Investment Banking recruitment agencies
While most of the interviews on this site have been with job seekers or with current investment bankers, today we’re going to change things up and speak with an investment banking and private equity recruiter who works at a well-known recruiting firm.
You’re about to learn some little-known, highly valuable, and controversial information about the finance recruiting industry.
Keep reading to find out how to impress recruiters and interviewers and land PE and investment banking offers.
Where Did It All Begin?
Q: Can you tell us about your firm and what types of candidates you focus on?
A: Sure. We started off specializing in placing ex-military candidates, and since then we’ve expanded into almost 20 other industries, including accounting and finance.
Within investment banking and private equity, we focus on $200K – $1M total compensation per year positions. This corresponds to entry-level positions up through the mid-level – we do a few Partner and MD-level searches occasionally, but they’re not our core focus.
We work with a wide range of banks, but on the buy-side we concentrate on funds below $1B AUM and usually funds in the $50 – $500MM AUM range.
Q: How’d you get started doing this? I know sometimes investment banking analysts make the move over to the recruiting side – were you coming from that background?
A: No, I started off doing recruiting for general “Analyst” positions across all industries.
That was ok, but I found that I liked private equity and investment banking recruiting more because the fees were better and placement took more time – so you could focus more on a few key clients rather than spreading yourself thin.
While some investment banking analysts want to make the move into recruiting, they often fail to realize that technical skills matter very little for recruiting – it’s a sales job, not an analytical job.
You need to be a quick thinker and good on the phone – knowing the in’s and out’s of models and how an M&A deal works is ok, but you only need to know these topics at a very high level.
Q: You mentioned that you don’t do many Partner-level searches – but wouldn’t you earn far higher fees by placing these types of candidates rather than lower-level people?
A: While the fees are higher, there are a couple problems with Partner-level searches:
- Usually it takes 6-8 months to place a single candidate.
- All searches at that level are highly confidential, so making introductions and maneuvering the process has an added layer of complexity.
Overall, we’ve found that sub-$1MM range candidates are the best to work with because the chances of placing them are higher and because it’s not quite as extended a process.