Recruiting timeline for megafund?


Hey monkeys,

With all the BBs starting off already, it seems like recruiting timelines shifted up again. Have any of you heard when megafunds (KKR, Blackstone, TPG, etc.) start recruiting for next summer SA?

Comments (53)

Apr 1, 2018 - 2:19pm

if PE firm start interviewing 1 year before hiring date, so let's say march-april for start next summer, what deal experience/financial modelling skills can you possibly have 10 months into your job??? As a new graduate you join the firm in july and you start PE interviews in march. What can you possibly know in that short amount of time? It makes sense to be interviewed few months before joining, so you'll have 1 1/2 -2 years of experience but 10 months in? this whole deal experience doesnt make any sense if they recruit so early.

Apr 1, 2018 - 2:21pm

ok, modelling maybe but deal experience (arguably one of the most important things they look for) not. Even if you work for a top BB you are unlikely to have good deal experience because your VP/MD will rather hand out work to 2nd year, 3rd year analyst who has more experience than a 10 month analyst. Maybe you close a deal but thats it. The first year is more of a learning curve than anything solid. Transaction involvement comes after that first year of "learning".

Apr 1, 2018 - 2:23pm

How are you guys counting 10 months anyway? Most banks start late June / early July, and have 4-6 weeks of training. So essentially you don't start with your group until at least August. If these megafunds are already interviewing / handing out offers, that means they started collecting resumes in March-April already. So that's only 8-9 months of experience as a 1st year Analyst. And as others have pointed out above, you will not get staffed on the top deals when you just start out. So yeah, it is definitely not a legit system for these megafunds to recruit so early. It's really just a matter of first mover, cause the top funds want to compete for the top talent.

Apr 1, 2018 - 2:27pm

How many guys does each megafund interview? If there are 100 analysts at GS, 100 at MS, and 50 at BX+LAZ+GHL+EVR, is it safe to say that even being at one of these places you will likely only receive 1 megafund interview?

How do they decide who to give the interviews to from this pool of 250 banking analysts? Only based on group?

Best Response
Apr 1, 2018 - 2:33pm

to confirm what others have said, the big guys have already been interviewing and have already been giving out offers

The candidates different megafunds target first are overlapping and can/will interview at all the big shops. They will be the top analysts from the top groups on wall street. When I was interviewing, we sort of thought of it as GS TMT and FIG + MS M&A first. Some good Sponsors groups and GS/MS in general probably came next. Also some good boutiques/smaller shops. You would see the same analysts sitting in the waiting rooms at the big funds on interview days.

Once one megafund decides to start recruiting, they all have to start or they get the leftovers. I've heard of the big shops trying to collude a bit and hold off on recruiting (of course they'd prefer to interview someone with more experience vs less) but they also have to compete with big hedge funds and someone might cheat

Although I've never seen it, I've heard from multiple people that the headhunters put together a book ranking IB analysts. During my interview season, a girl I knew from school (she was just about to graduate and start at MS) said she saw my name high up on a list of 1st year analysts that her brother had in his apartment. He worked at a top 10 AUM buyout fund.

You get placed high in the book based on your group, your reputation in the group, and i guess your resume. headhunters will call people they know from the groups for recommendations (i think usually more junior people..maybe 2nd year analysts they have placed already. as a placed 2nd year ANL, i was called about our 1st years. guys above me told me they recommended me when i was a 1st year. I remember a director telling me the HHs kept leaving him v-mails with questions about analysts and he just ignored them ).

Headhunters generally target specific groups first and call all 1st yrs in for meetings to feel them out. they do the initial screening for the big funds. At my current shop, some associates complain that they recommend analysts they know to our HR but those analysts don't get interviews because they weren't recommended by our HH. (side note on HH recruiters - they are brokers looking for a fee. they aren't interested in your career or well being. 2 recruiters at a HH that covers multiple funds could be competing/not cooperating. they'll want you to interview and take offers at their accounts. could be issues with conflicting interview times or something similar)

Funds usually don't call more senior bankers in your group until after they've screened you in a first round inteview. that being said, if you are reasonably close to a MD, D, or solid VP that has good relationships with people at buyout fund, you could probably let them know that you're interested and they might be able to suggest you for an interview. sometimes people at buyout funds will also call bankers to ask if they have any recommendations for interviews (this is more rare, but I did see it w/ multiple bulge bracket funds).

If you do try to go through a senior banker to get in good at a buyout fund, you need to realize that a) if the sr banker doesn't think youre that awesome, they likely won't recommend you (obvious) or even mention your name to the PE relationship, and b) if they put your name in to get you an interview and you don't perform or you tell them you're really interested in some fund, they go to bat, and then you flake on that fund, that banker will be pissed at you

Apr 1, 2018 - 2:40pm

i'm shocked how out of the loop you guys are. pick up the damn phone and call some head hunters, friends, or random people you met while networking. i'm not doing PE recruiting (looking at hedgies only) and even i know about more this than some of you guys. stop being lazy, boys and girls.

anyway, here's the scoop: the majority of the mega funds have already started their interview process this week. Once it starts, it ends quickly. As we speak right now, many of these places are already wrapping up their hiring for next summer/fall start - e.g. TPG and Apollo were among the first to start and are basically done with their class of 2011 already. Other top tier megafunds like BX, Providence, H&F, Bain Cap, Silver Lake, etc. are very close to done if not already done. KKR and Carlyle, I believe, were a bit slow to start this year but I heard they're close to wrapping up their process too. A lot of the top-tier mid-market shops are also in the same boat. Hiring level at a lot of these places are basically back to pre-credit crisis levels. This is a really good sign that the major PE players expect deal activities to pick up significantly in the next 1-2 years (not to mention all the dry powder out there).

Basically, if you're still in the "how do i get on their radar screen and get an interview" stage, i'm afraid your odds at this point are pretty dim. However, there are still plenty of mm and smaller sized shops, but you need to get on the horse soon. good luck!

Apr 1, 2018 - 2:37pm

oh and one other thing i forgot to add is that if you're a consultant, the timing situation is a little better for you. some of the large-cap funds that like to hire a few consultants each year tend to hold additional interviews for M/B/B folks a little bit later. for whatever reason, the competition for top IB analysts is more fierce among the mega funds than for M/B/B analysts/"associates".

Apr 1, 2018 - 2:39pm

^ MBB consultants are already interviewing as well. A friend of mine at BCG already got an offer from Bain Cap. It looks like all the megafunds hit hard very early.

yes, i know. but i think in past years, some of these shops have held additional interviews at a slightly later time for consultants, partly because consultants tend to decide about job change / industry switch a little bit later than ib analysts do. they might do it again this year.

Apr 1, 2018 - 2:43pm

KKR was recruiting at the end of the summer last year.

yes but last year was a vastly different market environment for recruiting. most megafunds were recruiting in july/august.

this year, KKR started early last week and has already made several hires as of early this week. i'm not sure if they're done with class of 2011 recruiting already, but if they're not, they must be pretty close. for people who aspire to work at KKR, you should call their headhunter asap.

Apr 1, 2018 - 2:47pm

so going back to a previous question. What would you do to pursue these megafunds if your not in a top group, just a solid group.

need to talk to headhunters and network directly. those are basically the only two ways to get in. you can't get an interview if you can't find a way to get your resume in, it's as simple as that.

this takes some work and you need advanced planning. come up with a list of places where you want to work at, find out who their head hunters are, and get yourself on their radar screen. sometimes head hunters can be brand whores (e.g. won't push hard for an analyst at jefferies to tpg), so you'll need to be persistent and be able to demonstrate that you're a great candidate.

secondly, network on your own through people you know, friends of people you know, college alum network, etc. etc. contrary to what you'd believe, PE and hedge funds don't mind getting resumes from referrals (makes it easy for them to obtain quick references on you, and if they hire you vs. someone through HH, they save a big pile of dough)

good luck!

Apr 1, 2018 - 2:49pm

Analysts at GS TMT, GHL, BX and LAZ get interviews everywhere.. and yes, I mean all of them. Have several friends at BX, GS TMT and GHL and they have all said that their whole class interviewed at basically all of the mega funds. That may be the case at EVR now, but I cannot say. MS M&A and Sponsors is the same.

So outside of GS, MS and some of the elite boutiques, do the analysts at the other bulge's (JPM, BAML, CS, DB, etc) basically get invited to interview at most PE shops as well?

In a very general sense, do most PE shops have a preference for TMT analysts, when it comes to recruiting from coverage groups among the bulge brackets (notwithstanding GS obviously has the best TMT group)?

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