AuthorTopic: Acquisition Analyst
@2009-04-02 21:52:59
I have an interview for a junior acquisition analyst position on Thursday. Does anybody have any input on this - what the job entails, what they look for, career path, etc. The description of the position is below (pretty vague). Thanks.

Publicly traded (NYSE) $2B+ service corporation seeks a fast track Finance MBA to join corporate acquisition group. Will report to the VP Financial Analysis and Reporting and interact with Senior Executive staff. Will consider new MBA with prior financial analysis experience (2-3 years) or 2-3 year post-MBA. Must have above average academic/work accomplishments and be an excellent communicator. Will have some presentation responsibilities and interaction with sellers. Immediate task is to drive smaller acquisitions and work on special projects as assigned. Salary $55-60K with bonus potential. Full benefits. Very limited relocation, prefer local or 300 mile radius candidates.

@2009-04-04 03:05:09
Depends on the company but typically you'd work on m&a. this job description leads me to believe the company is not a big m&a machine given that you report to the vp of fin analysis and reporting which seems to me that you'd be doing a mix of reporting/accounting and valuation stuf. And depending on the pipeline and the company's stance/industry you might do a lot of acquisition work or a lot of reporting work. What type of company is it? Some firms like GE, GM, Xerox, Pepsi, and a lot of diversified industrial firms and oil/gas co's like ConocoPhillips have some serious acquisitions/corp fin departments but some other companies have the acquisition group lumped into their reporting groups and shift human capital between whatever needs to be done. It totally depends on the firm.
@2009-04-05 07:32:57
My interview is with the recruiting company they hired to find candidates. I have no idea what company it is. My guess is American Financial, GE or Covergys. Assuming that it is m&a work, what is that career path? day in the life? is it good work experience later for vc/ibank? are you a number cruncher in the back office or involved in a 'deal' environment? any input is helpful. thanks.
@2009-04-13 14:33:40
It's a services company, I doubt its GE. Also, the salary is too level for a post MBA position in acquistions.

Here's what you should know for an interview;

1) Diff b/w EBITDA and free cash flow. Able to tell which is more appropriate for valuation purposes. I like EBITDA for non-manufacturing companies and FCF for capital-intensive companies.

2) You should be able to talk intelligently of financial structure of an acquisition. This includes, notes, seller financing, equity etc. Trade-offs for each and sources.

3) Quality of earnings. You'll be surprised how many candidates answer that wrong.

4) Brush up on Excel macros. They might ask you for steps in the creation of pivot tables. Also basic VBA stuff like embedding buttons on spreadsheets for calculations.

5) Brush up on MS Word as well. Know what reference fields are etc. PE firms usually have very stringent document creation requirements.

6) Know how to create a cash flow statement with your eyes closed. Be able to pick apart the B/S and I/S for that.

7) Just know your fundamentals.

My background is LBO. It has a different focus than a corporate acquisition group...but the qualities they look for are the same.

CFA Discussion Topic: Acquisition Analyst

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Edward Liu

Edward Liu