My life as an M&A analyst

What does a typical day in M&A look like? What does an analyst really do?  We ask our analysts and find out.

 

First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Ester Nafee and I have been working for MP for almost half a year now. I am working in the Automotive & Industrials Sector(s) teams. I am originally from Italy and I moved to Vienna to start my bachelor’s degree at WU Vienna. After graduating, I moved to Rotterdam to start my master’s degree in Finance & Investments, but I always knew I wanted to go back to Vienna to start my career here.

How did you end up working for MP?

I applied to an internship job posting while I was finishing my master’s degree in Rotterdam. After going through two rounds of phone interviews, I flew to Vienna to take part to the last interview round. After that, I got an offer for an internship during the summer

How was the interview process?

As I mentioned, the first two interviews were made per phone and followed the standard interview procedure. The last round was the most interesting, as it allowed me to meet the people behind the firm. I was quite surprised when I met the team that was supposed to interview me, as all members were young and already in high positions within the company. That’s always a good sign.

So how was your internship experience?

My internship experience was a bit different from the usual, as I started during the off-season cycle (i.e. summer months). As a result, I mainly worked on a specific project concerning investment criteria update. Specifically, I was to update the company’s Private Equity database. While this is not the typical M&A project, it was still an interesting experience. I got the chance to talk with Private Equity managers from NY to Tokyo and learned interesting facts on how they conduct business and what makes them tick in terms of potential deals. This experience has been an incredible value-add for my current projects, as it helped to develop a “feeling” for what potential investors want in terms of projects and what financial investor could be interested in which project.

What happened after your summer internship?

My internship was prolonged (and I was later promoted to full-time analyst) – and this time I was staffed on deals and pitches. One thing I really love about working on MP is that the stakes are high and you get a lot of responsibility from day one. While the MDs and managers’ input is definitely the most essential, the quality of your research and of your understanding of the company as an analyst also has a substantial impact on the project outcome. This is something that I find very important, as no one likes to do meaningless grind work. The amount of responsibility one gets is also related to the fact that teams are relatively small, which also gets you the opportunity to interact often with experienced deal makers.

What does your typical day look like?

It obviously varies a lot depending on the phase of the project. For the early phase (i.e. pitch) tasks include market research (quantitative & qualitative information), long listing and making pitch decks. Once MP gets a mandate for a project, the analyst’s focus is on the information memorandum (an approx. 70 slide deck describing all aspects of the company – which involves substantial research), contacting potential investors and valuing the company. As an analyst you are also expected to take part in client meetings – which can be all over the world. Meeting clients is a really interesting experience, as you get to talk with CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies – a great opportunity to learn. This probably one of the biggest pros of working at MP, as the flat hierarchies and relatively small teams allow you to take a very active (i.e. client meetings) role in the projects from the get-go.

What is the coolest aspect of your job?

As one might imagine, this is a challenging field. The learning curve is steep, the stakes are real and the projects demanding. This is probably my favourite aspect of working at MP; it never gets boring! Another big pro is the company culture, which I would describe as relatively relaxed considering the field. You can talk with anyone, be it manager or MD, and hierarchies are relatively flat. As mentioned, it helps that the whole team is young, with a lot of colleagues being in their mid-twenties to early thirties.