- Private-equity giants from KKR to Apollo are recruiting junior bankers for 2024 associate roles.
- The frenzied process has junior bankers interviewing till 2 a.m. and getting offers before Labor Day.
- Private equity recruiting appears more intense this year as firms race to grab talent.
“The frenzied process of private equity recruiting for first-year investment bankers — notorious for its middle-of-the-night meetings — is underway earlier than ever, Insider has learned.
Investment giants from KKR to Apollo have started meeting with freshman bankers over the last few days for roles that will start in the fall of 2024, according to 12 people familiar with the process, including investment bankers, employees at private-equity firms, recruiters, and career coaches.
The process, which is beginning sooner than it ever has, appears to have started on Monday evening when a handful of firms suddenly sprung into action, igniting an industry-wide stampede to lay claim to junior banker talent. It’s unclear what prompted the sudden kickoff, but by Tuesday morning offers had already gone out at some firms, while other firms were nearing the completion of the race, sources said.
In addition to KRR and Apollo, firms that have begun interviewing candidates this week include Thoma Bravo, Apax Partners, Hellman & Friedman, New Mountain Capital, Silver Point Capital, TPG, Blackstone, and the Carlyle Group, according to industry sources and copies of screenshots and other private messages obtained by Insider. One investment banker at a boutique firm in New York told Insider that she had also participated in an interview with buyside giant Apollo Global Management overnight on Monday.
A person close to Apollo confirmed to Insider that the firm is now conducting “select” interviews with candidates; but added that the firm isn’t planning to fill its whole 2024 class at this time, and would leave some seats open to fill in the coming months.
Spokespersons for KKR, Silver Point, TPG, and Hellman & Friedman declined to comment about their firms’ participation in on-cycle recruiting on Tuesday. Representatives for Thoma Bravo, Apax, New Mountain Capital, and several other firms did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The private-equity recruiting cycle was at times delayed and disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, but now it appears that recruiters and PE funds are once again pushing the boundaries and recruiting earlier than they have in the past. In previous years, the cycle usually began in September or October — but never late August. Buy-side recruiter Anthony Keizner says that FOMO is to blame.
“The fear of missing out on the best candidates once peers start interviewing them” seems to be a key driver behind the earlier timeline, Keizner, a managing partner at New York-based firm Odyssey Search Partners, told Insider. “We predict that many bankers will wait to find off-cycle opportunities because they’re not prepared or willing to interview so early.”