A Day in the Life of ... Guillaume Pfistner

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Guillaume Pfistner

Degree: Bachelor of Commerce, Masters in Finance and Investments
University: McGill University, Montreal; Rotterdam School of Management, the Netherlands
Grad year: 2012
Role: Analyst
  • What unique aspects set the opportunity at DC Advisory apart from other opportunities in banking?

DC is the perfect size. With c. 100 staff in its London office and a further 100 throughout Europe, it is big enough so that an analyst gets to work on a diverse range of international assignments while at the same time individually knowing everyone in the organisation. It is also fast growing and, as a result, has a very positive and encouraging culture.

  • Discuss one transaction you are particularly proud of.

A transaction I am particularly proud of is one I am working on at the moment. We are advising a large-cap American private equity fund on the acquisition of an international asset which manufactures capital equipment. The deadlines are challenging, but the work we are doing is quite technical, which makes for the perfect learning experience! Separately, the previous transaction I worked on involved advising a French fund buying a UK-based asset with significant operations in Hungary and China. Diversity is what keeps it interesting!

  • What makes the role enjoyable?

The variety of tasks and the positive vibe are what make DC Advisory particularly enjoyable. Every day you get the opportunity to work with different directors on different work streams and the work has a direct impact on both the transaction and the performance of the company. There is pressure; the hours can be long, but it is recognised and people around you are always willing.

  • What skills are necessary, and what skills are useful to have?

In my opinion, being able to manage different individuals and work streams at the same time is the single most useful skill. The work can get highly technical, so a good understanding of finance and valuation is definitely useful, but due to the high stress environment, being able to manage expectations and act as a buffer is fundamental. Having strong interpersonal skills is also important, particularly in order to progress to Associate and beyond.

  • What did the training entail?

The training consisted of two weeks, a week focused on accounting basics and the second week on valuation methodology and knowledge of Excel. The first week was particularly tailored to individuals who had not pursued education in finance and accounting before joining the company. The second week was more technical, and proved to be a great complement to my education. Overall, the most beneficial part of the training was meeting other juniors from the Paris, Frankfurt and Madrid offices, which has made work much easier since then!

  • If you hadn’t secured a role in banking, what would have been your ‘Plan B’?

I had not really thought about a ‘Plan B’ when I got the offer, so this is quite a difficult question! I probably would have looked at another job in Finance or Consulting, particularly in areas where having passed the three levels of the CFA would have been a key differentiator. If that had not worked out, I probably would have done a diploma in another field or taken a year long trip.

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