What Does It Take to Work in Private Equity Jobs?

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A career in private equity is what every finance graduate longs for. However, there exist two major difficulties in bagging a private equity job right after completing a degree course in finance – the requisite extensive skillset, and holding a degree from a top-tier, or ivy-league business school. 

The opportunities become scarce when you don’t possess any one of the above two private equity qualifications. Although, it’s not the end of the world, if you don’t happen to be from a top global business school, or lack a few requisite skills, you can still break into private equity, but may be, it would take longer, or you will have to put in some extra work. Private equity certifications can be a great choice to enrol yourself into, given that one is short on the skills part, as they help you attain industry-relevant skills in quick time, with minimal capital investments. 

Global PE Firms with the Highest Fund-Raising in 2019 

If we talk about the largest fund-raisers of 2019 worldwide in the private equity sector, Statista says that the BlackstoneGroup, KKR, and the Carlyle Group were among the top US private equity firms in this regard. Also, these three topped the world rankings in the context of raising private equity funds. 

The talked about Statista study has covered the global private equity firms, and has tracked precisely, the amount of PE funds they raised during the period starting 2014 and ending 2019. Blackstone, considered one of the giants in the private equity industry of US, recorded the highest fund-raising during the stated period, amounting to a whopping $82.85 billion. 

The Challenges & Potential Downsides of Working in Private Equity

Private equity careers demand a lot from you than you have had ever expected. Although, you earn handsomely, and live a luxurious lifestyle, the frustrations at work can tear you apart as a person, at some point or the other in your early career. 

Working late nights, and in diverse time zones within in a single week at work, can take a heavy toll on your physical and mental health. However, it’s not that every person will feel the brunt of the circumstances in an adverse manner, but then, there are a very few that can handle this kind of pressures. 

What Does the Industry Experts Say on the Challenges of Working in PE?

It would be interesting to understand the viewpoint of the top private equity investment professionals, on the challenges attached with working in private equity in the first few years. 

The Vice President at Bain Capital, Soren Haefcke, while speaking at the ‘Alternative Investment Conference’ organized by the London School of Economics, explained briefly about the downsides of working in PE. Further speaking on the same, he mentioned in detail about the big frustrations that can come up in the early years of your career, wherein you might not be able to crack a single deal after working excessively hard during the entire year. 

Adding on to that, he said – “A ton of investment opportunities come our way each year at Bain Capital, but only a handful of them that we really want to go ahead with”. He said, we go through hundreds and thousands of investment deals each year, but, would dismiss most of them, in the early stages of contemplation. 

Moreover, as per him – “As an employee in the private equity sector, you usually do one or two deals, on average, in a year, and sometimes individuals fail to crack an investment deal at all. This is the reality of private equity. The job does, sometimes, bring much frustration than one could take.

Hui Chan, the other Vice President at the Bain Capital, in the same students’ conclave, said – As private equity professionals, we work in accordance with the instructions given by the higher management team, to take the company forward on a growth path. But, it’s not as easy as it seems like working in PE, because, if the management’s way of thinking does not match yours, it can prove to be a highly rough and bumpy ride, till you exist on the payrolls of that specific PE firm”.

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