December 3, 2023

Investment Banking

Let Your Investment Banking Do The Walking

Private-Equity Recruiters Are Reaching Out to Junior Bankers About 2023 Roles

  • Recruiters on behalf of big buy-side firms have begun contacting candidates for 2023 associate roles.
  • That means recruiting by private-equity giants like Apollo may soon begin.
  • Historically, outreach emails from recruiters have preceded the start of interviews by a matter of days.

A key rite of passage for first-year investment-banking analysts on Wall Street is about to begin: buy-side recruiting for coveted private-equity jobs.

Headhunters who conduct recruiting on behalf of private-equity, growth-equity, and asset-management firms have begun contacting first-year investment-banking analysts to join the running for lucrative 2023 buy-side associate roles, Insider has learned.

After numerous delays and setbacks stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, first-year investment bankers are receiving outreach from top recruiting firms including CPI, Henkel Search Partners, BellCast Partners, SG Partners, SearchOne, and Ratio Advisors, according to copies of emails obtained by Insider and confirmations from three sources directly familiar with the headhunters’ activities.

The emails were sent by a number of firms starting on Tuesday and bleeding into Wednesday asking potential candidates to notify them if they’re interested in future meetings.

“We look forward to ultimately meeting you down the road, and we will be in touch to schedule an introductory meeting /


at the appropriate time,” one email sent on Wednesday afternoon from a recruiter at Henkel Search Partners read, inviting candidates to register through the firm’s online portal.

“For the time being we are holding off on meeting with your class. At the appropriate time, we will reach back out and provide you with a personalized link to schedule a meeting,” said a separate email from search firm CPI.

SG Partners, a firm that has drawn controversy for some of its recruiting efforts in the past, went further, calling on students to set up conversations with its team. “Even if you are unsure about recruiting at this stage, we encourage you to carve out a small window of your time for us to get acquainted, discuss your areas of interest, and educate you on the market,” one of the company’s outreach emails on Tuesday said.

Many search firms are secretive about their client lists, but these firms tend to represent the leading investors in the space. Ratio Advisors attached a list of clients to its outreach email, naming firms like Apollo Global Management, TPG Real Estate Partners, Atalaya Capital, and General Atlantic among those it conducts searches for.

The beginning of a multi-step process

Normally, recruiters reach out to first-year banking analysts for associate roles at buy-side firms, including private equity, two years in advance. The latest round of reachouts was delayed, however, by the pandemic, which has created a backlog in the recruiting process. 

Last fall, Insider reported that the same recruiters were so backed up they were reaching out to second-year analysts at investment banks for 2022 roles in late 2021. 

Buy-side recruiting unfolds in several stages. The first, which is underway this week, involves contacting wide swathes of investment-banking analysts to invite them to register with recruiting agencies, to upload their resumes, and express interest in participating in the recruiting cycle. 

After the outreaches, recruiting firms start speaking with candidates, getting to know them, and determining which standout stars they should refer to their clients — the big institutional investment firms keen to get their hands on the best talent of the year. Later down the line, clients start interviewing candidates handpicked for them by recruiters and making offers.

Right now there’s no set date for when those interviews will begin, according to a person directly familiar with the recruiting firms’ thinking who requested anonymity to speak freely about the situation.

However, if history is any precedent, headhunters and their clients have a proclivity for moving quickly once word gets out about their outreach efforts, creating a stampede of firms racing to touch base with analysts and get offers out the door.

Are you an investment-banking analyst participating in 2023 buy-side recruiting? Contact this reporter. Reed Alexander can be reached via email at [email protected] or SMS/the encrypted app signal at (561) 542-0077.