REPE Options Post-MBA

I'm currently employed by a large and reputable REIT, my current position is rotational in nature meaning I interact with almost everything acquisition, development, operations etc. I plan on attending a top 10-20 MBA program in the near future. Post-MBA ideally I'd like to join a BB real estate group (BAML, JPM or MS).

Following my two or three years, I'd like to transition to a MF in their real estate group (ideally Carlyle) or top tier REPE firm, the only potential speed bump will be my UGPA if that's truly a deciding factor at that stage in my career.

My questions are how typical or possible is this sort of transition, what schools in the 10-20 range should I be targeting specifically and what can I do now in order to better position myself?

Comments (32)

Sep 13, 2016

you'll want a top 10 to get to NYC...it is very challenging getting to NYC beyond a T10 MBA program unless you have a very strong network there already. Why not just shoot for a fund right out of b-school? If you have REIT experience you are already a step ahead of many people who want to transition to the private side. IMO your odds of going to a fund are better right out of b-school than if you head to IB. It's rare for post MBA banking associates to transition to PE as those shops recruit analysts who are in their 1-2 year mark and are cheaper to bring on than an MBA. Just my $0.02.

Sep 13, 2016

I planned on targeting UNC, Duke, UVA and Cornell; How would you say those stack up? as I mentioned my poor gpa makes it tough to go top 10 despite my high GMAT.

Sep 13, 2016

So you want to do REIB at a BB and then try to go to a MF? REIB honestly will not be hard at all from any T20 MBA if you have any RE experience at all. Also, UGPA will not really matter at all for REIB if you're at a T20. As for MF it's going to be hard unless you go straight there from the MBA. Doing REIB as an associate at a BB will not really help like it would for UG.

Sep 13, 2016

Do any MF's have summer internships/recruit directly out of MBA programs for their real estate teams?

Sep 13, 2016

Those are all good schools and will help you get to where you want to go (if IB is that place). Know UNC places quite a few into IB, I'm sure Cornell and the rest do too. Agree with everything IRRelevant said above, though Eastcoast T20 programs obviously will place better to NYC banking than elsewhere as you'll have these firms coming to your campus to recruit. There are a handful of rotational programs that recruit from T15 (though again T10 will give you the best access/odds); shooting from the hip, I believe BX, Starwood, CIM Group, and Tishman have such early recruiting opps. The jump really occurs at M7 programs where most (if not all) REPE funds that take MBA's (rather than solely Analysts out of IB) will come to your campus. It can be done with networking (and your experience of course) outside of M7 but it's just more work.

Sep 13, 2016

Those are right. Would also add Invesco (quasi REPE could be separate account but hell it's listed on the PERE top 50), lone star and MSREF (or whatever it's called now).

Sep 14, 2016

Do you even need the MBA to make the jump? I know people who have gone from undergrad--> reit-->MFPE. Unless you want the MBA, is it really necessary?

Sep 14, 2016

You might have a concentration on real estate doing your MBA so it definitely would not hurt.

Sep 14, 2016

3 out of 3 associates at our shop have Ivy MBAs. None of them had Ivy undergrads.
The analyst does not have an MBA.
Seems to be quite common in NYC PERE.

Sep 14, 2016
Beny23:

You might have a concentration on real estate doing your MBA so it definitely would not hurt.

If you factor in opportunity cost, then there is a question of sacrificing 2 years of work experience for coursework and the degree.

chrisjr:

You might have a concentration on real estate doing your MBA so it definitely would not hurt.

Thanks, although I can understand why even people with good experience but non-target ug's might want to re-brand themselves. I am mostly wondering whether people with Ivy BA/BSs really need MBAs to advance past Associate. Also, if the degree helps at all in raising your own fund when you already have years of buyside work experience?

Sep 14, 2016
GorillaSachs:

I am mostly wondering whether people with Ivy BA/BSs really need MBAs to advance past Associate. Also, if the degree helps at all in raising your own fund when you already have years of buyside work experience?

The answer to your first question is no. There are multiple young guys at BX RE, multiple young guys at Walton St, and multiple young guys at Colony who have advanced passed Assoc without it. So "need" - no. Your second question I'm not so sure about.

Sep 14, 2016

If you look at Savannah (which I think is a great shop, good people) most do seem to have MBA or MSRED mainly from Columbia and NYU

Sep 14, 2016

Yeah I checked out the profiles for senior associates - principals for vanilla private equity for various firms. It really does seem true that they at least basically NEED the MBA, but whenever I checked the profiles for Real Estate in particular (like you said), it comes out to a ~50-50 mix of MBAs and Non-MBAs.

I suppose if one gets into H/S/W the advantages of having the network are too hard to turn down, because even undergrads from targets/ivies still bothered to get them.

Sep 14, 2016

Depends on the firm and what you want to do, but I'd say for PE, an MBA is common, and for the top PE shops (BX/Starwood) it is probably mandatory.

However, non-PE guys can tend to care less about a degree and more on "what have you done in RE". I had a new MBA but no RE experience, and had an amazingly hard time getting hired. The top PERE guys wouldn't talk to me at all. Needs to be a combo of either IB or PE and an MBA.

That said, I'd be shocked if a SVP/MD at Eastdil couldn't move across if they really wanted to. Though at that point, might not be worth the effort.

Sep 14, 2016

I'm a 1st year MBA candidate interviewing for a REPE summer associate position and the recruiter was quick to point out that IB was not a pre req. I do however have 3 yrs working in real estate investment management which is more relevant than M&a or advisory IB experience.

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Sep 14, 2016

Yes. Some REPE firms will hire right out of MBA without RE experience. You just need to really show why you want to work in RE.

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Sep 14, 2016

@RE_Banker since you mentioned "some firms", would doing a summer associate gig at a REIB (and potentially 2-3 years full time post grad) improve odds or would it be late to make that switch at age 32-33?

Sep 14, 2016

You don't necessarily need REIB to recruit into REPE out of an MBA program but as your questions are being asked in a vacuum, I'm not sure the answers you are getting really are helpful?

If you want to give us a little bit more about your background, maybe some of the more senior people here can be a bit more helpful?

Sep 14, 2016

Sure thing @mrcheese321 my U/G is architecture and urban planning from a state school w/ solid RE related extracurriculars; interned with a MFH developer junior year, and then sourced and managed a real project my senior year where I guided a real client through his entire TI build out, provided all the design work, and coordinated with the GC to ensure all the MEP/Arch were built correctly. Lateraled into construction project mgmt out of school where I spent 2 years as Assistant PM at a luxury custom homebuilder coordinating projects ranging from $4-15M (think 6K - 20K sqft custom homes). Obtained LEED AP credential and lateraled into CRE dev after this, where I spent 2 years at the top design-build dev firm in AZ, this time in a senior project engineering role on a historic $700M high rise office campus. Was involved in everything worked directly under the PM on the first $60M high rise (core/shell, TI, and retail) and led efforts in scope writing, bidding and price comps, subcontract drafting and execution, value engineering cost exercises, and general construction admin. Left the national design-build firm for T15 MBA where I'm in my first year and focusing on real estate finance and private equity. Very involved in extracurriculars (pres of grad RE club), portfolio mgr for REIT + REPE endowment funds (managing & investing real $), and currently looking at internships for both Spring (PT) and Summer (FT). Def shooting for reps with underwriting/transactions to get up to speed. Thanks to all in advance for your expertise.

Best Response
Sep 14, 2016

My original answer of not needing REIB to recruit into REPE still stands.

Learning ARGUS/Excel modeling is pretty much essential. Some REPE shops don't require that you know ARGUS, but why risk that black mark against you. Really, you should try and learn basic ARGUS/Excel modeling before you start any internships (assuming you take an acquisitions internship). It is going to be a long summer for everyone if the person you are interning for has to go back in and check every change you made in an ARGUS model because you aren't sure of your skill level.

To me your biggest issue is that you don't have the finance background. In theory, that is why you are doing the MBA. But book learning vs. experience is always a big discussion when hiring decisions are made. The internships will help defray some of that, but working for 10 weeks at an internship is not quite the same as having a few years of experience (which is the debate that my colleagues and I would have if you were a candidate we were considering).

However, the type of groups that you are hoping to interview for are generally tight knit and people don't really come and go very often, so fit is almost as important as experience. My RE group (125+ people) has a less than 3% turnover rate (people move intra-group, but nobody leaves the company). That means that while the lack of experience might hurt you, it won't straight up kill you as a candidate.

This summer, when we were hiring a new associate, we passed on a paper-perfect fresh-grad MBA and hired a CF guy because of fit. One of the acquisitions group did the same thing last year with an analyst spot - passed on an ivy finance undergrad for a non-target poly sci undergrad due to fit.

I'm not sure if REIB or going to a REIT is really going to be any easier than going straight to a REPE though. At the end of the day, all of those jobs are finance intensive so the same experience concern is going to apply.

Do I think you can network where you want to go - yes, with some hard work and a lot of luck.

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Sep 14, 2016

Short answer is that you don't need IB experience to break into REPE as is evidenced by my strange path to REPE. There are firms that want IB experience/Wharton MBA however there are just as many that just want a smart individual with a passion for CRE. As many on this forum have stated there is no one direct path. (1) A RE focused MBA might be moderately helpful however its not going to make or break you. Prior RE experience will definitely give you a substantial leg up. (2) Yes. Like you, I had no desire to go into banking and worked for a REIT in acquisitions and now work in REPE.

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Sep 14, 2016

You might find this website useful. Real estate positions only. Every so often a PE role pops up.

selectleaders . com

Sep 14, 2016

Thanks...seems like a great site. I had been using some overlapping sites, but this one seems more comprehensive.

Sep 14, 2016

Your gmat score is in no way relevant

Sep 14, 2016

I did not think that my GMAT was relevant either, but my score has been requested by multiple companies during my search. Not sure how much weight, if any, they put on it.

Sep 14, 2016

I think you'd be best served going after a senior analyst role at a REPE firm that focuses on an asset class you want to be in long term. Do that for a year or so and you should be able to move into an associate role given your brokerage background. You'll need to be able to tell a compelling story as to why you want to go from brokerage to acquisitions (don't say you want a role in "underwriting.") This shouldn't be hard, but don't assume your six years at Colliers and your MBA will have REPE firms climbing over one another to hire you.

Sep 14, 2016

bd.charlus, Thanks for your input! I am starting to think the same thing about the senior analyst role. And, honestly, I would be thrilled to get a senior analyst role and have to chance to work my way up with time.

Haha, I definitely am not under the illusion that any firms will be climbing over each other to hire me. I know the competition is very strong and the industry is competitive.

Sep 14, 2016
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Sep 14, 2016