The head of Deloitte's UK corporate finance business tells us who he wants to hire now

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It emerges today that Deloitte has made two new corporate finance hires. It's recruited Anurag Verma from PWC's corporate finance business, and it's acquired Duncan Chandler from Rothschild. Both have been hired into into the financial services team and are being heralded as a reflection of Deloitte's, 'commitment to building a market-leading advisory service for (our) financial services clients.'

For Verma, moving from PWC to Deloitte represents more of the same. But what of Chandler? Does his move from Rothschild to Deloitte suggest a greater willingness among investment bankers to entertain notions of moving into the Big 4? Maybe.

"Are people more interested in joining us from investment banks? We’re definitely seeing more CVs from investment bankers," says Timothy Mahapatra, MD of Deloitte's corporate finance business in the UK.

It's not just Verma and Chandler: Deloitte is hiring other corporate financiers too, says Mahapatra. However, he says they're being very selective: "We’re targeting particular areas like debt advisory, financial services, energy and resources."

Within these sectors, oil and gas is an area of particular focus. Deloitte has recently launched a specialist oil and gas team and has hired Jeff Waterous, an established oil and gas banker who was previously running an oil and gas advisory business in partnership with Russian bank Renaissance Capital. "We’ve achieved 50% of the 30-strong headcount we want for that business already," says Mahapatra. "We have hired in Russia, the Middle East, Europe and South America. We’re now looking to hire in Asia."

Do you need an accounting qualification to achieve a corporate finance role at Deloitte?  Not necessarily, but you will need to be both senior and an avowed team player.

"If we’re hiring for a lead advisory role, people will typically have an investment banking rather than an accounting background." says Mahapatra. "The environment in corporate finance in a Big Four accounting firm can be very different to in an investment bank. We don’t only look for deep knowledge and expertise, but for people who will fit with us culturally.  The culture in an investment bank tends to be quite individually focused and skewed towards how much revenue an individual can build, whereas we’re much more collaborative across industries and geographies."

When it's hiring ex-investment bankers, Deloitte tends to go for senior staff and to bring them in at director level and above. "The juniors that come from investment banks don’t often bring skills that would be accretive to our business," Mahapatra says. "We already have a strong advisory franchise. What we are looking for are people who can bring a unique insight into a sector gained through their industry background, or who can bring access to relationships with large clients."

Does this mean Deloitte is targeting bigger M&A deals? "Yes – in the key areas mentioned above.”

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