What's Wrong with Warburg Industrial & Business Services?

Wanted to see if anyone here knew what's up with Warburg's IBS group - heard there's been a mass exodus of junior folk (mainly at associate level) with more wanting to hop out ASAP. I know work/life balance is brutal, but is it really that bad? Also, does this mean that the existing associates are overstaffed? Curious since this is a group I'd be interested in for on-cycle, but seeing an associate leave in half of year is a bit concerning...

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Comments (49)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Restr
Feb 22, 2021 - 3:59pm

Have a couple friends in that group that are alum. Haven't heard great things, but I think it's just coincidence/timing. Very few people I know at WP want to do the partner route, so it makes sense they try to exit before the summer. This happens at all megafunds - you're probably just closer connected to the firm due to MIT (I'm guessing from your name) so you heard about it. IBS is still a solid group but be prepared to grind. Hit the nail on the head when you said everyone is overstaffed right now

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Restr
Feb 22, 2021 - 4:59pm

Everyone bitches about their job, but I'm not sure that the other MFs are this bad. KKR and APO have been fine with their associates and analysts/ Sure, you're getting worked like a dog but that's the name of the game. Having nearly all your associates leave within a 9 month period.......MVP to the IBS staffer because he's clearly just a different breed when it comes to managing people. No wonder the firm beefed up their analyst recruiting; OP probably one of the few from a target that'd want to go to Warburg post IB lmfao

  • Senior VP in IB - Ind
Feb 22, 2021 - 4:19pm

Got some massive egos in this group so I'm not surprised. P.S. If you think right now is a lot, just wait until the aftermath. Couldn't tell you how many associates are going to be left come summer

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 22, 2021 - 8:15pm

Any gossip on the egos? Curious what that means in a megafund where personalities aren't as important as Robert Smith is to Vista (I didn't even know Warborg's CEO before googling).

  • Senior VP in IB - Ind
Feb 22, 2021 - 8:44pm

I was referring to at the VP/Principal level. Partners unsurprisingly chill unless their carry is being impacted by an underperforming team. There was a notorious VP in IBS that no one ever wanted to be staffed with. Associates would always try to get de-staffed since he's an a-hole. You're going to do BS analysis at any fund, but it was beyond reason. I think he's since spun out into a different group internally at WP, but the people ik who've jumped to HF have nothing good to say about him.

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  • VP in PE - LBOs
Feb 23, 2021 - 7:15pm

This is gossip from a banker, so probably bullshit, but I was told that Charles Kaye (the CEO) actually forced the other CEO (Joseph Landy) out, after working as co-CEOs. Likely says something about the cutthroat and intense culture that something like that was spread even if not true, interesting to see how under the radar they are versus more publically aggressive firms like Apollo. 

  • Analyst 2 in HF - EquityHedge
Feb 22, 2021 - 8:07pm

Saw this post which makes it seem like hours are on par with the typical offenders of most busy shops like Apollo, for what that's worth. The group does get great hedge fund exits so could argue you're getting something from the grind - know one of theirs went to a high quality family office, and another (believe she is on I&BS team, others let me know if I am wrong) is joining Pershing, was announced last week. Do wonder how they're responding given this was historically the top group

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 22, 2021 - 8:27pm

Any color on compensation? The thread you linked says it's bottom with WCAS of those listed. Thought the deal with APO and similar is you're paid for the grind, is the deal for these shops the exits, or is that incorrect? 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Restr
Feb 22, 2021 - 8:33pm

Comp is objectively lower and not worth based on my conversations with associates. Analyst comp is lower than boutique IB too. That being said, comp doesn't matter until you get carry in the fund but lol clearly people aren't staying long enough for that to even matter

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 22, 2021 - 9:10pm

The comp is what you'd expect if you were joining a megafund in 2010, they haven't kept up since. For some reason they see the associates and analysts as a way to cut costs - they pitch the analyst program as comparable to top boutiques but pay 40% less, and then wonder why turnover is so high

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Restr
Feb 22, 2021 - 8:31pm

Yup, she's going to Pershing as per Ackman's letter. Agreed that the exits are great, but it's also typically the best associates that exit. The ones that are staying seem to do an extra year, which to me implies they weren't top choice for partner track and couldn't leave to a shop they wanted. There's also no argument saying that exits from WP are better than any other MF. I will say hours for IBS are on average a lot worse than FIG, HC, and TMT.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Feb 23, 2021 - 7:34am

Have a friend at WP TMT - sounds like the group has been getting slaughtered this last year. They're also expected to source so they don't get downtime. From what I hear I don't think WLB in TMT is any better than IBS, can't speak to FIG or Consumer. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 22, 2021 - 8:38pm

Who is the associate that left after six months? Would you get a partial bonus? 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Feb 23, 2021 - 7:05pm

They pay as of date of hire - don't know the specific case that's being referenced, but speaks to how bad the culture must be if he left and gave up what was effectively a half earned bonus (though maybe was not that much judging from the comments about pay...)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 23, 2021 - 4:54pm

Is there any legitimate strategy to get a firm to raise comp for junior staff or is that just wishful thinking?

Feb 23, 2021 - 6:01pm

Wishful thinking, at least from personal experience (not at Warburg). Like it was basically useless to try and get anywhere with comp, career progression, or benefits such as co-invest. HR would nod their heads and say "oh yeah we're just doing some market landscaping before we make a decision" but then in reality just twiddle their thumbs and sit their with sticks up their asses. One year my old firm had no base increases across the board for my entire team. Total joke.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Growth
Feb 23, 2021 - 6:09pm

+1, would echo this. You should think about compensation as static from the day you sign at these megafunds - they know their prestige makes you replaceable at the junior level, so they're not going to change what they pay. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Feb 23, 2021 - 7:11pm

Take this with a grain of salt as I only know one person there and am not super close to them, but it seems like this was all due to COVID. I used to see them pretty frequently so life must have been good before COVID, but have only seen them once since August, so assume something changed with WFH to make it much worse. 

Most Helpful
Feb 26, 2021 - 4:43am

Your expectation going into a firm like Warburg needs to be really low in terms of having work life balance to be totally honest. I worked at a larger fund focused on a specific industry and it was beyond brutal for a number of reasons I could get into if there's any interest on that. Don't go in trying to decipher whether or not the hours or culture suck. Just expect that it will suck given it is likely you'll be thrown into the worst case scenario more often than you think. You'll gain great experience out of being there and come out really advantaged over other peers in terms of finding your next opportunity but it almost certainly won't be pleasant. 

I know I sound very cynical but after seeing multiple classes of associates come in and go through the same thing, I'm confident in my assessment.

  • 5
  • Associate 3 in ER
Feb 28, 2021 - 2:09am

Have only invested in these so would be interesting to hear about how they grind their juniors 

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