In theory, junior bankers aren't as happy about moving into private equity as they used to be: PE jobs pay less than they did and funds have entire teams of juniors crunching numbers for 12 hours a day, so the job's become strangely similar to banking when you go in at the bottom. If this is the case, though, no one seems to have juniors at investment banks in London, who are still quitting for private equity in their droves.
The latest big PE recruiter in London looks like Apollo Global Management, which has been filling its associate ranks with junior bankers throughout 2018. The newest arrival is Paulo Bonnetto, who just joined Apollo in London after 23 months as an analyst with J.P. Morgan. He follows Michael Dunn Goekjian, who also joined Apollo as an associate after nearly three years with Goldman Sachs in April, Ilkka Hameri, who joined as an associate from Goldman Sachs in March, and Alessandro Frau, who joined (as an associate) from Credit Suisse in January.
Apollo isn't the only private equity fund picking-off banking juniors. British-based Apax Partners has also been a bit busy: it just recruited Xenia Dethlefs from Morgan Stanley as an associate after bringing on Mehmet Tar from Temasek to its healthcare team in April.
London headhunters said private equity funds are particularly busy recruiting from banks this year and that this is prompting banks like SocGen to hike juniors' pay.
However, recruiters also agreed that some juniors are finding that PE funds aren't all they're cracked up to be. "It's ok if you join a private equity fund at an early stage, but a lot of these businesses are no longer as entrepreneurial as they were," says Andy Pringle, director at Circle Square recruitment. "Ex-bankers who join PE funds today are increasingly getting stuck at VP or director level and realizing that it's going to be hard to move to principal because the people above them have no intention of retiring."
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