Mod Note: Each day we'll be posting the top WSO forum posts of 2014. This one was originally posted on 2/27/14 and ranks #8 for the year by total silver banana count. You can see all our top ranked content here. Mine is a story with various parts; you can find details on my life as a Big 4 auditor in my Q&A here and my path to final rounds with a PE firm here.
23 Nov 2020
Hey WSO: I wanted to get a second opinion on my next potential career move. Personal background: Graduated from top target 2 years ago, went to a megafund (BX / KKR / Carlyle) out of college, been here since. Right now I work with top tier talent on smart deals, and make decent bank...but I just don't think what I do is purposeful or helpful to the world at all. Sometimes borderline harmful. My hours are also pretty tough (although at 80-90 probably not the worst you've heard of - still painful though). In another life, I like to think I would've done the Peace Corps or something but then
29 Jul 2020
Is it feasible to recruit for NY MF/UMM PE from a top bank in LA (Moelis/CS/Barclays)? I have heard it is less common given all of the PE opportunities in LA, but does anyone know if it's possible?
19 Jul 2020
Hey monkeys, I am doing an LBO model and the company has a fairly significant amount of leases as a result of IFRS 16 accounting. The leases should be included in EV and net debt. As the leases will be rolled over, how do I take this into account in the model? It is included in EV so it is included in uses. Should I add it to the sources part of the S&U table to reflect this?
14 Jul 2020
Currently an analyst with approx 6 months left on OPT. What happens to international students who don't get the h1-b visa? Are firms generally good with transferring people to other offices (assuming it's an EB/BB)? Also interested to hear if internationals in the US have been able to exit into PE/HF roles? Haven't seen this at my EB even though most Americans exit. Any insights would be much appreciated.
28 Apr 2020
Hi all, Interviewing in a couple weeks for a Financial Services specific MM PE shop but not sure how to think about investments in this space from a PE perspective. What makes a good LBO target in Financial Services (banks, insurance companies, investment managers, etc.)? And what are things to look for in financial statements? Would appreciate any and all help, thanks!
03 Jun 2020
Hi, I will be a freshman in college in September (in Europe). Since I want to break into the industry I have spent my time reading books, learning about business models, and reading 10Ks. After reading Valuation by McKinsey and doing a modeling course I am capable of creating what I think are decent LBO models. I would like to know if you think I will come off as an asshole if I approach PE associates on LinkedIn with a 15-page report with my analysis on a recent deal. I am wondering if I should do this and if it would help me land an internship, thanks in advance. Full disclosure: I still
22 Apr 2020
With PE on-cycle coming up I thought it'd be a good time to have a discussion on the Pros and Cons of Growth Buy-out vs. Value Buy-out Private Equity from an Associate perspective. I'm trying to hear some people's perspectives on which style of Buy-out firm they'd prefer to work for. I'm specifically trying to focus on firms that are doing primarily buy-outs (so not special situations or true growth equity) On the growth side of things are firms like LGP, TSG, General Atlantic where they seem to be totally cool paying 15x+ for businesses that are super healthy and high growth. My understanding
20 May 2020
Hi all, I'm currently a first year Associate at a MM PE fund in the Midwest. My program is a 2-and-out and I'm looking to move back to NYC (did 3 years of IB there) at its conclusion. I will be reaching out to the normal list of headhunters contained in this list but was wondering if there were other firms who specialize in lateral PE moves. Please let me know if anyone has any recommendations. Thanks!
09 Apr 2020
Lets disregard pay for now. Which job did you think was more fulfilling? Reading through previous posts it seems to me that people that got into PE were left disappointed because instead of real "investing responsibilities", most of their time was spent on managing deals. As for AM, there's not a lot of info about that here.
29 Jul 2020
Hi all, I currently buy distressed properties and renovate them to hold or sell, backed by 2 investors I know personally (the only people I know with money, 1 family, 1 family friend). I have been looking into what I believe is classed as micro private equity, doing the same thing I am doing with properties, buying businesses worth around 700k-1M with leverage and seller financing not necessarily distressed, using profits to pay debt down whilst looking for bolt-ons, organic growth and margin expansion etc. Properties I am buying to hold either take 30 years to pay off, or on interest-only
06 May 2020
Want to get peoples thoughts on this and see where some may agree or disagree. Essentially I have this belief from talking to clients over the past couple weeks. The private equity market has gotten so large and private equity backed companies make up such a large percentage of our economy. So as many of you know when these get purchased they are often done with debt (highly levered) and essentially no liquidity other than a line (more debt). I'm thinking that the CV will cause a corporate credit problem because when there is such a large disruption in operations and revenue (let's say 15%)
11 Mar 2020
Hello Everyone, I was recently approached by a recruiter from one of the Big 3 PE firms about an IR position. As an analyst I had never really considered it as an option until now. The pay is extremely competitive compared to what I'm making now as an analyst at a consulting firm (They're offering me 6 figures plus sign on which I believe is a bit high for the space, correct me if I'm wrong), but wanted to get the community's take on the field, exit ops, or other things I might want to consider before making the leap. My concerns (not being an expert) is that growth is a bit flat. I'm 26 years
11 Dec 2019
About I have been a longtime WSO reader (6-7 years) and some years down the track, I thought it would be helpful to do a quick Q&A I think this could be helpful in particular for (i) those looking to switch over from credit to equity investing, (ii) those interested in mezzanine / sub debt, and (iii) those interested in operationally focused / distressed PE Background - c2 years Bulge Bracket LevFin (ANL) - c2 years mezzanine / sub credit investing (ANL / ASO) - c2 years opportunistic / loan-to-own PE, mid-large cap, (ASO / VP)
18 Oct 2019
Senior Associate working at $5B+ fund. I was not accepted to H/S/W - but did get into some other M7 schools. Looking to eventually secure a VP role at a MM PE shop. Would appreciate people's thoughts on whether its worth pursuing an MBA outside of H/S/W vs. looking for other opportunities (i.e. lateraling, looking for "career track" roles that will promote without MBA). To me, both routes present challenges: i) In talking with recruiters and other post-MBA VPs, there does seem to be a drop-off in terms of recruiting opportunities for VP roles at MBA programs outside of H/S/W (and if you look
09 Jan 2020
- Do you have ambitions of launching/buying a private business (apart from a fund) on the side or is your sole passion the public markets? 2. Do you have (or plan to have) real estate investments?
17 Jul 2020
2nd year corp dev analyst covering several software verticals. LT goal is to get to a MM+ software buyout shop, expecting to probably shoot for an MBA. Have an opportunity to lateral in my non-T1 city to a LMM shop that's more traditional (manufacturing, business services, transportation) with a $250M-500M fund. GPs look solid, there would be a decent pay bump, and I'd get more of an execution experience in a principal investing role vs the sourcing & execution-lite role I'm in now. Does it make more sense to pass on this and wait until an opportunity to jump to TMT banking/software PE so I
17 Jul 2020
GS/MS/JPM Investment Banking SA to MM PE Buyout Analyst (~$2Bn Fund) Been a lurker on WSO for a while now so thought I'd give back to the community and answer any questions about starting in PE as an analyst, hours, nature of work etc
04 Oct 2019
Hey All, Peers and friends from college have been talking about studying for GMAT / applying to B-School. Currently a 2nd year IB analyst in M&A and thinking about future. As someone who will have paid off close to 100k in undergrad loans (on track to pay off in another ~2 years), I cannot seem to wrap my head around the idea of taking out another massive loan. While I'm thinking about PE, i don't think that would be my career. Could see myself going into VC, Corporate Strategy or even venturing out and starting my own business. I guess the short-version of this is, if I have no plans to make
08 Oct 2019
Hi all - I work in a small boutique that mainly advises on buyside M&A in the middle market. Currently in the midst of PE recruiting, and obviously reviewing my models as a result. I've come to realize that our models are....well kinda shit and all very high-level. For example, when we evaluate CIMs for our clients to give a prelim view of valuation and what to bid, we generally take CIM numbers, make some judgement calls on haircutting revenue and margins, and project everything under the income statement as % of revenue. Literally, the entire football field analysis can be done in ~1-2 hours
23 Apr 2020
Hi All, Was digging through the forum archives and haven't found anything good about how to talk to lenders from a PE perspective. I was wondering for those who have had a decent amount of time in the diligence process, what are some tips / tricks you use when speaking through an investment and negotiating terms with lenders (Oaktree, Ares, Varagon etc). What are some pittfalls that you don't talk about when presenting the deal / answering diligence questions to them? Thanks in advance!
31 Oct 2019
To give a bit of background, I recently landed an associate gig at a pretty respectable PE shop ($5 bill aum) in the Chicago area (after 2 years of banking). I started about a month ago after packing up and moving my whole life from California. Well needless to say we had a company outing and I got belligerent and embarrassingly drunk and basically tried to fight a coworker and said some unforgivable things. I was fired the next day and have officially hit rock bottom...I just moved to this new city, signed a lease and unsure what the next step is. Just venting a little and looking for some
05 Aug 2019
I've been looking into the Private Equity Group within GS AIMS recently (saw a posting a few weeks ago) and noticed a lot of former analysts were able to exit into PE buyout shops, despite the group doing primaries / secondaries / co-investments, rather than LBOs. Would anyone have insight into why this is the case? I've been reading forums on here that have said it is tough for guys in these sort of FoF roles to get into direct LBO shops, but it seems this happens routinely at GS AIMS PEG. Any insight would be appreciated!
05 Aug 2019
Hello friends, several recruiting firms have reached out to me about what seem like unique roles at PE firms. The titles have been "Strategy Associate". They are basically pitched as a mix of firm strategy / portfolio operations / investor relations. The responsibilities include: fund reporting, LP relationship management, business development, working with portfolio executives on strategic projects, etc. The roles have generally been at high quality MM firms with large brand names, which is alluring. For context, I have generally been seeking more traditional deal team roles, and have made
15 Oct 2019
Hi fellow primates! I've recently been introduced to the world of finance through multiple mediums of exposure! Like any other high schooler before, I wanted to be a professional athlete, but then I realized that I'm a scrawny 5'10" Asian, and while I may be decent, I don't want to be one dimensional. My dad wanted me to be an engineer like him because of the Asian tradition, and I get it, too. It's a secure and high-intellect job fit for a talented sophomore like me. But through enough reading and understanding what my talents are, I realized that finance is the path for me. Even though I'm
31 Mar 2020
Weighing a couple of options for a first job out of school. As of now I have a merchant banking offer at a middle market firm (read: Piper Jeffery, Rothschild) and also have a final round with an MBB. If I get MBB, which would be in a less desirable city, so which would be a better career option if I'm interested in working in PE (maybe) or being c-suite at a middle market company down the road? Also I like the idea of going to B-school and I know MBB kill in terms of placement, but I'm not sure if I should take a first job just for that if I find the other work more interesting. Really like
09 Oct 2019
Just finished my summer at an MBB consulting firm and had a great experience (loved the people, the work, etc.) -- I got a return offer and I'm definitely leaning towards going back. I'm strongly interested in doing PE after spending two years at MBB and wanted to get people's thoughts on which MBB is best for PE recruiting? If the firm I'm at doesn't have a strong PE practice, is it worth re-recruiting for an MBB firm/office location that is stronger? Thanks in advance!
13 Aug 2019
I currently work at a PE Fund and will begin having significant capital calls as we deploy the fund. We don't have a capital line in place for members of the fund to fund their capital commitment with, so I was wondering if anyone here knows of any banks that establish personal capital call lines for employees of PE funds to fund their capital calls. I'm looking to fund my capital calls in cash, but in the event I'm tight on cash from rapid deployment, I'm looking to set up a facility to be able to draw on a line to fund my investment. What have others done in the past? Have others used
24 May 2020
Curious - Anyone know of current PE (or even VC) openings in Los Angeles (associate/vp level)? Obviously there arn't many options for mega funds, but targeting more mm firms. Love to hear your thoughts.
08 Nov 2019
Hi everyone! I've really enjoyed the community here at WSO and the fantastic insights and advice people have shared over the years, so thought I'd give back and share my non-traditional experience. My Background: Target school, liberal arts major. Interned at a BB IBD my junior summer, and went directly to a well-respected MM PE firm post graduation. Ask Me Anything: Happy to answer any questions about what the day-to-day role is like, recruiting (at both my level and more senior levels), why I made this decision, etc. WSO Mentors Do you want a 1 on 1 mentoring session with me? Here's my
17 Jun 2019
Hello everyone, A bit of context: * I am Part of a new HF with small sized but very experienced people. in Hong Kong * We are currently not active in private equity, but we are open to opportunities. Thus no clear framework * We had a terrible year in 2018, no bonus. Some senior partners left. But the company is holding on. * We don't have a clear rule on deals and fees since we never have done a big one yet. Although some senior partners are experienced from IB, The company is in growth mod and we need to build reputation and a few millions to stay in the black, (not yet fully profitable) So
20 Dec 2019
Hi guys, I'll keep it simple... what tricks will private equity managers use to make returns look bigger, improve balance sheet, legally decrease taxes, make money out of thin air, etc... Please share secret sauce ingredients. Comments appreciated & looking forward to a constructive debate.
17 Jun 2019
Hi all, Currently deciding whether it's worth to interview with Credit Suisse's Private Funds Group (PFG) after receiving an offer from one of Parthenon/LEK. These opportunities are all for full time and I am thinking (although not set) on moving into private equity at some point in my career hopefully without an MBA. Any thoughts on the comparison and CS's FPG group in general? Thanks in advance.
29 Nov 2019
Background Private Equity Infrastructure Funds, Secondaries and Co-investments Experience in Institutional Asset Management & Investment Research (Mutual funds) CFA Completed | European Financial Advisor Charterholder Excel financial modelling (VBA) Telecom & Financial Services Managerial experience & Strong project management | Trained off-shore teams Happy to answer technical questions re: PE Infra and Buyouts (will do my best) CFA (stategies and market value) Managing people offshore & Project Management Financial Modelling WSO Podcast: Member @truelondoner" Listen on iTunes | Spotify **
15 May 2019
Curious as to if most BB analysts leave after their 2nd or 3rd year for PE. Is it better to leave after your 2nd or 3rd, does it matter? Are most full-time analyst programs 2 or 3 years? I seem to see mixed things on this, I have seen many analysts stay 3 years then leave, or stay 2 years an leave. It seems like 2 years it the most common, but I am curious. Do most BB's just assume that analysts are going to leave after 2 years or do analysts staying usually always get promoted if they are good? Is it better to leave after 2 years to get the best chance at PE placement - as in do PE firms
30 Jul 2020
Hi, I've been following WSO for years, but have come across a situation I haven't seen answered yet and finally have a reason to post. I live in a small regional market and recently received a job offer as an Associate at a middle market PE firm with ~$500MM AUM. That's the good news. All they need to do is check my references and then I will be presented with a written offer. The bad news is that I began interviewing in April, received the offer in June, and now we're coming up on October and they still haven't checked my references! The firm currently has 4 individuals working there (1 left
19 Sep 2019
Hey WSO - anyone have experience or knowledge about the team at Cerberus Capital Management? How about the REPE team? Curious about recruiting, comp., deals they work on, culture of the firm? You get the drill. Thanks!
27 Aug 2019
Anyone have any insight on this fund ? They are a MM fund based out of Miami. Any info regarding culture, Associate experiences/responsibilities and COMP would be highly appreciated.
10 Mar 2020
With CV-19 impacting a lot of firms' ability to onboard, what are you doing with your time between jobs? What's the latest regarding a remote / in-person start? Anyone have their start date delayed?
30 Jun 2020
Feel like there hasn't been a good discussion on the job differences between Venture Capital, Growth Equity, and Private Equity. Looking for insight specifically on comp differences, work/on the job differences, and competitiveness on breaking into each respective industry.
28 Oct 2019
Of course I know that nothing in IB is guaranteed, and it doesn't have to be specifically PWP (When I said PWP I meant any MM or Elite Boutique bank - Piper Jaffray, Moelis, Evercore, etc.). As an undergrad, I want to know the real value of a top MBA. Am I likely to get an associate position immediately? What are the exit opps like at that level? Will I realistically be able to get a job at a PE shop after two years? Will any of this help me get a CFA charter? I am curious because I genuinely don't know. Any and all help is appreciated.
15 May 2019
TLDR: Law student at top school with no background in finance interested in learning whether lateraling in may be an option after some time in biglaw. Hey everyone! Just finished my first year of law school and am about to start a summer associateship at a V10 firm. I'll be working on the transactional side, handling M&A and securities (from what I understand; the COVID crisis has put much of that work on pause). I've known that I wanted to go to law school since high school and am happy to be here so far. Loving the material and looking forward to the next couple of years of school-which is
27 Jun 2020
WSO Community, I wanted to take the opportunity to leverage my experience to be helpful with a Q&A. By way of background, I attended a state school, broke into MM IB as an analyst, left banking to work at multiple private equity firms, then returned to banking. Currently, I'm a VP at the MM IB firm I worked at immediately out of university. More than happy to answer any questions you have. It's been an interesting journey to say the least, which is chronicled in the posts below from the last seven years. Looking forward to your questions and the discussion. Fire away! Thank You, Broke In
26 Jan 2019
Investment Professional in Global Large Buyout Firm, with focus in Healthcare investments. Transitioned from Strategy Consulting into Private Equity. Can discusss about: Private Equity recruiting (in USA and Europe), transition from Strategy Consulting to Private Equity, trends in the industry, mock interviews, etc.
24 Feb 2020
Hi everyone, Curious to see what you think the minimum ACT score is to not be seriously dinged for PE recruiting. I intend to target buyout shops in the UMM space, but would also like to hear what you think the threshold is for other fund sizes. I assume MF/UMM funds have a higher minimum threshold compared to a MM fund. I took the ACT twice in high school with a score of 30 and a composite score of 32. Let me know what you think, thanks. In case its relevant to the discussion, some other things about my profile: Graduated Summa Cum Laude, played D1 basketball, will be starting as a BB IBD
07 May 2019
Hi all, I've been looking around WSO for a while now but haven't gotten around to posting anything substantial/giving back. I'm doing a Q&A for the next two weeks give or take to answer questions/thoughts you might have. Hopefully I can help despite my limited background, given the seeming lack of information on big 4 diligence groups. Maybe this will help someone decide that this is the career for them. Going on a few years now I have been working in a transaction advisory services group at one of the big four professional services firms in New York. The work varies significantly from one big
23 Dec 2018
How far along in your career is it appropriate to remove your GPA from your resume? Asking specifically about moving between PE firms after 2-3 years of experience (so ~5-6 years after undergrad), or perhaps when applying post-MBA? Thanks
08 May 2019
Landed a job at an EB in nyc (laz, evr, moelis) with the goal to make it into MF or UMM PE. Having gone to a non target school (state school), is that going to be a significant deterrent in getting into a top PE firm? How much weight is put on your undergrad, especially with an average GPA 3.7-3.8?
17 Sep 2019