Kind of a different question ... for those who made the move to PE, any questions or things you wish you would’ve asked / known when you were interviewing that you know now working in the role?

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I personally wish that I'd been a lot clearer on my firm's style and investing strategy going in. I went to a more value-oriented shop that made it near-impossible to do the deals that I was attracted to. I sort of knew that going in, but coming from a consulting background, I wasn't truly aware of all that implied. Knowing what I know now, I would probably go to a tech / consumer shop (growth or buyout, but less value-y)

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To your question about moving from a high-multiple to a value-based strategy vs. the other way around - they are very much different ways of thinking about investing. I imagine that at the associate level (e.g., lateraling to senior associate or first year VP) it can be done with some persistence, MBA, etc. given that the associate role is about modeling, diligence, etc. After that - I imagine it's harder.

To give a concrete example - take the style of investing that I learned, which is looking for undervalued assets (e.g., proprietary process, weird transaction dynamics, etc.) and then finding ways to put more leverage and transaction structure (e.g., seller note, earnout, sale lease-back, etc.) to bring down the equity check size. I'm playing a MOIC game where there's high upside if there's any reasonable amount of growth, and my base case is protected by the entry valuation. That's a lot different than saying, "I'm gonna pay 13 - 15x for some healthcare roll-up / 18x for a SaaS asset with just 5 - 6 leverage, so I better nail the growth levers and have a really deep underlying knowledge of why this asset has a right to achieve 10%+ revenue growth rate through the hold period."

Once you get past a certain amount of experience it becomes harder to change your habits of investing (and I'm starting to get there). Which is why I think that if you have the foresight to think through these nuances before even going in to begin with (or early into your associate tenure), you should absolutely factor it into your firm choice.

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