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July 20, 2018

Lifting the lid on the big 4 corporate finance teams – infrastructure advisory

Navigating the various teams under the “Corporate Finance” (AKA Deals, Deals Advisory or Transaction Advisory) umbrella within Big 4 Chartered Accounting firms can be challenging.

Knowing what each of these teams can and can’t offer you in terms of your future Corporate Finance career objectives and professional skills development might be the difference between securing your dream job or being overlooked time and time again.

In the second of a series of articles focusing on the various “Corporate Finance” teams within a Chartered Accounting firm, Numbers Executive endeavours to explain the pros and cons of working in the “Infrastructure Advisory” line of service (AKA “Project Finance Advisory” or “Infrastructure & Projects”).

Our insights are based entirely on Numbers Executive’s precedent experiences and we caveat our views represent common outcomes. As with everything, there can be outliers.

The Elevator Pitch:

Broadly, Infrastructure Advisory teams within Big 4 Chartered firms (in Australia) support the public sector (AKA “State” or “Government”) by providing an objective evaluation process for large scale infrastructure investment decisions. More specifically these teams can be involved in:

More than other Corporate Finance teams in Big 4 Chartered, the range of work undertaken by Infrastructure Advisory teams can be highly diverse, hence we caveat that the above represents the mean opposed to any outliers.

What’s great about it:

What to be conscious of:

Most common future employment outcomes (with only this skillset):

Our advice to Infrastructure Advisory professionals wanting to move into a Corporate Finance, M&A Advisory or Unlisted Investment environment

When interviewing with Infrastructure advisory teams, ensure you ask about the mix of work the team undertakes, such as sector focus, track record / past mandates

If the opportunity arises, put your hand up for any bid-side advisory / bid development mandates that the team wins in order to gain exposure to tasks such as debt sculpting / debt sizing, modelling a variety of bank terms sheets, equity returns analysis and tax structuring analysis via SPV’s (amongst other workstreams).

Demonstrate to the market (i.e. employers) that you’re committed to transitioning into a corporate finance environment by committing to extra-curricular studies such as the CFA designation, a Master of Applied Finance or even short courses such as Wall Street Prep or Training the Street.