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Comments (16)

Jan 12, 2017 - 10:30pm

Can't contribute much in the way of specifics but both are top notch firms with great reputations. I'd pick based on whatever culture felt the best

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Best Response
Jan 13, 2017 - 10:40am

I knew quite a few people who worked at these 2 firms, they are both top firms so you can't really go wrong with either. Keep in mind that both are headquartered in London so although their NYC offices are large, they are still satellite offices.

Apax: Global platform and great people overall. Siloed into industry groups so you get placed into one right away and culture can vary quite a bit between groups (going from hard-working to sweatshop), Has very formal IC which holds all key decisions (and is in London which is a bitch logistic wise). Friends there all swore that they were the PE firms that spent the most time writing books for their IC. Lots of focus on career development and pretty much places 100% of associates at HSW. Structured like most american funds so program is 2 and out, but does retain a fair amount of associates post-MBA (although a quite a few pivot outside PE post bschool). Performance has been consistently good. Also very operationally involved (if that's something that interest you). They also staff way more people on deals than similar funds (but then spend way more time writing decks for their IC). View from the NYC office is really awesome

BC Partners: Good deal flow, very, very hardworking. More Europe centric so recruitment / career development is less structured and lots of people advance without bschool. Has significant % of associates going to non HSW (Booth, LBS, Insead, CBS, etc).

At the end of the day, you should choose based on where you think you will fit the best.

Dec 24, 2018 - 5:05pm

For Apax, would you know more group specific culture information? Happy to PM if you're open to chatting!

Array
  • Associate 3 in PE - Growth
Mar 14, 2021 - 2:00pm

Would also love to know reputation of different groups in London. Can I DM?

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Jan 13, 2017 - 11:20am

Apax: Not sure about the consistent performance, I know a couple of former associates in the London office (2012-2014 era) that complained frequently about bad performance, high senior turnover and too large deal teams that created superfluous work (i.e. people make unneccessary mark-ups without value-add just to "show" that they have some work, after X senior people marked it up previously). Would suggest you read some articles regarding their partner turnover, performance and mediocre fundraising success (for their most recent fund they have been out 2
years to come out below target, in an environment were most PE firms have final closings after half a year.
Links: http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-apax-idUSBRE8550ML20120606
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-apaxpartners-fund-idUSBRE95K13E201306…
https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/apax-partners-nears-final-close-on-9b…

They are very strict regarding up-and-out, but place very well into B-school (as had been mentioned previously). Quite a few former associates decided not to pursue an MBA and come back though, lateraling to other funds or funding their own ones (their are a couple of prominent European first-time funds founded by Apax alumni in recent years).

To be fair, I have the impression that they stabilized in the last 1-2 years, but dont have any first hand insights anymore.

BC Partners: Great reputation in Europe, I know a couple of guys in one of their European offices that are very happy, career progression (at least Associate to Principal, not sure afterwards) is good and they have low turnover and no strict policy on having to do an MBA. Did some great deals in Europe and start their work many months ahead of the processes, putting them in really good positions once the processes kick off.

Hope that helps

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jul 13, 2020 - 1:13am

Apax has struggled in recent years. The big issue is that their 2007 fund is running at a 4.67% IRR (Q3 '19), which doesn't engender confidence to succeed across cycles.
https://www.calstrs.com/sites/main/files/file-attachments/private-equit…

Apax TMT has performed better but it is not true that returns have been consistently good. Apax struggled to raise its recent fund / it took them quite a while:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-11/apax-crawls-toward-1…

BC has also seen better days (same file above). BC is also a substantially more European than global fund. I would suspect (but cannot confirm) that Apax NY has more dealflow/presence than BC. BC's big claim to fame is Petsmart-Chewy.

Jul 14, 2020 - 2:05am

I would said this is somewhat dated. I've seen LP docs at an internship benchmarking a number of funds and returns for many of the europe players (permira, cinven, cvc, apax) were top quartile and decile in some cases. Would agree 07 fund did poorly, they downsized by 40-50% and have since done very well. Same for permira.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Jul 14, 2020 - 2:34am

Apax's recent fundraise is not dated. It is a recent event. It took them materially longer to raise the fund than Permira, Cinven and CVC.

It is true that Permira, Cinven and CVC have done well recently. None of their funds had an '07 IRR as low as 4.7%. Permira's '06 fund, for example, is 7.8%. Thus, that is reflected in faster and larger fundraises.
https://www.calpers.ca.gov/page/investments/asset-classes/private-equit…

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Growth
Nov 1, 2020 - 10:48am

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