M&A Jobs Can Reside in Many Places

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Consolidation and companies on the prowl for acquisition targets is creating demand in M&A. Activity is up: Dealogic reported the total value of M&A activity in the third quarter exceeded $730 billion, up 43 percent from a year ago.

Apple, Cisco and other tech giants are looking to expand while banking is seeing its weaker firms gobbled up. Firms like Credit Suisse are moving up the charts, creating opportunities for bankers and number crunchers to source new deals and make sure existing ones are sound.

If you're interested in getting in on the M&A surge, there are a few places you can look:

Bulge Bracket Investment Banks: Firms like Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank are growing. Firms to target are those with a strong international presence due to the sizable growth in deal flow in regions such as China, Brazil and India.

Boutiques: Middle-market M&A activity is on the rise. Firms like Jefferies, which added senior ex-Citigroup tech M&A banker Michael Tedesco, will continue to build out their teams. Other firms to target include Evercore, Greenhill, Perella Weinberg, and tech specialist Allen & Co.

Hedge Funds: Spurred by growth in event-driven funds, hedge funds are prime targets for M&A jobs as they look to take advantage of market inefficiencies, hot sectors like technology and assets that may be undervalued.

Consulting Firms: The Big Four has historically been a preferred destination for M&A professionals. Firms like Ernst & Young and Deloitte maintain large practices specializing in due diligence, research and taxation issues. They represent especially good targets if you're a tax or restructuring pro.

Corporations: In-house M&A departments are bulking up in staff as strategic buyers look to enter new segments and round out their product mixes. Companies will look to hire professionals in research, analysis and accounting. Examples of companies engaged in M&A include Sanofi-Aventis and BHP. While it's difficult to predict who may be the next to test the waters, think about industries that are ripe for consolidation or consist of companies that are down on their luck and could be gobbled up by a larger player.

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