So I've resolved to spend the rest of my (13/14 month) tenure as an IB analyst thinking from the perspective of a PE associate. In its pure irreducible form, this basically boils down to the following: What data points are needed to make an informed investment decision? What is the associate on the other end of the deal plugging into his model?
Given my experiences on the sell-side, I would assume a PE associate has to make do with incomplete information. Sell-side bankers are masters of withholding the truly useful data points until later stages of a process. How does one properly construct an operating build without access to detailed information (gross margin/volume by product line, fixed vs variable cost structure, project/SKU level revenue information, etc.)
How can you possible submit an intelligent/substantive bid without these conrete underlying metrics (i.e., only the summary level data available in a CIP)?