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MBB checks for equity in new hires

New answer on Jan 08, 2020
4 Answers
1.5 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Dec 30, 2019

Hi Everyone

I have an offer to start at an MBB firm soon and will go through background checks shortly.

I am aware that you are not allowed to hold equity while workng at the firm I am going to join.

My question: I founded a company with a friend in a different country to the one that I'll be working at for MBB around a year ago. It didn't really go anywhere, and we have never actually provided any services or turned over any revenue. However my name is listed as holding a 50% stake in legal documents files somewhere in that country. My name isn't otherwise publicly associated with the company, so wouldn't be found from a Google search. For context, I studied in this country for two years, but only worked there for 2 months in that time (for an unrelated company).

So I wanted to check, would MBB backgrond checks be likely to pick up my holding notional equity in a company that exists only on paper in legal filings in another country? And so do I need to go through the effort of changing the legal documents to remove my equity stake officially?

I'd assumed background checks for equity would likely be made for companies you worked for previously, and not a global search for any equity holdings, but would be helpful to know if that's true.

Thanks for your help


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Best answer
replied on Jan 08, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi! This is actually NOT correct! There is no problem with holding equity of clients or reated firms when you enter MBB. But you are prohibited to actively trade those positions. So if you own such equity, no need to do anything (you might still be asked to disclose it). Only if you want to buy or sell, then you are required to get clearing from your employer before you're allowed to do that.

Cheers, Sidi

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Content Creator
replied on Dec 31, 2019
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

actually there is only a sort of company blacklist which you cannot hold equity of. It essentially includes MBB clients and competitors, therefore I'm sure your company is not in it :)


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Content Creator
replied on Dec 31, 2019
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached


I suggest to discuss it with HR, but usually they don't allow you to hold equity of companies involved in the projects of the office (or direct competitors).

Hope it helps,

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Content Creator
replied on Dec 30, 2019
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Fist of all, it seems very minor, so you are not going to have any issues with your new hiring company because of this.

Honestly, what I would do is write HR -they will connect you with whoever is doing the background check- and tell them openly about this, just as you did in the post. Then, they will be the ones who will best guide you from there.

If not, you can loose trust and loose a lot of time and/or money on something that is not really worth it. (Instead, learn/refresh Excel ;) )

Hope it helps!



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Sidi gave the best answer


McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers
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