Big 4 TP or Boutique IB for a job pre-LBS/LSE masters?

Hello, just graduated from a local target school in Southeast Asia (not Singapore) and I'm currently weighing job options. I intend to work for around a year before pursuing my masters degree. (ideally in London)

Current prospects are either Big 4 Transfer Pricing or a boutique IB that's relatively unknown. Although I am aware that big 4 isn't viewed too highly - particularly since my end goal is BB ER, I'm wondering if the name recognition of a Big 4 firm outweighs the lower salary (among other cons) once I start applying for B-school (LBS MFA, LSE MSc Finance) in two years.

Would love to hear the community's input and your thoughts on how competitive my profile would be.

Stats:
Race: Southeast Asian
Uni: Local Target (SEA)
GPA: 3.66/4.0
Degree: Economics
W/E: Two internships, one in risk management, one in ER
Target programs: LBS MFA, LSE MSc Fin (open to more suggestions)
End goal: BB ER in London

EC:
- elementary school tutor for less-privileged children
- facilitated financial literacy workshops in local public high schools

Comments (7)

 
Aug 18, 2020 - 6:07am

Big4 TP is better for the name + you do get more support if intended to do qualifications ACA,CFA which ER generally needs. But it all depends how small the boutique is. If it's real unknown ones, then I'd say big 4 as it gives more flex if any thing you want changes.

But loads in big 4 are on furlow. Don't forget to ask around on how your team does.

 
  • Intern in ER
Aug 18, 2020 - 10:34am

The boutique is relatively new (opened within 2014-2016 time frame) and has 10-20 employees afaik, hence my apprehension.

Going back to your Big 4 suggestion, the team seems to be doing well right now, no furloughs in sight from the people I've managed to talk to. Thanks for the input!

 
  • Research Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Feb 9, 2021 - 2:15pm

Transfer pricing is pretty unrelated to high finance

If you can get into one of the deals (TAS, FDD) or management consulting focused teams then big 4 will be the better route. Brand looks better than some unknown SEA boutique as a lot of those roles have an impression of nepotism / no quality affirmation.

If your options for big 4 are only tax/audit then boutique might be the better route for more relevant experience to ER

source: I work in london

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