Career Discussions Auditor to PE/Corporate Development

Auditor to PE/Corporate Development

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    • Avatar of ColemanWCColemanWC
        • CFA Level 2

        Hello all,

        I’m at a point in my career where I am looking for some advice, and am hoping some of you can provide me with your thoughts and experiences.

        As a bit of a background, I am currently a highly rated auditor at a Big 4 accounting firm, coming up on my second full year (i.e. about to be promoted to Senior). I also have my CPA. My long term goals are more finance oriented – a Corporate Development role in industry, with possibly a stop in PE, at a VC firm, or in Equity Research along the way. This is why I took up the CFA exams. I passed Level I in December 2014, but didn’t have the chance to take Level II in June because I am slammed from January – March with year end audits (which puts me in the same predicament for next June). This brings me to my question.

        I believe the logical next step for me in my career path, given my background and ambitions, is a role in Transaction Services (M&A due diligence/strategy) at an accounting firm (let me know if anyone thinks differently). With the success I’ve had at my current firm, and the people that I have been able to network with, I should be able to obtain a transfer to this group at some point next year. However, waiting to be transferred at my current firm most likely means I will not be able to take Level II in June of next year (not the end of the world, but something I am anxious to get out of the way). On the other hand, I could move to an M&A group at a smaller firm much more quickly, which would give me quite a bit more free time, allow me to take Level II in June, and probably make more money in the short term. Given my career goals, does staying Big 4 provide a clear advantage? Or will having the transaction experience, accounting background, and the CFA be enough to get me to PE/VC/Equity Research/Corp Dev, regardless of the size of the firm I get my transaction experience with? 

        All thoughts/advice is welcomed. Thank you.

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