Transition MM Fund to MBA to Mega Fund

I have been working as an analyst at a local private equity shop located in Latin America which basically focuses on mid market investments in the regional market. The fund has a network with larger PE shops due to the fact that it sometimes co invests with larger shops in some deals taking advantage of their regional knowledge. The fund is small, about $150 AUM, but it is currently planning on raising a new larger fund in order to go after bigger deals (they have a very solid track record) so they are bulking up on personnel.

I was thinking of putting in about 3 years at this shop and later going for a top tier MBA.
I would like to eventually transition to a large buyout fund post MBA and was wondering whether I would have the necessary experience and background to be an attractive candidate for a larger shop. Is this doable or is the transition too difficult?

PS: the shop has co invested in large buyouts $1-3 billion dollar range but has had a minimal interest and I am a US citizen and fully fluent in Spanish

Comments (3)

Oct 7, 2010 - 12:34pm

Damn, that sounds like a sweet gig. Let me know if they would be interested in another US citizen that can sometimes comprehend Spanish, if spoken slowly, and who has been brushing up using Rosetta Stone.

Depending on how you got the job or why you took it, it would seem that you have a really good shot. I think a good bschool is easily on the radar given your international exposure and assuming you get good deal experience. From there it's about leveraging your connections from the bschool and your previous employer.

Ultimately it will come down to how the job market is (whether or not you get an interview) and if you do, then it will come down to you doing a good job during that interview. It seems like all the pieces of the puzzle are present for you, it just about weaving a good story and conveying your experience to that group. Obviously you would likely have a leg up on the competition if the particular fund you would be interviewing at hard a LA specific fund or at least focused on the area for certain investments, etc. Good luck and let me know about any analyst openings.


"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan
Oct 7, 2010 - 11:52pm

The transition will be difficult if you're looking to move to the Large-cap buyout world. I think you could definitely step up your fund size to a shop that is less than $1Bn in size assuming you get into a top MBA program. Once you're in the working world for a bit, the ability to land positions often relies on how well you interview and what/who you know. If you are getting a very good experience, have done a bunch of deals, and can present yourself well, you'll definitely be competitive for a bigger fund. This is a good thing because these are factors that you can control.

Now, questions for you: How necessary is Spanish to your position? I'm an intermediate Spanish speaker rapidly working towards fluency and am very interested in doing PE abroad. I've found it difficult to assess how much weight is placed on the ability to speak the local language when seeking these positions. Has your company ever considered hiring a non-Spanish speaker with the expectation that they would be fluent within a year or so?

Finally -- would you like to swap jobs starting next summer? You can come work at my MM PE shop for a few years.


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