Trouble deciding which offer to pursue: CB @ BB VS. M&A @ Local Big Four

FYI: both positions are Full-time analyst.

I am in a position where I have received a Local (German) Big-Four FT in M&A (IBD) and a London based CB FT offer at a BB.

I'm really not sure which way I should go. Stay local and do local M&A or go for CB in London at a BB?

Comments (13)

Nov 8, 2017

Hi Tim_Bilas, any of these topics helpful:

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  • Investment Banking Analyst: A True Day in the Life hardly any life or style to the EB / BB investment banking life, which is a deal breaker for some. ... specialized and niche a deal is, the more likely it goes to an elite boutique. Bulge bracket banks: Goldman ... business school opportunities, etc., bulge bracket banks offer
  • Houlihan Lokey M&A vs JP Morgan Global Corporate Bank Houlihan Lokey has extensive expertise in mergers, acquisitions and divestitures for a broad range of ... an international, advisory-focused investment bank with 14 offices throughout the United States, ... resources to help you realize your business objectives. JPMorgan Chase: The Global Corporate Bank manages ...
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  • What are the basics in the Mergers and Acquisitions field. field of Investment Banking. Forbes Mergers and Acquisitions ... I am only a first year college student and would like to learn about some basics in the M&A ...
  • Freshman at target: M&A Advisory or PE? I have two offers...and I can't decide. Both are unpaid. The pay is not an issue for me. My goal is ... to land a BB internship after junior year, and hopefully an IB gig after college. I currently have ... to do bigger scale stuff at the M&A / VC firm. I'm conflicted. Which should I take? freshman ...
  • More suggestions...

Or maybe the following users have something to say: @monkey168 @Zatopek @snakeplissken

I hope those threads give you a bit more insight.

Nov 11, 2017


Nov 11, 2017

Would you mind elaborating on your interests and location preferences?

If you really want to do M&A, the position at the Big4 should clearly be your choice. I know the German market quite well and can tell you that it would not be a major problem to lateral to BBs/EBs (within Germany) after a few years assuming you are doing a great job at the Big4 and have significant deal exposure. Moving to another office within the BB/EB may be an opportunity a few more years down the road since most of the banks have rotational programs in place or at least encourage it to some extent (and until a certain degree ob job tenure).

Do you speak German fluently?

Is CB really of interest to you? Do you desire to work and live in London?

Nov 13, 2017

Sure, no problem.

I have a strong preference to try life in London for at least two years, which, alongside the "prestige" factor of having been with a London BB, is a strong pull.

Aside from my short-term aspirations, my long-term goal is to join a local German PE Fund. Thus, for my long-term goal, the M&A gig is pulling me in that direction.

For your final questions:

1) Yes, I am a native German speaker,

2) I like some of the work a CB position offers you, but I also think that the nature of Annual Reviews / Credit Memos are somewhat boring, as it is purely internal work.

Nov 11, 2017

Hi T, congratulations on the offers! Both I would say are great choices. It depends on what your career goals are, I would say. It is very easy to move from Big 4 M&A to investment banking at a BB, because the skill set required is the same. Moving from CB to IBD is also quite easy too, especially because most CB groups work directly with the M&A groups at BB's to help with financing. However, it would require more networking and being able to convince your interviewer that you have transferable skills. Nevertheless, being in london could provide more opportunities for networking etc. If your career goal is PE, big M&A would definitely be the better choice in that case, because it provides more transferrable skills to PE.

Once again congrats on both offers! If you don't mind, could you share what the interview process was like for the big 4 M&A position? Like was it behvourial, technical or case study? If so what was the case study about? Thanks so much for your help!

    • 1
Nov 11, 2017

Also curious what Big 4 M&A interviews are like

Nov 13, 2017

See below, sorry.

Nov 13, 2017


Nov 13, 2017

Thanks a lot for providing your perspective, it helps and both answers are honestly pushing me towards the local M&A, rather than the London based CB position.
I am also very pleased with having two offers at hand, but it has made the choice even more difficult!

In terms of the Big 4 interview process:

There were four rounds in total, which are listed in chronological order below:

  • Fit interview with two Senior Associates + technical questions (1H)
  • Business understanding (case discussion of a local firm) + technical questions (1H)
  • Valuation discussion "How would you value the local firm XYZ" + elaborative questions
  • Fit interview with partners + personality test walkthrough with an HR rep.

By the way, the two rounds in the middle happened on the same day.

    • 1
Nov 13, 2017

Thanks so much tim! Really appreciate it!

Nov 13, 2017