Firstly, i am aware of spelling mistakes - writing this on my phone and cba to spell check.
advice I will give is key information I wish I had known/realised when I was at uni. Do not make mistake of that thinking that since PE is like 3/4 years away you don't have to think about it now. Job market in London has become so competitive these days, and decisions you make today at uni will in large part set the course for how rest of your career pans out. So you better get it right.
First and foremost, know many Warwick students want to go into IB and if you looking at moving into PE after for a better life, listen up!
The two most important factors for getting into PE in London/Europe, in order of importance:
1. Doing your 2/3 analyst years at a bulge bracket (BB) bank (cannot stress a enough how important this is)
2. Speaking a European language (French, german, Spanish and Italian are main ones in demand)
First some background knowledge - in London/Europe there are three main sectors of PE that have most headcount when it comess to hiring:
A) what most people think about whey they thing PE - large cap and mid cap buyout funds that acquire companies in multiple or a handful of sectors, across Euroope. These funds pretty much only hire analysts from BB banks, as there is an insane degree of competition for these jobs and that's why if you're not at a bulge bracket and ideally speak a European language (c.25% of jobs in PE demand you speak a European language ) , you are effectively nonexistent to these funds. Especially with Brexit, now has become increasingly important to have language skills if you want career success and flexibility in the finance sector, so I really do urge you to learn a European language - if you want your career of choice in finance in UK/Europe, its pretty much a necessity now.
And even within BB, there is definitely a hierachy in terms of which banks are most favoured by PE funds when hiring. It goes:
B) power, utilities & infrastructure (PUI) PE - here being at a BB bank is less important as the strongest banks in Europe in this sector are actually banks not in the BB, e.g. Macquarie, RBC (and Barclays is strong player too). However, bias towards BB candidates runs deep throughout PE and so it still helps to be at a BB bank. Obviously goes without saying that analysts with PUI experience are most coveter by these funds
C) secondaries PE funds - here instead of buying companies (direct PE) you buy stakes in other PE funds. Not as widely known as direct PE, but there are actually relatively quite a lot of PE funds that do this and hire juniors. Pay in Secondaries is the same as in direct PE, and tbh is probably actually better in the long term because "double diversification" factor helps to protect returns and consequently bonuses. secondaries generally places less emphasis on BB bank experience and language skills (as most PE funds across Europe will have staff that speak English), but again these factors will definitely make you a more attractive candidate nonetheless
I think those are key points I wanted to make for now. I managed to get into PE but not being at BB or having language skills it was an uphill struggle that took me a year of applications. In that time I managed get a lot of interviews and I got to final round at a number of places but only to end up losing the job to someone else because of the factors I have mentioned in this post.
Let me know if you have any questions. May not be able to answer straight away but should be able to within next few days.
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Key Advice from Warwick Alumnus: Investment Banking to PE
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