Q&A - Bulge Bracket IBD SA to MM PE Analyst

GS/MS/JPM Investment Banking SA to MM PE Buyout Analyst (~$2Bn Fund)
Been a lurker on WSO for a while now so thought I'd give back to the community and answer any questions about starting in PE as an analyst, hours, nature of work etc

Comments (28)

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Oct 4, 2019 - 4:19pm

Came down to a couple of things - 1) wanted to work on a smaller team and have greater decision making power on investments, 2) long-term goals aligned with the fund thesis and growth trajectory of fund size / IRR was attractive, 3) initial comp was at par / slightly higher than typical IB analyst salary with faster promotion track and early carry / equity co-invest.

Felt like the analyst role in IB is increasingly about content generation as opposed to idea generation which felt stifling to me over a 2 month internship so couldn't imagine doing it for 2 years.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 4, 2019 - 5:37pm

What's the recruiting process for such funds? Did you just run across a fund that happened to hire undergrads or did you specifically network and target those type of funds? Will be an SA at an EB next summer and also interested in PE out of undergrad, would love to PM you with more questions if possible.

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Oct 4, 2019 - 9:04pm

Great question. I would say it was a mix of keeping an eye out for opportunities over the summer and being fortunate to know a few people at the firm already. In general, the number of PE shops that are opening their doors to analysts without requiring the 2 years of banking experience is on the rise.

Personally, I specifically looked at MM Funds with an analyst program that was heavier on diligence and execution as opposed to being built around sourcing.

And yes, happy to chat. Feel free to shoot me a note.

Oct 5, 2019 - 7:44pm

Hey I am having trouble sending you a DM, but could you possibly DM about other shops you looked at that "are opening their doors to analysts without requiring the 2 years of banking experience". Would really appreciate your advice and help.

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Oct 6, 2019 - 1:31pm

https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/pe-firms-with-analyst-programs this is a good thread for your question - wouldn't add anything to this list.

In terms of how to get there, you pretty much have to be at a target school for these firms or be really good at networking your way in. A lot of these firms (including mine) typically target kids from top banking SA programs as a funnel to bring them in.

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Oct 6, 2019 - 1:33pm

On average, I get in around 8:30am and leave around 9:30-10 with some weekend work. Fridays are usually more relaxed and you can leave earlier (there's usually a happy hour).

As in IB, when there's a live deal on the table or something needs to go out, its all hands on deck and what I like is that the associates/seniors on the team grind as well.

Oct 6, 2019 - 8:29pm

Hey! Thank you so much for this. I'm doing a UMM for my junior summer internship. Our summer class is only 2 undergrad interns and 4 mba interns.

How would you recommend preparing for the job? (Last summer I did ER for a major fund). Thank you so much!

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Oct 6, 2019 - 10:15pm
  1. Get on the phone with a few people at the group and learn about the culture of the office/firm
  2. Take classes that actually teach you something and make you more interesting (managerial accounting doesn't make you a good conversationalist)
  3. Revise your excel and powerpoint shortcuts so that you're not starting off on Ground Zero
  4. Get 4-5 sets of good work clothes so that you're not scrambling week 1
  5. Read up on their portfolio / strategy so that internal conversations in the first few weeks don't sound like Latin to you
Oct 6, 2019 - 10:36pm
  1. What was it that made you stand out among other competitive candidates? (school name, GPA, network, internships, etc.)
  2. Can you elaborate more about what you said about the rising number of PEs open for undergraduates?
  3. Do PEs including yours sponsor international students? Or any disadvantages against them?

Much appreciated!

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Oct 7, 2019 - 4:12pm
  1. Strong internships during and before junior summer; networking with professionals at the firm; club involvement and leadership in college; high GPA from target school

  2. As I mentioned in an earlier answer, there are more opportunities out there if you look for them. While the bigger MFs exclusively recruit from HPY / top banking SAs there are ways in if you have a strong alumni network or can reach out to someone who champions you through the process. In general, with PE recruiting from IB being pushed up to within the first few months of your job, firms are becoming more comfortable with recruiting out of internships instead.

  3. Most PE funds do - especially those with an international office to move you to after your visa expires. Some might have a higher bar for international students just because of the unpredictability of visa stuff but I don't think its an impediment if you're a quality applicant.

Oct 7, 2019 - 8:17am

First of all, thanks for the helpful post and congrats on the new position! Do you know if your firm requires an MBA for further advancement down the line? I have heard that this is relatively common at some larger funds, wanted to get your perspective on UMM

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Oct 7, 2019 - 4:14pm

My firm is relatively unenthusiastic about the requirement for an MBA. Typically, there are people who go down the MBA route and come back either in a senior position within the firm or as an operating executive within our portfolio, but it definitely isn't a situation where they 'encourage' (read force) you to go do your MBA after a 2 year associate program.

Oct 8, 2019 - 9:54am

Hi! thanks for the AMA. Just wondering when you interviewed and how technical the interview was. Were u asked to do modeling (paper/excel) and how did u prep for the interviews in general?

Oct 8, 2019 - 6:45pm
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