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Francesco

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7

London vs the ME

Hi,

I am currently doing an MBA at a top European business school. I have an invitation for a summer internship at the London office of BCG as well as at the Dubai office of Bain. Until recently, I hoped that I would not have this dilemma but now I need to choose one.
Looking ahead, I plan to work for 2-3 years in the field of consulting and move to a London-based PE firm.

London BCG
+ More opportunities to network/deal with PE firms
- Tough competition; hard to stand out(?)
- Infamous compensation level

Dubai Bain
+ Good chances to deal with DD (given the firm's specialisation)
+ Better income
- Far from target exit firms (zero networks opportunities)

Please evaluate the correctness of the above.

To summarize, do PE firms need a specific skillset (both options) or regional expertise (London office)?

Hi,

I am currently doing an MBA at a top European business school. I have an invitation for a summer internship at the London office of BCG as well as at the Dubai office of Bain. Until recently, I hoped that I would not have this dilemma but now I need to choose one.
Looking ahead, I plan to work for 2-3 years in the field of consulting and move to a London-based PE firm.

London BCG
+ More opportunities to network/deal with PE firms
- Tough competition; hard to stand out(?)
- Infamous compensation level

Dubai Bain
+ Good chances to deal with DD (given the firm's specialisation)
+ Better income
- Far from target exit firms (zero networks opportunities)

Please evaluate the correctness of the above.

To summarize, do PE firms need a specific skillset (both options) or regional expertise (London office)?

7 answers

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Best Answer
Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi there,

Just from the information you shared, I would go for BCG London:

  • Target city – important for networking
  • Doesn’t preclude the possibility to work in PE
  • Bain in ME is not that strong
  • Compensation level long term won’t matter much

As an additional point: I would also consider the personal fit with the companies. It doesn’t make much sense to join a firm where the culture is very different from the one where you feel you would thrive.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Hi there,

Just from the information you shared, I would go for BCG London:

  • Target city – important for networking
  • Doesn’t preclude the possibility to work in PE
  • Bain in ME is not that strong
  • Compensation level long term won’t matter much

As an additional point: I would also consider the personal fit with the companies. It doesn’t make much sense to join a firm where the culture is very different from the one where you feel you would thrive.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

At first glance this is a real tough one! Then, once factoring in what matters do you, I think it becomes clearer that BCG London is your best choice.

Why?

  1. Europe is where you want to be - no point in deviating
  2. If you want London PE, you'll want to be there over the next few years....you're going to build out your London network during this entire time (not just from BCG, but just from going out in London and socializing)...far more valuable than a foreign Bain network
  3. Bain doesn't inherently mean PE. And BCG doesn't inherently mean not PE. I had a close friend in BCG Australia who opted to get ring-fenced...I.e. was "tagged" for only DD projects for half a year. You can absolutely get yourself onto finance/banking/PE projects in BCG London.
  4. The only benefit with Bain is total compensation. This doesn't really seem to matter much to you (and it shouldn't). As the level you're at, more $$ doesn't bring happiness...fullfillment and being somewhere you like does.

Hi there,

At first glance this is a real tough one! Then, once factoring in what matters do you, I think it becomes clearer that BCG London is your best choice.

Why?

  1. Europe is where you want to be - no point in deviating
  2. If you want London PE, you'll want to be there over the next few years....you're going to build out your London network during this entire time (not just from BCG, but just from going out in London and socializing)...far more valuable than a foreign Bain network
  3. Bain doesn't inherently mean PE. And BCG doesn't inherently mean not PE. I had a close friend in BCG Australia who opted to get ring-fenced...I.e. was "tagged" for only DD projects for half a year. You can absolutely get yourself onto finance/banking/PE projects in BCG London.
  4. The only benefit with Bain is total compensation. This doesn't really seem to matter much to you (and it shouldn't). As the level you're at, more $$ doesn't bring happiness...fullfillment and being somewhere you like does.
Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello!

Congrats!

It´s a very very very hard choices since both align to you in the short and long term. Good news is that the decision cannot be wrong at this point.

Personally, I would remain in Europe and try to build the network here.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Congrats!

It´s a very very very hard choices since both align to you in the short and long term. Good news is that the decision cannot be wrong at this point.

Personally, I would remain in Europe and try to build the network here.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Assuming you are thinking of deal (not ops), moving to PE 2-3 years after MBA is not typical which is something I thought might be worth flagging. Based on my experience at McKinsey, the PE market in the ME is extremely limited compared to Europe or US and so it's worth thinking about how much actual deal experience you will get (vs. just the perception of Bain globally). Lastly, regional experience is important where there are interesting PE/investment roles in the ME too but if you are focused on working in London then it probably makes more sense for you to develop your network and experience there.

Good luck!

Assuming you are thinking of deal (not ops), moving to PE 2-3 years after MBA is not typical which is something I thought might be worth flagging. Based on my experience at McKinsey, the PE market in the ME is extremely limited compared to Europe or US and so it's worth thinking about how much actual deal experience you will get (vs. just the perception of Bain globally). Lastly, regional experience is important where there are interesting PE/investment roles in the ME too but if you are focused on working in London then it probably makes more sense for you to develop your network and experience there.

Good luck!

Book a coaching with Raj

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I would aim to go to a globally renowned office to start off your career such as SF / NY / London / Singapore.

It will be far easier to go from Europe/US -> MENA/APAC, but the inverse isn't so true.

I would aim to go to a globally renowned office to start off your career such as SF / NY / London / Singapore.

It will be far easier to go from Europe/US -> MENA/APAC, but the inverse isn't so true.

Book a coaching with Adi

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Hey,

Congrats!

A quick answer for you- choose that which is a better fit to your values, career aspirations & risk profile. Choose that which will allow you to do what you really want to do & help you achieve your mid term goals (2-5 yrs). Long term planning is very difficult in this environment. Rest will follow if you make the right moves. Dont let money alone be the deciding factor.

All the best choosing.

Hey,

Congrats!

A quick answer for you- choose that which is a better fit to your values, career aspirations & risk profile. Choose that which will allow you to do what you really want to do & help you achieve your mid term goals (2-5 yrs). Long term planning is very difficult in this environment. Rest will follow if you make the right moves. Dont let money alone be the deciding factor.

All the best choosing.

Book a coaching with Gaurav

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Hi there,

Congrats on both offers!
I'd join the coaches - I would also go with London since it aligns more with your future plans.

Cheers, GB

Hi there,

Congrats on both offers!
I'd join the coaches - I would also go with London since it aligns more with your future plans.

Cheers, GB

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