My first “real” full-time job after graduating from business school was working for one of the Big 6 public accounting firms. This was one of my first opportunities to appreciate the difference between experience or ability. FYI, before I started working, the group of public accounting firms was referred to as the Big 8. But after a series of consolidations over the years, it’s now referred to as the Big 4. I was there somewhere in the middle.
In any event, I wasn’t an accountant, I was a financial analyst providing consulting services. And one of my first large engagements was supporting the litigation aftermath of a leveraged buyout that had failed. Not to delve too deeply into the specifics, mostly because I can’t recall most of them as this was 20 years ago, but essentially the investors filed a claim to recover their investment which was lost when the acquired company failed.
The reason for the failure was at the center of the dispute. Some argued that too much debt was used to fund the purchase price thereby leaving the company insolvent. Others argued that the management team failed to deliver on its projections. But again, the specifics of the situation aren’t important as what I took away from the experience.