Duff & Phelps Valuation or Big 4 Valuation

analyst1243's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 44

Hey guys, I want some input on deciding between Duff & Phelps and a big 4.

I got offers from a Big 4 and Duff & Phelps for their valuation.

Ultimately, I want to do private equity in the long run and willing to take any route I can to get there, which offer should I take?

Comments (12)

Best Response
Oct 20, 2016

See my response here:

Furthering that, there is one MAJOR difference between indep val shop and big 4:

Big 4 (anywhere from 30-70%) of your time could be spend reviewing OTHER PEOPLE's models / valuations. In an indep val shop, you aren't reviewing anyone's work because you're not at an audit firm. It's also worth noting that there will be independence issues come up when the audit partner, advisory partner, and val partners are all after the same clients (I've seen it happen multiple times).

tl;dr - take D&P over Big 4,

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Oct 20, 2016

^ above has a great response in link. Would also add that Duff has very good fairness opinion practice and decent MM IB and is pretty open to internal mobility.

Oct 21, 2016

Other independent val shops like AM, HL, etc all have solid IBs. I can't say for sure but I'd imagine people at these shops could move to banking if they wanted to.

Oct 25, 2016

anyone know how pay is at D&P (for valuation analyst)?

Oct 26, 2016

I'm sure it's very similar to Big 4 / other indep val shops. I would probably say as a 1st year you can expect 60-65k base, 1-3k signing bonus, and maybe anywhere from 5-15k year end bonus. I would think the D&P's/HL's/A&M's of the world pay a bit higher in bonus than Big 4.

Oct 26, 2016

Bump - Anyone else have any comments?

Oct 26, 2016

Take D&P but the group should be based on your career goals

Oct 26, 2016

At KPMG you'll work on a lot of pre-deal stuff. Out of the Big 4, it's #1 for internal mobility. After about a year, you're free to move to any office or group that you like. Also, KPMG loves to promote internally. On the other hand, at KPMG you will work on Audit reviews, might work on legal entity valuations and might work on, depending on your office, FMV engagements. These are projects that most people aren't interested in. At D&P you'll most likely have more access to fairness opinions and litigation valuation work (will get some exposure to this as well at KPMG).

In terms of culture, I hear some bad things about Duff, but you'll get that anywhere in bval. If your goal is PE, then portfolio valuations will do more for you. KPMG has a PE valuation group (alternative investments) that has huge turnover into buyside.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

Oct 31, 2016

Hi Esuric, thanks for the reply but I'm curious, what group/office are you in at KPMG? From my understanding (for the Houston office), the group I spoke with was Economic and Valuation Services Business Valuation Associate and they mentioned all their work was post-transaction PPA, Goodwill-Impairment for tax and financial reporting purposes. I asked one of the associates about the "pre-deal stuff" and she said KPMG has an entirely separate group for that called Deal Advisory, which is what I think you're referring to.

Oct 31, 2016

I'm in the northeast. Deal advisory usually engages EVS to do the bval modeling, sensitivity testing and preliminary valuation output. FDD will typically come on as well to test management's projections and assumptions. Deal Advisory will structure the transaction.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

Oct 31, 2016
Nov 11, 2016

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