Hey everyone. The ink has just barely dried on my accepted offer to join a boutique private equity firm as an analyst, but I think now is a better time than any to tell you how I made the jump to private equity from a VERY non-target background. My Bio: A little bit about me: I graduated from a Canadian university with a finance degree from a relatively unknown business program (I was in the third class of graduates ever), had ho-hum grades and no relevant internships. I was pretty keen on becoming an analyst at an investment bank, but with almost no alumni network and an extremely rigid
12 Jan 2018
All - Some of you might be knee-deep in the MBA application process (currently Round 2), and others might be considering applying next year. I was in your shoes about a year ago and know how convoluted the process can be - it's about as "black box" as it gets. Before I get any further - a bit about myself. I'm currently a first-year student (RC) at HBS. I've been a WSO reader and poster for over 10+ years now, and the community single-handedly got me through investment banking recruiting as an undergrad, and private equity recruiting pre-MBA. A couple of HBS / GSB / Wharton friends and I
20 Feb 2018
Greetings fellow monkeys, I'm currently an IBD associate at a BB, who did not get an MBA. Instead, I spent a few years as a corporate lawyer at one of the larger NY firms (e.g. Weil, Skadden, Cravath). I've been reading a lot on this site about how "impossible", "improbable", etc. it is for an associate to break into private equity, but no real solutions on what to do. Putting all of the negativity aside, what are the steps that should be taken to maximize my chances of getting into a reputable PE shop? I understand that it'll be a long and difficult road, but getting into PE is really why I made the switch from law in the first place. And before the WSO trolls start attacking, I've already done the following:
20 Dec 2014
I'm currently working in IBD and after weighing up what I want to do next, PE seems to be the winner as I've found myself becoming increasingly interested in the industry and the nature of the work. However, from my standpoint, it seems like the industry is way too crowded, too much capital chasing too few deals; there's nothing like an overly competitive auction process to kill your IRR.
23 Nov 2014
Been at an elite boutique in M&A in a major city (not NYC) for about 2 years now. At first, I was interested in continuing on as an associate (my firm allows A to A), but I'm leaning towards PE now. Given hours, I find myself exhausted, with little time to prep for PE recruitment. I know people on this forum are risk-averse and would say to continue in IBD while PE recruiting, but I definitely think I would find a PE job faster if I could dedicate myself full time to that. My firm hasn't historically been open to PE recruiting, but they are starting to change. Can't really get out of doing
11 Jan 2018
I'm a college senior at an Ivy skating through the end of my senior year, awaiting the upcoming summer where I will begin as an Analyst in a top BB Group (think GS TMT, GS HC/CR, GS FIG, MS Menlo, MS M&A). I've been thinking about my options as far as the next couple years, and with the group I'm working in, there are options to work internationally, potentially for a 3rd year as an analyst in a good European group within the European branch of the firm. I would really like to spend a year abroad, as I studied abroad in an intensive program during school and really enjoyed it, and I think work
04 Apr 2016
I haven't really posted on WSO before, but this community was extremely helpful to me during my job search and interview process, so I thought I would make myself available to answer questions about my experience for others out there. As way of background, I graduated from a target school > management consulting > boutique investment bank > currently PE (larger end of middle market, think >$2.5B fund). I definitely took a less traditional path to where I am, and I also went through HF interviews, so I'm happy to answer any questions (or at least share my personal perspective) about recruiting
16 Jan 2016
Paine Schwartz Partners ~$1.4B AUM New York, NY "A global leader in sustainable food chain investing, Paine Schwartz Partners is a private equity firm that focuses on investment opportunities in the fast-growing, dynamic global food and agribusiness sectors. The firm's investment, operations and finance professionals invest throughout cycles across the food and agribusiness value chain, and bring a collaborative and active management approach to portfolio companies." I recently met briefly with a guy who has been there for a while and he seems to love his job. Currently off traveling so I can
22 Jul 2017
I'm a 1st year analyst in a MM in lev fin and am looking into taking the CFA® this year. I've read a lot though that for banking and PE it's not really beneficial. I would be doing it against my banking hours too. The views of any experienced bankers and PE guys would be really helpful here in deciding if it's worth the 200-300 hours just to have it in terms of future career prospects and its value.
16 Jan 2016
I am currently in the interview process in Chicago with several banks, with a few offers on the table. The banks are 'elite' boutiques, regional BBs, and multiple upper MM firms. I really like one of the upper MMs (Baird/Blair), but want to know how that will affect my opportunities two and three years down the road.
26 Nov 2014
I'm currently in my first year of ibanking and in my limited free time I often think about--as I'm sure many other do--getting a top bucket bonus, going on to an elite buyside firm, then to HSW, partner at a PE firm, yada yada yada. Now while if everyone on this forum could make partner at KKR by 30, everything would be fine and dandy. But the reality is that that's just not in the cards for everyone (or barely anyone, really), and while it was difficult to get to where I am now, the difficulty of actually fulfilling that path is 50x harder.
20 Dec 2014
Hi all - first of all, I would like to thank the WSO community for being a helpful resource during my recruiting process for investment banking. With WSO's help, I have been fortunate enough to secure a FT offer from a BB in Asia. Recently, I have been thinking a lot about my short-term career plans and would love to get WSO's inputs.
24 Feb 2015
Received a FT offer to start at industry group with decent deal flow history in European BB in London next year. I know some BBs in the lower half of the informal "prestige rankings" certainly place analysts into top PE funds but realistically is it an uphill struggle if you're not at GS/JP etc. in London? Would headhunters sniff around average analysts from some banks but only the stars from others? Thanks
31 Aug 2016
Hey guys - long time reader but first time poster here - thanks to everyone for all that you do. I am currently an analyst in a MM M&A group. I have had a couple PE interviews with different MM firms and I have repeatedly got some questions that I didn't really know how to answer in a good way. I was hoping you guys could give some thoughts. The questions are: 1. If i talked to your Associate, VP, MD, etc. what are some things they would say you do well and some things that you don't do well? (The "what do you do well" is easy enough to answer, but I'm not really sure what they are looking
12 Jan 2018
I was just wondering, for those of you who are in PE after Investment Banking: What do you like better in PE than IBD (other than hours and pay) Is compensation really that higher? Are the hours really less? What skills did you learn in IBD that you could use in PE? Do you regret your decision, or not? and why?? Thanks for helping out, I'm just trying to get things clear in my mind. I'm interning in two BBs in Investment Banking, and I'm starting to think PE might be cool since you're the decision making guy you know, you do the execution .. Thanks in advance.
02 Feb 2015
Hey WSO, I attribute a lot of my success to this forum so hoping I can get some more helpful advice. I am currently at a top BB Public Finance IBD shop in NY and wanting to make the transition to the buyside, primarily interested in growth equity (PE) or distressed debt (HF). Obviously, like all other new-comers at banks, I get a ton of buyside emails from headhunters and such, requesting to speak and to learn more about you and see if you are a good fit for their buyside clients, but I feel like I never get too much traction because I'm not their traditional analyst and they want to increase their chances of me landing something. My question is, is there any successful way to get to talk to HF/PE funds to increase my chances?
08 Feb 2015
First year analyst about to start working at a top tech group at a BB in New York. Being originally from the West Coast, I was wondering how difficult it is to exit into PE on the West Coast. Given that I'm working in NYC, will I be contacted only by recruiters looking to fill east coast positions? I'm specifically interested in working at a tech-focused private equity firms (Silverlake, Francisco Partners, Vista Equity, etc.) or possibly a growth equity fund in SF.
08 Jul 2015
I am currently a student at Texas A&M in the Business Honors program studying Finance and Accounting. I want to serve as a Navy SEAL at some point during my life, but I want to end up working in Investment Banking, and eventually Private Equity. My school has a great deal of recruiting events and internship possibilities for Wall Street firms. However, my concern is that if I graduate in a few years and intern while I am a student, then go off to serve for 6 years, I feel that although I would have connections with the companies I interned at, they would have been weakened by my absence. Would
07 Oct 2016
Hello everyone! Glad to join the fine lads present in this forum after a couple of years living in anonymity. As the beginning of my 3rd year approaches, I am starting to consider my options for next summer, with private equity in a solid first place. I am looking for anyone who can shed some light on who are the key headhunting firms for private equity and VC in Europe (say, London and Southern Europe). Looking particularly for those with whom the big names work (Carlyle, PAI, Permira, CVC, Cinven, BC, Blackstone, Bridgepoint...). Thanks,
16 Jun 2015
Hey Guys, Wanted to get some advice as an Analyst at a Asset Manager ($1-5B AUM) trying to break into PE. I started applying this weekend and just got a call for a first round interview. However, I am a little worried because I have very little experience with real world valuation/modeling as my previous role was more research and analytical based (Our strategies were all run by algos). I have done a decent amount of prep and feel comfortable answering basic DCF, WACC questions but I don't want my lack of work on deals to hinder me too much. I was wondering if anyone else has run into this or
08 Dec 2015
Thoughts on these two firms? Was deep in the process with both over the last 2 days and have final rounds coming up. Comp, hours, and career progression? NY office. Please help. I need to know asap.
12 Jan 2017
Summer analyst at a BB in IBD. Really enjoying my internship and plan to return full time, same group if I get the offer. Our staffer is an analyst promote to VP and I was able to chat with him a bit about his experiences last night and why he stayed; his response was that after you put in your dues as an Analyst and Associate you get an excellent life as a senior banker and (to my question) that many of the other analysts he started out with who jumped now mention to him how they regret having moved. Was curious if this was anyone else's experience, or whether (either to MM PE, megafund
06 Aug 2016
I have a final round superday at Blackstone this upcoming Friday. Already had first round phone interviews with 4 different groups (PE, Tac Opps, Strat Partners, RE). I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on how their super days are structured and what to expect? How behavioral/technical? How to best prepare? Would really appreciate any information, thanks!
10 Oct 2015
I will be a first year at a BB beginning this summer and have an interest in private equity down the road. I have heard from many friends who just went through recruiting (mostly megafunds) that SAT scores come up in headhunter meetings or in interviews. While this topic has been discussed on this site previously, my SAT scores are uniquely atrocious. My math and verbal combined are comfortably below 1200. I'm convinced I have the lowest scores of any incoming BB analyst and am concerned this will destroy any chance I have of attaining a buyside job. I am interested in MM and lower MM shops
29 Mar 2015
Hi guys. So I chose not to recruit my first year, and I'm trying to lock down a third year at my firm. Unfortunately, they don't give guaranteed third year offers until after on-cycle recruiting ends. The head of my team (M&A at an elite boutique) said he'd be willing to pull for me w/ regards to either PE recruiting or a third year during the winter, but I'm curious how this will affect my recruiting chances at upper MM funds. If I go interview at a fund as a second year without a guaranteed third year offer, just my personal guarantee that I will do banking my third year (and the rec of my
20 Jul 2017
I was admitted to Wharton and Columbia undergrad, and I have to make my decision soon. I definitely want to pursue an MBA regardless of where I go, but I'm wondering: coming out of Wharton and having spent time on the Street, would MBA programs (like HBS) give me a hard time since they'd think I'm just a money-grubby person? Also, would it be dumb to pursue an MBA out of Wharton given that it's "business and more"/an MBA-level undergrad education already?
12 Apr 2016
I was just wondering if anyone had ant advice/ experience on the feasibility of breaking into a PE Megafund (Blackstone/KKR/TPG) from a non target IBD group. For some background, I'm a diverse senior at a target school entering a renewable energy coverage group at a mid-tier BB. Half of the deals you work on are funded by the bank itself and the other half are funded by PE firms. The group is fairly small so the modeling experience is stellar. To be even placed in the group, I had to construct an LBO given certain conditions. Anyway, I'm just wondering how feasible it'd be for me to place into
29 Oct 2017
I know Lazard has the prestige, deal flow etc in the US, but in London it has only done really well recently. Apparently it is better to start off in an position in a BB, as you could always move to boutiques after and it is just generally easier to move to the buy-side/other opportunities after as that's how recruiting seems to work in Europe. I like both a lot and I know the differences between the two in terms of atmosphere etc. If anyone with any banking/buy-side experience in London could offer advice, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
15 Dec 2014
A friend gave me this question, but we couldn't quite agree. Not looking for a quantitative answer so let's not get wild with assumptions chasing a number, but for illustration's sake, let's say we're talking about a subordinated note with a base of 10% cash interest. If given the option, would the sponsor rather it become 13% cash interest or 10% cash + 3% PIK? A friend gave me this question, but we differed a little on the answer. Here's my thinking: A sponsor would rather have the increase in cash interest. An increase in PIK debt does increase your cash but (1) assuming you've got a sweep
08 Feb 2018
XYZ Capital is an investment fund deploying capital across multiple sectors in frontier markets. Currently XYZ's MGL office is inviting individuals to join its local investment team. XYZ is not necessarily seeking CFAs, individuals with prior finance experience or business degrees. Rather, the company is looking for highly motivated individuals who have the ability to think outside the box, analyse information in a creative way and challenge conventional thinking. Assessments and hiring decisions will be based on a set of logic reasoning questions which will be set out in plain English. Anyone
18 Jun 2015
Hi all, I have an offer from CPP Investment Board in their Private Equity division. I also have another offer from Jefferies in IBD. I was wondering which route you would recommend? I don't think CPP IB offers much in the way of leverage to get into the larger more PE firms as there is no sell side experience (they manage their own assets of $275bn). Do you think having that as an internship would put me on the back foot when looking for a full time IBD offer? Cheers in advance.
18 Jan 2016
Hey guys, I am currently an MBA student at H/S/W. My goal is to get into i banking as an associate and move to a PE or HF afterwards. I know it is common for IBD analysts to move to PE/HF, but how about for associates? and what type of roles am I most likely to get (partner track, etc)? I am a CFA and have been in finance for 4 years now (investment consulting). Thanks for any ideas.
02 Apr 2014
I accepted an offer to join BAML this summer as a sophomore IB analyst. I am wondering which group would best position me for PE. Right now I am debating between LevFin and Financial Sponsors.
11 Mar 2015
I graduated in May 2014 and am entering my second-year as an analyst at a middle-market IB. The winter recruiting season for PE kind of snuck up on me and I missed the train entirely. Given that the majority of PE firms have already hired their summer 2016 class, I am a little worried at how my chances stack up. Should I participate in recruitment this winter for the summer 2017? Would it look bad transitioning to PE after three years of IB? Any thoughts / advice on how to approach the recruiting timeline would be helpful.
12 May 2015
Hello All! This Q&A is intended to address all of your questions about getting into, moving around within, and how to get out of Investment Banking. There are similarities and nuanced differences for trying to break into banking as an experienced professional at different levels be it analyst, associate, VP, etc. Once at a bank, it usually takes people anywhere from 12-18 months to figure out if "this is my home" for the next 5 years. Many people's first lateral position is just a stepping stone to their ultimate ambition, whether it's to a different type of bank, a job on the buyside (PE/VC) or to get into a great Corp Dev or start-up role.
02 Mar 2015
Hey guys, I have been told Lev Fin is the best group for PE opportunities. Does anyone have any insight into which banks have the strongest brand (I am thinking JPM, GS, BAML, or C)? Thanks
22 Apr 2014
Hi, I'm an analyst in a big boutique in LA (think Moelis, Houlihan, Lazard, etc.) focused on M&A and LBO work. I'm desperate to move to NY after the end of my first year or my second year to a PE gig. Any recs on how to do this? Should I move to a different bank first? Seems like everyone wants to stay in LA or move to SF and I don't have any idea on how to approach this. PS. Moving because I miss the east coast and my family/SO is in NY. Also went to top 3 undergraduate target b-school in the east coast, if that helps. Thanks.
10 Aug 2015
Has this been a problem for people? By the time recruiting rolls around in Jan/Feb, most 1st year analysts are still on OPT. Have headhunters asked about your citizenship and H1B status?
15 Apr 2015
I have a bunch of stuff going on with Starwood Capital in July and was wondering if anyone could shed some light on their fund quality and their reputation in the PE/REPE space. Was specifically curious as to what the mix of real estate work and non-RE would be, and how they compare to the MF RE programs, as well as Oaktree, CIM Grp, etc. I couldn't find any recent threads on this and would appreciate any info you guys have.
16 Jun 2016
Hello friends, I am a rising junior who recently concluded my IB internship at a boutique (worked on 1 live deal for 7 weeks), and have the opportunity to work at a boutique PE firm the next two months. (PE internship is paid, small, 40/hrs a week, and I would start mid-July). If I'm looking to recruit for next year's IB SA positions only (not PE) is this internship worth it? Some questions/concerns include: -Is my IB experience sufficient? (my only finance work experience) -Does a PE experience add value to my resume, and/or will listing 2 short summer internships detract from my IB
03 Jul 2017
NEXT = Samsung's venture capital arm, which just got funded with $150 million to spend on tech startups. I've had some preliminary discussions with their team for an associate M&A role and was wondering if any of you had insight on the value of the experience someone would get in that role, and what the exit opportunities could be after 2-3 years. Quick background: My current role is non-finance, with a long term plan of getting into a top PE fund (I realize that is an uphill battle, but its one I'm willing to fight). My assumption all along has been that 2-3 years in IB is necessary given my
28 Apr 2017
Many of the investment banking and consulting analysts on WSO will try this path: IB analyst/Consulting associate --> junior position at private equity/hedge fund --> D'oh. This. Is. Not-quite-what-I-thought-it-would-be. --> something else/Business School --> Ah, now I have a better idea. --> Launch career.
20 Jun 2014
I've got two offers on the table.. need help deciding! Top MM PE fund - Successful track record with multi-billions in AUM - Market rate salary + end of year bonus (no carry at Associate level) - Dozens of investment professionals - Better on CV for potential future moves, but potential wall in career progression Small MM PE fund - First fund under $500m - still 30% dry powder - raising second fund which projects to be slightly larger - Market rate salary + end of year bonus + small % of carry as Associate level - Faster career progression - Partners are former megafund partners (the best megafunds) - Less than 10 people Sectors are indifferent Strategy is the same People are great at both Both in London
03 Apr 2014
I tried to find an answer to this question using the search tool but nothing came up. Is it possible to recruit for London PE whilst being a BB analyst in the US? How would it work? Has anyone here have any experience with the process?
24 May 2015
trying to decide which would set me up better for PE job after the analyst program. Does anyone have any insight regarding placement and exit opps for these two firms?
29 Sep 2017
Just wondering if any current/recent-ex GS analysts could comment on the nature of PE recruiting from the firm? Do analysts have to do it under the table? How did you manage to do it while being staffed on live deals without notifying your managers? Is placement still as good as it was prior to the new policy/outlook? Is placement/the policy equal across NY/SF/LA/Chi/Houston offices? Thanks in advance.
30 Oct 2015
I am a sophomore majoring in Applied Math and Econ at a target school. Recently I was offered a rotational role with JPM through their Markets Internship program, and I am trying to understand how accepting it might fit into my hopes of going into PE out of undergrad. Would this internship help set me up for PE recruiting next year? I may also have an offer from a very (VERY) small long/short equities fund. If that pans out, would it be better to accept JPM S&T or the offer with the small HF? Are there any other opportunities which I should be on the lookout for? Any other suggestions about
05 Dec 2016