Big four M&A team to IB?

Intern in IB-M&A

Hi,

I wonder what the possibilities are of exiting to investment banking after having worked with M&A at one of the big four for a year? I come from a top-tier university in Europe and have a strong GPA/previous experience.

Comments (12)

  • Associate 1 in IB - CB
Dec 3, 2019

Having seen auditors / TAS folks doing it, possible but I usally see them lateral after getting their ACA. Roths for instance is known to have taken ACAs from the CF / TAS teams at Big 4. So you definitely have a chance coming from M&A at a Big 4. When exacly such a move will be viable is a question I'll leave someone else to opine on

Dec 3, 2019

It should also be noted that Big 4 is far more respected in Europe/UK than in the US for some reason. It shouldn't be too hard after a year or two with your background.

Dec 4, 2019

That's interesting to hear. I wonder about that too. It might be because we have less middle market firms in Europe. So the big4 stand out more. Another thing I have seen with other students is that they are clueless about BBs and MBB. So if you don't know what Goldman Sachs or McKinsey is you are more inclined to believe that the big4 are the top firms. A third reason could be that, especially in investment banking, regional offices are very small. GS has less than 200 people in my country. One of the big4 firms will hire a multiple of that every year. So the big4 are a lot more visible to the average person.

    • 1
Most Helpful
Dec 5, 2019

Pretty much all you just said is wrong, besides Big4 being more visible. Not sure what kind of a school you go to, but if you are at any target or semi-target the MBBs and BBs will have on-campus events, sponsor clubs and/or be all over your alumni brochures. Big 4 are definitely not top firms, nor are they viewed as such.

The MM scene is also heavily populated in Europe, there are just more small shops compared to the US. There are also a number of regional elite banks that are extremely competitive which bring on talent from the BBs when they return to their respective home countries.

Big4 is more respected and useful, but it doesn't compare to having actual IB experience in the majority of cases.

    • 2
  • Prospect in RE - Comm
Dec 4, 2019

I did this. Very easy in London, not sure about rest of EMEA. Greenhill, Rothschild, Lazard all run dedicated Big 4 processes. People have also gone to PWP, BAML, RBC etc.

Most places expect you to complete your CA / ACA and then come in as Analyst 3, but I have anecdotally heard of some people leaving before that stage.

Dec 5, 2019

When do these boutiques run such recruitment - it is something I am thinking of doing down the line. Currently at Big 4 in TS.

  • Summer Associate in IB-M&A
Dec 5, 2019

Greenhill is September. I think they are usually quite picky and it is usually filled by January (they have taken x2 A3 each year recently). They reach out to pretty much all recruiters for this process.

Rothschild used to be sporadic but they are moving to a formal process. From my colleagues experiences this process begins in the summer with hires joining in January. This is run in house but they then use Dartmouth Partners and a handful of other recruiters to fill ad hoc roles.

Lazard seems less structured not sure which recruiters are best for them.

Dartmouth and Arkesden do processes for Evercore and PWP throughout the year.

Dec 5, 2019

Can you give more info? Did they approach you or you approached them and how?
Any info would be useful to understand the process...is ACA necessary?

  • Summer Associate in IB-M&A
Dec 5, 2019

Recruiters should approach you via LinkedIn and rarely the Bank themselves. If they have not reached out, I suggested you contact the recruiters yourself, Dartmouth, Arkesden, Linear, Michael Page, Blackwood, there are loads of them.

Dec 5, 2019
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