Career Case Study: Mergers & Acquisitions

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Christian Horn, Analyst, Investment banking, Goldman Sachs

Christian graduated from the University of St Gallen in Switzerland with a degree in Business Administration before taking a Masters in Accounting & Finance at the London School of Economics. He joined Goldman Sachs in summer 2010.

"As an analyst you are the person on the team who is closest to the numbers. This means a lot of data mining, but you also need to be able to think strategically and look at the options a client company has, such as acquisitions or disposals.

If you’re on a live transaction, you’ll also need to do some project organisation – coordinating the different work streams, making sure the process timetable works and everything is running smoothly.

The job is also different every day, which keeps it continuously interesting. Recently I’ve been

spending a lot of time meeting with a company’s management and owners to discuss the process for a sell-side transaction we’re working on. I’m also preparing an extensive valuation presentation for another client, which involves a lot of modelling and analysis of the company’s financials.

What’s my background? I studied business administration. While I was a student, I developed a strong interest in the corporate finance topics of the course and tried to get a flavour of the different jobs available through internships with a few different investment banks.

Long term, one of the great advantages of starting a career in M&A is that you acquire a very broad skill set that allows you to pursue a wide range of career paths. The environment is very fast-paced and you can take responsibility early on, which allows you to learn a great amount in the first few years of your career.

At Goldman Sachs, there are plenty of exciting opportunities to move into other product groups, divisions and geographies after you’ve been in your team for some time."