What’s it like to work in Corporate Finance at KPMG?

This blog is a translation of an older blog, which was written in Dutch. See the original here.

KPMG Netherlands is part of a large international network of professional accountancy and consultancy firms. KPMG gathers the expertise of 162,000 professionals in 155 countries. The focus of KPMG? Helping organizations to make informed decisions and to excel in today’s and tomorrow’s world. Would you like to know more about what it is like to work in Corporate Finance at KPMG? Corporate Finance consists of three young, dynamic teams: Mergers & Acquisitions, Debt Advisory and Valuations. Marnix, Lisanne and Jurriaan talk about their jobs at these teams.

“I get to know many industries”

Marnix van de Weijer did an internship at Corporate Finance in 2013 and is now Manager Mergers & Acquisitions: “Setting up a company and then selling it; for many entrepreneurs this is their lifelong achievement. The actual moment of sale is a big event in their life. As Manager at Mergers & Acquisitions, I am brought in to help companies with the sale. First, I talk to the CEO and CFO to put on paper what makes the company so great, and especially why it would be attractive to buy. Together with my team I do market research: for which strategic or financial parties would this company be interesting? It is really cool when parties tumble about one another because they are all interested. I feel the drive to choose the most suitable party, with the best price. For each assignment I work for a completely different type of customer, and I get to know many industries well; that’s what makes this work so interesting. In the Netherlands, we close about thirty deals per year; and KPMG is involved in approximately four hundred deals a year worldwide. I also participate in those worldwide deals; I have already been to Stockholm, Czech Republic and Singapore for assignments and pitches. Furthermore, I have taken courses in London and Paris. I still have the ambition to do an international exchange of six months or more, in order to experience a different transaction culture up close.”

“Ideal mix between numbers and people”

Lisanne van der Hijden works as Manager Debt Advisory in a multidisciplinary team on complex financial issues: “During a takeover, especially in a financial organization, debt is often raised. As a Manager at Debt Advisory, I am involved in advising clients in structuring and attracting this acquisition financing, but also in refinancing processes. I work closely with the customer; we look at what kind of financing is needed and we compare both traditional and alternative financing sources. Together we look for the strategically best solution.”

“A second important aspect of my work is Structured Finance. I support large (inter)national banks and insurers in setting up and arranging new investment propositions and financing structures. These are complex issues, so I often work together with other disciplines within KPMG. Within our team we specialize in structuring, so when it comes to legal, tax, accounting or regulatory issues, we engage colleagues from other departments. This is incredibly educational: in terms of content, but also because you learn to work with many different people. The pressure is often high, as we work with tight deadlines. When we complete a project well and on time, it feels great. I find my work the ideal mix between working with numbers and people. One day I work on an excel model; the next day I have a conversation with a customer. We have a relatively young department and we work closely together. When a project is completed, we go into town together to celebrate this success.”

“Develop your commercial and technical skills rapidly”

Jurriaan van den Hoven has worked as an Associate Financial Services for over three years: “As an Associate at Valuations, I focus on supervising mergers and acquisitions. We support the customer from the first moment and assist with a possible purchase or sale of a company (part). In addition, I am involved in complex valuation issues. It is very nice that one day I am busy buying a company, while the next day I assist an organization with the sale. That’s how I see both sides of the coin. The job requires that you are able to switch, and above all, the variety in the work ensures a rapid development of both my commercial and technical skills. As an Associate I deal with a diverse clientele. I work for smaller companies as well as for large international organizations. They have in common that they are active in the banking, insurance, asset management or trust sector. My work is always discussed at board level. It is very nice and educational to spar with the top of a company about strategies, future plans and tactics. Generally, I work on several projects simultaneously, usually focusing on one project per day or per week. In addition to the content of the work, the team itself is very important. We often resume the Friday afternoon drinks in the city or we go out for a bite to eat. I like to take the lead in social activities, so I am, among others, responsible for organizing the winter sports trip and the Christmas dinner.”

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