Picking between a tech team and retail team for a PE firm. Leaning towards tech due to having more DD experience there but would love to hear from someone in retail PE what the benefits of being part of the consumer/retail team are.

All insight is helpful thank you!

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If this is Advent, I’m fairly familiar with the firm. Their tech fund isn’t great and isn’t part of the true megafund brand (separate, smaller fund). One of their main investments, Thrasio, took a huge beating recently (company will probably die imo) and the type of companies they invest in are going to see insane write downs right now. Probably most importantly, in the tech world they don’t really hold a candle to the top tech funds like Vista, Thoma Bravo, Insight, etc. Most people in tech have never heard of Advent. If you do tech, you’ll also be sourcing quite a bit (meaning cold outreach to companies). Retail is a better bet. Retail is also traditional PE meaning you won’t have to deal with the sourcing (which is a huge difference in quality of experience).

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If you truly want to go to tech, you could do growthier funds, or perhaps do something like Francisco Partners, Siris Capital, Clearlake Capital, etc. And it is much easier to be a career tech investor if you start as an associate tech investor. Having said that, there will always be B2C tech businesses (see: neobanks / a bajillion fintech concepts, telehealth / mental health, etc.) and getting some consumer experience can kind of help with that. (Granted, four-wall payback analyses are different than LTV:CAC analyses... but at the end of the day cash flow is cash flow and cohort analyses are the same no matter what).

If you do take this consumer & retail team offer (e.g., Advent), then it depends how much you think you can lean on your BCG case experience in tech (DDs and strategy) + a PE associate stint to tell the story of why you'd want to be a VP / beyond in tech investing, if you stay in the buyside. Seems doable to me, but certainly a consideration that only you can weigh for yourself.

This isn't to dox you, but might be helpful to name the PE firm in question (or just DM). A lot of funds raised dedicated "tech" (read: jump on the software bandwagon) over the last couple of years, but it isn't necessarily in their DNA. For example, Advent has been investing in tech for many years, but hasn't tried to play in software as much until their new Advent Tech fund (which is really cool because they can invest all over the capital stack, but certainly not part of that firm's core). Conversely, Advent consumer and retail has been around for a long time and you will truly learn the Advent style of investing.

Of course, interest and team trump all of that, but if it feels remotely close to you, think about the experience of being part of the legacy fund vs. part of a newer and more entrepreneurial team (which has pros and cons)

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Being in the tech team in today’s time offers a better advantage.

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What is the size of the firm? Has any team been around longer? Do you know how capital is split?

Can you switch verticals between preMBA associate to post MBA VP?

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