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
25 Mar 2018
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, 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
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
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
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
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
Disclaimer This post isn't meant to be a salty venting, but more of a sharing some of my self-realizations from the past year on things that I wish I had fully understood 12 months ago. "Congrats on closing your deal!" "You were a rockstar on this one – we couldn't have done it without you!" "You were the keystone of this transaction. This deal would have been dead in the water without your insights." "Congrats. Is that project I asked you to do last night (while you were up at 2:30 am closing this deal) done yet?" A Lost Rockstar Ah, the closing of another sellside, one which is very
31 Dec 2017
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 WSO, I have been a long time lurker, and this is my first post (or maybe I am one of the top rated authors who decided to make a post anonymously). I have noticed a certain lack of information about infrastructure investing on WSO, and those threads that are created from time to time, are long on questions and short on answers, especially on answers from actual industry insiders. With this in mind, I have decided to make this post and cover the following topics: * What infrastructure PE is and how it is different from traditional PE * General info about infra PE landscape * Key players
02 Jan 2017
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
There's a perception of people on the street that private equity is the cream of the crop. The hours, the pay, the beloved carry, the work itself - is it all greener grass syndrome? Not quite, private equity is pretty awesome by most standards; that's why becoming a private equity associate is ten times more difficult than becoming an investment banking analyst. Luckily, everything you need to know is right here. Private Equity Job - What Do PE Associates Do? PE associates' days are primarily spent on a few different things. Here's a day in the life of a PE from @samoanboy", a private equity
30 Jun 2016
1. Why not just try to start with a PE firm? There are PE firms that hire juniors out of undergrad. However, this 99.99% of the time is in a sub-associate role. In other words, you would be junior to me. I'm only pointing this out because I don't want you to think that a person out of undergrad is getting hired to function in the same capacity that I do. There is a tremendous amount of autonomy I have as a PE associate that I didn't have as a IB analyst. Most people (even the top performers) out of undergrad need constant guidance and instruction. Out of undergrad, no matter how genius you are
26 Dec 2016
Guys & Gals, Headhunters, recruiters, executive search firms: For many of us they hold they keys to the golden gates of buy-side badassery (i swear i'm not really this big of a tool in real life). I'm calling on all of you to please reply back with names of active PE recruiter firms I have missed. Also please feel free to comment on each firms areas of strength / weakness. The more details you provide the better. If we all work together we can build a really useful tool. FIRM NAME - WEBSITE Boyden Associates - http://www.boyden.com/index.html BSD Associates - http://www.bsdassociates.com/ Carter Pierce - http://www.CarterPierce.com/ CPI - http://www.cpiny.com/index.html CT Partners - http://www.ctnet.com/ctnet/ CW Partners - http://www.cwpartners.com/default.htm
22 Jul 2018
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
Diversity recruiting has been the subject of several posts over the last few weeks. Although there are existing WSO posts that try to aggregate opportunity for diverse candidates, this one aims to be an exhaustive list that includes all the introductory programs and formal internship pipelines offered by firms on the street so candidate are aware of these opportunities. As new opportunities continue to be created, I plan to update this list. diversity investment bank programs The opportunities are separated into two buckets: introductory programs and internship opportunities. Introductory
03 Jan 2017
Hello all, Long time lurker and first time poster. I just wanted to share how much WSO has helped me. 4 Years ago I was a no-name at a no-name university and had nearly failed out of High-school. I decided one day to sit down and change my life (after receiving a LOUD wake-up call). So, I did what any money-hungry little freshman would do and literally googled, "what jobs make the most money?" My more naive self found that there were surgeons and hedge fund managers pulling in the dough, and I was not about to go to med school. I ended up turning my life around I lost 20lbs, getting a
14 Apr 2018
I'm a Senior Associate at a MM PE fund in my mid-20s. I enjoy what I do, but want to try something different. I've had an entrepreneurship bug as far back as I can remember, so this would be the most logical place to jump, for me. Chances are I'll fail. I'm quite realistic about the probabilities of becoming a successful entrepreneur. I'm aware of the stats. Nevertheless, I feel as though there's no better time in my life than now – to try and to fail trying. I'm at a point in my career where my future could take one of two fairly different paths. I could see myself continuing to move up in PE
10 Dec 2018
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
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
This question pops up in almost every private equity interview. It's not something that will land you the job, but the wrong answer will get you dinged. Why Private Equity Career? This section is to shed some light on private equity as a career. For information on answering the interview question "Why private equity?", skip to the next section. For those of you undecided on whether you want to work in private equity or not, here are the typical reasons people find private equity appealing: The magic word: carry. It's true that a chosen few make 10-100s of millions through carry in private
18 Feb 2018
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
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
Hey everyone I just have a quick question about PE in Canada. What are the comps like at the big Canadian PE shops (Onex, Birch Hill, etc)? What are the comps like working at a PE arm of a pension fund? Is IBD or PE generally better in terms of long-term careers in Canada? Thanks
17 Apr 2018
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
PE recruiting keeps on getting earlier each and every year. https://outline.com/884yqd It's crazy that private equity firms are recruiting investment bankers who are just weeks into their jobs. Mr. Curtis even shared his opinion in the article and thinks that PE firms will start recruiting senior college students at some point. Thoughts?
07 Nov 2018
I doubt any one here has started a real estate private equity firm, but given my access to some institutional money ($+-200M) I might--MIGHT--be in the process and, to be completely honest, there really aren't any better real estate forums that I'm aware of, so I figured this would be as good of a place as any to discuss. Kind of an open-ended discussion. What are your experiences in RE private equity? How is the capital raising process? What kind of analyst, associate, MD, etc. comp would I expect to pay? What kind of fee structure has been typical for you? What are the common investment
23 Jul 2017
Bit curious as to what you all view as the top VC markets in the US/Internationally currently? In the US, I'd assume that the San Francisco Bay Area is the top but what other major cities do you see as hotbeds for lots of activity right now? Also looking on towards the future, what are some up and coming areas and do you see any areas in decline anytime soon? Same questions apply for international markets. EDIT: Someone brought up a great point about the quality of startups in a lot of these major cities. Where do you see startups actually being successful and undergoing meaningful exits?
18 Jul 2017
I can't answer if PE is the best job in the world but I can offer a little outside perspective that some may be interested in. Having spent the better part of the last decade in SEAL Teams and other specialized units, I found Seabird's initial post slightly amusing. If you'll humor me, I'll provide a bit of a philosophical context to this whole question of what the ideal job may be. I provide the following background in the spirit of full disclosure and so that you can better judge what follows. My career has been pretty non-traditional. I graduated from a pretty good college and went straight
13 Jun 2016
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
Hi All - I'm ~5 or so years out of college. I did not do a formal 2 years of investment banking and was instead hired out of undergrad as an analyst at a fund. I've worked at several firms in several major US cities. I've worked at one smaller regional firm with $500M - $1B AUM and have since worked for larger firms with $3B+ and $5B+ AUM, both of which are well known and respected in the investment community. In terms of deal experience I've worked on 10-20 deals so far in my career that have ranged from $10M Series A investments to $20M-$50M minority growth equity investments in unprofitable
04 Sep 2016
As an incoming PE associate, wondering what home office set-up those in the industry use (e.g. monitors, keyboard, laptop, etc.). Any guidance and insight would be much appreciated. Thank you!
12 Jun 2018
Maybe I'm just cynical, but at my MM, we have rarely seen family offices compete for deals in auctions and it seems there are more and more being formed weekly, if not daily. I'm astounded at how much capital is now going into the market to try and compete with traditional PE and strategics, particularly in the MM (I see some value in the LMM and even more in the sub $10mm EV space). Now, one pitch from some family offices has been "we aren't trying to compete with PE because we are different (e.g. longer holds, less transactional, more passive ownership, better people, etc.)". But, let's be
12 Dec 2018
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'm coming up on graduation May of 2019 and I'm trying to prepare for the fall recruiting season. Specifically trying to move to the Minneapolis - St. Paul area. Does anyone have any info on the private equity scene in the Twin Cities area? I'm aware of some firms like Norwest and Stone Arch Capital, but would be very interested in hearing if anyone else had some experience in this field in the Twin Cities metro. I am looking into the smaller private equity shops that would be open to accepting undergrads straight out of graduation. I know most firms look for 1-2 yr iBanking analysts (popular
26 Jun 2018
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
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
So I hear a lot about networking on this site and how it is important, especially if you go to a non-target or a semi-target. How hard is networking and how should one go about networking? In an ideal world, I would want to work for a BB investment bank or at least an EB investment bank, however I fear that this may not be possible if I go to what is considered a non-target. Any helpful tips on how to network properly and your own experiences with networking would be greatly appreciated.
05 Mar 2017
Hey all, just wondering where associates/2nd year analysts typically exit to from shareholder activism type IB groups. I know activism defense advisory is offered by some BB and EB banks and was curious if most stay in IB or eventually try to land at an activist fund or in PE.
26 Jan 2018
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
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
Mod Note (Andy) - as the year comes to an end we're reposting the top discussions from 2015, this one ranks #33 and was originally posted 6/9/2015. I've been searching info about these guys for a while now. There are few threads on WSO with some insight, but still pretty limited; best source currently is their website. I came across some good 2015 overview (focus on Europe) recently that I wanted to share here. I can provide dates for specific numbers on request. I'd like to use this thread as an invite for other monkeys with more valuable info, so please feel free to chime in. Firstly, a
25 Dec 2015
I've seen a few posts on PE in the middle east and Abraaj in particular. I secured an internship at the Abraaj Group for this summer in Dubai so I created this forum to help put some things in perspective. I'm currently a junior studying in the US. Ask me anything!
25 May 2017
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
Monkeys, As year 1 closes in, I've begun struggling with what I suppose is some sort of quarter life crisis. For many of us in banking, life to this point has been a constant series of "successes"--do well in high school, go to a top college, break into a top group on Wall Street--with the next target being a coveted buyside gig.
18 Apr 2011
This is my first post to WSO so I hope I'm doing this correctly. Here's a little about myself... Job : 1 year doing corporate finance at Top 3 Bulge Bracket bank Undergrad : (Mid-Atlantic) Non-Target - Penn State, Maryland, UNC Major GPA: 3.7+ Internships: 1 year at Elite RE development firm that builds casinos, entertainment complexes, shopping centers, multi-use etc
21 Aug 2014