Private equity firms playing in Australia's M&A markets may make up a smaller percentage of the whole compared to their UK and US counterparts, but the private equity scene is on a tear and shows no signs of slowing down.
Many of the players have raised additional funds recently, with Ironbridge currently set to close a fund with approximately $800m. Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) raised $1.2bn in funds in February of this year.
These deals have a direct impact on hiring. Australian-based teams are looking for additional resources as they search for the next deal.
Andrew Kinghorn at recruiter Carmichael Fisher in Sydney says analysts with approximately three years experience in a commercial or transactional environment are most in demand.
Further, Kinghorn says employees entering at this level can expect to earn a base salary of anywhere between $90,000-$130,000 with bonuses ranging from 25%-75%.
As an industry, private equity offers a relatively rapid earnings increase in the first five years. A portion of the carried interest, or profits realised after a deal exit, may also be available after some tenure. The amount of carry and length of tenure can differ significantly from firm to firm.
Kinghorn believes that unlike the larger banks and traditional corporate finance houses, private equity firms place the greatest value on candidates who have backgrounds in management consulting or commercial strategy roles.
The private equity market is set to grow in Australia, and with the majority of firms in the investment stage, there should be more high-profile deals to come.
Recent deals include KKR's acquisition of the Brambles waste management and logistics assets for $1.84bn, Newbridge's acquisition of the Myer department store chain for $1.4bn, and Ironbridges's $500m acquisition of Super Amart.
For more information on the industry, visit the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association at www.avcal.com.au.