Where Top MBAs Work In Private Equity

by John A. Byrne on Print Print

School TPG Capital Carlyle Group Blackstone Group KKR Warburg Pincus Advent Int’l Apollo Mgt. Bain Capital CVC Capital
Harvard 23 41 43 24 20 28 8 77 5
Stanford 10 7 8 13 13 4 1 18 2
Chicago 2 9 16 2 1 1 5 6 0
Wharton 16 30 70 22 26 19 17 37 5
Kellogg 6 7 8 1 3 0 2 3 1
MIT 1 1 8 2 2 3 2 5 1
Columbia 8 18 28 6 2 2 10 3 2
Tuck 2 4 2 1 0 0 0 7 1
Duke 0 6 4 1 0 2 1 2 0
NYU 6 12 45 12 4 5 12 3 0

Source: Poets&Quants analysis of LinkedIn member profiles (Created with the HTML Table Generator)

By far, the biggest single PE employer of MBAs appears to be The Blackstone Group, with some 250 MBAs from just ten business schools on its payroll. It’s followed by Bain Capital (161), which received plenty of unwanted publicity during the Presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, and The Carlyle Group, with 135 MBAs. You can count 71 MBAs from these schools at Warburg Pincus, and 74 MBAs at TPG Capital.

And when it comes to playing favorites, Bain Capital seems to have a thing for Harvard Business School. Of the 161 MBAs from ten schools at the firm, 77 of them are Harvard grads. Similar favoritism seems to be in play for Wharton grads at The Blackstone Group where 70 of its 250 MBAs from these ten schools had their degrees stamped at Wharton.

Though the easy route to a top PE player may be through Harvard or Wharton, there are plenty of MBAs in PE from many other schools. Blackstone’s finance chief, Laurence Tosi, for example, has an M.B.A. from Georgetown’s McDonough School.




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  • Mike

    I think this analysis could be very misleading – I sanity checked a couple firms through LInkedIn’s advanced search and it appears Wharton’s undergrads are counted with the MBAs. Someone correct me if I’m missing the methodology but just checking using LInkedIn’s search, I’m able to recreate the analysis above with at least some directional accuracy (e.g., TPG – 11 HBS, 12 Wharton, 8 Stanford, KKR – 17 HBS, 23 Wharton, 7 Stanford; BainCap – 46 HBS, 27 Wharton, 12 Stanford). In checking the full member profiles: TPG – only 3 of the 12 Wharton folks did the MBA program (most of the rest had were there for undergrad), with KKR only 6 Wharton MBAs, and with BainCap only 10.

    If this is the case, I imagine this and similar analyses using LinkedIn would grossly overstate the grads from Wharton / Ross / other schools whose MBA program shares the name of the undergrad degree.

  • diablo2man

    you are hurting your credential here.

    1. Wellington definitely recruits in CBS. It only hires two interns for this year with return offer and one is CBS student (not sure if the other is Booth or other school)

    2. AQR doesn’t recruit Booth MBA. It only recruit Booth PhD student (or MBA with PhD level academic background)

    3. Not sure about Citadel.

    AQR/Citadel or big name quant shops are not typical MBA recruiters. Most MBA want to go to fundamental L/S hedge fund or asset management. Most those funds are not in midwest but in northeast. I’d be very surprised if you know any big fundamental buyside players in northeast only hire Booth MBA but not CBS MBA. They are pretty much equal from this perspective.

    However, CBS leads Booth a thousand years in terms of small/medium HF/Asset management recruiting mainly due to its value investing program and NYC location (you need to network into those firm). Although it has rigid analytical finance course, Booth (or another other top schools) doesn’t have any deep fundamental investing courses. If you are from a non-finance/buyside background and want to do secondary market investing, I don’t see any reasons you would choose Booth or even Wharton over CBS (only H/S have big enough prestige factor that outweigh the value investing network/course of CBS)

  • diablo2man

    All AM firms except AQR and most HF you mentioned above also recruit in CBS. AQR only hire Booth PhD instead of MBA.

    Also this year no Booth students gets PIMCO internship after interview (from my source so maybe inaccurate) but a couple CBS students get PIMCO internship.

    16% of CBS alumni work in investment management industry so I’d really really surprise that “Among the professionals at top buyside firms, Booth is far more respected than Columbia.”

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