Pushing my career by opening an M&A consulting firm
Master of Finance / 10 February 2022
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Dozent | Master of Finance Class of 2016
Julian Coley is the founder and managing partner of Coley Corporate Finance GmbH, a management consulting firm specializing in M&A and FS Master of Finance Alumnus. He has many years of M&A experience and has advised on numerous national and international transactions. Before founding his own consultancy, Mr. Coley worked for PwC, IPONTIX Corporate Finance and Commerzbank.

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I recently founded my own corporate finance advisory and have been reflecting on the starting point of my M&A career as well as the role Frankfurt School (FS) has played within my educational journey.

Discovering M&A

When I started studying, M&A was something I didn’t really have in mind while pursuing a career in IT project management. All that changed when I was staffed on an M&A project and observed a high degree of interdisciplinary tasks performed in a speed I had never witnessed before. The highly committed “yes we can” mentality, surrounded by many bright minds made the change. From that moment on, I was on fire and knew it was time to leave my present post.

It was clear to me that I needed additional skills in order to grow into the new role, which lead to my search for a master programme in finance. After thoroughly researching, I decided for Frankfurt School as my top choice to earn a Master of Finance. The question was “Why would I pay money to visit a private school after graduating from Goethe University?” Simply said, Frankfurt School provided the option to work while studying. It was also essential for getting acquainted with leading experts in the industry and learning from practitioners that once were at the same stage as myself and managed to succeed. Possibilities distinctly offered by Frankfurt School. Looking back, I now know that I received the required skillset, network, and insights needed for the industry. After graduation I was capable of delivering excellent services and pursuing my career on a fast-track.

One step closer

This in no sense means that I knew it all after graduating, or that it didn’t come without the price of many long working and studying days. Yet, I have learned to read, comprehend and work on financial models, recall accounting rules, as well as structure complex tasks without problems or assistance at any time – the prerequisite of all financial analysts.

Once you’ve understood the mechanics of how a deal works and you do not have to focus on learning the daily basics everyone requires in your first full-time years, you are given the opportunity to just soak up all new processes and best practices, while also humbly showcasing yourself on the best possible way. To be very clear, I’ve seen a lot of young analysts that did not have the time to acquire the prerequisites to succeed on the job, because the industry took its toll and they very quickly faded out of M&A.

After looking back and reflecting on years past, I am very grateful about choosing Frankfurt School. Especially when our lecturers would go above and beyond the rim to make sure we understood the importance of the financial basics which employers request as standard. Occasionally, I catch myself taking it for granted and getting pulled back to reality after reviewing the work results of non-FS graduates. An education from FS really makes a difference. When this potential is used correctly, you gain years ahead of your peers, and more time to personally develop.

As I view my achievements today, I am convinced I was given the opportunity to take responsibility at an early stage partially based on my education. If you’re providential, leaders will recognize your potential from day one, enabling a self-fulfilling career, or in my case, the realization of my dream: founding my own M&A advisory firm.