Is "Big4 Valuation -> PE" Reasonable?

Yes I know that this exit is possible if you network enough, but really what isn't. I'm just curious if the types of skills you build in Big 4 Valuation are transferable and attractive to PE shops. 

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Comments (9)

  • Analyst 1 in PE - LBOs
Nov 17, 2021 - 11:38pm

As you noted, anything's possible w networking, but the more natural progression would probably be valuation -> IB -> PE

Nov 17, 2021 - 11:41pm

Huh, that is not very intuitive to me. I would have assumed valuation skills are more immediately relevant in PE than IB. My suspicion was that someone from a more consulting-esque role (basically just client-facing) would end up in IB and more technical positions like Valuation would segue more naturally to PE. I guess that shows I don't really know what I'm talking about. 

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Nov 18, 2021 - 1:48am

Linking to the last time it was asked. Short answer is no, valuation is better suited to middle / back office roles at funds. You don't develop any of the deal process understanding, business diligence underwriting, or financial structuring that PE funds are looking for. 

That said, it segues nicely into what IB analysts do (lots of modeling, cleaning data, and linking financial statements… analysts are much less client-facing than they'd have you believe).

Agree with the above, occasionally people will move into PE, but if that's your end goal you'll be much better positioned if you lateral to banking first

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Nov 21, 2021 - 1:16am

Valuation roles as another poster noted are great backgrounds for middle & back office roles at investment funds. Valuation skills are well suited for portfolio management roles where you're actively monitoring portfolio companies after the investment team has executed the transaction and you become the point person in managing the asset (quarterly valuation work, interacting with auditors, helping out with amendments and workouts, etc.) 

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Nov 21, 2021 - 5:18am

That's interesting but I'm not totally sure that's for me. I really just like the research. The process of learning about a company to develop a well-informed, holistic valuation is the appealing part, not necessarily the hard numbers. This is the first job in my professional life, and I'm honestly not an expert on anything, so do have any recommendations for setting myself up to move into a role where that is emphasized?

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Nov 21, 2021 - 9:57am

As others have noted, my recommendation would be to do 1-2 years in valuation and jump over to an IB role which should not be too difficult given the valuation experience you're getting in your current role. After doing another 1-2 years in IB, that'd set you up very well for a PE role. Best of luck!

Nov 21, 2021 - 7:26am

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