Big 4 VS Possible IB

neilol's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 279

I'm mostly a lurker here, but actually am looking for some info I've had trouble finding on the forums.

I'm heavy into my networking (50+emails/calls a week...1-5 info meetings a week). Looking to score an offer by the end of the upcoming fall and graduating this May. Good grades (3.5), good resume, finance major, non-target school for IB, major target school for Big 4. Targeting boutiques and MM IB's at the moment, seems like I will have the best chance there, but struggling to get an interview. I have some contacts that have assured me a good chance at a job inside a couple of the Big 4. Should I even consider?

What divisions within a Big 4 make sense? I'll mention I'm NOT drawn auditing/menial accounting.
Is the work even slightly relevant to M&A/Capital Markets banking?
I want to exit to top MBA and VC, possible?
How does the pay compare?

Thoughts other than "if you cant get IB go for Big4 LOL"?

I see mixed results from around the net on Big4 in terms of investment banking, but maybe it makes sense.

:)

Comments (29)

Mar 22, 2011
neilol:

"'Ill mention I'm NOT drawn auditing/menial accounting."

Welcome to investment banking

Mar 22, 2011

Good for backup I suppose...

Transaction Advisory, Valuation, Consulting

Mar 22, 2011

For the millionth time, corporate finance at a Big 4 = investment banking.

Mar 22, 2011
onemanwolfpack:

For the millionth time, corporate finance at a Big 4 = investment banking.

Yea I second that.

There are A LOT of positions in the big 4 that people do know exist.

There is Transaction Advisory for EY, PwC, and KPMG... probably Del also.

In EY there is the BAP program, Business Advisor Program.. I interned there as a sophomore, it was awesome! If you want to be a CEO one day for a small cap or fast growing co, thats a good start.

for PwC there is Advisory Ops and Strategy which is the equivalent to BAP at EY.

Also there is crop finance, corp dev advisory (mba), and a few others.

The advisory practices at all four big4 are growing in ways that match their niche edge.

for KPMG, there is a Capital Markets, if you want to do that kind of thing.

You basically have to look around for the Advisory services in all the big 4 to find some hot shit.

I have a buddy in PwC Advisory Ops and Strat - he works with CEOs and upper management for banks directly. He has more job offers from his clients in IB, Consulting, and manager level corp finance than any other dude on this website, no joke. His pro network is probably bigger than your school's corporate partners.

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Mar 22, 2011
onemanwolfpack:

For the millionth time, corporate finance at a Big 4 = investment banking.

Yea I second that.

There are A LOT of positions in the big 4 that people do know exist.

There is Transaction Advisory for EY, PwC, and KPMG... probably Del also.

In EY there is the BAP program, Business Advisor Program.. I interned there as a sophomore, it was awesome! If you want to be a CEO one day for a small cap or fast growing co, thats a good start.

for PwC there is Advisory Ops and Strategy which is the equivalent to BAP at EY.

Also there is crop finance, corp dev advisory (mba), and a few others.

The advisory practices at all four big4 are growing in ways that match their niche edge.

for KPMG, there is a Capital Markets, if you want to do that kind of thing.

You basically have to look around for the Advisory services in all the big 4 to find some hot shit.

I have a buddy in PwC Advisory Ops and Strat - he works with CEOs and upper management for banks directly. He has more job offers from his clients in IB, Consulting, and manager level corp finance than any other dude on this website, no joke. His pro network is probably bigger than your school's corporate partners.

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Mar 22, 2011

Some very cool info there khara, exactly what i was looking for. Not a bad backup plan at all, still going hard for an analyst offer though..

Mar 23, 2011

Hey man Big4 Tax and Assurance practices suck... but the Big4 Advisory guys are like consultants but without this consultant title... more like " Financial Wizard in Advisory".... if you look at the business advisory ranks on Vault, all the big four are top ten. I think they are 3rd fourth and fifth.... thats some pretty sick ass ranking. And you wanna know something funny about big4 advisory... its not directly defined as consulting (at EY and PwC) and yet both EY and PwC are like top 10 or top 15 in overall consulting!!!

Thats like running an 800m track race in 1:40 seconds, breaking the record, and then automatically giving you the record for the 400m at 50 seconds.... this is a hypothetical example.

Big4 are also ranked top notch for best places to start your career... almost all 4 of the firms are in the top ten.

and fyi, a partner at a big4 firm, specifically a PwC Advisory partner, makes over 2.5 million annually. It takes between 10 and 15 years to make partner in advisory if you dont end up going into IB.

It all depends on what you want, so follow your dream bro.

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Apr 7, 2011

Allow me to disagree with a some of this:

onemanwolfpack:

For the millionth time, corporate finance at a Big 4 = investment banking.

Kind of, but tread carefully. The Big 4 like to sell a lot of their advisory work as "corp fin" when it's really just financial reporting/tax work related to a transaction.

khara 3alekon:

Hey man Big4 Tax and Assurance practices suck... but the Big4 Advisory guys are like consultants but without this consultant title... more like " Financial Wizard in Advisory".... if you look at the business advisory ranks on Vault, all the big four are top ten. I think they are 3rd fourth and fifth.... thats some pretty sick ass ranking. And you wanna know something funny about big4 advisory... its not directly defined as consulting (at EY and PwC) and yet both EY and PwC are like top 10 or top 15 in overall consulting!!!

Only because of their IT, tax, and accounting/financial reporting-related consulting. They are not strong players in strategy, finance/restructuring, or "management" consulting.

khara 3alekon:

Big4 are also ranked top notch for best places to start your career... almost all 4 of the firms are in the top ten.

Those ratings are helpful but don't really reflect the world of finance. They are a fine place to start your career (especially as a CPA) but moving from the Big 4 to front office finance is an uphill struggle.

khara 3alekon:

and fyi, a partner at a big4 firm, specifically a PwC Advisory partner, makes over 2.5 million annually.

$2.5mm is SIGNIFICANTLY above average for a US Big 4 partner and definitely does not reflect what a 1st year (10-15 year employee) partner is making.

The Big 4 are a good place to start a career and can lead to a lot of interesting things, but it's not really accurate to present it as a consistently viable way to break into finance. For everyone who does make that switch, (I did) there are a lot more who wish they could.

Apr 7, 2011
khara 3alekon:

fyi, a partner at a big4 firm, specifically a PwC Advisory partner, makes over 2.5 million annually. It takes between 10 and 15 years to make partner in advisory if you dont end up going into IB.

Yes, there are some partners in big4 advisory/consulting that make over 2MM, but they are quite rare. In a big city, the average big4 partner makes about 650K-750K. If you're the head of a large practice area, you can break past 1MM. Getting past 2MM requires that you're a Managing Partner of a pretty big region.

In any case, 650K is still an excellent income, but your time frames are not exactly typical. It usually takes 13-18 years to make partner in big4 advisory. staff to senior takes 2 years. senior to manager takes 3-5 years. manager to senior manager takes 3-5 years, and then senior manager to partner takes 5-6 years on average (assuming of course you are ever offered partnership).

Apr 7, 2011
manbearpig:
khara 3alekon:

fyi, a partner at a big4 firm, specifically a PwC Advisory partner, makes over 2.5 million annually. It takes between 10 and 15 years to make partner in advisory if you dont end up going into IB.

Yes, there are some partners in big4 advisory/consulting that make over 2MM, but they are quite rare. In a big city, the average big4 partner makes about 650K-750K. If you're the head of a large practice area, you can break past 1MM. Getting past 2MM requires that you're a Managing Partner of a pretty big region.

In any case, 650K is still an excellent income, but your time frames are not exactly typical. It usually takes 13-18 years to make partner in big4 advisory. staff to senior takes 2 years. senior to manager takes 3-5 years. manager to senior manager takes 3-5 years, and then senior manager to partner takes 5-6 years on average (assuming of course you are ever offered partnership).

Everything I have stated is pretty accurate. Your not including bonuses, firm net gains, etc...

And for the idiot who commented after you, I'm not in big4 anymore, however, I did intern at one.

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Apr 7, 2011

Been at this for a couple of weeks. Finding that getting into Big4 Advisory and Transaction Services in almost infinitely easier than IB. I think I'm on the verge of some interviews after just a few causal contacts. Heads up for others from non-targets.

Thanks for the info, I appreciate it...part of what makes WSO such a great site.

Apr 7, 2011

lol @ khara YOU MAD U STUCK AT BIG 4 KISS OF DEATH?

enjoy 55k salary bro ITS NOT A LOT OF MONEYAAAAAYYY

Apr 7, 2011
boutiquebank4life:

lol @ khara YOU MAD U STUCK AT BIG 4 KISS OF DEATH?

enjoy 55k salary bro ITS NOT A LOT OF MONEYAAAAAYYY

How about you go back to calling the firms on the 200 boutique list and let the actual hired and working people take on this post. Thank you dumb ass.

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    • 1
Apr 7, 2011

despite some of the incendiary comments in this thread, no one should listen to what khara is saying.

Apr 8, 2011

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Apr 8, 2011

You guys should go on a date or something...I feel that manbearpig won't call you back though...hands are probably tied dealing with gore

Apr 8, 2011
Bernankey:

You guys should go on a date or something...I feel that manbearpig won't call you back though...hands are probably tied dealing with gore

Ya your probably right.

.

Apr 8, 2011

lol KHARA U GOT PWNED U BIG 4 LOSER LOL

PwC HAS PRESTIGE? AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

Apr 8, 2011
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