Alex’s Corporate Finance diary – Part 4

I am writing this new instalment of my diary blog from completely new surroundings… well, maybe not completely new but my team has moved floors.  This is so we sit next to other parts of the broader advisory team (Recovery and Reorganisation, Transaction Advisory Services etc.) as part of Grant Thornton’s drive to deliver a suite of complementary services to our clients and foster closer ties between the different teams.  This has been an excellent opportunity for me to expand my network (rule one of Corporate Finance), and also put me in a better position to advise my clients on the services the firm can offer.

As ever it has been a busy few months, with the successful completion of a management buy in (MBI) project being a particular highlight.  The relatively small deal team consisted of my line manager, a director and I so I had plenty of opportunities to get directly involved with the client and the private equity backers, learning how to structure and model the transaction as well as providing day to day support.  This is a reflection of Grant Thornton’s CLEARR values – giving me such a high level of responsibility that I have long forgotten that I’ve almost forgotten I am only an intern!       

In this transactional based working environment, the completion of any deal is always a cause for celebrations and an excuse for a couple of bottles of champagne. Although only a handful of people may work on each particular deal, the office has a collective sense of achievement once the final signature has been placed on the dotted line.  For this particular deal, some final hurdles arose that took a serious amount of negotiating to get the parties to agree terms; a tense time when you have invested over half a year working towards that point!  This really highlighted to me the work required in getting a deal over the line, which is far more complicated than it sounds, and showed the expertise of my colleagues who defended the interests of our client whilst maintaining the momentum of the deal (nothing better than learning from the best).

As well as working on the above deal, I have been writing an Information Memorandum which is to be circulated to potential buyers early next week.  This takes the form of a 45 page sale document, highlighting the strengths of the business we are selling, and providing financial analysis of the company.  This required a lot of meetings with the clients and a lot of time hunched over Excel building financial workbooks, which rather neatly sums up the attributes required to succeed at this job, the ability to be both numerate and personable.

Away from the usual work, Grant Thornton is this year’s sponsor of the BVCA (British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association) awards, so I have had the opportunity to go out and interview some very interesting private equity backed firms (a lot of whom would be easily recognisable and indeed a lot of you may use).  There has also been the opportunity to attend a number of training courses, including learning about debt financing and how to structure a deal and some practical financial modelling lessons.

With the Summer Internship applications now open and filling up fast, if you have any more questions about the nature of my job or about being an intern at Grant Thornton, feel free to email me on


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