Working in Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As) is challenging as it puts you at the core of finance, unlike any other position. You will be exposed to industry expertise and seniority level at the beginning of the career in M&A. M&A refers to a business strategy where purchasing or combining of companies occurs mainly to save costs, witness expansion, and improve capital, among other objectives.
Generally, companies engage in M&As for revenue synergies, cost synergies, capital risk reduction, and higher valuation multiples. The M&A team comprises a product group within the investment banking division assisting clients in mergers and acquisitions.
M&A is surprisingly robust during an economic boom or downturn and requires highly skilled professionals who can make deals. If you are a new graduate considering entry into investment banking jobs, then this write-up is for you.
Getting into an M&A role in an investment bank in 2021
Investment banks look for bright candidates from top-tier business schools to fill their in-house M&A positions. If you have knowledge of financial statements and can put together a convincing sales document for a business, then you are bound to win. It will be a good start for you.
As an entry-level M&A analyst, you need a bachelor’s degree in economics, finance, mathematics, and accounting. Also, you should have some prior work experience in investment banking. However, professionals working at higher-levels carry an MBA with them along with investment banking certification, CPA, or CFA.
In addition to the required academic qualification, some of the important skills include analytical skills, problem-solving skills, business understanding, business sense, advanced knowledge in mathematics, communication, leadership, and negotiation skills. You should have the ability to work in high-stress environments, decision-making ability, electronic market trading, and knowledge of marketing forecast software programs. With an MBA in Finance, you may get a job without prior experience too.
Some of the responsibilities include sourcing of transactions, filtering the deals, due diligence, valuation and deal structuring, and post-merger integration. So, what next after getting into an M&A position. Explore the career path in the M&A field here.
Career path in M&A, 2021
The career path of M&A in an investment bank includes M&A Analyst, M&A Associate, and M&A Manager. Get into more details here.
Analysts position are more competitive positions both at the entry and start level. You should have a numerical background in engineering and highly social. It has the steepest learning curves with attractive compensation packages. A brief period of two years’ work in an investment bank will take you to new heights in your finance career.
Some of the attractive opportunities include consultancy position, private equity positions, and fund or portfolio related positions.
The M&A Associates’ primary responsibility is to support the business through M&A due diligence, execution of transactions, and stringent follow-up of all risk related policies and practices. You will guide the activities of an Analyst, engage with the owners/executives through various communication channels. You will be responsible from the initial contact to the finalization which involves engagement with the companies in buying the business and goodwill.
Proven business development and prospecting experience are highly expected for this role. You should be comfortable with research, networking, and identifying the appropriate targets.
M&A manage manages all the policies, achieves growth through mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. Further, as a manager, you may have to estimate cash flow, the potential for profitability, identify risks, provide strategic inputs, and create solutions accordingly. Also, you may direct M&A staff while reporting to top management.
The task of acquiring or merging companies is too important to leave to a newbie/non-specialist. Work experience, dedication, analytical and social skills are more important along with other skills to ace your career in M&As.