Moving from valuations to M&A?

I currently work in private company valuations, and have been for the 5 years since I’ve graduated from college (BA in Finance from a big state school). I work for a boutique firm that does valuation of privately held companies mostly for financial reporting, internal buy-sell, and estate planning purposes. I earned my CFA charter in 2012. I’m looking to make the leap to an M&A position where I’m actively involved in doing deals. I’m essentially looking for a greater challenge, more excitement, and of course, higher compensation.

Does anyone have any advice on trying to make this transition? I feel like my valuation skills and firm grasp of the local business environment would be very valuable skills, but I’m just not sure how to make my resume stand out so that I can get in for an interview since I didn’t go to a top 5 school and I don’t have Wall Street experience.

Really interested in this topic as well. Any input would be great

Is attending a top MBA program an option? If so, that’s the most likely choice to get you there.

Otherwise, I think this is one of steepest uphill battles around. It would require a very unique relationship btw you and the prospective employer. For example, you mention doing valuations for financial reporting, which presumably includes purchase price allocations. Do you ever have enough client interaction that you can broach this topic with the deal team either at the company, or an advising IB, or an acquiring PE firm?

Sending blind resumes is not going to get the job done.

Heard of a dude doing infrastructure vals mostly in a big 4 who went over to an Ibank

Your best bet is to focus on IB boutiques with strong deal flow since bulge brackets only hire more traditional backgrounds unless you network your way in. Wallstreetoasis has a lot of threads on your exact question, so I’d check there.

Getting M&A exposure at Big 4 is not unheard of if you work in their valuations group. I know of a number of people who have done a number of rotations within Big 4 corporate finance services (service line within which M&A, valuation, transaction services and restructuring teams sit).

Big 4 corporate finance experience is generally considered sound and looked favourbaly upon by investment banks, even BBs. My old boss spent 4 years in Deloitte CF before lateralling over into UBS doing M&A.