

Also for your data room vlookups... bankers will do it, if you ask and have a good relationship with. Are you also negotiating PAs? I'm on my first one...

    • 2
May 2, 2018

What's a PA?

Best Response
Apr 24, 2018
whartonboss:

I basically do all of the analyst, associate and VP work.

My boss MD is not in the weeds and leaves all the business / financial diligence to me. All he will review are committee-style pages on the Key DD items. I also basically run the financing and other advisor processes (MD makes initial call to advisors and then punts the day to day to me). It is a little annoying when you first get into a new data room and spend an entire week doing vlookups and sumifs in excel at 28 years old...looking forward to having a junior guy on the team to punt work to.

The plan that at the end of my 2nd or 3rd year I will get VP promote and then 7-10 year track to MD

Whiskey5:

You must be my counterpart at a different firm. Do you really think it's going to take 7-10 years for MD? I have for myself 5 years to make Partner.

We're apparently all the same person. Titles may be a little different but the responsibilities all sound the same.

I'm pretty stretched in this model - as I get additional sourcing and market-facing responsibility, it gets tougher and tougher to find time to do the analyst-level work (I still prep our MMM packet). Adding analyst/associate leverage has been a bit of a point of contention for us lately.

7-10 years to partner from a senior role sounds rough, maybe that would be the case in a pretty structured firm (~4 levels), but not in a smaller middle-market shop. I'd suspect around 3-5 years you'll say "wait a minute...I have partner responsibilities, but my carry doesn't reflect that." The current group will either pay you for your expertise, or you'll get paid for it somewhere else.

    • 3
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Apr 23, 2018

So what does the promotion timeline look like at a MM fund for someone who laterals to a senior associate role after completing a 2 year associate program? Approx. how many years at Sr. Associate, VP, principal etc. ???

Apr 23, 2018

Does anyone have a sense for promotion timeline in MM PE after a 2 year associate program?

May 10, 2018

active corp dev! Or check into a Fund that has very active portfolio companies.

  • things that will hurt you:

2nd tier city
Small fund
No desire to go to NYC

What is your banking pedigree?

Apr 23, 2018

Sorry, I don't follow...can you please reiterate your post

Apr 23, 2018

any thoughts?

Sep 23, 2018

Apollo

Sep 23, 2018

I've heard General Atlantic does this

Sep 23, 2018

A good portion of the MFs have started entertaining more direct promotes, which is a trend I suspect will continue.

Sep 23, 2018

Definitely Apollo, Silver Lake

Have seen / heard of direct promotes at KKR, BX, and Warburg as well but don't know them personally