London M&A/Corporate Finance Landscape

Hi Everyone,

So I've just qualified as an auditor here in London this past month. Started at the Big 4 but I'm at a smaller (but still somewhat large) firm now.

I always knew that I wanted to go into finance after I qualified, and now I'm gravitating towards M&A or perhaps corporate finance if that's not possible straight away. I just wanted to know:

A. What the landscape is for recruitment right now. I know it's been a really rough year but what should I be expecting going into early 2024?

B. What can I do to maximise my chances of landing one of these roles at a boutique bank? I went to 2 semi- targets (St Andrews/UCL/Warwick/Durham) so university-wise I've still got a shot, even though I know that audit isn't the greatest background to have and that my back is up against the wall a little bit. Willing to grind hard to get this over the line , especially between now and the next busy season.

Would appreciate any and all information and/or advice. Thank you in advance.


Mate just say you went to St.Andrews or Durham hahaha


It’s a very common route from Big4 Audit ACA to Corporate Finance. To answer your questions:

1) 2023 has been a bleak year for M&A and there are no strong signs suggesting that 2024 is going to be a real bounce back. Banks are still just ‘hoping’ that things will be slightly better, but no one can say for sure. Would only see something tangible at the end of Q1 or start of Q2.

2)Speak to headhunters and make a strong CV where you’re not showing your audit talent. Focus on transferable skills and consider doing a financial modelling course like FMVA or WSP. Focus on IB interview questions (WSO redbook is a good start)

If I were you, I’d focus on getting into Corporate Finance asap. Like any reasonably sized firm or bank, e.g. Big 7 or Big 8 accounting firms in M&A or TAS, financial modelling, valuations, etc. Keep working on preparing hard and working as much as you can and keep a tab on who’s hiring. Make a list to do that. Once things start looking slightly better, hiring will resume and then I’d just try using any network I have built or reconnecting with headhunters and apply.

Good luck.


Itaque facilis odio debitis reprehenderit. Explicabo et quam itaque beatae eius harum. Fugit consectetur dignissimos eius accusantium sunt eius praesentium.

Career Advancement Opportunities

November 2023 Investment Banking

  • Lincoln International 01 99.6%
  • Lazard Freres (++) 99.1%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.7%
  • William Blair 12 98.3%
  • Financial Technology Partners 02 97.8%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

November 2023 Investment Banking

  • William Blair 04 99.6%
  • Lincoln International 10 99.1%
  • Stephens Inc 12 98.7%
  • Jefferies & Company 09 98.3%
  • Moelis & Company 23 97.8%

Professional Growth Opportunities

November 2023 Investment Banking

  • Lincoln International 01 99.6%
  • Lazard Freres 17 99.1%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.7%
  • Financial Technology Partners 06 98.3%
  • UBS AG 16 97.8%

Total Avg Compensation

November 2023 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (6) $592
  • Vice President (34) $390
  • Associates (167) $258
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (15) $187
  • 2nd Year Analyst (106) $168
  • Intern/Summer Associate (48) $167
  • 1st Year Analyst (322) $166
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (234) $95
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”


From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”