From Banking to Consulting

After an experience in one of the world’s largest investment banks, I chose to move to a different environment and industry – management consulting at Kepler Cannon. As with any crucial and consequential life decision, many elements played a role. Nonetheless, as a young professional, I have and will continue to optimize for my formative growth – striving to continuously expand my toolkit. For this very reason, I intend to illustrate the most fundamental difference, and value add, between the investment banking analyst at such a large global firm and the associate consultant role at Kepler: creative vs. mechanical analysis.

Indeed, as a mergers & acquisition analyst one is expected to execute and repeat swiftly the same valuation models – minimizing the possibility of error. In the first couple months in such role, the junior analyst drowns in what seem to be innumerable corporate valuation techniques. However, the learning curve flattens rapidly once the most common methods (e.g., DCF, LBO, Merger model) are mastered. In addition, due to the limited models adopted, an investment banking analyst will never, or rarely at best, ask the following question: which analytical method is best suited for a given problem?

On the other hand, throughout my first project at Kepler Cannon I was exposed to a broad variety of statistical and analytical methods – ranging from logistic regression to an application of natural language processing. I felt naturally challenged and simultaneously enthused. In the first phase of the engagement, the project team experimented with different models and techniques which ultimately were refined and adjusted to identify the most suitable and accurate alternative.

Therefore, after only four months at Kepler, I familiarized with various statistical methods as well as with the implementation of an NLP algorithm using only Excel VBA due to client constraints. In conclusion, the fascinating aspect about the analytics-driven approach performed at Kepler Cannon resides in the creative exploration of all possible analytical methods to solve the problems our clients face – quite the novelty for someone coming from the limited world of financial modeling.