Expert advice for your private equity career

Do you want to land a private equity job or are you a private equity associate who wants to advance your private equity career? You’ve come to the right place. Here are PE Hub’s most popular posts about jobs and careers.

The secrets to a successful career in private equity

By Devin Mathews, Partner and Co-Founder, ParkerGale

ARTICLE SNIPPET: When it comes to employment and job creation, private equity firms hold a dual reputation. We are job creators and job destroyers, depending on whom you ask. There is no telling how many net jobs the industry has added inside their portfolio companies over the decades.

But there is one job we can’t stop adding within our own walls: the associate. Not too long ago these entry-level jobs at PE funds didn’t even exist. Now, thousands of associates are burning hours late into the evening, finishing models and running returns analyses across office towers in Manhattan, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco…


How to break into private equity

By Luisa Beltran, Senior Editor, Private Equity, Buyouts Insider

ARTICLE SNIPPET: Private equity can be a lucrative business. Partners of a mid-size LBO firm can earn an average of $590,000 a year, including salary and bonus (but not carry), according to the 2012-2013 Holt-Thomson Reuters Private Equity and Venture Capital Compensation Report. A senior analyst at a mid-size firm can make a yearly average of $193,900, including salary and bonus, the Holt-Thomson Reuters report said.

Finding a job can be challenging. There are about a half dozen recruiters that cater to hiring junior talent out of investment banking. They include CPI, BellCast Partners, the Oxbridge Group, Dynamic Associates and Amity Search Partners. Large firms that have internal HR departments often don’t use recruiters to find MBA candidates, but smaller PE firms sometimes do, an Oxbridge Group source said. Often PE firms visit business schools and recruit candidates themselves…


To MBA or not MBA? That is the question

By Brian Rich, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Catalyst Investors

ARTICLE SNIPPET: The MBA degree, in all of its varieties (two-year, one-year, EMBA, etc.), is mature at best and arguably in decline, according to a Graduate Management Admission Council report from 2011. The decision to seek the degree is harder than ever, as the cost of an MBA has significantly outpaced inflation. Salaries of analysts and associates in venture capital and private equity have increased substantially and there is a greater willingness of employers to advance those without it.

So consider: Is the MBA worth it? According to Forbes, it takes about four years for MBA graduates to get a return on their MBA investment. Forbes ranks business schools based upon the aggregate amount of money gained after five years of employment following the MBA, then calculates the number of years of payback. Payback tends to be about four years. The key assumption, based on surveys of pre- and post-MBAs, is that post-MBA pay is 50 percent higher than pre-MBA pay. So, if you earned $50,000 upon entering an MBA program, you would, on average, earn $75,000 after completion. This assumes a full-time MBA; part-time MBAs are less compelling…


Five tips To make breaking into PE easier

By Luisa Beltran, Senior Editor, Private Equity, Buyouts Insider

ARTICLE SNIPPET: Some applicants need help. I recently witnessed an MBA student pitch himself to Brian Rich, Catalyst Investors’ managing partner and co-founder, at the Columbia Business School Private Equity & Venture Capital Conference.

Rich had just finished speaking on a panel. The student, after waiting in line, introduced himself and then lobbied Rich for a job at Catalyst. The candidate emphasized his background in emerging markets…


Five tips for making partner at your private equity firm

By Elena Lytkina Botelho and Sapna Sadarangani Werner, ghSMART

ARTICLE SNIPPET: Peter, a vice president at a top-quartile private equity fund, walked out of his year-end performance review shattered. He had graduated summa at Princeton and had been the star analyst in his class at Morgan Stanley. For years he was told he was the brightest guy at the firm, but for the second year in a row he didn’t get promoted to partner.

The worst part was that he couldn’t get a clear answer out of the managing partner about what exactly he had to do differently. In desperation, Peter turned to ghSMART because our team had been advising his firm for years. We coached him for the next six months, and by the following review cycle, he got promoted to partner…


College seniors, take heart! There are jobs to be had at PE portfolio c ompanies

By Brian Rich, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Catalyst Investors

ARTICLE SNIPPET: Private equity firms generally hire very few recent college grads, but there’s one area of PE often missed by candidates: portfolio companies.

Catalyst Investors polled its companies and found that there is hope for the well-informed sheepskin bearer. There are indeed jobs out there – philosophy majors included – if you know where to look…


How to build a career in private equity investor relations

By Chris Witkowsky, Private Equity Editor, Buyouts Insider

ARTICLE SNIPPET: “Having a good attitude as you’re doing the less attractive parts of the job is key,” said one investor relations professional at Private Equity International’s recent Investor Relations & Communications Forum. The IR professionals who spoke at the conference asked not to be identified.

For example: When building a pitchbook for a fund, focus on understanding the strategy, so much so that you can speak with confidence about the primary marketing message and the position of the fund in the market…


Ten tips to keep your private equity career on track

By David M. Toll, Executive Editor, Buyouts Insider

ARTICLE SNIPPET: Nothing shouts future partner like the ability to come up with ways to justify paying enough for a company to persuade the owners to sell and to simultaneously beat back any rival bidders. In sifting through information from expert networks, trade associations, business executives, colleagues and countless other sources, can you find that potential add-on acquisition others might have missed? Can you find a way to super-charge organic growth? Find creative ways that your target companies can grow, and senior partners will be fighting to get you on their deal teams…


Degree in humanities is great foundation for PE career — Rubenstein

ARTICLE SNIPPET: David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, said a degree in humanities is an ideal foundation for a career in private equity.

Science, technology, engineering and math are important subjects for those pursuing a career in business. But a humanities curriculum, which teaches students to reason, pursue logic and articulate an argument, are also key qualities, Rubenstein said in a Carlyle podcast…


Humor: ‘I have a meeting in Westchester’ and other essential code words for PE newbies

By Devin Mathews, Partner and Co-Founder, ParkerGale

ARTICLE SNIPPET: Learning your new office lingo is the key to avoiding embarrassing situations with your new bosses. To help, I put together a short glossary of key terms to give you a leg up.

Proprietary (adjective /prə-prī-i-te-rē/)

At a PE fund, proprietary is all about the deal flow. And, according to what your new bosses tell their limited partners, it’s the only kind of deal your firm does. In reality though, finding a deal that isn’t being shopped by an investment bank is like finding the lovechild of a white whale and an albino tiger. Just don’t say that out loud. As far as you’re concerned, anything short of a company announcing it’s sale on a billboard in Times Square is a proprietary deal…


The secret to breaking into venture capital

By Baiyin Zhou, Associate, OpenView Venture Partners

ARTICLE SNIPPET: Pick one thing you are truly interested in, and learn everything there is to know about it. Whatever it is, commit an hour during lunch or an hour before/after each workday to reading and talking to people about it. Obsess over it. Think about it as a second job.

Here’s an example: Let’s say bitcoin interests you. Make sure that you are knowledgeable enough to have an intelligent conversation about industry trends, regulatory issues, emerging bitcoin-related companies, and incumbent bitcoin-related companies.

Then, take it one step forward by formulating your own personal opinion about all of the above…


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