I've tried to do some research on this but have not seen many posts comparing the two specialty groups within many Big 4 firms. I did find a lot of interesting information regarding transaction services type roles, however, not much on valuations. My question is, which group do you think would offer better exit opportunities? Whether its corporate finance, IBD, PE, HF, top 10 MBA. Is any one group more attractive to potential Wall Street employers? Regardless of what one wants to do after a stint in these groups, which group would offer the best learning experience and thus, best exit ops and variety of choices?
what is transaction advisory services?
While each firm will describe it different, EY describes their transaction advisory services by saying:
We help create social and economic value for our clients by helping them make more informed decisions about strategically managing capital and transactions.
We advise on strategies to raise, invest, optimize and preserve capital. Our teams bring together transaction professionals across functional areas, sectors and geographies to evaluate your Capital Agenda. Our goal is to help you achieve your best capital performance, deliver value to your stakeholders and meet your strategic corporate objectives.
What does a Valuation Big 4 Group Do?
PwC describes the work of their valuation group below:
PwC offers an integrated approach to helping you measure, analyze and report on a broad range of valuation issues, by bringing together professionals with extensive valuation, technical accounting, corporate finance, tax, and deal strategy expertise.
Below is a picture summarizing more of their offerings in the valuations group.
You can read more about their group on their website.
While these descriptions can vary from firm to firm, this gives you an idea of the work done by a valuation group.
Exit Opps From Valuation and TAS Groups
Our users shared that generally you will need to go to business school to jump into banking from either of these options. However, in Europe TAS employees are often able to jump into banking and middle market PE due to the due diligence experience that you gain in this group.
The path into IB from valuation or TAS usually runs through a top business school. Valuation and the like are 3 yards and a cloud of dust type businesses, whereas IB is much more client centered. Not a huge difference, but one that pervades the culture in each industry. Remember, if your goal is to jump into IB and look for "exit ops" you are already at a severe disadvantage. PE shops hire former IB analysts about 97% of the time. Your jump into IB will look more like TAS -> b-school (Columbia, Kellogg, MIT, etc.) -> IB associate. Banks hire Associates because they think they will make a career of it, not leave in two years. Associates still do leave to do other things, but even so, usually not the things that analysts typically leave to do.
User @EuropeanBob, an asset management associate, shared a European market perspective:
TAS would offer better exit ops. TAS can mean a lot of things (in some places it includes Lead Advisory, which is IB), but I suppose you're referring to the group that does financial due diligence for M&A deals.
In the UK this offers great exit ops to IBD and mid market PE. A lot of the lower mid-market PE shops have nearly only big 4 guys form the TAS groups. The due diligence experience is valued by PE shops, not sure about the type of valuations you'd do in a valuations group.
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