Would now (going into recession, high inflation and interest rates etc) be a good time to make a move from professional services into PE ops/diligence roles?

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There is never a bad time to move into those roles. The bigger issue is availability of those types of roles. They are the dream exit for a lot of people, and those roles typically are not advertised. It can work out, like it did for me, but was a long process.

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Also totally second PWC1. Take the role in PE. We don’t write of assets the same way the market does so recessions don’t really mean much to us. We buy more since it’s low and then make even more when it bounces back. Get in when you can because few people have a second window to get back in

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The whole process took me 2 full years. I am also at a more senior level, so fewer positions than analysts. I started by networking - I reached out to someone I worked with at a PE firm (he was in Portfolio Ops), they weren’t hiring, but he provided advice. I talked to a few headhunters (Charles Aris is #1), some smaller firms. Good interactions with them. The biggest issue is supply - these roles are few and far between. The PE firm may also put constraints on the HHs - “only HBS, only from Bain”, etc. I had 3 real interviews. One was at a firm which didn’t make any sense (their focus was on Healthcare/Tech, I am Industrial). The other 2 went really well, but one had to focus on portco CEOs, search was dropped. The other I thought I hit it out of the park, was told afterward they loved me, but were not sure how I would interact with the portco CEOs. I tried to probe on what that meant, never got a good answer. I did seem to get consistent feedback from all interactions (via HH) “they loved me”, but seemed like I scored a 95 (last one I graded myself a 97.5, no real grading system), they demand a 99 or 100. Along the way, I did do a lot of LinkedIn cold call outreach…I had about a 5% hit rate. Consistent feedback was “Portfolio Ops is extremely difficult to get into, easier to get into a portco, prove yourself there, maybe go to the Fund later”. That last interview really hurt and I was resigned to giving up on PE and going to another consulting firm. I did one last search, found a LMM that was looking for an experienced Ops professional. I reached out and it all happened in about 30 days. Best wishes to all! By the way, the job is so much fun!

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Could you share what steps you took? What events / folks you networked with to get into the role?

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