Big 4 Audit -----> Big 4 Transaction Support or Industry Corporate Finance Analyst

Acra19's picture
Rank: Chimp | 12

Hi All,

I have been following WSO in the background for a while now and love all the help and tips everyone shares so thank you to all that contribute!

I am in a dilemma and need some advice. I am based in the U.K. (London). I went to a non-target uni for undergrad but still fairly decent standard (top 15 at the time). Also have a Masters in Finance from a top 10 Uni. I am a qualified chartered accountant.

I have just come to the end of my 3 year programme at a big 4 firm, specialising in the energy sector but in Audit. More recently I had seconded to an Energy TAS client (for 6 months). This was an Energy company specialising in Oil & Gas and not a fund. The role has given me exposure to financial modelling, investment appraisal and preparation of slide decks for the board etc.

I am now in a position where I can potentially go back to the Big 4 firm to join the Energy Transaction Support team or I am in the final stages of interviews for a corporate finance analyst role at an energy company in London.

This energy company is a new entrant to UK market, but has a significant parent company based in Central Europe so their strategy is to grow across the UK via M&A and large project type investments (they have plenty of capital so no issues with funding). I would be joining the investments team and so would have exposure to full deal lifecycle including modelling, due diligence, preliminary analysis, deal structuring etc. The team is made up of 4-5 people and so pretty small at the moment but they all have strong backgrounds in IB and Debt advisory etc.

My issue is do I go for the big 4 position in TS due to it's name and exit opps or do I take the risk and join this yet to be known company in the UK and potentially ride the wave of rapid expansion and upside?

Ideally, my long term goal is to be a partner in a PE/Infrastructure/Energy fund. Will the corporate finance role cut off my chance of joining an Energy PE fund?

Appreciate this is longwinded so thanks in advance for reading and would love any thoughts!

Comments (8)

Oct 13, 2018

I'd go for the latter. If the parent company looks solid, they aren't likely to abandon ship. Not as likely as a new/standalone entity.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

    • 1
Oct 13, 2018

Thanks for the advice, the parent is definitely in a strong position it's got over 6bn euro turnover and close to 2bn euro EBITDA - just not very known as it's only been about for circa 10years

Oct 13, 2018

out of interest what salary are they pitching to you for this role?

i think i know the company as a recruiter approached me about it but he said one of their roles is more junior & one more senior (which is the one i'd be applying for if they put me forward as im 3yr PQE)

Oct 13, 2018

Sure, I was told in the PS60k range. Does it sound like the one you were told?

Oct 13, 2018


but 60k for newly qualified is really really good. most of them (at least back in the day) would have been in 50k range (newly qualified big 4 assistant manager being ! 45k back then).

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Oct 13, 2018

haha yeah Big 4 AM figure hasn't changed much, but as I have some investment/modelling experience through the secondment they're happy to pay a little extra. After all this would you recommend Big 4 TS or the Corporate Finance position?

Most Helpful
Oct 13, 2018

personally i really regret not getting the TS experience as pretty much every job thats more M&A related has been asking for transactional experience. my job in industry has given me great modelling experience that has let me get looks at / interviews with top firms but time and time again it was same response - other person had more deal experience...i think going forward if you wanted to transition to IB etc it would be much more easier to spin the Audit + TS package as recruiters understand it more. not to say that the corporate role isnt interesting itself though!

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Oct 13, 2018