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Hiring revives at Private Equity Firms: Here’s what You Should Know

HomeBusinessHiring revives at Private Equity Firms: Here’s what You Should Know

COVID-19 turned many industries upside down. Hiring across most sectors was frozen. Now hiring is slowly opening in most sectors. The private equity industry is one of the many industries that is showing a fast revival in terms of hiring. In the second quarter of the year, Blackstone’s announcement that it will be pivoting towards its graduate recruits, instead of hiring junior bankers from investment banks came as a shock. Now, however, it looks like hiring at top buy-side firms might pick up again.  

In June, KKR’s new hires hit 92% of 2019’s level, according to LinkedIn. Similarly, Apollo Global Management completed 75% of its last year’s figure. Blackstone, on the other hand, in June saw 86% of hiring completion of its last year’s number. While other industries are slowly getting back to normal, the numbers suggest that buy-side firms have shrugged off the virus surprisingly fast. 

The recruitment, however, isn’t primarily filling for the firm’s private equity funds. Anthony Keizer, a partner at New York-based Odyssey Search, suggests, distressed debt is where most of the hiring is happening on the buy side. Apollo hired Philip Kurukgy, a former Pimco Associate, who joined the firm’s London alternative credit team. In June, however, the firm also added Mohammed Boudi from Morgan Stanley, Laura-Victoria Nazaria from Lazard, and Ruth Klavert from Goldman Sachs, for its private equity team in its London office. 

 Many PE firms continued to hire during the global lockdown. Rupert Bell, the Munich-based director of PER, a global private equity recruitment firm, with offices in Europe, Asia, and Mexico, expresses several PE funds kept hiring during the lockdown. A part of the reason was firms were afraid of missing out on scarce talent that they would need once markets return to a normal state. Firms were genuinely concerned that if they wait on the sidelines until the corona passes away, there won’t be anyone left to hire. Bell says the recruitment firm completed 60 private equity placements across the market during the lockdown, a significant number to last year’s figure.

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In the Americas, private equity recruitment appeared a little less robust during the pandemic, even while recruits are lined up for junior PE roles a year in advance.   

 According to Keizer, most U.S PE funds have too busy managing their portfolio companies to even think about hiring. Due to this, many firms are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the valuations to normalize. The Trump administration can revive the U.S. private equity firms and remedy the valuation problem by allowing ordinary savers to invest in private equity through their 401 (k) retirement accounts. 

Bell says junior bankers from some selected teams will be more popular than others as hiring across private equity firms picks up. In the wake of the pandemic, healthcare and software specialists will be most sought after in the COVID economy. “It is not because of the pandemic that healthcare and software have been great teams for ages. The pandemic is proving that these are great places to be, Bell emphasizes.   

In the pandemic and post-pandemic, PE careers are proving to be great. Not that they aren’t already great, but the times have changed the perception toward a PE career. If you’re looking to enter private equity this year, going for a private equity certification like CPEP (Chartered Private Equity Professional) will be extremely helpful. CPEP is a globally –recognized high–value credential for fresh MBA graduates as well as junior bankers that will increase your value significantly for PE firms. The certification will equip you with all the necessary skills that PE funds look for in great private equity professionals.   

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Aileen Scott
Aileen Scott
Aileen Scott is a professional writer, a blogger who writes for a variety of online publications. She is also an acclaimed blogger outreach expert and content marketer. She loves writing blogs and promoting websites related to the education, and technology sectors.

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