STB: Private Funds group NYC

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STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:48 pm

Have an offer here and considering whether I'd be interested in private funds work there. Talked to a few associates, but can anyone speak to lifestyle/hours/exit options? Is the practice the same as fund formation?

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:54 am

I am an incoming associate so I can only speak to what I saw over the summer. It's an incredibly strong group. The Private Funds group is synonymous with Fund Formation at other firms, but Simpson's group is pretty heavily slanted toward PE Funds as opposed to Hedge Funds (with the occasional hedge fund thrown in). If you want to do PE fund formation there is basically no better place do it. The only other places that come anywhere close are Debevoise and K&E, maybe Ropes. The hours are as intense as any other group by numbers alone. However, the associates do claim the workflow is more steady and predictable than other groups, and therefore they can usually take a fair amount of time off on the weekends by busting their asses during the week.

The exit options are pretty sweet if this is the type of work you want to do. You go in-house to a client doing the same type of work typically. From what I have heard, the in-house salaries at the funds tend to closely track the salary you were getting at the point that you leave the firm, but you see less growth (in both rank and salary) thereafter - which seems to be the case for most exits. Hope this is helpful.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:36 am

I work in investment funds at another firm, so I can't speak to STB specifically. However, for other viewers Is like to point out that the above anon is not correct in saying that "Investment Funds" is synonymous with fund formation at other firms. While true that fund formation makes up a part of that practice at other firms, I don't know any firm whose group consists entirely of fund formation; rather, it's a mix of fund formation, '40 Act and Advisers Act counseling, general regulatory advice regarding maintenance of funds, M&A at various levels, etc.

This is a practice group that's one of the more amorphous ones and rarely overlaps when comparing two firms, but it's rarely (if ever?) just fund formation.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am an incoming associate so I can only speak to what I saw over the summer. It's an incredibly strong group. The Private Funds group is synonymous with Fund Formation at other firms, but Simpson's group is pretty heavily slanted toward PE Funds as opposed to Hedge Funds (with the occasional hedge fund thrown in). If you want to do PE fund formation there is basically no better place do it. The only other places that come anywhere close are Debevoise and K&E, maybe Ropes. The hours are as intense as any other group by numbers alone. However, the associates do claim the workflow is more steady and predictable than other groups, and therefore they can usually take a fair amount of time off on the weekends by busting their asses during the week.

The exit options are pretty sweet if this is the type of work you want to do. You go in-house to a client doing the same type of work typically. From what I have heard, the in-house salaries at the funds tend to closely track the salary you were getting at the point that you leave the firm, but you see less growth (in both rank and salary) thereafter - which seems to be the case for most exits. Hope this is helpful.


Coming from another person who did summer work in fund formation at one of the 4 firms mentioned above. My firm's funds group was pure fund formation. The group is very competitive to get into because it is known as having a better lifestyle than other corp groups for the reasons mentioned above. One thing to note, however, is that pure fund formation is pretty specialized and very repetitive work, and I found it to be surprisingly dull even as compared to other corporate groups (cap mkts, m&a). Junior associates seemed to spend a lot of time just keeping track of signed partnership agreements that came in and doing extremely light markups. Unlike m&a, the docs don't really change from deal to deal, and there's little room for negotiation (which is IMO what makes corporate deals interesting). Take all this with a grain of salt, though, because a lot of other summers seemed to really like it.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am an incoming associate so I can only speak to what I saw over the summer. It's an incredibly strong group. The Private Funds group is synonymous with Fund Formation at other firms, but Simpson's group is pretty heavily slanted toward PE Funds as opposed to Hedge Funds (with the occasional hedge fund thrown in). If you want to do PE fund formation there is basically no better place do it. The only other places that come anywhere close are Debevoise and K&E, maybe Ropes. The hours are as intense as any other group by numbers alone. However, the associates do claim the workflow is more steady and predictable than other groups, and therefore they can usually take a fair amount of time off on the weekends by busting their asses during the week.

The exit options are pretty sweet if this is the type of work you want to do. You go in-house to a client doing the same type of work typically. From what I have heard, the in-house salaries at the funds tend to closely track the salary you were getting at the point that you leave the firm, but you see less growth (in both rank and salary) thereafter - which seems to be the case for most exits. Hope this is helpful.


did you get the sense that the group is as competitive to get into as the above poster? Its bigger than groups that I hear are tough gets like real-estate or tax, but not as big as M&A.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby JusticeHarlan » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I work in investment funds at another firm, so I can't speak to STB specifically. However, for other viewers Is like to point out that the above anon is not correct in saying that "Investment Funds" is synonymous with fund formation at other firms. While true that fund formation makes up a part of that practice at other firms, I don't know any firm whose group consists entirely of fund formation; rather, it's a mix of fund formation, '40 Act and Advisers Act counseling, general regulatory advice regarding maintenance of funds, M&A at various levels, etc.

This is a practice group that's one of the more amorphous ones and rarely overlaps when comparing two firms, but it's rarely (if ever?) just fund formation.

I don't know about STB or some other firms, but from what I've seen and heard from friends who do this kind of work at different firms, there are certainly firms that have fund formation for VCs, PE shops, REITs, etc., as a separate practice group than '40 Act groups and the other work you mention. It generally does involve doing ongoing work for those fund clients as well, but people can certainly just deal with, say, PE shops on the fund side and never see any '40 Act or other regulatory work, and also no M&A work.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Rahviveh » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:31 pm

JusticeHarlan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I work in investment funds at another firm, so I can't speak to STB specifically. However, for other viewers Is like to point out that the above anon is not correct in saying that "Investment Funds" is synonymous with fund formation at other firms. While true that fund formation makes up a part of that practice at other firms, I don't know any firm whose group consists entirely of fund formation; rather, it's a mix of fund formation, '40 Act and Advisers Act counseling, general regulatory advice regarding maintenance of funds, M&A at various levels, etc.

This is a practice group that's one of the more amorphous ones and rarely overlaps when comparing two firms, but it's rarely (if ever?) just fund formation.

I don't know about STB or some other firms, but from what I've seen and heard from friends who do this kind of work at different firms, there are certainly firms that have fund formation for VCs, PE shops, REITs, etc., as a separate practice group than '40 Act groups and the other work you mention. It generally does involve doing ongoing work for those fund clients as well, but people can certainly just deal with, say, PE shops on the fund side and never see any '40 Act or other regulatory work, and also no M&A work.


Same at my firm. The nature of fund formation work is very different to M&A work

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:38 pm

Different anon also considering STB. Can anyone else from the firm weigh in on PF hours/lifestyle as compared to the M&A/Cap Markets/Banking & Credit groups?

Separately, does life get much better after you've left the PF group? I know someone above said the in-house salaries can be comparable but I'm more interested in hearing about the hours/workflow/craziness after you've gone in-house to a fund from an elite group like STB.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:23 pm

I'm a fund formation associate at another biglaw firm (not one of the ones listed above). The hours are comparable on the year compared to M&A/Cap Mrkts, but it is more steady. I bill an average of 50 hours per week, every week, whereas an M&A associate might bill 50 hours over the course of three days and then sit on their hands for two weeks. Anecdotally from friends at STB, their Funds group is billing much more than 50 hours per week, every week; midnight nights are the norm (however, their M&A associates routinely get home at 3 am so better lifestyle still I suppose).

Again anecdotally and from working with in-house fund attorneys, I think the lifestyle of an in-house funds attorney is only marginally better than a funds attorney at a large firm. The work is nearly identical, except you're reviewing the docs instead of drafting them. You're also more involved with negotiating side agreements with investors than you are at the firm, and generally overseeing that side of the business. I think salaries are higher than your general corporate in-house gigs, and there is potential for carry way down the line, but the hours are very similar to biglaw. I consistently receive emails from the in-house fund attorneys at the PE firms we work with throughout the night and on weekends. PE/Banking is just not a "lifestyle" industry - these people work 24/7 and so do their in-house lawyers.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a fund formation associate at another biglaw firm (not one of the ones listed above). The hours are comparable on the year compared to M&A/Cap Mrkts, but it is more steady. I bill an average of 50 hours per week, every week, whereas an M&A associate might bill 50 hours over the course of three days and then sit on their hands for two weeks. Anecdotally from friends at STB, their Funds group is billing much more than 50 hours per week, every week; midnight nights are the norm (however, their M&A associates routinely get home at 3 am so better lifestyle still I suppose).

Again anecdotally and from working with in-house fund attorneys, I think the lifestyle of an in-house funds attorney is only marginally better than a funds attorney at a large firm. The work is nearly identical, except you're reviewing the docs instead of drafting them. You're also more involved with negotiating side agreements with investors than you are at the firm, and generally overseeing that side of the business. I think salaries are higher than your general corporate in-house gigs, and there is potential for carry way down the line, but the hours are very similar to biglaw. I consistently receive emails from the in-house fund attorneys at the PE firms we work with throughout the night and on weekends. PE/Banking is just not a "lifestyle" industry - these people work 24/7 and so do their in-house lawyers.


In-house life depends a lot more on the fund; it will never be a straight 9-5, but mega PE fund will be different from small mid-market PE fund will be different from regional hedge fund and so on and so forth--a lot more variety in pay, role, responsibility etc. than you see in comparing Deb to SRZ to Seward to STB to K&E to Weil to DPW etc.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:11 pm

WhiteCollarBlueShirt wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a fund formation associate at another biglaw firm (not one of the ones listed above). The hours are comparable on the year compared to M&A/Cap Mrkts, but it is more steady. I bill an average of 50 hours per week, every week, whereas an M&A associate might bill 50 hours over the course of three days and then sit on their hands for two weeks. Anecdotally from friends at STB, their Funds group is billing much more than 50 hours per week, every week; midnight nights are the norm (however, their M&A associates routinely get home at 3 am so better lifestyle still I suppose).

Again anecdotally and from working with in-house fund attorneys, I think the lifestyle of an in-house funds attorney is only marginally better than a funds attorney at a large firm. The work is nearly identical, except you're reviewing the docs instead of drafting them. You're also more involved with negotiating side agreements with investors than you are at the firm, and generally overseeing that side of the business. I think salaries are higher than your general corporate in-house gigs, and there is potential for carry way down the line, but the hours are very similar to biglaw. I consistently receive emails from the in-house fund attorneys at the PE firms we work with throughout the night and on weekends. PE/Banking is just not a "lifestyle" industry - these people work 24/7 and so do their in-house lawyers.


In-house life depends a lot more on the fund; it will never be a straight 9-5, but mega PE fund will be different from small mid-market PE fund will be different from regional hedge fund and so on and so forth--a lot more variety in pay, role, responsibility etc. than you see in comparing Deb to SRZ to Seward to STB to K&E to Weil to DPW etc.


Would it be unrealistic to "plan" for an exit to a smaller/less demanding fund from a place like STB/KE/Deb? Seems like mega fund is more the norm?

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
WhiteCollarBlueShirt wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a fund formation associate at another biglaw firm (not one of the ones listed above). The hours are comparable on the year compared to M&A/Cap Mrkts, but it is more steady. I bill an average of 50 hours per week, every week, whereas an M&A associate might bill 50 hours over the course of three days and then sit on their hands for two weeks. Anecdotally from friends at STB, their Funds group is billing much more than 50 hours per week, every week; midnight nights are the norm (however, their M&A associates routinely get home at 3 am so better lifestyle still I suppose).

Again anecdotally and from working with in-house fund attorneys, I think the lifestyle of an in-house funds attorney is only marginally better than a funds attorney at a large firm. The work is nearly identical, except you're reviewing the docs instead of drafting them. You're also more involved with negotiating side agreements with investors than you are at the firm, and generally overseeing that side of the business. I think salaries are higher than your general corporate in-house gigs, and there is potential for carry way down the line, but the hours are very similar to biglaw. I consistently receive emails from the in-house fund attorneys at the PE firms we work with throughout the night and on weekends. PE/Banking is just not a "lifestyle" industry - these people work 24/7 and so do their in-house lawyers.


In-house life depends a lot more on the fund; it will never be a straight 9-5, but mega PE fund will be different from small mid-market PE fund will be different from regional hedge fund and so on and so forth--a lot more variety in pay, role, responsibility etc. than you see in comparing Deb to SRZ to Seward to STB to K&E to Weil to DPW etc.


Would it be unrealistic to "plan" for an exit to a smaller/less demanding fund from a place like STB/KE/Deb? Seems like mega fund is more the norm?


Probably unrealistic to "plan" on that, but having experience at STB/KE/Deb will never hold you back--unless you spend your days and nights on MFN compendiums or something... even then, you could always lateral down (just as others will lateral up looking for better opportunities).

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:47 am

OP- the practice focuses on raising PE funds for the biggest sponsors, like BX and KKR. It does not handle acquisitions of portfolio companies -- the M&A group spearheads that aspect of the practice, although private funds personnel are sometimes staffed on those deals as well. The group is insanely busy and you will be too if you join. It's a bit more predictable than some other corp groups in the sense you know when a close is going to happen in advance. However, you can't control things like if a client tells you to get them a turn of a document ASAP and you have to give up your weekend to do it, so don't choose this group (or any group...or this industry, for that matter) for its "predictability". The group is very profitable for the firm, FWIW. Exit opps are good if you don't suck at your job. I know a few people who have gotten a secondment --> permanent offer at a client.

Source: I used to work in the group, left to go in house.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:53 pm

One thing I'd note is that it seems hard to get promoted in that group at STB. K&E routinely raids STBs top senior associate talent and makes them partners because of this.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:30 pm

When you guys mention "in house" at a fund, could you share a few of the more typical roles?
Is it an AGC position that mostly coordinates fund formation and fundraising initiatives?
What about hybrid business-legal positions? I heard that that legal/investor relations can be a possible path out of STB/K&E/Debevoise.. I'm sure all of this fluctuates pretty drastically depending on whether its KKR vs. a small buyout shop doing lower mid market deals..

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby throwaway_ » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When you guys mention "in house" at a fund, could you share a few of the more typical roles?
Is it an AGC position that mostly coordinates fund formation and fundraising initiatives?
What about hybrid business-legal positions? I heard that that legal/investor relations can be a possible path out of STB/K&E/Debevoise.. I'm sure all of this fluctuates pretty drastically depending on whether its KKR vs. a small buyout shop doing lower mid market deals..


I can't wrap my mind around what a "legal/investor relations" role would look like. Those two support functions are as disjoint from each other as could possibly be.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:When you guys mention "in house" at a fund, could you share a few of the more typical roles?
Is it an AGC position that mostly coordinates fund formation and fundraising initiatives?
What about hybrid business-legal positions? I heard that that legal/investor relations can be a possible path out of STB/K&E/Debevoise.. I'm sure all of this fluctuates pretty drastically depending on whether its KKR vs. a small buyout shop doing lower mid market deals..


As you said, it's going to vary wildly depending on the size of the legal department. Most I know (including myself) exited to places with 1-2 lawyers, where the lawyers wear a variety of hats (none of which are IR/BDev), including overseeing fund formation, overseeing/weighing in ongoing deal work, compliance, and general business operations oversight (e.g., IT, HR, vendor relationships etc.).

I have actually heard of at least three lawyers going to IR/BDev and shedding the legal role... it makes some sense, because you'd have the regulatory/compliance background to know what to say, how to say it, when to say it, and how to explain terms (assuming you can also talk numbers)... but it's far from typical.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:23 pm

WhiteCollarBlueShirt wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When you guys mention "in house" at a fund, could you share a few of the more typical roles?
Is it an AGC position that mostly coordinates fund formation and fundraising initiatives?
What about hybrid business-legal positions? I heard that that legal/investor relations can be a possible path out of STB/K&E/Debevoise.. I'm sure all of this fluctuates pretty drastically depending on whether its KKR vs. a small buyout shop doing lower mid market deals..


As you said, it's going to vary wildly depending on the size of the legal department. Most I know (including myself) exited to places with 1-2 lawyers, where the lawyers wear a variety of hats (none of which are IR/BDev), including overseeing fund formation, overseeing/weighing in ongoing deal work, compliance, and general business operations oversight (e.g., IT, HR, vendor relationships etc.).

I have actually heard of at least three lawyers going to IR/BDev and shedding the legal role... it makes some sense, because you'd have the regulatory/compliance background to know what to say, how to say it, when to say it, and how to explain terms (assuming you can also talk numbers)... but it's far from typical.


Do you mind if I shoot you a PM? Anon fund formation associate from above.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
WhiteCollarBlueShirt wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When you guys mention "in house" at a fund, could you share a few of the more typical roles?
Is it an AGC position that mostly coordinates fund formation and fundraising initiatives?
What about hybrid business-legal positions? I heard that that legal/investor relations can be a possible path out of STB/K&E/Debevoise.. I'm sure all of this fluctuates pretty drastically depending on whether its KKR vs. a small buyout shop doing lower mid market deals..


As you said, it's going to vary wildly depending on the size of the legal department. Most I know (including myself) exited to places with 1-2 lawyers, where the lawyers wear a variety of hats (none of which are IR/BDev), including overseeing fund formation, overseeing/weighing in ongoing deal work, compliance, and general business operations oversight (e.g., IT, HR, vendor relationships etc.).

I have actually heard of at least three lawyers going to IR/BDev and shedding the legal role... it makes some sense, because you'd have the regulatory/compliance background to know what to say, how to say it, when to say it, and how to explain terms (assuming you can also talk numbers)... but it's far from typical.


Do you mind if I shoot you a PM? Anon fund formation associate from above.


Not at all. Shoot away--but, for what it's worth, while I have come across a good deal of people from all three firms (NY only), I did not work at any of the three.

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:31 pm

When is the optimal/most popular time to go in-house from a funds practice like that of STB/K&E/Debevoise/Ropes, etc.? I understand that associates are generally/typically most desirable after 3-5 years of biglaw -- is it any different for funds? Since a lot of these exits don't necessarily seem to involve a pay cut, does it make sense to make a move sooner rather than later?

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Re: STB: Private Funds group NYC

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When is the optimal/most popular time to go in-house from a funds practice like that of STB/K&E/Debevoise/Ropes, etc.? I understand that associates are generally/typically most desirable after 3-5 years of biglaw -- is it any different for funds? Since a lot of these exits don't necessarily seem to involve a pay cut, does it make sense to make a move sooner rather than later?


I don't have enough experience to offer more than what I've seen myself (see below), but I'd hesitate having the idea that you'll want to grind out 3-5 years in a busy funds practice... people start falling off pretty quick since it's not the most complex or varied practice, but is often the most consistently busy.

Realistically, it's a matter of survival. GC/senior Lawyer No. 2 seemed to go to 5th year and up (including those passed over for partner); more junior Lawyer No. 2 and other more junior positions seemed to go 1st-4th years, with the start of year 3 being the real go period. I'd hesitate over saying it doesn't necessarily involve a pay cut--it's unlikely to be a substantial one, but you're not on the same track anymore and, on average, counsel/partners will make more $--the exception being that the exceptional Lawyer No. 1 will make a lot more than the average counsel/partner. It's also hard to say when it makes sense to make a move, because, unless you're going to a mega fund advisor, there's a real solid chance your shop won't exist in 3-5 years, and you'll need to pivot elsewhere or go back to a firm.



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