The ‘Goldman Sachs of private equity’ has been hiring junior bankers in London. And guess what? It likes to hire from Goldman Sachs. Or, maybe…J.P. Morgan.
KKR’s most recent London hire is drawn from Jamie Dimon’s stable. Risham Saif, an analyst who spent nearly two years on J.P. Morgan’s leveraged finance team, has just joined as analyst in London. Saif follows in the footsteps of Vazgen Badalyan, another JPM analyst who joined KKR in after a year in a half in January, and Paul Atefi, who spent a full eight years in J.P.M’s lev fin team and joined KKR in May.
KKR clearly quite likes to hire from J.P. Morgan. However, it also quite likes to hire from Goldman Sachs: around 15% of its London staff are GS alumni. In May, KKR poached Alexis Augier, an analyst from Goldman’s securitisation team. Augier had only been at GS 11 months. In February, it poached Christopher Drewson from rival private equity fund BC Partners. Drewson had been at BC 18 months, but he was at Goldman for a year before that.
What makes KKR so appealing? Having a big brand name helps. KKR ranked second as the most popular private equity fund to work for in our ideal employer survey. You’re going to be keeping your “optionality” open with KKR on your CV. You should also do well out of any carried interest – albeit not until you’ve been there for several years. And KKR’s share price is rising – it’s up 11% since January, compared to a rise of just 2% at J.P.Morgan and a decline of 9% at Goldman Sachs. That’s nice, given that KKR paid out $111m in equity-based compensation in the quarter ended March 2017.