Houlihan Lokey FT Analyst superdays (Healthcare/Industrials M&A groups)

Beny23's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | banana points 2,260

Can people who went through Houlihan Lokey FT Analyst superdays, especially for Healthcare and Industrials M&A groups, share their experience?
How technical were the interviews?
Was there a valuation/accounting test to take?
What was the format? 6 x 30 minutes with Associates and VPs?

Please share you experience with Houlihan Lokey recruiting especially at Chicago/Minneapolis/Dallas/NYC offices.
I will shower best contributors with SBs.

Comments (18)

Sep 30, 2013

I have a friend who worked at HL Dallas doing healthcare. Almost the entire healthcare analyst class quit within the year, including the analysts in the chicago office, because Healthcare is a sweatshop. He averaged over 100/week for consecutive weeks and didn't have a day off for 3 months straight. They also required him to follow over 10+ healthcare companies on top of his work.

In terms of recruitment, he took an accounting test that pulled most of the information from intermediate accounting. Not sure about Super Day and such.

I hope this helps.

Sep 30, 2013

Thanks for advice @QuackQuack ! I really appreciate your input. +1 SB

Sep 30, 2013

MPLS HL is also rough on hours, both M&A and Rx. Still think that office is the best, w/exception of L.A., though even that is debatable. M&A closed a few nice deals recently, including a few w/large PEs (i.e. NEP).

Know a few associates that were burned out and jumped ship. Analysts get recruited to NEP and other MM PE groups and jump at those offers b/c of the conditions. Expect to work around 100 hr weeks for either, though Rx may be a bit lighter now.

Good news is for MPLS, unless you are client-facing or have a client meeting, you can wear whatever you want. Seen HL guys roll up in flip flops and jeans frequently at some informal HH events.

Standard interviews, walk through 3-statement model, DCF & assumptions, etc.

Sep 30, 2013

Thanks @peinvestor2012 , as always your advice is golden! +1SB

Sep 30, 2013

Anyone else interviewed with HL or has experience with them?

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Sep 30, 2013

BUMP

Sep 30, 2013

Anyone else willing to share their experience with HL?

Sep 30, 2013

BUMP Anyone?

Oct 16, 2013

Beny 23, I have a friend who took HL HC test in Dallas. Here it is:

ANALYST CANDIDATE EXERCISE
Total Time Allowed: 3 Hours

Exercise Instructions

Please review the directions and let us know if you have any questions or clarifications before you get started.

? Please construct a leveraged buyout (LBO) model for Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND) on one Excel worksheet (i.e., not a multi-sheet model) that includes the following:

1. Income statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet.
2. Transaction summary (with sources & uses, IRR calculations, and summary financial and credit statistics).
3. Ability to run various operating scenarios (ability to vary revenue growth, EBITDA margins, etc.).
4. Any other analyses and schedules you consider essential in the time you have.

? Use June 30, 2013 as the transaction close date. Use your experience and judgement on an appropriate capital structure and level of equity you may need to accomplish a transaction.

? Your model should include a Revolving Credit Facility ("RCF") and Cash Sweep such that 100% of excess cash is used to pay down debt and the RCF can be used to fund the day to day operations of the business.

? Use any publicly available information for this exercise.

? Please note that this is a test of modelling skills, not a test of industry knowledge. You are not being judged on industry views and we do not expect you to defend your assumptions. You are being judged on your proficiency in Microsoft Excel and your ability to construct a three-statement LBO model that is flexible enough to allow for the use of different operating and financing/transaction assumptions.

    • 2
Best Response
Oct 16, 2013

Jesus RTR, i would never expect that extensive of a modeling test.

I have recruited for Rx, Corp Fin, and FAS groups in the LA office for FT (however I am now leaning towards HC group in SF).

Rx in LA has a notorious rep for having extremely difficult technicals. The questions some of their more senior guys ask (VPs) really challenge your thought process. In sum, besides knowing your finance theory and accounting very well, there is little you can do to prepare for where the conversations with them goes.

Corp Fin is a pretty typical final round interview experience. LA focuses on taking 1st years in a more generalist role, however I think I am (still in process) recruiting for a position specifically dedicated to M&T coverage (a lot mm M&A work). I had a very straightforward technical interview with an analyst, a slightly harder technical interview with analyst/associate combo, and then a few more general interviews with associates and VPs in the group.

I don't think I had a traditional interview at FAS. Going in I think some of the senior members I met with knew I wasn't entirely interested in the group given my transaction and M&A background. However, I can speak to the accounting/finance test they give to FT candidates.

You get 1 hr to take the exam. Majority of the focus is on accounting. You're provided a year end BS and IS, some assumptions about IS and BS items going forward (e.g. A/R is 15% of rev) and need to complete the BS. You then need to construct a complete CF statement. Definitely the most time-consuming part of the exam. The rest of the test is very very very straight forward finance theory. Questions include an EV calc, an EV multiple calc given some indirect info, NPV calcs given diff cash flows and rates, and some cap structure and cost of capital questions.

    • 3
Sep 30, 2013

Thanks for sharing guys RTR and confusedFT. Did you guys end up working for HL?

Oct 18, 2013

what other shops have written tests? not familiar with this type of interview process; is it specific to HL?

Sep 30, 2013
Ernest-Fang:

what other shops have written tests? not familiar with this type of interview process; is it specific to HL?

Baird

Sep 30, 2013

@peinvestor2012 do you happen to know if Baird has a test for ER as well? I know for IB they do. I've heard they also have a math/logic test. Do you know anything about that?

Oct 18, 2013

what other shops have written tests? not familiar with this type of interview process; is it specific to HL?

Oct 18, 2013

@Beny23

I recruited back in 2011 in the Chicago for their Industrials practice (didn't end up landing the offer), but I'll chime in a little and hopefully something helps despite my experience being a bit dated.

1. I had 3 back-to-back interviews w/ a 1-hour break for lunch followed by another 3 back-to-back interviews. My interviews consisted largely of 2 on 1s w/ the junior folks (Analysts & Associates) and 1 on 1s w/ VPs and Directors. The overall 'tone' or feeling that I got from the other side of the table was fairly relaxed although slightly 'stiff'. I'm not sure how to describe other than the guys/gals interviewing were approachable and friendly, but I didn't feel comfortable bullshitting w/ them about about what I did last Thursday night, nor did I think they were interested in 'that side' of me. Overall though I was never at any point was made to feel uncomfortable or put under pressure w/ a 'Good Cop, Bad Cop' routine or something silly like that.

2. Houlihan is known for some of the more difficult technical interviews, but at the end of the day realize that none of the tecnicals that they will ask are actually difficult. Rather, they'll take a concept from the Vault or WSO guides and really drill on applying it. I was given 'scenarios' to work through (nothing complex or quantitative), but really emphasized a solid understanding of the basic material over wrote memorization. In order to prepare for this I would make sure that you can recite the textbook answer to something like 'Depreciation Expense +$10, how does it affect the 3-Financial Statements', but also then be able to apply it w/ different non-cash expenses, or activities on the BS such as write-downs or impairments. Though you may not know exactly the line items or nomenclature knowing the general effects I think can go a long way in demonstrating proficiency.

3. The written test for me was exactly the same as mentioned above. I would bring a financial calculator that you are familiar w/ though in order to take the test. I was given I think a 10BII+ or something, but wasn't familiar w/ it since I hadn't used anything other than the old-school HP12-C so I wasted some time figuring out the differences. Not a huge issue, but nevertheless a variable that you can control if you're prepared.

4. Never had to do a modeling test.

Overall its a basic IBD interview, nothing unusual unless you count the written exam. Good luck.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

Sep 30, 2013

Thanks @BepBep12 that's really helpful!