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September 04, 2018

Lifting the lid on the big 4 corporate finance teams – mergers & acquisitions

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 and professional skills development might be the difference between securing your dream job or being overlooked time and time again.

In the third 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 “Mergers & Acquisitions” line of service (AKA M&A or “M&A Advisory”).

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

The Elevator Pitch:

Broadly, Big 4 Mergers & Acquisitions teams provide advice to private companies (and in some cases public companies and government) that is mostly comprised of:

What’s great about it:

What to be conscious of:

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

Our advice to M&A professionals wanting to move into Investment Banking, Corporate Development or Private Equity

M&A teams are highly sought-after destinations within Big 4 Chartered accounting firms and for many perceived as the darling of the Big 4 Corporate Finance teams. They are the obvious feeder teams for corporate finance professionals wanting to move into an Investment Bank, Specialist M&A Advisor or Private Equity Investor and will provide a flavour of what to expect.

In our experience, candidates who are able to couple their M&A experience with time in a technically focused team such as Financial Modelling or Valuations tend to fare best when it comes to hitting the ground running in an investment bank (ground-up financial model builds etc.)

Further studies such as the CFA designation or a Master of Applied Finance will demonstrate your technical capability – whilst not essential are always useful.

Short courses such as Wall Street Prep or Training the Street might assist in providing exposure to the broader financial analysis undertaken in an Investment Bank.

Tagged: Mergers, M&A, Mergers and Acquisitions