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When you leave Goldman Sachs to work 70-80 hour weeks at KKR

If you're leaving Goldman Sachs for a top private equity firm and are hopeful that doing so will result in a reduction in your working hours, then be aware that this may not come to pass.

Alexis Augier spent 11 months as an analyst at Goldman Sachs before leaving the firm for private equity firm KKR in 2017. He spent four years at KKR before leaving for a hedge fund and then founding a banker-focused wealth management firm, Vega. Augier says his working hours didn't improve appreciably in the transition between Goldman and KKR. He does not appear to be alone in that experience.

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“There’s less facetime on the buyside, but I was still working 70-80 hours a week, which was similar to banking,” Augier says. “People tend to think they will leave banking to work less, but I don’t think that is the right rationale. The first few years on the buy-side are very intense. You have a lot to learn."

Augier's experience is not abnormal. The recent private equity compensation report from search firm Odyssey Partners said that at "upper middle market" private equity firms, working hours average 70 per week. When small firms are added in, Odyssey says they average 60 per week. But at the biggest firms like KKR and Blackstone, even longer hours are not unusual. 

An associate at one mega private equity firm says hours are most intense during an investment process, when everyone typically works late and eats dinner together. "I used to be in banking and we did the same," he says. When an investment process isn't happening, he works 10-hour days in the office and another two hours at home later in the evening. 

Hedge funds hypothetically have better working hours than private equity or banks. If you want to optimize your career for lifestyle, you may want to reference the chart below from Buyside Hustle. It suggests multimanager hedge funds are the sweet spot, which might explain why we spoke to one portfolio manager last year who said he was only working eight hour days.

 

Source: Buyside Hustle

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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