Ranking: the best private equity funds according to students from Grandes Ecoles

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The investment bank or the specialized fund still represent the holy grail for some students from the Grandes Ecoles. For the second year in a row, the Essec junior company and AlumnEye, a consulting company for students on interview preparation, have published the ranking of the best-rated funds in the eyes of the 591 students questioned.

The most reputable Grandes Ecoles have been targeted, both in business (HEC, Essec, ESCP, Essec, Emlyon and Edhec), in engineering (Centrale Lyon, Centrale London, Mines London, Ponts et Chaussées, Polytechnique and Télécom London ) and two universities with hybrid status, Dauphine and Sciences Po London.

Ranking of private equity funds, in order of preference according to students from Grandes Ecoles.

Ranking of private equity funds, in order of preference according to students from Grandes Ecoles.Junior Essec Consulting / AlumnEye

More striking fact: Eurazeo jumped four places. “The fund has gained visibility in different investment segments, in part thanks to great deals made within English Tech”assures Anne-Gabrielle Mangeret, headhunter at AE Search, the “headhunting” branch of the AlumnEye group, partner of the study.

To form an opinion and target their search for an internship, the study reveals that students are of course committed to understanding the fund's strategy and evaluating its prestige, but above all it is the positive feedback from a former intern who remains essential in their choice of candidacy.

Remuneration, reason number one

In terms of motivation criteria, remuneration comes first, followed closely by the interest of the profession. Although they come out on top in the two types of population surveyed, the order of these criteria is not quite the same between engineers and salespeople.

Motivational criteria for joining the private equity field according to business and engineering school students.

Motivational criteria for joining the private equity field according to business and engineering school students.Junior Essec Conseil/AlumnEye

Extensive hours and the workload of the sector private equity do not seem to frighten the students, on the contrary. Seven out of ten answer that concerning their internship within a fund, they would prefer to have a very intense pace rather than a healthy life balance.

“During the six-month internship, these students want to learn, but they know they will learn more if the number of deals is high, which implies a steady pace”, observes the headhunter. The proof is: of the five funds best rated by the trainees on the criterion of work/personal life balance (namely L. Catterton, Blackfin Capital Partners, Gimv, LBO London and PSP Investments), none appears in the top 10 mentioned above.

General decline in interest

Another lesson from this study: almost half of the students surveyed (46%) are not at all interested in the private equity and 35% say they are simply interested without really knowing anything about it or with apprehension about selectivity. Only 19% say they are really attracted. A figure down 13 points over one year!

How to explain such a lack of love in one year? Anne-Gabrielle Mangeret of AlumnEye first mentions a factor which relates to the methodology with, in 2022, a greater proportion of students from engineering schools surveyed, who on average go less towards finance. But this does not explain everything. The recruiter also sees a generational factor with the tech sector and start-ups which is gradually taking precedence over reputedly more prestigious sectors.

As the pool shrinks, investment banks are forced to make their selection more flexible. If previously, only students from the very first business and engineering schools could claim it, recruiters have gradually integrated schools that are not part of the top 3. “Students from schools like Edhec are increasingly finding positions in private equity. However, we can see that among the directors of the funds, who joined several years ago, very few are graduates of this type of school.. »

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