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How do I Become a Private Equity Manager?

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  • Written By: N. Kalu
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2016
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To become a private equity manager, you must first obtain an undergraduate bachelor's degree in finance or economics, preferably from a well-known and prominent institution. After completing your undergraduate degree, getting a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree will be advantageous to find a position at a top firm. In between getting your bachelor's and your master's degrees, you should be building up valuable on the job experience as an analyst or associate working on a private equity fund. Some aspiring private equity managers also choose to sit for the Certified Financial Accountant (CFA) or the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

As someone who wishes to become a private equity manager, an important first step will be to get into and excel at a top institution known for its economics and finance program of study. This includes the Ivy League institutions in the United States, Oxford and Cambridge in England, St. Andrew's in Scotland, and similar caliber school around the globe. These schools will offer courses that will teach you the skills you need to know in order to become a private equity manager, including portfolio valuation, diversified portfolio management, and optimal assets investment. In addition to these skills, these schools will provide you with a well-respected degree and a networking base of successful classmates and alumni.

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Your next step will be to attend a top MBA program which some argue is even more important than attending a well-known undergraduate school. Research graduate business programs that have a reputation for strong quantitative instruction. Your future business school should also have a track record for getting students connected with private equity fund recruiters. During graduate school, you will have the opportunity to network with other intelligent financial professionals interested in private equity management.

Gaining experience in the field is critical in order to become a private equity manager. Learning on the job can be an excellent way to determine which funds are better suited for your clients' assets. You will also get to experience firsthand the fast paced and high impact environment of a competitive private equity firm.

Private equity managerial positions are highly sought-after, and candidates often try to secure professional certification to make themselves more attractive to employers. Some choose to take the CFA exam or the CPA exam, depending on their experience. Choose the one which is best for you after evaluating your skill set and willingness to study for a standardized exam.

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