What're are realistic exit opps for Valuations (D&P, Big 4)

TheTerp's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 30

Hi all, what're realistic exit opportunities for a valuations analyst at a Big 4 firm, Duff & Phelps, or A&M? IB? ER? PE?

Comments (7)

Feb 9, 2018


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Feb 9, 2018

ER and PE are extremely difficult. IB is possible if you network extensively are lucky in getting an interview. Exit opportunities are much more realistic and achievable when you are at the staff level.

Feb 10, 2018

I don't know where people get the idea that PE is impossible if you don't come from BB M&A or LevFin. I work at an LP and just reviewed a deck yesterday from a PE firm that had two former valuations people on the investment team. I also saw a separate deck that had former MDs at UBS, which seems to be the brunt of many jokes around here. Despite what this site thinks, unless you want a MF exit (and even that's debatable based on the backgrounds of the associates I was sitting next to at the last MF AGM I was at), you're not screwed at these lesser places. PE guys would know this better than me, but I suspect it has a lot more to do with your personality and deal experience than anything else.

VC on the other hand...H/S/W or prior Founder or you have no chance.

Feb 10, 2018

From what I've seen, ER and IB are both in the cards. Don't sit around waiting for them to find you though.

Feb 10, 2018

IB, ER, @Esuric exited to Corp Dev from Big 4 valuation. I work in valuation for a non-big 4 (BDO/ Grant Thorton/ Weaver) and in my short time here ppl at my firm have left for IB and management consulting. To be fair that's non-MBB and lower level mid market firms.

Best Response
Feb 10, 2018

This is a complicated question. I had an AMA that went into greater detail but unfortunately it was hijaked by trolls. That said, the exits vary somewhat dramatically by group. Big 4, with the possible exception of EY (haven't interacted with them) is broken down by industry vertical: TMT, Life Sciences, Financial Sponsors, Complex Securities (CLOs, RMBS, etc.), Aerospace and Industrial 's, real estate, etc.

Those that work for financial sponsors have a greater probability of exiting into PE and those that work in Life Sciences have a better shot at CorpDev/boutique strategy consulting. Life Sciences will give you a shot at VC while Compex Securities won't. I could go on but I think you get it.

If I had to generalize, I would categorize the likely exists as follows, in order to descending likelihood:

  • Middle office valuation at an Ares/Blackstone/lesser known HF sort of place - about 40% (less likely if you work in Life sciences)
  • IB - about 25% (mostly boutique and MM but there are some BB placements. This isn't sector specific since most IBs are structured by industry vertical as well)
  • ER - about 10% (seen placements into Jefferies, Guggenheim, Susquehanna, etc)
  • CorpDev about 10% (much more likely for life sciences)
  • Actual PE/VC/HF/A&M - about 5% (almost exclusively from financial sponsors and real estate valuation groups)
  • Strategy consulting about 5% - (absolutely no MBB. I've never seen it)
  • Something else - 5% (FP&A, accounting, treasury, retail financial analyst, etc.)

I should note that this does not consider bval to bval transfers, which is obviously the most likely exit. The list only considers exits from bval into something else. The list also considers the bval industry as a whole. For example, the list cites that about 5% go into PE but this is a very common exit for those in real estate valuation groups. The thing is that those groups tend to be very lean and thus only make up a small portion of the industry.

There are some nuances here. For example, I mentioned that MBB placements are basically unheard of. That said, if you work for Deloitte bval in NYC, you'll frequently be staffed on Monitor engagement (if you're good). You'll work for Monitor partners, in the Monitor building, etc. This is obviously advantageous for those looking to exit into strategy. So while MBB is basically unheard of, exits to LEK/Parthenon aren't.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

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Feb 10, 2018

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