13 Oct 2023
Picture of Anna Nybroe Herstal

Creating Value in M&A: A Peek into Life as a Consultant

By EY Denmark

Multidisciplinary professional services organization.

13 Oct 2023
Related topics Careers

Anna shares what life as an M&A consultant in EY-Parthenon looks like by taking us along the journey of a week in her life.

Usually, a post like this would start with “A typical week…” but the fact is that in the ever-changing and dynamic world of M&A and strategy there are no typical weeks. One day, you find yourself learning about the latest and greatest trends in market from experts and the next you are on your way to conduct workshops at client site or pitch a new project to a potential client. In between, there are tons of fun and interesting discussions with your colleagues.

Hence, welcome to a typical atypical week in my life as a M&A consultant in EY-Parthenon. In the following, I will take you through project work and social events with colleagues during a week.

But first, a little introduction to the role as an M&A consultant

As an M&A consultant in EY-Parthenon, we support clients across the entire deal life-cycle, which means that projects span from early stage target screening to due diligence, negotiations, post-acquisition integration/separations, or value creation. This entails that projects vary in size, deliverables and duration. However, what is common for all projects is that you have a high degree of responsibility, steep learning curve, and client interactions early on in your career.

The project I am currently working on is no different. I am supporting a client who was recently acquired by a private equity fund in driving their value creation efforts. This allows me to be on site with the client and have interactions with the CEO, and functional leads, and other stakeholders in the company. What I really enjoy about that is that you gain a holistic view of the company and have the opportunity to act as a “translator” between the strategic vision of the company and every day operations undertaken in the departments.

So, what do you do during a value creation project and what is value creation?

First things first – what is value creation? The short answer is that it encompasses all activities undertaken after an acquisition to justify the premium paid for a company at deal signing. It can include revenue-driving or cost-saving activities, or a combination of both. To achieve value creation, companies must implement new projects or programs to optimize or improve their operations.

My role in the project is to facilitate the project management office (PMO) in orchestrating value creation efforts across multiple workstreams in the organization. The PMO's objective is to ensure project success by offering guidance, resources, and tools that aid project managers in managing projects effectively and efficiently. This necessitates overseeing and supporting value creation projects by implementing best practices, monitoring performance, managing project risks, and ensuring alignment with the organization's goals.

Hence, as a PMO, my weeks are filled with various responsibilities and activities. During the given week, my primary focus was on planning and conducting a workshop with the CEO, CFO, and other executive management representatives to establish the guiding principles and strategic objectives of the value creation program.

Monday and Tuesday were spent preparing the workshop material, although preparation of this material had actually been underway for a while. The past weeks had been spent gathering input from the organization through multiple meetings and mini-workshops with workstream leads and other stakeholders across the client organization. However, to develop the final version of the workshop material, the input needed to be thoroughly analyzed to identify key sentiments, ways of working, and optimization potential at the client. This entailed several iterations and brainstorming sessions with the engagement partner, client counterpart, and utilization of past project experience and best practice EY-P standards. Developing client-ready workshop material is always an interesting and somewhat creative process, where there are multiple twists and turns in the iterations, ultimately leading to the desired output of the workshop material. Consequently, having the final material ready is filled with an equal amount of relief and excitement for how it will be received by the client.

On Wednesday, I got up early to catch the morning flight to go to the client site. The workshop was in the afternoon, so the majority of the day was spent having check-ins with workstream leads on project progress and supporting them in guiding next steps.

After lunch, it was time for the workshop. An interesting factor in facilitating workshops is always the level of engagement from the client side and how they react to the findings and insights presented to them, especially when the topics are of high impact, as was the case for this week’s workshop. Luckily, the executive management participants were very engaging, and we had some great discussions leading to concrete decisions on next steps coming out of the workshop. To me, it is always an energy booster when you have been putting a lot of work into the workshop material, and the discussions are fruitful, resulting in actionable next steps.

The energy boost was needed because Thursday involved an additional workshop where the project managers were introduced to the outcomes of the discussions with the executive management team and the translation of the directions into actionable targets in the operations. The workshop was conducted collaboratively, resulting in many discussions. After two intense and interesting days at the client site, it was time to travel back to Copenhagen to spend Friday at the EY-P office with my team.

On Fridays, the team catches up on internal activities since everyone works on different projects during the week. I find this day to be very enjoyable since I get to connect and brainstorm with my colleagues, find inspiration, support proposal work, and allocate time to internal responsibilities such as recruitment efforts. Additionally, I spent time debriefing on this week’s project progress with both the client management and the EY-P Partner and discussed key actions for the following week.

Picture of A picture from our annual padel tournament!

Luckily, I managed to complete my Friday tasks quickly and could leave the office early to join a Paddle tournament organized by the team. The event had a great vibe, good music, a fun and competitive atmosphere as both other consultancies, private equity funds, and investment banks battled for winning the EY-P tournament on a beautiful summer evening. It was a fantastic way to wrap up an intense and fulfilling week. I look forward to next week, which will definitely be filled with new interesting opportunities, workshops, and client discussions."


The life of an M&A consultant at EY-Parthenon is ever-changing and dynamic. There is no 'typical week' because each day brings new challenges and opportunities. In this role, consultants support clients throughout the entire deal cycle, which includes early-stage target screening, due diligence, negotiations, post-acquisition integration/separations, and value creation. Anna takes you through a week in her work life where she supports a Private Equity-acquired company in realizing its value creation potential by orchestrating the project management office. The week includes facilitating executive management workshops, check-ins with project managers, and enjoyable moments with EY-P colleagues.

About this article

By EY Denmark

Multidisciplinary professional services organization.

Related topics Careers