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The top private equity funds, and how much they pay

As an industry, private equity is perhaps the most sought-after in all of financial services. One PE firm told us it receives 250 applications for every role it posts. Acceptance rates at top investment banks like Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are miniscule yet still dwarf those of even average private equity firms. Yet people still apply and the top funds have their pick of the top analysts and associates in investment banks. 

The chart below shows the top 20 global private equity funds, ranked both by assets under management and by dry powder according to Preqin, the the intelligence provider for the alternative asset management industry. Top of the list is SB Investment Advisors - the investment arm of SoftBank, which recently came unstuck with its $10.5bn commitment to WeWork. 

Below the chart we've given a brief rundown of who the top five funds hire, and how much they (roughly) pay in terms of salaries and bonuses (carried interest payments are less clear).

1. SB Investment Advisers jobs and pay:

Staff numbers: 400+

Who it hires: Ex-Deutsche Bank traders, associates from leading investment banks. Ex-associates join SB Investment Advisors as 'investors' and therefore seem to have more experience than the average analysts who move into private equity after around a year in banking.

Offices: London,  Silicon Valley, Tokyo and Singapore

Pay: $104k to $168k in salary for an investment associate in Silicon Valley according to the H1B Visa database. $236k for a legal partner. Average total compensation at SB Investment Advisors in London in 2017 (last year for which figures are available) was $181k.

2. Carlyle Group jobs and pay

Staff numbers: 1,775+.

Who it hires: Associates with 'at least two years of investment banking or consulting work experience,' senior associates with an MBA and 'at least four years of prior alternative asset, private equity, investment banking and/or consulting experience.'

Offices: 33 offices in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Pay: Salaries of around $100k for first year analysts and around $150k for first year associates according to Wall Street Oasis. Bonuses vary widely and can be the same again, or substantially less.

3. Blackstone Group jobs and pay 

Staff numbers: Around 2,400 in total (only 250 private equity professionals).

Who it hires: Blackstone runs internships and graduate training programs for university leavers across its funds (the UK deadline is coming soon). It also hires associates for more experienced roles, but asks that they have 3-4 years' banking experience (even more in some funds) after leaving university.

Offices: London, Paris, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Luxembourg, Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai.

Pay: $160k salary for a third year analyst in private equity, according to Wall Street Oasis; $150k+ for an associate, with the potential for the same again as a bonus. 

4. TPG (formerly known as Texas Pacific Group) jobs and pay 

Staff numbers: c1,000 globally.

Who it hires? Analysts with around 2.5 years' experience at major banks are typically hired as associates. 

Offices: Austin, Beijing, Boston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Luxembourg, Melbourne, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, and Singapore.

Pay: $110k salary for an associate in San Francisco, $125k for an associate in New York, $250k for a managing director in San Francisco, according to the H1B Visa database.

5. KKR jobs and pay 

Staff numbers:  Around 1,400 globally (500 investment professionals).

Who it hires: KKR started hiring new university graduates for the first time this year. Mostly it likes to hire associates (with at least four years' experience), or 'analysts' with around a year's experience from from investment banks or consulting firms like McKinsey & Co..

Offices: 20 offices globally. 

Pay: Salaries of $85k to $90k for analysts, $140k to $150k for associates, $260k for principals (according to the H1B salary database). Plus bonuses, plus carried interest. 

Photo by Andrea Natali on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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