Ernst & Young Transaction Advisory Services - Valuation

Bankn's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 338

I'm posting this here to get some take on this full-time position with E&Y. I'm very interested in investment banking at some time in my career and I have an interview for this position. Here are two questions I have regarding it:

  1. Would investment bankers see this as valuable experience?
  2. Anyone how has experience interviewing with E&Y or a position similar to this, do you have any suggestions for the interview? What should I expect?

Ernst & Young Interview Process

Ernst & Young have a multi-phase hiring process like many other major finaincial firms. You will need to submit an online application and aptitude test, go through your first and second round interviews, and a day at their Assessment Centre.

According to WikiJobs, the Assessment Centre day will include the following. For more details on this stage, visit the WikiJob page.

You want to arrive to your interviews prepared to answer both general and technical questions. It's also a good idea to prepare a few questions of your own.

jack_donaghy:

I have some friends in the EY VS group.
Questions will include:

  1. Where does value come from in an LBO?
  2. A company experiences an increase in Beta, ceteris paribus, what happens to the WACC?
  3. A question asking about getting to EBITDA
  4. You have Company X. Name three different ways to value it.
  5. How do you build WACC?
  6. What is a DCF?

As with most interviews you can also expect some standard HR questions:

  • Tell us about a time that you took command of a group.
  • Tell us about a time that you instituted change.
  • Describe a time that you were able to sway the group to adopt an unpopular position.

Importantly, make sure that you have good questions to ask them about transactions, fair market value, and business in general. It's fine to ask similar questions to everyone you meet with, but be sure to have 5-10 minutes worth or good questions.

Is TAS Good Experience For Investment Banking?

While working in transaction advisory services, specifically in a valuation group you gain deal and valuation exposure that could be leverageable into an investment banking interview. However, this is in no way guaranteed.

Read More About TAS on WSO

Preparing for Investment Banking Interviews?

The WSO investment banking interview course is designed by countless professionals with real world experience, tailored to people aspiring to break into the industry. This guide will help you learn how to answer these questions and many, many more.

Investment Banking Interview Course Here

Comments (65)

Sep 23, 2011

For what it's worth. I know of a girl that was in my Big 4 firm's valuations group for a year and then moved to BAML early this year. Not saying this happens all the time, but at least you know TAS has value if you want to be a banker.

Best Response
Sep 23, 2011

I have some friends in the EY VS group. Questions will include:

1) Where does value come from in an LBO?
2) A company experiences an increase in Beta, ceteris paribus, what happens to the WACC?
3) A question asking about getting to EBITDA
4) You have Company X. Name three different ways to value it
5) How do you build WACC?
6) What is a DCF?

You'll maybe get a Fermi questions like "How many baseballs would fit in this room?" As long as you keep cool and work through it, youll be good.

Then some standard HR questions
1) name a time that you took command of a group
2) name a time that you instituted change
3) describe a time that you were an underdog with a good idea but you swayed the group to adopt your position.
4) Blah blah blah

I would make sure that you have good questions to ask them about transactions, fair market value, and business in general. Don't be worried about asking a similar question to everyone you meet with, just make sure you have 5-10 minutes worth or good questions.

Let me know if you have any other questions

    • 6
Oct 17, 2011
jack_donaghy:

Let me know if you have any other questions

Thanks for the help before. I got the second round. What to expect? I'm apparently going to do a "writing assessment", what's this all about?

Thanks

Sep 23, 2011

I just saw on your profile that you live in Chicago. City or burbs?

Sep 23, 2011

I'm not an expert but I know a lot of people currently doing or alums of transaction services. The sad reality is that it's basically audit. The only difference is that once every 5 years, some bright kid networks his way out of TS and into IB...so they can tell you IB is an exit op in your interview. If there were a bait and switch in the big 4, it'd be TS.

Sep 23, 2011

It is not good...I have known a few people who have gone into TAS. One managed to jump to a MM, the rest ended up going to BSchool or a MFin in one case.

Honestly, recruiting is terrible right now. You will be competing with all the MM guys looking to get a BB on the resume pre-PE, the laid off, and all the guys at sinking ships looking to jump to a different firm before getting canned.

Also, I have yet to actually meet anybody in TAS who wanted to stay in TAS. The people who actually like accounting (they exist) generally do audit or even tax. Every person I have seen go into TAS is massively overqualified for most big4 jobs, and is using it to jump into IB or occasionally consulting. This means you are competing with your colleagues for the same, virtually non-existent jobs.

TAS is probably the closest you can get to IB without being in IB or in house M&A. But don't count on making the switch, especially if the economy continues to lag. I would take non-MBB consulting, a good f500 finance program, or a non-elite boutique over it.

Sep 24, 2011
West Coast rainmaker:

TAS is probably the closest you can get to IB without being in IB or in house M&A. But don't count on making the switch, especially if the economy continues to lag. I would take non-MBB consulting, a good f500 finance program, or a non-elite boutique over it.

I'm curious, if TAS is the closes you can get to IB without being in IB, why would IB recruiters shun away from former TAS employees?

Sep 23, 2011

It is the TAS group, but he will be doing valuation work. Valuation is not audit or due diligence. It's just how EY structured their practice that VS is located there.

Nov 13, 2014
jack_donaghy:

It is the TAS group, but he will be doing valuation work. Valuation is not audit or due diligence. It's just how EY structured their practice that VS is located there.

EDIT: just realized how old this post was.

Valuation is much less valuable to move to IB/PE than TAS. PE firms are going to continue to hire out accounting/valuation work to accounting firms.

DD gives you experience on transactions and although can be monotonous at times, gives you a better sense of the M&A process and things to focus in during initial meetings w/clients as an I-banker. Valuation is incredibly academic and rarely rooted in reality.

I would push to work on DD instead of valuation if you can, whether that be immediately or after a couple years in valuation.

    • 1
Sep 24, 2011

TS is typically thought of as the due diligence process during a transactions. EY groups Valuation Services with TS, but the work is very different. Valuation groups offer opinions on the fair market value of intangible assets(think customer relationships) and enterprises(think whole businesses). The VS groups at services firms do valuations primarily for the following:

1) Management planning - the CFO just wants to know how the business is going.

2) Annual impairment testing - Does the value of the business support the level of goodwill/intangibles booked at the time of the original transaction?

3) Purchase Price Allocation - After a transaction, there needs to be an allocation of the purchase price to each of the tangible and intangible assets. The VS group would look at the purchase price less the fair value of the tangible assets(inventory and PP&E). That remaining piece would be divided among the intangible assets.

4) Transactions - While not all the time, VS groups will engage in distressed lending/asset sale valuations, as well as M&A. These deals will obviously give you good experience to recall in IB interviews.

You'll have some one-off consulting gigs, but those probably aren't the focus.

    • 1
Sep 25, 2011

I interviewed with the EY Valuations group this past summer. Here's how my experience went-

Round 1-
- An hour long interview split 30 mins between two senior managers from the group (one business valuations, the other business modelling) and HR. The senior managers asked some fit and technical questions. The HR person had no idea what was going on because they lack any type of co-ordination - she basically asked me some fit questions and pulled in the group VP and we had a nice chat.

Round 2-
- Received a business case two weeks prior to the interview. Basically, it was an S&P industry report and I had to prepare a two page research report from it. I had to submit my report the day before the interview.
- The day of the interview was spilt between a modelling test and more interviews. The modelling test was a 75 min Excel test split equally between a DCF (for the company from the business case) and an advanced Excel skills component. The interviews that followed totalled 90 mins and were split between two partners and two managers.

Still quite disappointed I didn't land the job given all the work I put in it especially when you consider you will still be spending 30% of your time helping out audit engagements (at least in T.O.).

It's also funny to note, in the first round, the resume the HR person passed out to the team wasn't the one I used when I applied for the job; it was my undergraduate resume from when I first applied to the firm. I only learned that at the end of the interview when I looked at the package the VP was using and noticed something didn't look right with resume in his hands!

Sep 26, 2011
hujja:

I interviewed with the EY Valuations group this past summer. Here's how my experience went-

Round 1-
- An hour long interview split 30 mins between two senior managers from the group (one business valuations, the other business modelling) and HR. The senior managers asked some fit and technical questions. The HR person had no idea what was going on because they lack any type of co-ordination - she basically asked me some fit questions and pulled in the group VP and we had a nice chat.

It's also funny to note, in the first round, the resume the HR person passed out to the team wasn't the one I used when I applied for the job; it was my undergraduate resume from when I first applied to the firm. I only learned that at the end of the interview when I looked at the package the VP was using and noticed something didn't look right with resume in his hands!

In my email from E&Y it says specifically: "The questions will be behavioral, fit questions". It mentions nothing of technicals. Did you get the same sort of email indicating only behavioral?

Haha, honestly I almost submitted my old resume on their website (because when I went to reapply it had saved my old resume, and skipped most of the steps. My GPA/experience was messed up too). That might be why it happened to you..

Sep 25, 2011

For the record, I applied to EY right out of undergrad and they also had some random old resume. I don't know where they get their HR people, but there is clearly a disconnect.

Sep 26, 2011

FWIW, I recently met a former EY TAS VP. This guy was a complete moron and jackass.

    • 2
Sep 26, 2011

I actually interns with a Big 4 in their Tas group, although not specifically in valuation, I worked closley witht hat group. I spoke with the other interns in the group and even my adviser about switching into it since I had an interest in IB. His advice to me was that, although valuation is the closest thing the Big 4 has to IB work, the nature of your work is still very different. For valuation in TAS for a big 4, a lot of the valuation work you do is valuing assets or intellectual property for a firm's financial statements. Most of the Big 4 have a corporate finance group that is their version of a boutique IB, and those are the people who do real IB related valuation work. Granted, in valuation, you may get assigned to something more IB correlated, from my understanding, most of it will just be valuation for financial statements.

    • 1
Sep 27, 2011

Big4 BVal -> MM IB -> BB IB

Experience you get at bval will be spin-able toward investment banking, but you still need to put in time to prepare for what you won't learn on the job. jack_d is spot on with the type of work you'd do - I did many PPA's and impairment testings but that being said, you will have projects that are more interesting and relateable to banking.

My interview was pretty simple - 3 people, 1 fit, 1 very basic technical (how to value a company, what to do if they don't keep any books, etc.), and 1 guy who just had me ask him questions for 30 min. I had been preparing for IB interviews and a lot of the questions were the same.

    • 1
    • 1
Sep 29, 2011
jtang128:

Big4 BVal -> MM IB -> BB IB

Experience you get at bval will be spin-able toward investment banking, but you still need to put in time to prepare for what you won't learn on the job. jack_d is spot on with the type of work you'd do - I did many PPA's and impairment testings but that being said, you will have projects that are more interesting and relateable to banking.

My interview was pretty simple - 3 people, 1 fit, 1 very basic technical (how to value a company, what to do if they don't keep any books, etc.), and 1 guy who just had me ask him questions for 30 min. I had been preparing for IB interviews and a lot of the questions were the same.

Good info. Thanks

Oct 17, 2011

Message me your email. I pulled some strings and got you a hell of a gift.

Oct 17, 2011

+1 to this guy jack_donaghy guy.

Oct 17, 2011

So if you had to take 1 position at a Big 4 to position yourself for IBD it would be Valuation? Gee my progress towards a CFA charter might actually pay some dividends since every B4 Valuation posting states 'Must be working towards CFA charter.'

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

Oct 18, 2011

I sent you a personal message Jack. Thanks.

Oct 18, 2011

I emailed you this morning. Check your spam folder

Feb 8, 2013

I have an analyst interview with a big 4 m&a group next week. What kind of questions can I expect? More technical or fit? Since a lot of people move to m&a from the audit group, do they tend stress more on accounting during interviews? I have 1 year ib experience with a middle market shop.
Will appreciate your advice.

Oct 18, 2011

big 4 frims have M&A groups as well

i know pwc and Deloitte are a licensed broker dealer and have groups that operate just like a boutique IB.
I would stay away from valuation and go to f500 finance or something.

Feb 7, 2013

I have an interview with a big 4 m&a group next week. What kind of questions could I expect?

Jan 21, 2014

do most valuation associates for big4 travel much?

Mar 11, 2014

Hi guys,

I have an interview with a B4 TAS for analyst position. I would appreciate if someone could shine some light on what sort of questions I'd be asked (they mentioned technical and HR).

Also, I'm a fresh grad with no industry experience (only internships). I want IB, however my luck hasn't been great. I have been offered a job in wholesale banking for a big bank, another job for a regional bank in the middle east in their CorpFin and IB department.

Which would you guys advise me to start?

Sep 17, 2014

How did your interview go ymhb.1? I'm interviewing for a TAS position as well.

Nov 26, 2014

Hi Snarky,

I've got my second EY TAS interview coming up next week. They've indicated it's a financial modelling test. Can you shed any light on your recruitment process and if you did the modelling test, what it entailed?

Nov 26, 2014

Hi Snarky,

I've got my second EY TAS interview coming up next week. They've indicated it's a financial modelling test. Can you shed any light on your recruitment process and if you did the modelling test, what it entailed?

Jan 9, 2015

I got the 2nd round interview of VBM (Valuation and Business Modeling) under TAS, EY next week..

Does anyone here know any tips/hints about it? I was told that there would be a one hour interview hosted by the technics manager. What kind of technical questions will be involved?

Anyone? Thanks lehhhhh

Jan 9, 2015

For those of you that are interested in learning more about valuations and the exits/work, I did an AMA on it found here:

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/ama-former-b...

Feel free to PM me or post on that thread.

There seems to be a bit confusion on this thread and to clarify if this is a EY - TAS - Valuations position there will be .01% chance of any questions relating to LBOs (specifically if you are interviewing the Chicago office, which I have interviewed at).

I think @jack_donaghy second post about doing PPA's, Fair value, FMV etc is pretty much on point as to what you can expect as far as work.

EDIT: Just realized how old this thread is.

Jan 9, 2015

EY TAS is viewed very favorably when lateraling, outside of people with prior banking gigs you will be first in line

Jan 9, 2015

@charizard Thanks, I appreciate the insight. That's encouraging!

Jan 9, 2015

Very doable. I've got a good acquaintance(not quite friend, since I don't get to see him that often) who did that and found it relatively easy.

Jan 9, 2015

@one_bigass_spider Do you know how long your acquaintance worked in TAS before making the jump to IBD?

Jan 9, 2015

Don't remember exactly. I want to say about a year and a half.

    • 1
Jan 9, 2015

@one_bigass_spider Thanks, appreciate the insight!

Jan 9, 2015

Sorry to hijack but do you guys think valuations at a regional accounting firm would open the same opportunities?

Jan 9, 2015

@onmywayup I would assume it is possible from a regional accounting firm to a bank in the same area. I doubt you can make the jump from a regional accounting firm in Michigan to a BB IBD in New York. That's just my guess though.

Jan 9, 2015
onmywayup:

Sorry to hijack but do you guys think valuations at a regional accounting firm would open the same opportunities?

Can't speak personally, but most of the people I've talked to who have lateraled into IB from other positions (e.g. TA, Valuation, Due Diligence, etc) did it from firms who operated on a similar scale to the bank they now work at. For example, I talked to one guy who worked at a MidWest-heavy valuation firm and went to leading Chicago MM firm, and another guy who worked for a Big 4 firm and lateraled to a BB. ....also a few regional examples (think they were prominent in that state's lower MM with no offices elsewhere) who followed the same pattern.

Jan 9, 2015

Did you get it?

Jan 9, 2015

It can be quite technical: expect questions on modelling, capital structure (i.e. what is CAPM, beta, etc.), and why Transaction Advisory. Know some of your economics as well since they might give you questions based on your background.

For the lead! Sipag, tiyaga, at lakas ng loob!

Jan 9, 2015

Ok, thanks for the heads up.

Jan 9, 2015

I'm assuming you're talking about transaction advisory services at one of the big four acct firms. This is close to a consulting job from what I've been told. Basically doing due dilligence on deals. Not sure about the pay.

Jan 9, 2015

During one of my 2nd round interviews, they said most of the work is due diligence during the pre-deal phase. None of the financing or deal execution.

Jan 9, 2015

it's due dilligence around how good the financial statements are that the vendor provides. they try to do more but you want to keep their role to checking working capital for manipulation etc.

Let MBB run strategy and legal run legal. They try to overstretch sometimes.

Jan 9, 2015

Is there a lot of travel involved?

Jan 9, 2015

It's basically another shitty way for an accounting firm to make money. Do not be fooled into thinking that you will be an "investment banker" in a TAS group. Also, be prepared to work alongside second-tier college grads who don't care about their career.

http://www.drmarkklein.blogspot.com/

Jan 9, 2015

Mark Klein MD,

For a guy who runs a blog that displays a hint of sophistication and intelligence, your posts here on WSO tend to run a bit childish and outlandish. Do you post here on WSO to release your inner Mr. Hyde?

Jan 9, 2015

whats the difference (in the type of work) between Deloitte M&A Advisory and Lazard M&A Advisory?

Jan 9, 2015

anyone who worked in Transaction Advisory Services or have a lot of info about it can you send me a PM
thanks

Sep 15, 2017

I heard they are all but dead at the moment but the partner i know isnt in that group so that could be old info

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Sep 15, 2017

interviews tomorrow.

--
"Those who say don't know, and those who know don't say."

Sep 15, 2017

They do purchase price valuations and goodwill impairment tests for the most part. Pay should be 60-65 with no real bonus; some people from Big 4 valuation go into internal valuation at PE firms or banks, some do make the move to front office. Hours blow-probably 80% of front-office banking hours for about 50% of the all-in comp and exit opportunities.

Valuation has a leg up on other transaction advisory groups for two reasons: It uses most of the same finance principles as banking (WACCs, DCF, multiples, Black-Scholes, etc) as opposed to being accounting-focused, and companies need to test their valuations annually so they have work even if there's no "deal flow" in the usual sense.

If you can't get the job you want out of the gates it's worth taking a look at.

Sep 15, 2017

Very little work rite now....Analysts showing up at 10 and leaving at 5 :(

Sep 15, 2017
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Sep 15, 2017
Oct 27, 2018