Why Kelso & Company: Interviews, Careers, & Portfolio

Decide if Kelso & Company is right for you as we uncover their hiring process & sector focus
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    Kelso & Company Overview

    Kelso & Company is a North American private equity firm which focuses on recapitalizations, LBOs, and growth capital transactions.

    The firm invests in various sectors which include restaurants, manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, telecommunication services, and retailing..

    The firm also provides mezzanine capital through a joint venture with  BlackRock, known as BlackRock Kelso Capital Corp. (Nasdaq: BKCC). It is organized as a Business Development Company which is recognized as a type of publicly traded private equity company.

    Louis O. Kelso, an economist and lawyer who developed the concept of employee stock ownership plans, founded Kelso & Company in 1971. Kelso and its sister company, Louis O. Kelso Inc., focused on M&A at first which involved Employee Stock Ownership Plans.

    Kelso & Company typically invest in companies based in North America. They target investing between $50 MM and $600 MM in businesses that have a value of $250 MM – $2.5 BB.

    Kelso & Company logo

    Kelso & Company AUM

    According to the latest regulatory filings, Kelso & Company has $15.3 BB in assets under management as of March 31, 2023.

    Kelso & Company Interview Process & Questions

    Despite the changes in the interview changes for each candidate, the general nature of the process stays the same for the most part. In fact, you can anticipate the following:

    • Interview rounds: 4-6
    • Initial interviews are supervised by junior professionals, while later rounds are handled by more senior folks
    • Unless it’s on-campus or on-cycle recruiting, expect that the entire process will last for multiple weeks

    Get ready to answer a mixture of behavioral questions, technical questions, and fit questions when you interview at Kelso & Company.

    To help you with preparation, I’ve created a Growth Equity Interview Guide. Feel free to check it out.

    Why Kelso & Company

    One of the questions you must prepare for is the “Why this firm” question.

    If you’ve met employees at the firm during your networking efforts, make sure to mention them and how their experiences and testimonies helped in choosing their firm.

    Also, do your homework and research the firm. You can try listening to interviews with its founders, management team, and investors to get to know them better.

    To start, here’s an interview with Church Moore, Investment Partner at Kelso & Company:

    YouTube video

    Kelso & Company Case Study

    Communication skills and technical knowledge are two traits that investment firms highly value. To evaluate these, firms like Kelso & Company ask candidates to perform case studies.

    Most case studies will have you do financial modeling and investment recommendations. But for junior roles, a cold calling case study may also be part of the process.

    Check out my Growth Equity Interview Guide if you need more help regarding case studies.

    Kelso & Company Salary & Compensation

    According to Glassdoor, Kelso & Company offers annual salaries of $146,650 on average to their associates, while there’s no recent data for analysts. Figures may vary depending on various factors such as location, experience, and education.


    Kelso & Company salary

    Kelso & Company Careers, Jobs, & Internships

    To see the most recent open roles at Kelso & Company, visit our job board which features promising opportunities for them and other growth / VC firms.

    Kelso & Company Portfolio & Investments

    According to Crunchbase, Kelso & Company has made 11 investments and 14 acquisitions. Some of their notable deals include Oasis Outsourcing, Pathstone Federal Street, and Refresh Mental Health.

    Notable Transaction: Premia

    Premia is one of the leading reinsurance groups that is focused on transactions in the property and casualty (P&C) legacy market.

    In January 2017, Premia secured $510 million initial capital raise. The founding investors are Kelso & Company and Arch Capital.

    The said funding represents one of the biggest capital raised ever focused on P&C runoff market – which established Premia as a significant market participant.

    Aside from the equity investment, Arch Capital also served as a strategic reinsurance partner, which allowed Premia to compete on the global runoff transactions. The remainder of the fund came from other institutional investors, senior members of Arch, and the Premia management team.

    Next Steps

    If you decide to send your application and build your investing career at Kelso & Company, I would highly recommend that you check out my Growth Equity Interview Guide first before attending interviews.

    Growth Equity Interview Guide helps professionals get a good grasp of topics that are typically covered during interviews such as financial modeling, case studies, and more. Check it out and start learning today!


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    Mike Hinckley

    Founder of Growth Equity Interview Guide


    Coached and assisted hundreds of candidates recruiting for growth equity & VC

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