Interview Big Four Strategy - M&A (IT Operational Strategy Services)

Big Four - Strategy EY-Parthenon IT Strategy M&A Mergers&Acquisitions Monitor Deloitte Post-Merger Integration sap strategy& Transaction Services
New answer on May 30, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 28, 2021

Hi everyone,

For the past years I have been working in IT-Consulting (mostly SAP focused) and I'm currently preparing for a experienced hire, first round interview at a big four strategy branch. The position is within the IT part of the OTS Team. I've found a lot of information about M&A Interviews in general, but not so much about the IT practice in specific.

I'd like to know whether the cases and questions there differ strongly from the ones you'd usually encounter in M&A strategy interviews and If I should focus my preparation on the IT specific topics, or if I should expect the cases to be mostly the same.

Would be great if someone could share some experience on this!

Thanks and best regards

(edited)

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Adi
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replied on May 29, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

You will need to focus on IT & M&A intersect. I recently helped two candidates sucessfully get into Big4 Strat practice focused on IT M&A.

Please do some research on following topics and roughly understand the approaches organisations are using:

  1. Emerging Technologies- Blockchain, AI, IoT
  2. Cloud Strategy
  3. IT Sourcing Strategy
  4. IT Cost & Spend
  5. IT M&A
  6. Agile approach
  7. SaaS
  8. IT Workforce Strategy

Types of questions to prepare/think about:

  1. Company A is merging with Company B, how can they speed up integration of IT?
  2. Company A wants help to move their ERP to cloud. How should they approach this?
  3. CFO has challenged the value IT brings. How can you justify the role of IT?
  4. Company A is thinking of acquiring Company B, how would set an M&A approach to make a decision on IT integration

Feel free to message me directly if you wish to discuss further.

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Ian
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replied on May 29, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Glad to see a fellow IT Consultant moving into the Strategy Consulting space :)

So the answer here lies in between. You need to be familair with M&A AND IT.

Now, unfortunately, there aren't many resources out there for the intersect of the two. So, you'll have to learn about the various types of M&A cases (PE firm acquisition, merger, divestiture, etc.) and you'll have to make sure you're well versed in the various current IT topics (digital transformation, cloud, agile as scale, etc.). You really need to do both.

Now, it's "funny" you bring up this questions as I've just published a case that actually is at the intersect of IT and M&A! You can check it out here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/intermediate/roma-solutions-senior-expert-level-tech-case-240

Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions!

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Pedro
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updated an answer on May 30, 2021
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT Interview | Principal Former Head Recruiter | Launched EY-P Lisbon Office

Hi there,

The OTS team only recently became part of EY-P, so they are not very used to the case interview format.

Also their work tends to me a bit more "operational" in nature (vs. "pure" strategy), therefore the technical interview should be prefered vs. the case interview format.

Having said that, understanding the business implications of an integration is something relevant for your interview. You dont have to be an expert in case interviews, but preparing a couple of M&A cases can help you better understand how revenue and cost synergies work (and other relevant topics around customer, supply chain, etc. that must be addressed in an integration). However, this should not take more than 20% of your preparation (a bit more if it is a Manager or Senior Manager role).

Your focus should be on technical topics, namely the ones mentioned by Adi.

[In any case you can try to ask HR for more details on the interview format]

(edited)

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Anonymous B updated the answer on May 29, 2021

Hi there,

I recently quit from my previous job in IT and M&A. I have a background in M&A and have to pick up IT specific skills which is quiet hard.

What I suggest is doing a lot of cases in M&A, it would help you a lot on the job performance. You have to know different kind of operations (pre acquisition, from target search, M&A strategy advisory to due diligence and post acquisition, from carve-out/PMI to divestiture).

Some main M&A skills would be necessary to succeed! So learn as much as possible before starting your job about the M&A space. You can find a lot of things online and framework methodology. Regarding your past experience in IT, I am not sure that is necessary to pick up more IT skills.

You have to expect that you are going to work a lot a lot, you could finish around 2 am and have work during the weekend ! But the work itself is really exciting.

hope that helps ;)

A

(edited)

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Antonello
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replied on May 29, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, I suggest a standard prep with a focus on the practices you mentioned. However, I would ask for more clarity to HR without worrying about bothering them. They are there to help

Best,
Antonello

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Adi gave the best answer

Adi

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Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience
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