from strat to PE

growth strategy Private Equity
New answer on Jun 04, 2020
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 03, 2020

Hello, I was recently contacted by a tech giant to join their PE fund. I was a bit surprized at first because I was not looking into this direction and I do not have a background in M&A at all. They liked my experience in a company with high expertise dealing with strategic DD and an industry where I am very knowledgeable. The position sounds very tempting but I am afraid I may not be the right fit due to my lack of knowledge on valuation and such.

Anyone here that switched from consulting to PE? if so, did you feel you had the right capabilities and knowledge dealing with the pure financial work? I would appreciate any feedback from people who took this career change.

Thanks a lot

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Anonymous replied on Jun 03, 2020

Hi there,

Many consultants leave for PE - If you are good at DDs, it should be fine. (at the end of the day, PEs are in the business of valuations and deals - so you already have 50% of the business requirements) - the other 50% is relatively easy if you are interested in it. It's really not more than simple additions and subtractions (except for leveraged buyouts, those can be confusing sometimes :))

The technicality of the job should not be a showstopper - just remember how much you learnt on the job in your current company. The question you need to ask yourself are the following:

  • Are you ready to leave consulting?
  • Does PE fit with your mid-term/long-term plan (you don't need to have a plan, does PE fit with the overall picture you have for yourself 3-5 years down the line)
  • Does the job offer you the lifestyle you would like to have?
  • Do you think you can work well with this PE team?
  • Does the job offer you a career ladder that is in line with your expectations?

Also, it never hurts to go through the interview process to discover the role a bit more and your "valuation" of this position might improve ;)

I hope this helps - Best of luck in the process!

Khaled

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Anonymous A on Jun 03, 2020

Hello, thanks a lot for your answer. I actually spent most of my time on DD so yes I am quite comfortable on that. I just need to work on financial skills more "investment thesis" and such as we never do it in DD besides challenging business plan. I wanted to leave consulting to go into the industry and have a better lifestyle so not sure if that would help down the line. However, the job sounds exciting and a potential profesional network if I decide to go into the industry in a couple of years after this gig. Thank you for the brainstorming questions!

Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 04, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

PE firms have two types of roles:

  • Investment roles - mostly for ex-investment bankers
  • Operational roles - mostly for ex-consultants and industry experts

I believe that you are proposed to join as an expert in a particular industry as an ops hire. Thus I don't think you should have any concerns regarding the fit. If there is any misalignment - you'll find it at the interviews.

Best

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Clara
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 03, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

It´s not uncommon at all, particularly if you have done DD and/or M&A.

People who worked with me precisely doing M&A DDs in McK US did this same thing, and they were really happy with the change. PM me if you want me to connect.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Réka
Expert
replied on Jun 03, 2020
3+ years McKinsey consulting experience|Oxford MBA

Hi,

I haven't done this transition myself but can speak from the experience of some friends. They had an interest in finance and did DDs in consulting, but they weren't finance gurus. In fact, some friends joined PE firms with science backgrounds and learnt financial analysis / valuation on the job, so I would not be too worried.

Best,

Réka

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Anonymous replied on Jun 03, 2020

Hi,

Moving from consulting to PE is one of the most recurrent moves we can observe. Former consultants manage to success well in PE.

As long as you have DD / finance skills & consulting background you are defintely a very good target for them.

Best

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Anonymous A on Jun 03, 2020

Thank you! I do have some finance skills from business school but I guess should refresh my memories with online courses

Anonymous on Jun 04, 2020

Sounds like a plan ! Best. David

Vai
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 03, 2020
Consultant at BCG Nordics| PE and Due Diligence | BCG London, Boston & Dubai office experience
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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 04, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

It honestly sounds like you're a good fit - this is a very commong career shift!

If you have doubts (which it seems you do), I recommend talking further with this company. Ask if you can talk to a few people at the firm, particularly any coming from strategy consulting. In this wya you can get a better understanding of what you might be in for :)

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Anonymous replied on Jun 04, 2020

Hi A,

Exiting from consulting to PE is pretty common. In general, PE take selected candidates either from the investment banking or from leading consulting companies.

It is essential for you as a consultant to develop your valuation and financial modelling skills. Ideally you could become a part of M&A practice focused on Due diligence or become a part of restructuring and performance improvement optimization practice. This will help you to place it either on the “Buy” or on the “Sell Side” of every Private Equity fund.

Don't expect PE firm will teach you any basics in finance. So by the time of your application you have to prove your finance skills (in a parallel you can do a CFA being a business analyst) and ideally have been completed a couple of due-diligence projects with McKinsey.


In general PE is very open to former consultant with relevant background and high number of conducted Due diligence.

Hope it helps you.

Feel free to reach out.

Best,

André

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