So, I have a final case interview at a small M&A/Restructuring advisory shop next week. According to the headhunter, I will need to summarize a research report in one page document and then brifely describe my conclusions in two hours. Do you happen to know any website/resource I can take a look and practice? Or any advice would be appreciated as well.
I’m not aware that there’s a publicly available resource for this. However, I’ve had to do similar things when I was interviewing for a bunch of private eqiuty jobs, so I do feel that I have some good advice to offer. Basically the prospective employer is just trying to evaluate whether you’re the type of person that understands the role of advisory and how you would position it. One of the major things that these employers look for is your ability to separate the wheat from the chaff, and that you can readily identify what the key issues are and propose a possible solution.
I’m just making an educated guess here, but they might give you a research report and the way you’d want to approach summarizing your takeaways in a one-pager would be something like:
Investment opportunity / thesis / overview of the key issue at hand - I suggest you start by mentioning your recommendation(s) upfront in this section
Industry overview / key drivers
Basic company overview, but much more focused discussion on what gives this company a competitive advantage or economic moat, as well as key growth drivers/catalysts
Summary of key competitors
Ultimately a discussion of the key investment merits and de-merits of the opportunity – if it’s on the M&A side, you’d want to talk about how the combined entity would be a stronger company and what the accretive/dilutive impact would be if applicable; if it’s on the restructuring side, you’d want to discuss what the main issues are and what changes you’d have to make to the business, management team, capital structure and so forth in order to create shareholder value. Do NOT skimp on this section or the first section (i.e. presentation of the opportunity and what your recommendation is)…these are the most important
When you present your findings, you’ll want to come across as someone that’s very organized and thinks in terms of bullets. Do NOT get bogged down by details in your presentation; the interviewer will ask you for more info if needed. Your summary of the key facts and findings should occur in about 2-3 minutes max…if you find youreslf going longer than that, you’ll need to figure out how to cut. Practice this in your mind between the time you finish your one-pager and when you walk into the room to discuss with your interviewers. Brevity and getting to the point is critical, ESPECIALLY on the sell-side!
Hope this helps – normally I’d offer to do a mock interview with you, but I myself am preparing for an interview tomorrow and unfortunately don’t have time. Those are are the exact steps I would do if I were in your shoes though, and in my past experiences, following such a structure / roadmap has worked out well. Please let me know how things go and how closely your actual experience matches with my predictions.
I honestly haven’t spent any time on the website, but I competed in the ACG Cup (it’s an academic M&A case study competition) during my MBA program and found it to be a great organization. There may be some decent info (or at least links) on their site: