West Coast Private Equity Firms with Great Lifestyles?

Monkeyfresh's picture
Rank: Monkey | 35

Hi,

I am starting to look into private equity associate recruiting, and an important factor to me is work/life balance. More specifically I mean:

  • ~60-70 hours a week in the office give or take
  • minimal weekend work
  • relatively relaxed office culture
    -any other company specific perks?

Interested in MM/MFs or any other "up and coming" funds in SF/LA that still have decent comp (but definitely willing to sacrifice money for less hours worked). Can anyone think of specific funds that might meet this criteria? Thanks!

Comments (19)

Aug 17, 2017

TPG is very good as far as megafunds go. Golden Gate is not.

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Aug 18, 2017

LA funds generally have more chill people and better culture than NYC (can't speak to SF) but you are still in the deal business. Not sure why you are planning to work in PE, but as a deal business, any half way decent fund that has dry powder and provides its associates with a good experience will not be chill. I've worked at 2 pe funds in LA and know the landscape fairly well, nobody is just chilling during the week most of my friends who are associates work ~8am-8pm. When deals pickup, its back to banking hours...

At more senior year levels (VP+ so Principal up) the hours get better but wouldn't count on that as an associate.

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Aug 17, 2017

Genstar.

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Aug 17, 2017

Got a buddy at Marlin, said the hours are around 8am - 8/9pm with minimal weekends, but I could be wrong.

Aug 18, 2017

Look at the growth/buyout funds like Norwest.

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Best Response
Aug 18, 2017

If you want to work at a legit PE shop and get a great experience, chances are you're going to get worked. Even LA PE firms that have "better cultures" than their NY and SF counterparts churn and grind their associates. Hell, VPs and Principals who are fighting to make a name for themselves and get that carry are burning late hours.

If you want a "lifestyle" gig, PE is likely not for you.

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Aug 19, 2017

Genstar and FFL have decent cultures. You will definitely work hard at an upper MM / megafund.

I would definitely avoid Golden Gate if you're concerned about working hard. Thoma and Vista are slightly better.

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Aug 20, 2017

As long as you have a VP trying to make Partner, you can bet your ass you're going to get worked to get him there

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Aug 22, 2017

Some may disagree with this, and it may sound obvious, but you should recruit for funds that invest in sectors in which you're genuinely interested. If you're working 80-90 hours / week, but you're interested in the investment itself, then it won't feel like 80-90 hours. You could be working 50-60 hours / week, but find the portfolio extremely boring, and it'll feel like 100+ hours.

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Aug 22, 2017

If you're working 50-60 hours a week as a FIRST YEAR associate, you're probably not at the right fund (for a variety of reasons).

Aug 22, 2017

Not sure how accurate that is... I have more than a few buddies working in lower middle market / middle market buyout, growth, and co-invest associate roles that work an average workday of 830am-630pm and very rarely are working weekends. Obviously larger platforms are going to be more demanding, but like I said, I know more than a few folks who would counter your assessment.

Aug 23, 2017

You're all absolutely right. My comment was just for reference. If you're not interested in the portfolio itself then the days are going to drag a hell of a lot more than if the investments peak your interest. That's all.

I think it's rather obvious that you can expect to work longer hours at the brand name shops vs. lower middle market firms for a multitude of reasons.

Aug 23, 2017

hmmmm let me think? How about the one that gives you an offer, if you get an offer, you should go with that one.

Aug 25, 2017
Comment
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