I'm a first year associate at a major U.S. bank and I have no interest in the nightmare private equity recruitment process. I intend to move into a hedge fund instead.
Hedge funds are far more interested in hiring junior investment bankers than they used to be. They don't have a specific hiring time like private equity, and unlike private equity funds they tend to hire for an immediate start. It all really depends on when a portfolio manager needs a hand.
The problem with private equity is that it's basically banking 2.0, except that instead of being an associate with some analysts working for you, you're the person at the bottom of the ladder again. This is why you get juniors at places like Apollo complaining of 20- hour days.
Equally, the pay in private equity might seem good, but the pay in PE is rarely higher than banking nowadays, especially if you're coming from a top-paying boutique bank like I am. First year associates here can easily earn $325k+.
The private equity lifestyle is the problem
Fundamentally, I'm very lifestyle-focused. I know people in PE who are still regularly working until 2am, and personally I want to move away from that. I want to start a family, and in the future I don't want to still be working after the markets close.
I want to work on the buy-side and I want to be an investor; I just want to invest in public rather than private markets, because I think they're a better fit for my lifestyle goal. There's some crossover - some PE funds are starting to invest publicly, and some hedge funds are investing privately, but for the most part the old segmentation still exists.
Because hedge funds are investing in public markets, they still more closely to public market hours. My friends in hedge funds commonly work for an hour or two after the market closes and are then done for the day. It's not like that in private equity.
Rocco Danzi is a pseudonym
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