Getting into private equity is one of the tougher fields for younger folks to enter and once in, it’s also a field where few like to leave (at least voluntarily). With low turnover amongst the upper ranks at firms combined with little need for additional VPs and other senior deal people despite new funds being raised, turnover amongst the entry level crowd is inevitable. But how bad/much is it. Looking at how the lower ranks of two well-known groups have changed over the last several years, TA Associates and Silver Lake Partners, provides a little insight.
First up, $12 billion Boston-based TA Associates. From June 2007, a screenshot of TA’s website shows 23 Associates, split between offices in Boston, Menlo Park, and London. Today, TA lists 29 Associates split amongst the same locations, as well as a new office in Mumbai. Of the 23 listed Associates in 2007, only 4 (surprisingly) remain with TA today (2 in Boston and 2 in Menlo Park). Just one, Hythem El-Nazer, has received a promotion and is now a Sr. VP.
TA Associates June 2007
TA Associates Today
Next up, $13 billion SF-based Silver Lake Partners. Looking at a screenshot from June 2007, 17 Associates/Analysts are listed. Today, Silver Lake has 25 Associates/Analysts (all new). Of the original 17 in 2007, just three, Jason Young, Jason White, and Jonahthan Durham remain with firm today.
Silver Lake June 2007
Silver Lake Today
More analysis would certainly be needed to see how common the pattern above is amongst other big-name private equity firms, and you can draw your own conclusions on what explains the low level shuffle. Whether TA and SilverLake tend to hire impatient opportunists or the more likely scenario that both firms having exceedingly high expectations for young staffers. Either way, one thing is clear, if you get in on the ground floor, keep your resume handy as the the chances you’ll still be with TA or Silver Lake after several years, appears unlikely.