Deloitte Corporate Finance 2017 Comp

I've been hearing of these M&A groups (not transaction services, but DCF as in post McColl Partners acquisition) at consulting places like Deloitte. Generally it seems like people agree comp is lower but hours are better. Just wondering exactly what the comp is like in 2017 and how good are the hours exactly?

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Comments (8)

Dec 4, 2017 - 4:52pm

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Best Response
Apr 29, 2018 - 2:33pm

I know a few people who work for Big 4 CF groups in non-NYC offices. Comp is significantly lower than street, but the hours are in fact much better than the average investment bank. I'll assume that the OP's question was referring to Big 4 CF groups in NYC. Not sure how significant the non-NYC Big 4 member firms would differ in comp, but I would be willing to bet strongly against associates making anywhere close to $200K.

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Apr 29, 2018 - 3:12pm

I know this may not be directly useful for the OP, but to help other people on this forum I can give a UK perspective.

In general, across both the Big4 and Mid-tier accounting firms (think Grant Thornton, RSM, BDO) the hours are better in M&A Lead Advisory than in Transaction Services (AKA Due Diligence).

Lead Advisory has a lot of peaks and troughs in the workload due to the varying workload intensity at different stages of a deal. A lot of the deadlines are to some degree 'artificial' in that there is some negotiation with the client over when to go to market and what timescales are achievable on both sides.

There is usually a culture of 'no-face-time' which means that if you generally don't have anything to do, the partners encourage you to go home (probably because they also want to go home). Given the cyclical nature of the job, it is likely you will benefit from this policy from time to time. However, there will be times when you have urgent deadlines requiring post-midnight finishes. This is largely the exception. Weekends are largely protected, again, unless there is a pressing need.

Personally, I do 50% 6pm finishes, 25% 8pm finishes and 25% 10-12pm (YMMV) and i never get in before 9 unless a meeting dictates it

I know someone at EY who had to work consecutive weekends for several weeks and the firm gave her a couple of weeks off in lieu. So you certainly aren't expected to do this habitually.

However, if you work in Transaction Services, you are generally working for PE firms and large corporate acquirers, providing input to their DD process. These guys have high expectations. You are also involved in that specific part of the process that is more time critical than the earlier stages in the deal-life-cycle. Deadlines are externally set and therefore non-negotiable. Consequently, you are expected to be 'on-call' and there's arguably more pressure on you to get things done urgently.

You will probably also work on more deal processes because you are only involved in a small slice of the process on each individual deal. The hours are generally worse in TS as a result - I've heard of people working continual late evenings, over Christmas, etc.

Comp (in the UK)
Pretty appalling, if I'm honest. The remuneration models of accounting firms aren't structured to fit around M&A, seeing as it typically only represents 5% of these firms' total revenue.

Therefore, at the entry level, expect to be paid the same as someone in Audit or Tax plus perhaps 2 or 3k additional. Bonuses are typically non existent for both M&A and TS, until you get to Director/Partner, at which stage they're more related to the amount of work you win.

Reading between the lines, a lot of people join M&A at accounting firms (where the vacancies are more commonplace than banks and boutiques) hoping to jump into a boutique or MM IB further down the line (myself included). So you end up with this huge pool of people with 1-4 years' experience trying to make the jump and very few make it. The rest end up stuck within accounting firms, hoping to make equity partner one day.

Moral of the story is, unless you have a particular reason to believe you will be the exception, don't do Big4 M&A purely for the money (at least in the UK). The outcome will likely be binary (either you make it big by jumping out or you get stuck), whereas I'd argue if you do a more vanilla accounting job it lends itself more easily to transitioning to industry where you can easily get paid more. (I would say, statistically speaking, your expected value is lower in M&A and TS, than straight accounting at Big4.)

Apr 30, 2018 - 6:54am

Some good points in this post, but also a number that I disagree with.

Background - ex-Big 4 M&A (UK), and exited to a boutique.

Correct on the TS/FDD (due diligence) vs. M&A point, in that TS/FDD faces stricter deadlines, and everything is generally "more urgent".

However, I would strongly dispute that this necessarily means that M&A are doing less hours and particularly the figures that you are suggesting up.

In my team 10PM was the standard finish time, with weekend work being common. We had a number of strong partner/directors; obviously this can be a factor in our different experiences.

Generally correct, it should be noted that in the UK a lot of this is related to the completion of your ACA/CA (UK CPA equivalent). Figures are generally:
AN1: ~30k GBP
AN2: ~33k GBP
AN3: ~37k GBP
AS1: (post ACA/CA): ~50k GBP

Bonus: Generally 5% depending on firm performance.

Exit/Long Term:
Agreed that if you stay at Big 4 then your expected value is higher staying in Audit (easier to get promoted, clear path etc.). However, from my experience, almost no-one stays at the Big 4 long term in the transactions focused departments

I appreciate from your other posts that you had a slightly less conventional route, but the below path is incredibly common:

Audit (2-4 years)>TS/FDD/M&A post ACA/CA/CPA (for 1-2 years)>MM/EB/BB (less common)

A quick Linkedin search in London of EB/MM/BB firms where the person previously worked at a Big-4 firm will show you this. In my experience, the only people who don't make this jump are the people that do not want to in the first place. If you want to jump, you can jump.

Look at any London based recruiter and you will see many many roles asking for Big 4 TS/M&A experience - I know from my own experience that a lot of firms specifically seek out people with these profiles. Rothschild is a great example of this; look at their job postings and you can see that they often specifically require ACA/CA/CPA under their "Experiences required".

I would caveat this with saying that if you stay in Big 4 M&A/TS medium-long term it can make it harder to jump to a Bank. However, Manager and above level at Big 4 can often still jump to Associate/VP level, and exits to LMM PE are not uncommon.

Apr 30, 2018 - 7:57am

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