Public Finance to PE/HF; Possible?

Hey WSO,

I attribute a lot of my success to this forum so hoping I can get some more helpful advice.

I am currently at a top BB Public Finance IBD shop in NY and wanting to make the transition to the buyside, primarily interested in growth equity (PE) or distressed debt (HF). Obviously, like all other new-comers at banks, I get a ton of buyside emails from headhunters and such, requesting to speak and to learn more about you and see if you are a good fit for their buyside clients, but I feel like I never get too much traction because I'm not their traditional analyst and they want to increase their chances of me landing something. My question is, is there any successful way to get to talk to HF/PE funds to increase my chances?

I feel as if though the transition from what I do to what they do is quite difficult as people believe we don't do traditional modeling, which we don't, but I would wager that we do comparable work in terms of excel modeling. Though I lack traditional merger modeling, I know I make up for by understanding financial models (previous internship at a large bank in their ER department juxtaposed with continuously modeling traditional banking models, ie merger and lbo models, in my sparetime). My current role involves working with P3 clients, ie sports financing, and private placement deals. I've worked with a few Infra Funds and see the way it works (ie, IRR of the project, financial statements, optimal bond sizing and equity contributions, etc) and am incredibly interested in the field, though I want a more traditional corporate role, working with larger firms and more "capstone" deals. Don't get me wrong, I love my work, the people I work with and the culture I am in, and I am incredibly grateful to be in my position, but I can't see myself enjoying it for the long-run. I talk to the traditional banking guys all the time, and my curiosity always peaks with their deals.

Anyway, don't want to give too much back story as I'd rather remain anonymous, but hoping for any advice!

Thank you!

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Comments (8)

Feb 9, 2015 - 9:26am

If you have good sports financing experience, why not approach PE funds and family offices that own teams. Family offices for Anschutz, Kroenke, etc. might be a place to start or PE funds that have bought/looked at teams.

Best Response
Feb 9, 2015 - 11:18am

Infrastructure PE from public finance? (Originally Posted: 12/02/2014)

I've come across infrastructure PE, and it seems like a really weird/different field. It seems the biggest player is Macquarie.

This is their site for theirs, I believe. Would this be moreso PE or AM? Would this be a good field to get into? It seems interesting. I'm going into public finance, and this seems like one of the few interesting exit ops. Would public finance be a good field to go into? Should I try and get into a group like utilities or public power instead of healthcare/higher edu?

Also, compared to public finance, what is the lifestyle/salary differences? Ex. public finance MD vs. whatever on the flip side at the same progression? Would either have the possibility of breaking 7 digit salaries?

Any information/insight on infrastructure would be much appreciated!

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Feb 9, 2015 - 11:20am

Macquarie is known for being very strong in the infrastructure space. To my knowledge, this falls into the realm of PE within Macquarie. Infra seems to be pretty strong these days, but I'm not one to tell you whether you're making the right life choices or not by telling you which group you should be gunning for.

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Feb 9, 2015 - 11:21am

bear in mind deals take years and years and move very slowly vs M&A, all the while you're talking about a road.....roads aren't interesting

"After you work on Wall Street it’s a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side.” - David Tepper
Feb 9, 2015 - 11:22am

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