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What's the reputation of the Big 4 in your country?

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Manager
Manager
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Status: Rising GMAT Star
Joined: 05 Jun 2012
Posts: 133
Location: Philippines
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GMAT 1: 660 Q V
GPA: 3.22
WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
Followers: 6

Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 16

What's the reputation of the Big 4 in your country? [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2012, 05:44
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Hello, everyone,

I'd like to ask for your opinions on any of the Big 4's (PWC, KPMG, Deloitte, EY) in your country.

I'm actually working in KPMG Advisory Transactions and Restructuring (Mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, due diligence, valuation, etc.).

Is it true that the consulting/advisory arm of the Big 4 is worlds apart from the audit division?

Is a Big 4 brand a boost in one's resume, especially on business school admission committees?

My boss, who's a Wharton graduate, told me that Big 4 is very well respected abroad (I'm from the Philippines by the way). Is there any hint of truth to what he said or is he just trying to "float my boat?"

Hope you could provide feedback, people.

Looking forward!
_________________

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
- T. Roosevelt

Senior Manager
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Joined: 13 Jan 2012
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Weight: 170lbs
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Re: What's the reputation of the Big 4 in your country? [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2012, 17:43
As with most industries, the big players tend to be well respected brands wherever you are. The way I've always thought of the Big 4 is that they are "Big" professional services firms. Yes, they are most known for auditing, but as you've noted, the consulting/advisory arms also do a lot of business. In my personal experience, people view those two entities quite differently. I did several interviews with Capgemini Consulting which was formerly E&Y's consulting arm as well as with Deloitte's consulting practice. Depending on your perspective, the consulting arms and audit arms will trigger different feelings. Just to provide some more color, Deloitte's consulting practice is ranked by Vault every year in the Consulting category, a category that also includes McKinsey, BCG, Bain, et al: http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/com ... anyId=1380. So, in regards to your second question about the resume boost, it really depends on how well respected that group is within its segment of the professional services industry. Would love to hear more about what you're doing and some example projects over at KPMG. That sounds cool!
Manager
Manager
User avatar
Status: Rising GMAT Star
Joined: 05 Jun 2012
Posts: 133
Location: Philippines
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GMAT 1: 660 Q V
GPA: 3.22
WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
Followers: 6

Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 16

Re: What's the reputation of the Big 4 in your country? [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2012, 18:27
Thanks for the reply, vandygrad11!

Anyway, I am working on a restructuring engagement right now of one of the biggest conglomerates here in the country. Basically, the chairman emeritus desires to incorporate a holding company that will 'hold' all of his companies. Thing is, he is planning to retire soon and he plans to hand each company (companies range from a bank to an airline company to a consumer goods company) to his sons and daughters. The chairman would want the restructuring to happen not on a cash basis but on a share swap basis.

My previous engagement was a sell-side assist of an acquisition. I worked with a client who wanted to cash-in on his business and plans to sell it to a private equity investor. Basically, what I did was to value the company's share (of course gave a range of possible values) and presented it. The talks are now on-going between the private equity investor and the owner.

These are just examples of the wide range of services that KPMG offers.

However, I think I like investment banking more. When I was in college I had the fortunate opportunity to be an intern in a bulge bracket (JPMorgan). I just thought that investment banking was "sexier" haha hope you could shed some light on this.

All the best,
Dave
_________________

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
- T. Roosevelt

Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 13 Jan 2012
Posts: 304
Weight: 170lbs
GMAT 1: 730 Q48 V42
GMAT 2: 740 Q48 V42
WE: Analyst (Other)
Followers: 9

Kudos [?]: 60 [0], given: 36

Re: What's the reputation of the Big 4 in your country? [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2012, 22:08
gmatsaga wrote:
Thanks for the reply, vandygrad11!

Anyway, I am working on a restructuring engagement right now of one of the biggest conglomerates here in the country. Basically, the chairman emeritus desires to incorporate a holding company that will 'hold' all of his companies. Thing is, he is planning to retire soon and he plans to hand each company (companies range from a bank to an airline company to a consumer goods company) to his sons and daughters. The chairman would want the restructuring to happen not on a cash basis but on a share swap basis.

My previous engagement was a sell-side assist of an acquisition. I worked with a client who wanted to cash-in on his business and plans to sell it to a private equity investor. Basically, what I did was to value the company's share (of course gave a range of possible values) and presented it. The talks are now on-going between the private equity investor and the owner.

These are just examples of the wide range of services that KPMG offers.

However, I think I like investment banking more. When I was in college I had the fortunate opportunity to be an intern in a bulge bracket (JPMorgan). I just thought that investment banking was "sexier" haha hope you could shed some light on this.

All the best,
Dave


Sounds like a lot of fun.

Last edited by vandygrad11 on 27 Mar 2013, 11:32, edited 1 time in total.
Manager
Manager
User avatar
Status: Rising GMAT Star
Joined: 05 Jun 2012
Posts: 133
Location: Philippines
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GMAT 1: 660 Q V
GPA: 3.22
WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
Followers: 6

Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 16

Re: What's the reputation of the Big 4 in your country? [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2012, 06:29
vandygrad11 wrote:
gmatsaga wrote:
Thanks for the reply, vandygrad11!

Anyway, I am working on a restructuring engagement right now of one of the biggest conglomerates here in the country. Basically, the chairman emeritus desires to incorporate a holding company that will 'hold' all of his companies. Thing is, he is planning to retire soon and he plans to hand each company (companies range from a bank to an airline company to a consumer goods company) to his sons and daughters. The chairman would want the restructuring to happen not on a cash basis but on a share swap basis.

My previous engagement was a sell-side assist of an acquisition. I worked with a client who wanted to cash-in on his business and plans to sell it to a private equity investor. Basically, what I did was to value the company's share (of course gave a range of possible values) and presented it. The talks are now on-going between the private equity investor and the owner.

These are just examples of the wide range of services that KPMG offers.

However, I think I like investment banking more. When I was in college I had the fortunate opportunity to be an intern in a bulge bracket (JPMorgan). I just thought that investment banking was "sexier" haha hope you could shed some light on this.

All the best,
Dave


Sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe we should switch jobs! I would like to get into consulting doing exactly the type of work that you've described. By the way, you do a great job of explaining those engagements. I've run into a lot of people who tend to leave the reader/listener more confused than they began with after explaining their work.

As you know, investment banking is a very cyclical industry. The industry tends to be very irrational, hiring at boom times and "right-sizing" at the bottoms of the troughs. At the entry levels, it is anything but sexy. You don't begin to focus on the "sexy" parts (client services, finding deals, and closing deals, for instance) until you're a VP. It seems to me as though this is the case in almost all professional services. I've also found many of my colleagues to be assholes, at best. That said, it's a great experience to learn about companies, which is the reason that I got into it.

Did you try to pursue an entry level gig at JP Morgan or other firms? What did you think of the culture there?


Anyway, I tried to pursue an entry level gig at JPM. However, as you said in the above post, investment banking is very cyclical. I don't really know what happened. On one hand, I tell myself that the the financial markets in this country are still very immature. There's no such thing as a derivatives (options, futures, etc.) market here in the Philippines. Hell, the fixed income market here is as dormant as a sleeping volcano. That being said, I told myself that maybe the reason was something "external" from me. On the other hand, I tell myself that maybe I wasn't just "intellectually gifted" for the job, maybe they just didn't like me or they thought I wasn't ready. Oh well, it nothing but futile to think about the real reason right? As with all things in life, one has to move on.

I also tried landing analyst positions in other firms - Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, ING, CLSA (subsidiary of Credit Agricole), Deutsche Bank, etc. - to no avail. There are many jobs here but most (if not all) of them are back-office related (customer service representative, business process outsourcing, knowledge process outsourcing). Although they offered lucrative stipends, I made a sure that I jumpstarted my job in which there's career growth. Also, I needed a job that would "look good" in front of admissions officers two to four years down the road; hence, KPMG.

For your last question, I can say that the culture in JP Morgan (just JP Morgan) is a bit cut throat. I remember a time when someone brought a pillow with him in the office because he "was pulling an all-nighter." I think this is the case for most investment banks. For instance, I talked to an equity analyst in my firm and she said that in Deutsche Bank (her former employer) a fellow analyst would point her in the face if she did something wrong. So, I believe that you saying that "most of your co-workers are assholes, at best" has some light of truth about it. I don't know. Maybe you could give concrete examples? :)

Anyway, that's it for now. Hope to hear from you soon.

All the best,
Dave
_________________

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
- T. Roosevelt

Re: What's the reputation of the Big 4 in your country?   [#permalink] 24 Jun 2012, 06:29
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