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Apr 7, 2021 - 10:16am

Worked at Blair in their tech group. A few points:

1) Blair doesn't staff based on location, so there isn't really "Blair SF". The analyst experience and the deals you work on are the same whether you are in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco or somewhere else (although this is less true for European offices). That said, people tend to recruit for positions close to them due to convenience and reluctance to move to a completely new city after building a network for 2 years, so there are predictably more SF exits from Blair SF.

2) The exits are what you would expect, generally people choose to exit to start-ups, VC, Growth Equity, or MM funds. This has been covered on other forums, but at the end of the day, WB has been incredibly strong/ the best at winning sell side mandates for software businesses from $100M - $1Bish. They have recently done quite a few deals above $1B as well, but a majority are in that $100M-$1B range and I don't know if I have ever heard of a $5B+ deal in the tech group. Many of the businesses they work on are cash flow negative businesses/ growth businesses. As a result, the experience from Blair is most relevant to growth investing or investing in transactions that are below $1B, I also think many analysts gain appreciation for growth businesses because that's more or less all you look at for 2 years. 

It's a roundabout way of saying I think largely due to self-selection, very few people go to megafunds. Anecdotally, I know an individual who recruited and was able to get interviews at everyplace he wanted however. So, really I think your exits are going to more be defined by interest, other parts of your resume, and how you interview. Ultimately it's a tough sell for megafunds though because your experience is just less relevant in terms of size of transactions you've seen, but it's been done before. You will have no problem exiting to any strong mm, growth, or VC shop if other parts of your resume are up to par. That said, many that recruit (generally, not a Blair exclusive problem), their resumes aren't actually up to par. From my experience, I think many IB analysts are pretty arrogant regarding recruiting, thinking that if they worked a 2 year stint they are entitled to a buy-side position. The truth is, every candidate has a 2 year stint and other parts of your resume or your specific transaction experience/ responsibilities end up being the differentiator. In terms of career planning, if I were you and your dream job is megafund PE/ you are most concerned about prestigious exits, don't consider the office, the firm, or the MM at all. But, if you want a career investing in or operating growth businesses or early stage companies, hard to argue you would get a better experience anywhere else--including a BB or EB frankly.

  • Intern in AM - Other
Apr 8, 2021 - 6:32pm

Very helpful. Another quick question. So I understand that the tech-group is cross staffed across multiple offices, but is the SF office solely tech? As in does recruiting for the SF office guarantee you'll be in the tech coverage group? Vs if you recruit for the Chicago office there's no way to know which group you'll be placed in?

Apr 8, 2021 - 8:30pm

SF office has some healthcare, but you are pretty accurate in that if you recruit there you will almost certainly end up in tech. For other locations, generally group placement tracks with where your internship was (although some people move over from internship to fulltime). Group placement at the internship level is largely about networking/ where demonstrated interest is displayed. If you express interest and effort into meeting more individuals in the tech group they likely will request for you to be working in that group for your summer unless you bother people in that group/ the group doesn't want you. I think its easy to get placed where you want, you just need to be more proactive about it/ ask current analysts once you get an offer. 

Apr 7, 2021 - 1:37pm

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