Private equity jobs in Australia and the US

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Failed in London? Try Sydney or New York. Rumour has it there are private equity jobs to be had in both cities. Predictably, however, only gainfully employed, top-of-the-class investment bankers need apply.

Bloomberg ran a story earlier this week claiming that European private equity funds are taking advantage of the cheap dollar and expanding into the US.

Permira, Apax Partners, BC Partners, Cinven and CVC Capital Partners are all said to be building their presence and fishing for staff. BC's managing partner is moving to New York in June to head the US operation, and Permira hired from JPMorgan last month.

Brian Korb, partner at Glocap Search in New York, says new entrant European funds are looking to build out 'full deal teams', mostly comprised of people with prior pe experience.

He says US funds are also hiring: "They have locked up capital (and fee income) and want to maintain a strong bench of junior and mid-level talent to keep on top of the market, find value in new deals, and continue to extract more value in previous portfolio companies."

Top associate-level candidates leaving investment banking for multi-billion dollar pe funds can earn total cash comp of $250k-$350k in the US, says Korb. Base salary accounts for $100k-$125k of this.

See you in Sydney

If New York doesn't appeal, there's always Sydney.

After a record year last year, Australian private equity isn't having quite such a bountiful time in 2008. So far there only one pe buyout of a company listed on the Australian exchange has emerged (Ironbridge's AU$272m purchase of Bravura).

But local headhunters say there's still plenty of hiring. Even better, a lack of local talent means Australian funds are focusing their sights on bankers in the UK.

"The available analyst/associate pool in Australia has already been mined many times for the right candidates," says Victoria Biggs at Jon Michel Executive Search in Sydney. "Also, many young Australians headed to financial hubs such as London and New York last year and we are yet to see their return."

Texas Pacific Group and CVC are among the international funds hiring down under. Local funds looking for staff include Archer Capital, CHAMP Private Equity, and Catalyst Private Equity.

Biggs says an associate in an Australian pe fund can expect a base of AU$150k (US$141k), plus a 50% bonus.

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