Day in the Life of a PE Associate

Below I outlined a “typical” day for a private equity associate:

8:00am: On the way into the office, you read various news sources such as the Wall Street Journal and check emails that you received the previous night and this morning to make sure you are prepared to take care of any pressing tasks as early as possible.

8:30am: Arrive into the office and go through emails. You see that you have received an investment teaser from a boutique investment bank on a potential sale of a retail chain. Given that you focus on consumer products and this opportunity fits your fund’s investment criteria, you decide to share the idea with a Vice President in your investment team to discuss whether the opportunity is attractive.

9:00am: You pull up the LBO model and input a new base-case scenario that a senior member of the investment team would like to review this morning. You have been working on this investment opportunity for the last several weeks and are getting ready to submit a letter of intent to acquire the respective business.

11:00am: You reach to various contacts on the buy-side and sell-side to catch up on any news that hit the wire that morning and discuss any new events occurring in the industry or sector you cover.

12:00pm: You catch up over lunch with a former colleague that works at a private equity firm that you occasionally co-invest (sometimes called an “investment consortium”). Your former colleague shares an investment opportunity that you may be interested in working together to provide the equity to finance the transaction.

1:00pm: Send the updated LBO model to the senior member and meet in their office to discuss your assumptions and the feasibility of the scenario. You notice that the IRR could be optimized using a different debt instrument and you go back to your office to update.

3:00pm: Given that you received that investment teaser in the morning, you decide to look for relevant sector and comparable peers’ research reports to get a better sense of the market opportunity.

4:00pm: You receive an email containing the monthly profit & loss (“P&L”) of a portfolio company you are responsible for managing. You pull up the financial model and update the numbers to reflect the actual results you just received and then send the model to the senior member of your investment team that is also responsible for the monitoring of the portfolio company.

6:00pm: At the end of the business day, you receive a financial due diligence report for a potential investment that has been approved by your investment committee to pursue further steps into the diligence process. You go through the report and then summarize the findings into an internal memorandum that you have been putting together in preparation for final investment committee approval process.

8:30pm: You decide to call it a day, have dinner and hit the gym for a cardio workout.