Some cultural red pills on applying for PE in London

Some of these similar to US funds, some quite different:

  • 25% of PE jobs here require someone with European language, and typically it will be 1 or 2 specific ones they look for (ones I see most often are French, German, Swedish, Dutch)

  • If you want large cap or mid cap PE, its pretty damn near impossible to get in if you're not at a bulge bracket. There are some exceptions such as PE for a couple specific industry sectors where bulge brackets are relatively weak, so funds in these sectors look at people outside of the bulge and people from boutiques

  • PE process can be very slow. I've been in processes that have dragged on for 6 months from first round to final round, so if you're looking to move around a certain time you should start looking at minimum 6 months before. In my experience IB processes here take about 1 month, PE processes take at minimum 2 months

  • Culturally speaking PE in London is still very much Anglo white male dominated, like 80%. If there is any diversity it will be mostly European white male or female. I just make this point bc I see some i-banks promoting diversity in their hiring - there is no such push in the PE world at all, and probably never will be. Industry is too small for them to care.

  • What uni you went to far less important for PE than IB, assuming you are at a bulge bracket. For example, if fund has interview slot left for 1 person but two CVs from Barclays with 3 years experience but one from Oxford and one from Nottingham, PE fund will not necesssarily pick Oxford CV. They're more likely to look at deal experience on the CVs and decide based off that

If you're not at a bulge bracket, having either Oxbridge or LSE on your CV will help though. This benefit doesnt apply to other universities.

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