DC Advisory (ex Close Brothers)

Hi guys,

I have a 1st round interview for the Summer Intern position with DC Advisory coming up this week.
I will have 10 min conversation with Dartmouth Partners (ex Cornell Partnership) employee.
Any idea what can I expect?
Btw, this is for either London office.

Additionally, there are very few threads here on DC Advisory and not much info. Anyone care to share their thoughts on the standard stuff - culture/pay/learning/prestige/exit-opps/top-groups/etc. This thread could be useful to future candidates and people interested in the company.

Some stuff that I was able to get so far (German office, a bit outdated), so I can hopefully contribute something at least:

- Intern salary - EUR 1500 p.m. + bonus (Germany)
- Analyst base: EUR 65k
- Associate base: EUR 72-90k
- AD/VP base: EUR 120k
- Director base: EUR 150k+
- some BSDs from debt advisory business left to join Altium Capital when the firm got acquired by Daiwa
- good culture, smart guys
- steady hours - no going home before 11pm, but rarely staying after 01am
- not many people with "prestigious" backgrounds, however, analysts from DC get recruited by (top) BBs for their associate positions
- not regarded as well as Rothschild, Lazard, Leonardo, Greenhill, etc.
- don't see many people leaving for PE/HF
- ranked well on European MM league tables
- solid deal flow, respected European MM

*I might update this part based on comments and new information

Thanks a lot

Comments (75)

Apr 30, 2014

bump.. anyone?

Apr 30, 2014

bump

May 1, 2014

I'm afraid I can't tell you much more than what you already gathered. I work for a larger MM PE firm in Continental Europe and we generally like to work with DC and some of its peers. For entry positions we would consider their analysts/associates as well, but you're very unlikely to get into a megafund.
I also know from word on the street that culture is good (not great) and that indeed you work hard but also don't get killed there. People are as smart as anyone in IB advisory - you always will have some more and less talented people.
Not sure what your alternatives are (if any) but it's a worthwhile opportunity. Don't know their interview process but heard once that it can get quite technical so probably worth to look at your text books again. ;)

    • 1
May 1, 2014

Where did you get 100% bonus figure from? 130k total comp sounds way above market level

If my friend didn't mistake DC for some other firm. He told me that once MD got shit crazy on interns for leaving at 00h 30 before 1am

May 1, 2014

Also wondered about that... Definitely wouldn't assume that to be the norm.

May 1, 2014

I would mention that there has been a precipitous decline in the talent there. But probably an interesting place to get an internship, and as with all these threads, what are your options?

    • 1
May 2, 2014

Thanks for all the replies and bumps guys, much appreciated.
@EuroLocust @Oreos @fours @KingKongVodka

edit:
I deleted the bonus thing because it was incorrect information. Sorry for the confusion caused.

My options so far are okayish (if I want to do IBD or related work for the summer)... MM banks, boutiques, MM PE shops, etc. Nothing too fancy and they are all either in London or in big cities of the German speaking Europe. Plenty of places looking for interns if you know where to look, and I have good network in the industry as well.

No solid offers yet - I really have like 0 time for interviewing or applying at this moment, but DC Advisory thing came out of nowhere. I think my profile is fine as it is already, and that I will have a decent shot for the FT recruiting - few BB spring weeks and BB summer internship so far. My main motivator at this stage would be learning as much as possible and being able to pay my own bills for few months and possibly save something (really need some money atm, so there is some pressure from that side).

I still have an AC for the next summer at a BB in September (I did spring week there), and I am fairly confident that I will be able to get that (and hopefully convert to the FT). However, I am keeping my options open, things don't always turn out as I plan. I would much prefer working (at least for a few years) in UK to Germany, Switzerland, CEE, etc. I am also interested in investing in general, I read a lot, meet new people.. who knows where things take me.

I'll post my progress and impressions here, hopefully somebody finds it useful.

May 2, 2014

100% bonus is not true, don't know where you got that information from, at least not in Frankfurt. Your quoted working hours are also too long. Yes, there are some longer nights like everywhere else but you're generally out at 10pm on weekdays. Moreover, although analysts are in on some weekends, interns are generally not expected to be there. It might happen from time to time, but it's definitely not as common as with BBs and top boutiques. Their office is quite nice and the location a few steps from the river which is also pretty cool. FT offers are also possible after the internship, which FYI is not the case with every bank in Frankfurt. Definitely a solid internship which will help you to get invites by BBs and top boutiques if the rest of your profile is competitive. With regard to top groups, this doesn't apply to the Frankfurt office since analysts and interns are in a general M&A pool.

    • 1
May 2, 2014

@above_and_beyond
Thank you very much for your insight and corrections!
I'll delete the bonus thing to prevent further confusion then.

Best Response
May 25, 2014

*1st round Interview, telephone, with Dartmouth Partners, ca. 10 min in total*

Questions:

1) Why this high school, grades, finishing diploma type, etc.?
2) Why this university, if I like the programme, why econ/business, etc.?
3) Asked about my first work experience
4) Asked about my main work experience
5) What I know about the firm, why them?
6) What kind of work does the firm mostly do etc.?
7) Why M&A?
8) Asked if I had any questions

- Will get answer if I'm moving to the next stage in "few weeks".
- 2nd round is longer interview, with DP as well.
- 3rd round is an AC with the DC Advisory.

My thoughts:

Some questions I answered in much detail, for other I might have given too simple answer.
It looked like there was no good or bad answer, just a screening phase to check if you are sane and if clarify everything. Asking missing info (high school, etc.) for more details.
I think that they call plenty of candidates for the first round but they look for people with classic IB background, relevant previous experience and really no question marks anywhere for their short-list.
Not sure how it went, don't know what to think.

    • 4
May 2, 2014

I interviewed with Dartmouth Partners for EVR: First round is basically what you described, just a sanity check and standard why M&A, why DC/EVR, why this and that, tell me about a time you did XYZ questions via phone. Second round interview was longer (60-90 mins, I don't remember exactly) and included the same questions + very easy standard valuation questions like how would you value a company, EV / equity value questions and general M&A market awareness. Make sure to prepare 1 or even better 2 deals to talk about, i.e. price, strategic rational, good deal/bad deal, share/cash, hot industries, etc. as well as general market knowledge. Also prepare reasons for and against M&As and review the general process. Lastly, I was asked a brainteaser and 3 maths questions which were quite basic (something like what's 17*24). And yes, true, Dartmouth interviews plenty of candidates and also invites a slew of candidates for second rounds, so hopefully you will receive positive feedback. Good luck!

    • 1
May 2, 2014

@"above_and_beyond"
Again, thanks a lot! Very useful info.

May 3, 2014

Currently there, it's a good advisory, not Lazard but above average. Culture is definitely better than BB, so are the hours, however, I think you know what this means for exit opps. Definitely close ties with PE, if this is what you are after, less HF. What made you choose DC then if I may ask? Also if you had a summer with a BB why do you even want to work for MM?

May 3, 2014

@"BananaBankerBa"
Thank you for your insight. Are you working there FT or are you an intern?

edited (too much personal info)

In short, where I come from, nobody even knows what IB is. I would feel privileged to work at pretty much any reputable shop which can cover minimal expenses and where I can learn. That is the honest answer, I did not know much about the firm, only what I was able to research on the web. The application process is pretty straightforward too. What I learned so far is great. However, I really have 0 entitlement; I'd work at places which have bad culture, are sweatshops, etc. as well. I need to overcome plenty of shit on a daily basis, so I'm fairly confident that I would succeed wherever you throw me and that I could get something out of it.

Regarding my BB SA experience, I did it during my first year. It went really nice and I have a good relationship with MD that I worked with. He suggested that I should "get an internship with McKinsey next" (his words, easier said than done), but I ended up not even applying for 90% of places. Adversity, long story... Anyway, he advised me to take a look at other industries before focusing on this 100%, and he also said that I can come back for another internship with the group that I like shortly before or after my graduation, or that I could interview for the FT. Something along those lines... the guy is great help and mentor.

May 7, 2014

Got 2nd round booked for the next week:
-type: telephone or skype (you can choose)
-length: up to 30 min (that is what they say in the email, but the booked slot is one hour)
-to expect: "a combination of biographical, technical and competency based interview questions; should be prepared to talk about your background and motivations, your knowledge of the banking industry and your specific interest in the role and DC Advisory"

Will post my impressions here after that.
P.S. It is for the London office.

    • 2
May 7, 2014

Congrats, nice one on getting through to the next round. Sounds like nothing out of the ordinary. Given their focus make sure you have strong answers to why MM and why not BB etc.

I really can't say much about them as all I know is from through the grapevine, being at a MM myself. They have had some decent mandates and I know a kid there who I went to school with who was pretty smart and he works hard so I guess they are busy which is also good. In terms of exit options, really not got a clue but you won't have headhunters falling over themselves to get to you like some of the top teams will be.

Also the London office is in a nice building. Really close to bank station, decent places to grab lunch nearby and also conveniently located close to Abacus for Friday/Saturday nights!

May 7, 2014

Also may I ask the initials of the person who dealt with at Dartmouth? Met a number of the team there and they are very good IMO.

May 7, 2014

@"eyebeedee"
Hey, thanks for your comment!
I'll PM you the initials, check your inbox.

May 7, 2014

I've worked with them, a good crew and think highly of them as a MM advisory firm. Good luck in the interview stage etc...

May 7, 2014

@"HYAddict"
Thanks man

May 26, 2014

Hi guys, just wanted to follow-up:

*2nd round Interview, telephone (skype was an option as well), with Dartmouth Partners (again, same interviewer), ca. 30 min in total*

Questions:
1) Walk me through your CV/background
2) Describe projects at work experience 1/2/3
3) Valuation methods used at work experience 1/2/3 and more details
4) Why M&A Internship?
5) Why DC Advisory (few follow-up questions on this, such as why MM, comparison to BBs)?
6) Recent deals by DC Advisory?

- Interview stopped there, after the last question, and the interviewer offered to answer some of my questions.
- Format of the interview and the questions that will be asked were laid out beforehand (the interview structure and what is expected of me, etc.), so you know what comes next.
- Again, will get answer if I'm moving to the next stage in "few weeks".
- 3rd round is an AC with the DC Advisory.

My thoughts:

Firstly, it was pretty awkward to be asked so many same questions, especially "my story" etc. again, by a same person. However, I was very satisfied with how I answered all the questions except the last one (should have written down/researched a bit more about their transactions in UK, but I was honest about it and mentioned only what I could remember from their website), which could have been much better tbh. I realized later, that I could have probably made up few names and numbers from some earlier year :D
I expected lots of technical questions and market awareness, but got asked none. My impression, while talking about valuation techniques (I only mentioned them/briefly touched the subject), M&A and recent transactions (even though I am a novice) is that the interviewer knew nothing about the subject, but was heavily looking if I already did as much as possible technical work during my internships (focus on candidates who require less training and are already very familiar with the work?).
After the interview, when the time came for my questions, I was curious about one industry question and I also asked about a recent DC Advisory transaction, but the interviewer said "I can't answer that/you are not supposed to ask that", which felt a bit awkward, but I guess I should have kept my mouth shut. From everyone's experience, DP are usually pretty strong technically and they have solid market awareness, so I asked for an opinion.
Honestly, I thought that the interview will be at least 1 hour long (booked slot was also 1 hour). I was very surprised when I was asked if I had any questions because I was preparing my brain for the next question. For a few moments, I thought that the interviewers stopped because of my weak last answer, but after thinking about it I remembered that the interviewer actually followed the structure closely. Also, the interviewer called me 20-30 minutes late, and the reception was horrible (again).
Since it has been like 10 days since I've sent a "thank you" letter to my interviewer, and I got no words from them, I think that it is likely that I am dinged. I am approaching a final round with 2 other firms, so I might let them know about my situation.

    • 1
May 26, 2014

did not read the previous answers.

That said we've (JPM, GS, MS) just hired one of their third year analyst for our associate program.

Regards,

Simone

    • 1
May 26, 2014

@"cruel3a"

Hi Simone,
That's interesting to know. I will correct the opening post.
Thank you very much for your insight.

May 26, 2014

Flatmate of mine in Frankfurt just did a 3 month internship at DC advisory. Bonus was 3k (2x month salary)

May 26, 2014

Well.. not true.

May 26, 2014

@"pistolpete"
I actually read something similar on the web, but was not sure if that was accurate.

@"above_and_beyond"
Would you care to elaborate?

May 27, 2014

Interview outcome - rejection (by email).
Asked for feedback. Let's see how they respond.

Thanks for all the posts guys!
I'll continue updating the thread if there are new comments, and I'll upload review to the WSO database.

May 30, 2014

Got the feedback (by email):

Having reviewed your CV once again we would underline that the benchmarks for our application process have been extremely strong. We have scored candidates more highly when they have had stronger profiles, where both academic performance and certain work experience are important.

I think that strong technical work experience is probably the biggest factor for a position at DC Advisory. Could be wrong but that is my conclusion based on the whole process.

May 30, 2014

Good disclosure dude. I fully support people cataloging their experiences with head hunters and institutions. And still think a head hunter review section would be very valuable.

Oct 21, 2014

first round: telephone interview : 10 min

walk me through your cv, why this university, why this field
Asked me about my work experience
Why M&A
Why DC advisory?
What kind of work does the firm do

Seconde round : 30 min

walk me through your cv, why this university, why this field
Asked me about my work experience
Why M&A
Why DC advisory?
What kind of work does the firm do?
Walk me through DCF analysis
What is the WACC formula
What is the CAPM formula and explain it
Explain the comparable method
Asked me about the recent M&A deals
Hot industries, and general market knowledge

Oct 22, 2014

@petit_singe_sauvage

Great, thanks!

Oct 29, 2014

.

Nov 23, 2014

Can only confirm what petit_singe_sauvage has put.
Phone interview is mostly motivational, about 5-10 mins.
Within a few hours I got an e-mail asking me to come in for an interview at the Dartmouth Partners offices. There you're asked to sit a 10 minute maths test. Very similar to SHL/Kenexa, but without the help of a calculator. Under normal circumstances the test is very "do-able". Unfortunately I took the instructions wrong, as the lady said "this should take about ten minutes". What she meant was that you'll have exactly ten minutes.
Afterwards you're being interviewed as you would with an analyst and a HR representative, going through your CV, work experience, motivation, etc.
Only difference in the questions posted by petit_singe_sauvage was to go from net income to to free cash flow and what industry group I'd like to work in, which was asked in the process of talking about hot M&A industries.

Jan 8, 2015

I'm prepping for a SA interview.

@"Escobar Houdini" and @"petit_singe_sauvage" did you guys interview for a grad position rather than intern? Might explain why you guys had more technical than OP.

Thanks for your write ups by the way. Very helpful.

Jan 14, 2015

@"Evra" Graduate

Jan 14, 2015

@"Evra" Graduate

Jan 22, 2015

graduate

Feb 6, 2015

Hi,
I'm involved in the application process to DC. Recently I've received a mail that I'm included in the longlisting meeting scheduled for February 5th. They also told me that if selected for the final stage, I will be invited to AC. Two days passed and still no reply from them. Do you know if they send any rejection mails? The suspense is killing me :)

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Dec 8, 2015

Hey guys, thanks a lot for this useful info ! Anyone has an idea about the process for applying in their Debt services ? Apparently they also offer internships in this field. I am in my gap year, from top school in France, with two strong experience in finance (my current internship is in structured debt, with 1 of the 3 big banks in France, top 1 in structured finance in europe). Was wondering if their debt internship is worth the shot ..

TY !

Jan 29, 2016

Hello everyone,

I passed the skype interview with Dartmouth 2 weeks ago, and was wondering if someone reached the AC in London ? If yes, what was the process like ?

Many thanks !

Jan 29, 2016

its a top shop when it comes to restructuring and mid market PE advisory. very well respected in europe. best exit ops are prob mid market PE funds.

Jan 29, 2016

hours as bad as bb i guess?

Jan 29, 2016

on the side note, i worked on a couple deals with them. Very smart guys

Jan 29, 2016

I'm in the recruiting process and I would be very grateful if you could tell more about DC advisoy. All opinions are wellcome

Jan 29, 2016
adelolmo:

I'm in the recruiting process and I would be very grateful if you could tell more about DC advisoy. All opinions are wellcome

MM to very small stuff (c.$5m) M&A, no restructuring anymore

Jan 29, 2016

Strong it's a middle market firm. Deal flow seems good. No idea on the culture unfortunately, but as a MM European firm I'd say it could be pretty good.

http://uk.dcadvisory.com/Transactions/

Jan 29, 2016

n/a

Jan 29, 2016

n/a

Jan 29, 2016
crusoe:

actiblue41,

are you interviewing with Dartmouth Partners right now for the DC Advisory positions?

Crusoe.

I'd be interested to hear what stage you're at with Dartmouth. I am involved in this too.

Cheers

Jan 29, 2016
crusoe:

actiblue41,

are you interviewing with Dartmouth Partners right now for the DC Advisory positions?

No, I'm applying to the internship position which hasn't "opened" yet.

    • 1
Jan 29, 2016

n/a

Jan 29, 2016

n/a

Jan 29, 2016

How have you applied to the summer internship if it has not opened yet?

Jan 29, 2016

How have you applied to the summer internship if it has not opened yet?

Jan 29, 2016

I've heard there's a team presentation to work on as well as an interview with DC Advisory team.
Which office are you applying to? I've acutally received a mail on being involved in longlisting meeting scheduled on yesterday in London office but still no reply from them... :)

May 26, 2017

I've sent my application, what's your profile?

Nov 1, 2017

Can anyone speak toward DC today? I know they recently acquired Sagent and Signal Hill and are expanding their U.S. presence. Perhaps up and coming?

Also, I have a 2nd round in London (FT M&A) and am wondering what industry group the London office specializes in.

Nov 7, 2017

Hello! I have applied there too and I got the first short telephone interview and a numerical test online received November 1st. Since then no news. Did you get invited for 2nd round at Dartmouth?
I have a friend at DC, their best group is the infra/energy, they are pretty strong in France he told me but they do decent deals in UK as well.

Nov 7, 2017

Thanks for the info.

I received my first interview and test around the same time. Last week I was sent the email about a 2nd round at Dartmouth. The guy said I could honestly schedule up until November 30 so it appears the AC won't be until December. Good Luck

Dec 4, 2017

Are you guys sure about the timeline? I don't mean to sound naive but the graduate program online application does not close until the new year.

Dec 4, 2017
Comment
Jun 5, 2018
Nov 26, 2018