TMT M&A Graduate Intern in a recognized boutique vs. Analyst Intern in a well-known PE Fund

geobdh's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 11

Hello everyone!

I have been given the opportunity to join either Arma Partners, a fast-growing London-based TMT boutique as a Graduate Analyst for 6 months or TowerBrook (PE) for 6 months as an Analyst Intern.

I am much more interested in starting my career in a PE fund and I wanted to know what would be the smartest choice in that regard. Obviously I know PE funds are recruiting juniors on a very opportunitic basis and a more common track would be to do 2 years in IB.

Many thanks!

Comments (16)

Dec 2, 2016

I don't understand how you can be a graduate analyst but have a limited contract for 6 months. I am not that familiar with Arma's recruiting, but it seems strange. Either you are part of the graduate program or you are an analyst intern/intern after graduating.

Will both positions be based in London? Are you doing these after graduation with the hope of staying with Arma or TowerBrook and become a FT analyst? Have you discussed the option of staying for longer at TowerBrook? Do you have any other offers?

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Dec 2, 2016

Basically, Arma is recruiting Graduate Interns for a 6-month period with a possibility to be hired on a permanent basis afterwards with respect to your performance/fit.

Both positions will be based in London and I have already asked TowerBrook about being hired after my internship but I have been told it will depend on the moment/need for new resources...

As far as I am concerned I will graduate tomorrow afternoon and I am looking for a meaningful experience to start my career either in PE or IB but with a strong preference for PE. Indeed I have previously done 2 internships in PE and M&A, and I by far preferred PE.

Dec 2, 2016

Tough position to be in to be honest. What's the starting date for each position?

If you accept Arma, you will have a higher chance of landing a FT analyst position as it is probably more typical for them to offer it after the 6 months. Furthermore, accepting Arma's offer would allow you to have a credible story for why you'd want to do TMT PE afterwards and help with switching to PE in that regard. If you accept TowerBrook, it will probably be very hard to get a FT offer unless someone leaves or they are already understaffed (hard to tell from the outside and it is a generalization as I obviously have no idea about the need for resources inside TowerBrook).

Either way, you will most likely have to keep applying at other IBs and PE funds after you accept one of the positions, because you don't want to be out of a job after 6 months.

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Dec 2, 2016

Thanks for your post that's really helpful.

Arma would begin in January and TowerBrook in March.

Dec 2, 2016

Before I say anything else, thank you for the SBs. I appreciate it :)

Hm. I think it comes down to making a judgement call and how much risk you want to take. Arma has been doing quite well and there will probably be space for another analyst (or at least more likely than an analyst position opening up at TowerBrook). Is there a track record of TowerBrook promoting interns? If they have done it several times before, even if it is also highly circumstantial, you at least know that there is a precedent case on which you could build. All in all, I would lean towards accepting Arma. You can always keep in touch with TowerBrook and try to join them as an associate.

I would also see what others on WSO have to say about your situation and what their view is.

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Dec 2, 2016

Thanks for your reply.

Actually there is one precedent case at TowerBrook about an intern being hired as a FT analyst which is a pretty low ratio for sure.

Dec 2, 2016

It's true that the ratio is low. Then again, how many analysts do they hire every year? As I have said before, you getting a FT analyst position at TowerBrook will most likely depend on an analyst or associate leaving and you have no influence over that. If you accept Arma, your performance and fit with the team will have more of an impact.

Dec 2, 2016

I would say they are hiring 2 associates every year. They have currently one analyst in London so I guess they are really relying on interns teaming up directly with Associates.

Dec 2, 2016

That definitely sounds like they are trying to hire strong associates and "outsource" some of the work to good interns (as with most other PE funds). So I personally would only accept the TowerBrook position if you are very confident about your fit with the people at the fund and your ability to completely outshine your fellow interns as well as that other analyst. You will really need to demonstrate your value to the fund within the first 3 months or so.

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Dec 2, 2016

I totally agree with your last comment :)

Best Response
Dec 2, 2016

Actually, I want to offer one more piece of anecdotal evidence in support of my inclination of pursuing the position at Arma. I was in a similar position than you after graduating and went for the internship at a PE fund. The interviewers also told me that there was potentially the chance for me to become a FT analyst. On my first day at work, I find out that there were two interns who had been there for about four months and were in the final interview rounds, with one of them definitely becoming an analyst. All I am saying with this is that it is a black box and you have no idea what's on the other side and what your chance are/will be.

Either way, best of luck with your decision! We hope that you will be keeping us posted on your progress with whichever offer you choose and try to contribute to WSO with the insights you are going to learn :)

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Dec 2, 2016

Double post

Jan 4, 2018

TowerBrook is amazing but take the one who is more likely to make you an offer. If you do not have a decent job shortly after your graduation (M&A or PE or else) you can forget about any dream to land a top PE job in 2 years (whether or not you had an internship experience in PE). Life is not perfect!

Aug 26, 2018

Arma has very good exit opportunities in London and is known to be top-notch for TMT in Europe

Towerbrook PE is a well respected PE and also a good brand name

Can't go wrong with either of them