I am trying to figure out what opportunities exist out there AFTER a stint in Private Equity. Do people leave PE firms after 5-10 years to start companies? Or to be a CFO/CEO of a company? Retire? VC?
There are 100s of topics on getting to Private Equity but I haven't found a decent discussion on where people go from there, or what they move on to utilizing their PE experience.
What Do People Pursue After Private Equity?
After a stint in PE, the path forward is much less defined. At this point in your career the choice is yours. That being said here are some avenues that a junior employee may explore after private equity.
MBA to Private Equity Partner Track
After two years in private equity you can pursue a MBA and then return to private equity. A post MBA associate may return to their previous firm or move to another firm. Following that, the post MBA associate would seek a vice president position if the end goal is to stay in private equity and pursue the partner track.
The common theme among partner track PE seems to be either
- you joined a relatively new fund or start-up fund that were actively looking for junior people to stay on and build a career or
- smaller fund that is relatively low on senior professionals and has room to add on future principals/partners
The catch-22 is that the bigger the fund, and bigger you get (i.e. firms that are raising larger follow on funds), it is a better name brand and experience for the associates, but they are likely to be staffed up top and cannot economically justify having more future senior professionals and further cut up GP carry.
PE to MBA to Corporate Strategy
Alternatively, the MBA can be used to transition into a structured corporate development program. Some may pursue a position in corporate strategy or operations.
To understand more about corporate strategy, read more on the Corporate Strategy Career Path or breaking into the Corp Strat industry. If interested specifically at tech firms, check out WSO's thread on Corporate Strategy at Tech Firms.
PE to the Buyside
Another path forward is moving to another part of the buyside. These options include going to a hedge fund, venture capital firm or even a family office is not unheard of.
For the hedge fund route, it may make sense if you like public markets more than working on (mostly) private transactions. The challenges involved in a HF are different than those involved in PE (more process oriented). Check out this WSO thread on the transition from PE to HF.
Read More About PE on WSO
- Private Equity Vs Venture Capital - Differences And Similarities
- From Private Equity Associate To VP In Private Equity
- Family Office - Exit Opps
Interviewing for Private Equity Jobs?
Want to land at an elite private equity fund try our comprehensive PE Interview Prep Course. Our course includes 2,447 questions across 203 private equity funds that have been crowdsourced from over 500,000 members. The WSO Private Equity Interview Prep Guide has everything you'll ever need to land the most coveted jobs on Wall Street.