Big 4 Strategy and Transactions Exit opps

I come from a very non-target school ( sponsored by current employer so free degree). I've just received an offer from a Big 4 firm for M&A Analyst, they focus mostly on the mid market and relatively small deals. Is there an opportunity to exit into PE from this, I know I won't want to stay there forever so before taking the offer exit opportunities are important! 

Btw I'm based in UK. 

Comments (6)

Dec 17, 2021 - 8:57am
LondonMM, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Congratulations on your offer.

Will you be doing the ACA qualification in this role? Assuming you do the ACA, then there's a reasonable chance of success in pursuing PE. Are you going to land a mega fund? No, but many lower mid market funds like ACA candidates from big 4. That said, those that do move into PE from big 4 usually have about 5-7 years experience, whereas they will look for 3-5 years experience from candidates coming from banks. So it's possible, but just a longer route.

Most Helpful
Dec 17, 2021 - 2:55pm
LondonMM, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Ok - it's not a deal breaker but the question will be raised why you didn't pursue ACA. The CFA is still decent though but the qualification itself will not be viewed as useful as ACA as the smaller PE funds. They like the diligence aspect of big 4 candidates and big 4 candidates are also cheaper than bankers.

My general advice would be do 1-2 years big 4 M&A then move to a mid market / lower mid market bank (Baird, HL, Lincoln, William Blair, Harris Williams, Canaccord Genuity, Numis, etc) then transition to PE, but you need to immerse yourself in the London LMM/MM PE scene. Network, read up on sector, build relationships with PEs + recruiters.

The best LMM or MM recruiters are PER (Annabelle Bates), Finatal (Charlie Linacre or Elizabeth Stuart), Walker Hamill, etc

Dec 18, 2021 - 7:47am
BeigeSponge, what's your opinion? Comment below:

From what I can gather from speaking to the Partner and other graduates, there is no due diligence aspect. This is done by a separate team, whereas the M&A team is purely typical investment banking (information memorandums, buyers lists and business development). Do you think this is a deal breaker if I come in with no diligence experience given thats what they like?

Dec 18, 2021 - 8:57am
LondonMM, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No - by due diligence, I was more meaning the technical elements that the ACA qualification brings. Often these smaller PE shops do a lot of financial diligence in house so they value ACA skill sets. The M&A experience you'll get will outweigh the experience you'd get in a diligence team like transaction services.

May 19, 2022 - 2:12pm
toccata and fugue, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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