Hi Everyone - First time on this forum! I'm currently a Product Manager at Microsoft and I've been so for the past 3.5 years right after undergrad (I graduated from Harvard). I never really gave finance a look until recently when I started becoming really unhappy with my job and started asking some of my friends what they're doing out of college. PE seems a lot more interesting with much more leadership/upside than PM-ing in tech. The thought of doing/leading deals, really understanding a business from how they're run to what they're doing, and growing companies is so much more interesting
26 Feb 2021
Hey guys, long-time member and current PE associate. I matched with a girl on Tinder one night and we started messaging. Somehow, the conversation turned into an argument over stupid shit. In my drunkenness and anger, I replied calling her a fat*** and made a joke that she looked like she put on the COVID-30 / I would sign her up for Jenny Craig. She replied with a long message how she was outraged I would dare say this in 2021 and that she would be screenshotting this and sending this to my employer. Note: I only have high-level info in my Tinder bio - first name, age, "Private Equity"
16 Feb 2021
Hello fellow monkeys. Recently, I decided to give up on buyside recruiting and stay on as an Associate in IB. I realized I simply didn't want it enough and just ran out of energy to dedicate to the search. I've also frankly enjoyed my time in IB a lot and look forward to continuing my path here. A big shoutout and thank you to everyone on WSO that gave me advice and helped me throughout the process. Feel free to AMA. A few months ago, I said I would drop the technicals I got throughout my process, so I am keeping this promise. I've gathered a bunch from myself and fellow friendly analysts
11 Feb 2021
Hey WSO, I'm a first-time poster and longtime reader. I have some downtime on account of MLK Jr. Day and wanted to take the time to give back to the community and provide some insight on my career decisions I've made along the way. Non-target LAC (e.g. Little Ivies) Interned at BB in Operations Everything since has been the result of a ton of hustle and preparation (and luck), not to mention friends and mentors who have spent countless hours advising and pushing me forward Started my career in asset management and pivoted to investment banking / corporate M&A. Currently an associate at a $4B
18 Jan 2021
Tl;dr: is the PE career path still as attractive from a financial point of view as it was 5-10 yrs ago? I would argue that the expected career value for the average new joiner is significantly lower today. This is based on a) longer time required to advance; b) more competition; c) commoditization/salary pressure; d) potentially lower fund performance. Is this something you have been observing as well? And if yes, what are the alternatives? Lately, I am pondering the attractiveness of the classic path of climbing up the ranks of a private equity firm. Is PE still as financially attractive from
14 Nov 2020
Happy to answer any questions about recruiting (being a non target and from a non top tier IB), first few months on the job in PE, pros / cons, things I like and don't like. Brief bio below on my background below: Non Target Undergrad Investment Banking Analyst for 2 years Current 1st Yr Associate at MM PE Fund New York based WSO Mentor Want to work with me? Check out my profile here.
12 Nov 2020
Hi ! I am a high school senior with a 3.7-3.8 gpa and a sat score of 1460. I got a mail from Stevenson Institute of Tech today stating that I've been shortlisted for Priority Application through the college board student search service. I'm not sure as to what that entails apart from a priority merit scholarship consideration and if it's a marketing gimmick. Also I saw that it has a decent rep for it's engineering but since I'll be applying for Economics or Finance (up for discussion) and want to break into IB, PE or consulting in NYC(in that order of preference), what's the rep for business
14 Nov 2020
Has anyone gone through an interview for any of Carlyle's IR teams and could share their experience? Or currently working/has worked on their IR teams and can provide some insight into the interview process?
24 Feb 2021
Took a beating on an interview recently - was not expecting technicals given I'm a 3rd year and HH said it was a behavioral round...unlucky. Anyways, wondering if anyone has a list or resource for PE technical questions specifically around debt. I understand the concept of debt, and can model LBOs very quickly. However, I'm not 100% comfortable with concepts like how debt trades or convertible debt terms, etc. I've been mostly a software guy, so not too much debt in a lot of these transactions.
08 Oct 2020
WSO - I would like to share my knowledge on banking/PE/markets in Africa for those in the market and those willing to be party to the African growth story. Could also help for your PE interviews! Bio: Analyst (3rd year) at MM private equity firm focussed on impact investment in Africa. Target school (in South Africa), undergrad exposure to Math and Finance, prior experience in investment banking at Africa's largest bank. I got into banking via on-campus recruiting and a bit of luck. Made the jump to PE after completing a master's degree in Economics I am able to answer questions about the
16 Sep 2020
I feel like I've been seeing a lot of first year PE associates post on this forum recently about their difficulties starting while WFH. Thought it would be a good idea to create a forum for all of us to share advice / vent / commiserate. For context, I'm about 2 months into the job and definitely don't feel like the grass is greener on this side yet, but perhaps that'll come with time.
22 Sep 2020
Open to questions of any nature from students, consultants, or anyone else. I am an incoming first-year associate at a tech-focused PE fund, currently rounding out my 2nd year at MBB. I attended a top target (H/Y/P/S/W) for undergrad and interned on the buy-side in undergrad. I can try to help by explaining any part of the process, including what seems to be a trickier jump from consulting to buy-side, or anything more specific that I can be helpful with. WSO Mentor Want to work with me? Check out my profile here.
03 Nov 2020
For post PE associate role at a portco, what level/title should you expect and what comp (base, bonus, equity)? I'm looking at a combination of Corp dev and fp&a roles in a relatively small SaaS company in tier 2 city. It'd be great to get any insights here!
15 Sep 2020
Hey Monkeys -- hope that you all are similarly recovering from that intense US Open final. Like many of you, the WFH era has given me time to reflect and question what the next 3-5-10+ years of my life look like -- so my apologies in advance for the soppy post and will try to keep it short. For background, I'm a Sr. Associate at a MM PE fund in NYC, and prior to that did my banking years at an EB. The PE experience has been great so far, and I've been lucky enough to stay on board without an MBA. Looking forward, I'm faced with the predictable set of exit options for junior PE investors. The
13 Sep 2020
Curious to know how well LevFin at a top BB places into PE. It's a group I'm interested in possibly trying to move into so I want to get a better understanding of exits. I see a lot of people going into private debt following their LevFin stints but not so much PE (maybe I'm mistaken). Quite short, are LevFin analysts trying to recruit for PE roles at a disadvantage vis-a-vis their M&A counterparts? If so, how hard is it to do (E.G MF PE)?
04 Oct 2020
I'm a current Software Engineer at FB/Google with four years of experience hoping to move to growth equity. I want to move primarily because I feel like I've topped out on what an engineer can make, and I would like to take more ownership on the company-building side of the table without taking on the risk of being a startup operator. I'd also like to increase my compensation ceiling. I also generally like writing arguments and presenting ideas more than writing code, or writing about the technical details for the design of some new service. I'm not sure how to make this transition happen
06 Oct 2020
I have a Bachelor's in Political Science from a target European University. I then started a master's in Marketing which I didn't finish and did the same with a master's in Finance. By that point, I had secured a full-time offer in a BB in London, in their TMT team. After a bit more than 18 months, I moved to a large bank's Merchant Banking Division, where I have worked across the capital structure (LBOs, Mezzanine, Debt) and I am now focused solely on LBOs and a few special situations investing. I am happy to answer any questions from how to get into IB, lifestyle, TMT exit opps, to how to
22 Sep 2020
So I have a small buyside M&A deal on my resume that I plan to walk through for PE interviews. I completely understand the thesis, rationale, etc. as well as the operating model, which I truly did build. However.....this was a pretty small deal for the size of our client, so the modelling process was absolutely not as detailed. Still can justify everything we did in the model, but it doesn't seem nearly as granular. We also didn't bother building a 3-statement, just decently detailed income statement, capex, and NWC. Income statement projections were a decent level of detail but by no means a
02 Oct 2020
Hey WSO - What do you guys know about Siguler Guff? My sense is that they were big on the FoF space and have now diversified into the direct space. Would be great to learn more about them as I honestly can't find a ton online despite the fact that they seem to have a decent bit of AUM (+$10b). Thanks!!
31 Aug 2020
Hi all, I have two summer 2021 internship offers currently on the table. One is with a PE shop in NYC, and the other is investment banking in NYC as well, and both firms have good names. I know a lot of people in the industry recommend investment banking first, but if PE is the end goal for a lot of people, it seems appealing to just go into it after undergrad. What factors I should think about when making a decision? Please let me know your thoughts!
22 Aug 2020
Had a superday with a PE team at GS on Friday (summer internship). Recruiter sent out an email right after it ended, saying an update would be given within 1-2 weeks. From reading other responses on WSO, seems like offers to top candidates are either made day of or day after. Since it was a Friday, does anyone know if GS PE teams make offers over the weekend?
27 Feb 2021
Hey Guys/ Gals, I have been following WSO for a few years now. This is my first post and my goal here is to seek advice, as well as extend it in anyway I can, given my situation. Situation: I went to a non- target in the south for undergrad and managed to get a F150 corp dev job right out of school this year. I went through a pretty extensive networking effort to obtain an IB role these past few years, but nobody wanted me as their slave. I am super grateful for this position during a pandemic-- and although I am only a few months in-- I am receiving great exposure to senior executives
20 Aug 2020
Hi Everyone! Trying to decide between two FT offers, would really appreciate everyone's thoughts: Strategy& London (M&A) vs BCG Dubai. A few key point: 1) S&'s work is 50% DD for PEs, 50% Growth strategy. BCG is mostly public sector work in KSA. 2) Looking to keep open the option of PE exit 3) Comp: BCG is 2x S& (however, not key decision factor) 4) Looking to stay in London in the medium term Background: MSc Finance BSc Engineering (Top5-UK) Thanks :)
19 Dec 2020
Sorry if this sounds stupid, but where do PE firms get debt financing for their LBOs? I'm very familiar with the LBO process but surely banks are not willing to lend at the amount of leverage demanded by financial sponsors? Is this where private credit comes in? I understand the equity portion comes from the LP but who is willing to commit the debt in the shell company?
13 Oct 2020
I have an upcoming second round interview at a private credit firm, and trying to get any insight on how to properly prepare. I have been in the credit lending space for the last couple years, but we specifically do senior lending. The firm I am interviewing at primarily does direct lending but also participates in mezz and co-equity investments. Can anyone expand on some of the following for me: 1) What to expect in terms of technical questions? 2) How to properly distinguish where to invest across the capital structure? Or where to read up on some of this stuff? 3) Any general tips/tricks
09 Sep 2020
Just wanted some clarification from professionals on this platform. I have returned recently back in my native country, Romania. I saw on the market many companies with great balance sheets that sell for a fraction of the real price. The PE market is also very fragmented in Romania, so the room to establish one as the market leading vehicle is palpable. There are around 6 players at the moment. A couple of examples from my research on what companies are available to purchase: A chain of 10 grocery stores with yearly net profits of 500k euros on a 3 million euro turnover, asking price of 1.2
11 Oct 2020
Not seeing anything else about this on here, so I figured I would start this forum to see if anyone else is going through this process at the moment. I know Bain Capital stopped doing a summer analyst program for undergrads, but I think they must have restarted the program this year unannounced. I did a first round for them last week but did not hear back. They said they're only hiring 2-4 people for this program, Path Into Private Equity (PIPE). First round was two case based interviews and from the looks of it, the super day would be a similar thing but more rounds. Is anyone else in class
22 Sep 2020
Wise souls of WSO - I need some advice! I've been working as an IBD analyst at a BB in London for 18 months. I am deciding whether to take an offer for the in-house corp dev / finance team at a big tech unicorn or continue recruiting for PE (in the early stages of several processes, but no concrete offers yet). On the one hand, the tech job would likely be fun / exciting and provide a broader set of experience on the strategic and operational side that would be interesting. On the other hand, my long-term ambition is still to become an investor. I would view the tech role as an interesting
02 Dec 2020
Open to answering questions regarding MBB, recruiting, breaking in, day to day life, career choices, etc. Background Academic: MSc in Finance (Europe) - top GPA, public undergrad b-school (target locally) Internships: Summer analyst at MBB; Summer analyst at Goldman Sachs (IMD London); Off-cycle analyst at European Private Equity FOFs. Received full-time offers from all three Other: GMAT 730 WSO Mentor Want to work with me? Check out my profile here.
05 Nov 2020
Hi Everyone, Long-time lurker over here currently at a credit hedge fund focusing on special situations and opportunistic credit. Haven't seen all that much about private credit vs. private equity. Been trying to assess whether I'd like to stay on the credit side or move to the equity side. I like the creative side and uniqueness of the structuring around credit, but I have more of an entrepreneurial mindset and feel like I'd like the PE side of things. I'd love to hear people's take on private credit vs. private equity. What hypes you up about credit/equity? What's the comparative work life
13 Oct 2020
Hey all, over the last few months I interviewed and accepted a SA 2021 position at an EB (PJT/CVP/EVR) and was wondering if the banking to PE route still is a good career option? My understanding is that UMM PE with a buyout strategy is crowded and Megafunds generally push you out after two years. (I am a junior so I may be wrong here). Is it smarter to try and be a career banker or should I begin thinking about Growth Equity and other buy-side roles?
02 Oct 2020
I've heard more and more people point toward very niche asset classes/strategies as being the places to be in private markets. In several conversations people have pointed toward firms doing litigation funding, aviation, life settlements/longevity, specialty finance/lending, hybrid VC and venture debt, etc. as being the places to be for a long-term career given how competitive it has become for firms doing traditional buyout, growth equity, etc. I guess I can see the appeal, as many of the funds playing in these spaces are fairly non-correlated (attracts institutional capital) and can put out
07 Mar 2021
hi team - on a 10-k, and specifically the statement of cash flows, is the following line item the same thing as "cash burn"? "Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents: =($100)" So for example, for company A, could you tell your MD that cash burn in 2020 was -$100? thanks all. really appreciate the help!
05 Mar 2021
From these options, which starting FT job would give someone the smoothest path to MF/UMM PE? 1. Top Middle-Market firms (William Blair/HW/HL): Tried-and-true path into MM PE... Could possibly grind to get a UMM offer? Possible to take MM and then jump to MF? 2. Lesser known, up-and-coming "elite" boutiques (Dyal, Robey Warshaw, LionTree): Would probably need to network a ton, but could experience on a few massive deals or exposure to rainmaker seniors help? 3. Non-M&A, secondary role at BB/EB (Private capital advisory/private funds/secondary at a BB/EB): I assume these roles allow you to work
04 Mar 2021
Fellow monkeys - how does your firm manage diligence request lists coming from all corners of the buyside? It seems to be common place for all workstreams (legal, tax, IT, financial, etc.) to just pass excel sheets back and forth which is so unorganized / inefficient and driving me insane (1st yr analyst). Anyone use dataroom functionality for this? I know a most offer Q&A plugins but I've never heard of anyone using them.
03 Mar 2021
What do people think of the prospects of a mid-level PE professional that wants to try the gig economy, taking projects with different PE firms such as: - Portfolio monitoring: e.g. HQ in your home city while PE firm needs to take a 3-hour+ flight to get there and having you there will save them time that could go into sourcing and executing new deals and give them better oversight - Support in the buyside: e.g. PE based in London and you provide the local angle in a deal in continental Europe - Support in the exit of a portfolio company The idea would be taking 2-4 different projects at a
22 Sep 2020
Hi everyone, I would love to hear people's honest opinions on the situation that I am in. I was originally about to graduate in late Spring 2021. However, given the pandemic I was unsuccessful in obtaining a FT in an IBD role and I have recently contemplated on delaying graduation to December 2021 to re-participate in a FT process. Rationale is, provided that I do graduate in Spring 2021, I would have to start looking at Banking or Direct Investing roles through an unstructured process and given where the North American labor market is at (i.e. Vaccine Rollout, Pandemic Social Restrictions
28 Feb 2021
Hi All, I'm currently in my first year at a generalist MM PE firm, right out of undergrad (state school target like UMich, UVA). The firm is decently well known, especially on its coast (most analysts are from top targets). I receive strong modeling, diligence, and portfolio ops work experience at the firm. I'm considering moving to tech growth equity down the line, an wanted any advice on how to best position myself to move into tech growth equity within 2-3 years (not looking for an immediate move). Experience wise, I had a BB Tech IB internship in college, majored in Econ and CS, and have
18 Sep 2020
Hey y'all, I'm about to finish my LLM (masters of laws) in Intellectual Property Law (top LLM school v my previous lower-regional JD) and have passed the patent bar. I'm about to finish my program but have slowly been getting less and less excited about getting locked into a law career, although IP (patents especially) is in high demand, since the only real routes are prosecution (writing patents) or litigation (work-life balance not ideal). I have a close contact at a big name (maybe not BB but not far off) Compliance Consulting Firm for HF/PE and he told me they regularly hire JDs
26 Feb 2021
Hi - I graduated from Wharton Undergrad in 2017, took a year off, and then worked 2 years at a lower middle market private equity fund. Perhaps I have an untraditional background, but I do have the target school degree on my resume. I also have great experience doing diligence, modeling, etc. Any recommendations on ways for me to lateral to another private equity fund?
15 Sep 2020
Long time lurker here, hoping to tap into your collective wisdom. I'm specifically looking for guidance from those with specific experience in a similar situation, rather than speculation. I'm about to receive an offer for a VP Finance role at a ~$150M PE portfolio company. It's owned by a highly respected sponsor, they're about ~4 years into the investment, and are saying they expect to transact within 2 years (almost definitely more than a year, but less than 3). The role is open because the prior person left for a portco CFO gig. He was in the role for 2 years, and I don't think the role
23 Feb 2021
Hi all, About to start a contract role with Baring Private Equity Asia for the next 6-9 months, as a trainee analyst. Two main questions to ask of anyone who's heard about the firm/worked there before. 1. Any advice in terms of things to do/look out for when it comes to day-to-day work? 2. Any advice generally when starting a job at a PE firm? Cheers.
23 Feb 2021
hi team - appreciate the answers in advance. this is probably a very easy question. 1. assuming no revenues, if operating expenses are $1M... shouldn't cash from operations be -$1m? 2. if you have no revenues, $1M in cogs, $1M in opex, would cash from operations be -$2M? 3. should operating income / profit always tie to cash from operations in the cash flow statement? should these be the same #?
22 Feb 2021
hi team - when someone says Q4 2020 was 10% better year over year, are they saying that Q4 of 2020 was specifically 10% better than Q4 of 2019? and when someone says year over year we were up 10% 2020, are they saying 10% growth vs. 2019 (in annual terms)? thank you so much
21 Feb 2021
For those that work in PE or involved in advising PE funds, would be interested to hear whether you think when PE funds offer co-investments to their LPs whether those deals are of a lower "quality" (e.g. lower return expectation vs deals that the PE fund usually underwrites or perhaps higher risk because the PE firm is stretching itself on deal size).
21 Feb 2021
Title says it -- would love to know how these companies prep its analysts for PE recruiting! I'd love to hear everyone's take on this.
19 Feb 2021