Private Equity or Boutique Investment Banking Internship?

So, I'm a sophomore and I've recently been extended an offer to work at a relatively small (12 professionals) private equity firm. I'm also talking to quite a few boutique investment banks. My goal is to go through investment banking recruitment for a junior year internship and I'm just curious if a PE internship will put me behind in terms of recruitment and if I should continue to pursue a banking internship. Thanks!

Comments (56)

Apr 29, 2014

either will set you up just fine. Probably IB is ideal, but 12 ppl doesn't necessarily imply a tiny fund. If its a decent sized AUM, it might be better than a super tiny IB that you'll get no good experience at.

"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be"

    • 1
Apr 29, 2014

I am going to get flamed for this but whatever.

At the end of the day, I would say the type of work you are doing as a sophomore wouldn't be that great. You would definitely get great exposure to the deal process (whether you take the PE on the buyside or the boutique IBs on the sell-side), and learn a good amount simply by helping associates and the senior bankers with deliverables, pitches, etc. However, I would take the one with the most well known name. Considering they are boutiques and might not be well known, I think you should take the PE. But if its a pretty well known boutique IB, I would take the boutique IB over PE.

    • 1
Best Response
Apr 29, 2014

dunno why anyone would flame you for this. it's exactly right.

Apr 29, 2014

PE will get you more exposure to the various aspects of a deal. Banking will be grunt work at your level, and you won't learn about deal dynamics. Granted PE COULD be that way, but usually there's less strict division of labor and you will learn more and become more well rounded. Also, if you want to get into PE professionally then it just makes sense.

    • 1
Apr 29, 2014

Depends whether your long-term plan is to work in Asia or New York. If the latter, go with the investment boutique.

Apr 29, 2014

IBD in NY. This will create so many opportunities ...assuming you want to work in the US.

Apr 29, 2014

IBD in NY. This will create so many opportunities ...assuming you want to work in the US.

Apr 29, 2014

Thank you for the responses, opinions are much appreciated.

I'd be open to working in either Asia or the US (I'm an EU citizen so its been hard for me to find jobs here with work authorization). I guess my main question then is for someone who knows they want to end up in PE/VC, does it make more sense to start in PE or in IBD? seems like a stupid question but i honestly don't think it is

The brand name/reputation of the two companies is honestly equally no-name, by boutique I don't mean a Centerview or a Moelis and the PE shop isn't exactly Blackstone. One other possible piece of info that might help with forming opinions is that the PE firm hires full-times but the boutique does not

Apr 29, 2014

For PE/VC, go for a PE. It's more related to investment equity.

Apr 29, 2014

If the boutique IB isn't hiring FT, then you will spend your summer networking in NY for FT positions. However, the PE firm is hiring full-times so it's a less risky proposition (as long as you are a good cultural fit). It all depends on where you want to work after graduation and your appetite for risk.

Do the firms specialize in certain sectors?

Incoming Ash Ketchum, Pokemon Master
Literally a problem, solve for both X and Y, please and thank you.
Hugh Myron: "Are there any guides on here for getting a top girlfriend? Think banker/lawyer/doctor. I really don't want to go mid-tier"

Apr 29, 2014

if prop offer is DRW or Jump you might want to reconsider.

Apr 29, 2014

1) boutique would be a better internship for the obvious reason; you'd be working in IBD. PE would by no means be bad, but in my mind a boutique would help set you up better seeing as it's banking.

2) see answer 1

Apr 29, 2014

Lincoln's a quality shop. Never heard of the other two, but I'd accept LI if I were you.

Apr 29, 2014

just for reference, its not actually at any of those three shops, just guessing at roughly the same level from what i know of them. im the only soph offer so id rather not get specific

Apr 29, 2014

I think the PE experience will be a differentiating factor come SA recruiting next year and at the very least it will be interesting. There is no pre-req banking experience for an analyst position at a BB whether it be SA or FT and I think the PE job is a better option.

Apr 29, 2014

The PE fund job says "I was interested in exploring a career in PE and was fortunate enough to get a job at an MM fund." The banking job says, "I couldn't get a banking job anywhere."

Apr 29, 2014
ehf3660:

The PE fund job says "I was interested in exploring a career in PE and was fortunate enough to get a job at an MM fund." The banking job says, "I couldn't get a banking job anywhere."

I don't think anyone would think that. He is a sophomore and any ibanking experience is impressive. BBs don't expect potential SAs to have prior BB experience.

Apr 29, 2014

this really depends
i worked for a small pe shop frosh year and ended up soph year with a BB
Really try to see what kind of work you will do at the PE firm as opposed to the IB job. If you actually get to do good technical work at the IB.. i would work there. But if you actually get to do lbo models or other modeling work at your PE firm I would go there instead

Apr 29, 2014

how did you get a PE offer after freshman year?
pretty impressive

Apr 29, 2014

Consider how much they are offering to pay you, as you are more likely to be doing real work if they are paying a reasonable rate.

Assuming that PE pays the appropriate rate, I would go with that.

Apr 29, 2014

I think ehf said it best and articulated exactly what I was thinking...

Apr 29, 2014

Most of those smaller IB boutique are here and have a good presence...

Apr 29, 2014

Lots of risk in taking a boutique offer. To be honest I think either one is fine and there isn't a huge difference since they're both just summer internships, but I would go with the PE for the reasons stated above - also, you're more likely to get good projects to work on even if it's a small PE vs. a boutique where you may be relegated to copier/coffee-maker.

Apr 29, 2014
dosk17:

Lots of risk in taking a boutique offer. To be honest I think either one is fine and there isn't a huge difference since they're both just summer internships, but I would go with the PE for the reasons stated above - also, you're more likely to get good projects to work on even if it's a small PE vs. a boutique where you may be relegated to copier/coffee-maker.

Really? I thought otherwise, since boutique banking is related to banking. Maybe I was wrong...

Apr 29, 2014

you go to duke right? i remember seeing your name around on the CC forums

Apr 29, 2014

wow, just had a phone interview with Stout Risius Ross on Friday...see you there? :P. Personally, I'd probably go with the PE; probably doing lots of grunt work either way, but there'll prbably be exposure to more interesting things in the private equity firm

Apr 29, 2014

The easy question is do you want to do IB or Risk Mgmt?

Apr 29, 2014

I will have more learning opportunity at the boutiqe firm. However, PE firm is much more reputable compare to the boutiqe firm. In the end, I want to be at the Buy Side firm doing M & A than doing pitching work.

Apr 29, 2014

Top 25? where did you get that ranking?

i would go with top 25 mm/boutique bank.

Apr 29, 2014

Well London, it is clearly one of the three banks mentioned, and one of the three PE firms mentioned. I would say all six are clearly reputable, and it is not like you can go wrong with either option as a sophomore. I'm not sure I have an answer for you, but if your banking offer is Moellis, as I suspect it is by playing which of these things is not like the other, that is the only banking offer I'd say doesn't stand up to the PE funds you mentioned. Of course, that is just IMO - there are others who are more qualified to give this advice than I

Apr 29, 2014

As a puny little sophomore with no connections, I wonder if the prestige is more important than learning in the current economic turmoil. On other hand, I wonder, if Wall Street will value learning over relying on prestige in the upcoming market opportunities.

Apr 29, 2014

where did u get the rankings from?

Apr 29, 2014

Those boutiques aren't really any less reputable than the PE firms. TPG and Carlyle are almost as big as it gets, but I suspect they would probably hire someone from the aforementioned boutiques before they bring one of their own risk management guys into the FO.

Apr 29, 2014

how boutique is the IB and what size PE firm?

Apr 29, 2014

Boutique IB does mid-market, mid-atlantic region. 3-4 deals at a time, mostly M&A, PIPEs, etc. Pretty small.

PE firm is 350-400mm. Part of a well known PE empire in the mid-atlantic region.

Apr 29, 2014

My vote would be to go with the PE firm just for the uniqueness factor. Both will look good on your resume. Whether or not you gain relevant experience will entirely depend on the individual firm and how much responsibility they give you. Basically, it is a crap shoot.

Apr 29, 2014

Basically, it is a crap shoot.

I agree. Tis' why I am having a tough time...I feel the IB will give more experience, responsibility, etc. It's a 6 month full time internship, so I'll be able to see most if not all of the deal process.

PE one is great as well. Most of the guys there are ex-BB IBer's and they may be great for recs and advice.

Apr 29, 2014

Drexel University?

Apr 29, 2014

pm - Correct.

After further deliberation, I think the IB opportunity may prove to be more valuable. It will be easier to talk and relate during the interview, none the less gain relevant experience.

Agree?

Apr 29, 2014

Go with IBD.

Apr 30, 2014

JuwannaMann, (nice name)

Any reason? Or just gut feeling.

Apr 30, 2014

PE. You'll learn the techniques of IBD and then some. Also it's to be on the other side of the table from the IB guys so you have a more holistic view of the process once you start in IB.

Apr 30, 2014

UserAccountDeleted,

Good point. Argh...you think that during an interview with a BB, the PE would be better since 'I'm on the other side of the table'?

Apr 30, 2014

check your inbox

Apr 30, 2014

Can anyone else chime in? I'm close to deadline! Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Apr 30, 2014

IB because you will be closer in age and experience to people who do actual work. PE even "junior" guys who are guys out of an IB analyst stint do the grunt work. In IB fresh college grads are pretty important and do substantial work, and you will be closer to their age/exp as an intern.

Apr 30, 2014

djia5000,

Would your opinion change if the 7-person team were all 'seniors'? The last person they hired was 2 years ago, and she is the only 'junior' person I would say that is close to my age.

Apr 30, 2014
Comment
Apr 30, 2014
Apr 30, 2014
Comment

http://jobsforwallstreeters.blogspot.com We send you quality jobs for front-office positions in investment banking, private equity, venture capital, hedge fund, sales & trading, equity research, and fixed income research.