McKinsey to Private Equity

McKinsey to Private Equity

Follow Lisa, a 27 year-old ex-McKinsey senior associate, as we help her make the improbable leap from consulting into a top-tier US private equity firm, guide her career within the firm, improve her confidence and skills, and accelerate her promotion into a principal officer of a fund within the firm.

Lisa is an MBA and liberal arts undergraduate: both from highly ranked non-Ivy schools. She has taken extensive modelling courses, at university and online, and partially-completed a computational modelling program before abandoning the non-degree credits. ~ 70% of her McKinsey engagements were due-diligence. Like all our programs, every meeting, battle plan, obstacle and messy detail will be covered. This program is recorded over several years.

In the 1st part, we help Lisa choose where to apply for residency/citizenship in the West to guarantee she never has to return home. This first part is so detailed, since we discuss the application strategy, application documents, data needed, completing the documents, interview process etc. that it is presented as a separate program called “USA vs CA/AU/UK Residency/Citizenship” This was a necessary step to ensure Lisa could have the certainty to build a career.

In the 2nd part, we help Lisa secure interviews at the top PE firms despite being outright rejected at even mid-tier PE firms during her initial independent efforts. We help her prepare for the interviews and make the transition. We also outline the counter-intuitive strategy followed. We use Lisa’s friend, Stacy, also at McKinsey, as a comparison since Stacy uses a more conventional approach and is unsuccesful.

In the 3rd part, we help Lisa stabilize her new career. We dissect the assignment that made her career, in great detail. We teach Lisa how to use consulting skills to differentiate herself from her finance peers. In a firm where everyone has great grades, stellar work experience and formidable work ethics, simply working harder would not help Lisa. She needed to be more productive. We build her strategy around the correct definition of productivity. We focus on teaching her how to redesign seemingly intractable deals for the PE firm versus differentiating herself on modelling skills: superior modelling skills are not a competitive advantage among the top-performers at the firm.

In the 4th part, we set up Lisa for promotion within an accelerated timeline. We arrive at the point where Lisa is under consideration to participate in the carried interest of the fund she is managing. We use a simple, but rarely applied approach, to move her forward.

Lisa faces several challenges. She is unmarried but involved in an unstable relationship. This becomes a problem. She is a foreigner and naturally shy. She is soft-spoken, lacks confidence and struggles to hold attention. While she had chosen to leave McKinsey, her performance had been uneven at the firm. Having reviewed all her performance feedback, it is unlikely she would have made partner.

She has a thorough understanding of modelling basics but lacks the ability to generate 3rd and 7th order insights. She relies too much on sourcing insights from others. This is where we focus her point of differentiation. We teach her how to see things other cannot see.

Follow Lisa’s improbable, yet inspirational, journey and learn from everything we did to change her career.
Image from Judy Schmidt under cc, cropped, added text.

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McKinsey to Private Equity