Alvarez & Marsal fish. I am mulling over an offer from A&M PEPI and would love some input. - Besides the comp, what do you like about working for A&M? - What do you wish could be improved? - How are the benefits?

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On the comp, you earn every bit of the money you get. And you only earn big if you are good. If you were able to manage the political environment at PwC without deep skills, A&M will be a challenge. You have to be good at what you do at A&M. What I like? I was at your firm for a number of years. One big difference is we take a deeper dive at A&M into the why and the so-what. The client brings us in because they really have a problem. We are loaded with all different kinds of specialized experience and clients trust us. I have been on a few projects where we had to pick up the pieces from other firms that didn't do a good job (that's been a common them for my projects after a few years. What could be improved? Performance management is very old school and not innovative like at various Big 4s. The firm is working on diversity and taking it rather seriously but there is room for development. Laptops - don't get me started. A&M is not for everybody. The other challenge is I find that when new hires come into PEPI without true M&A or PE experience, they usually don't do well and don't last. The M&A learning curve is steep if you haven't don't cost models, synergy assessments, understand a QofE and reported out to PE investment folks. If you don't know those things well, A&M will be a hard experience and you may not get staffed often and the comp will not be in your favor. Benefits are comparable to PwC for Med/dent/vis. For retirement, PwC is better since there is no match.

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It's a bit complex to answer but I will try to make it simple. At the B4, you have many that are young and not deep with experience. To survive, you have to have great people skills, great deck-making skills, and you have to spend a good amount of time doing some type of practice development. You do good at those three and you can get a good bonus. Don't get me wrong; you do have to have some type of competence. I know because I was there a few times earlier in my career. At A&M, it is flipped. You still need good deck-making skills and good people skills. But your number one tool that you have to bring to the table is your experience with private equity firms built from multiple reps. And practice development is not pushed as much as it is at the B4. If you can help the client with making their bottom line better, then you can go a long way. With the B4, it seemed like everything was at stake for the firm to look good and say the right thing with the client. At A&M, everything is at stake to help the client's EBITDA even if we have to have uncomfortable conversations with the clients. That doesn't completely answer the question but it hopefully paints somewhat of that picture. It is complex to answer.

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In CPI, but here’s my take: Working for A&M -I don’t feel like just a number in a massive firm. A&M is global and there are plenty of opportunities, but they take care of their employees. -Client work is prioritized. Internal initiatives are not nearly as forced as I experienced at B4. -Two of the values of the firm are Fun and Personal Reward. I love who I work with and I feel very fairly compensated (great bonus structure, I know you said besides comp though). Everyone I have met has been someone I’d love to hang out with. -The firm is transparent and I feel like I am very aware of how the firm is operating. Improvements: -Because of client focus, you will have to be persistent in pursuing an internal initiative you’d like to be involved in. The firm is a little more entrepreneurial than B4, so be prepared to have that mindset when coming in. Benefits: -I’m satisfied with the current benefits. There are less wellness programs as you’ll experience at B4...but that’s not a big deal to me. -I feel like the benefits are fairly comparable to most other firms -Unlimited vacation, so take that as you will. In my experience, nobody really tracks vacation time since our key metric is utilization.

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I’m in PEPI and agree with all of this. Only comment on benefits is family leave benefit is not useful due to our comp structure. You are essentially taking unpaid leave (ie 0% utilization). But, you will make more than most other firms so you may still end up ahead vs B4 on the year.

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Thank you all for the insights. Just signed my offer with A&M!

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Yes am considering switching to that one. Interesting in learning about some of the others a bit though as well. A guy from my group went to the Rx group about a year ago so seems possible to move to that one (maybe rare)

Where AM3 hits it though is that coming in with a base of experience in your focus area is what really differentiates the type of folks who make it vs. those who don’t. This experience may be M&A or it may be that you ran a manufacturing plant for a number years. Regardless, it’s a base level of expertise and experience that makes a difference. We are operators and that’s what our clients appreciate, we don’t use jargon and build flashy decks, but we do use our experience to affect the bottom line. I came in as an SA with close to 7 years of supply chain operating experience - I had zero time in PE or M&A, but I knew how to get my hands dirty and deliver on operations improvement projects. Without that base level of operating experience I would not have made it to where I am now in the company.

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Spot on with both comments

A&M 3 that response was a little harsh IMO !!! Some follow up questions though. If PEPI is so hard to survive then why they bring people from industry who don’t have PE experience and barely any M&A experience? From your response it seemed like A&M does not have a coaching culture. M&A is all about reps, every deal is different and you only get better with more reps. From your response it seemed like people with really strong M&A experience under their belt will do good at A&M and other who have potential but not a lot of experience will struggle. If this is how employee are treated at PEPI then it’s probably not the best place to build your career, you are more of a Lone Ranger.

One thing which should probably be clarified - PEPI isn’t just M&A. MAS is a subset of PEPI but there are many, many other services which are provided. Supply chain, commercial operations, rapid results, CFO services, etc. Someone could have deep experience in one of those areas but zero experience with private equity or M&A and still be a great fit for the team.

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