Among consulting firms, Palm Tree LLC is considered a leader in the Mergers & Acquisitions process, which many aspiring consultants consider one of the most exciting areas of consulting. M&A is a massive undertaking that involves complex analysis of a variety of corporate and financial factors, with transactions involving huge sums of money, intricate planning, and dynamic execution of a corporate transformation.
Palm Tree provides hands-on support for every stage of the M&A process, including finances, accounting, and the operational transition itself. While many firms offer services in these different areas, Palm Tree is unique as the only “one-stop-shop” that specializes in dealing holistically with the demands of the Private Equity M&A lifecycle from start to finish.
Firm Key Stats
- Palm Tree Website: www.palmtreellc.com
- Palm Tree Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA
- Palm Tree Number of Employees: 125
- Palm Tree Number of Locations: 4
- Palm Tree Chief Executive: Pardis Nasseri
- Palm Tree Revenue: Confidential
Palm Tree LLC History
The Palm Tree history begins in 2010, when it was founded by Pardis Nasseri, who worked previously as a principal investor in private equity. Nasseri founded Palm Tree with the belief that he could build a consulting firm from a private equity point of view. This would better equip the firm to serve private equity clients.
In particular, Nasseri wanted to create the first consulting firm to specialize exclusively in handling every stage of the M&A process and the PE investment cycle, including transactions, transitions, and business transformation.
Palm Tree was founded at the forefront of an ongoing evolution in the private equity landscape, with more small and independent firms arising to provide top-shelf services while operating with a lean business model. Since its founding, Palm Tree has serviced over 600 engagements on 6 continents, with a combined transaction value of over $75 billion.
Palm Tree Careers
Palm Tree consulting careers are structured according to a three-tier hierarchy: senior tier, mid-tier, and junior tier, with each having different functions and responsibilities. These tiers are all overseen by an Executive Committee, which is composed of the company’s CEO, its different service line leaders, and senior members of the internal operations team.
Despite this hierarchical arrangement, Palm Tree operates as a relatively “flat” organization, meaning employees at each tier operate alongside one another with regular interactions and collaborations. See more about Palm Tree Careers here.
Palm Tree Internship
Palm Tree offers a Summer Analyst Internship Training program, affording students the opportunity to participate in the entire M&A lifecycle. The program is suited for aspiring accounting and finance professionals who are interested in learning the ins-and-outs of M&A advisory, financial consulting, and investment banking.
The program is typically offered for 8-12 weeks over the summer and is geared toward “rising seniors” (undergrads) but is open to all levels. “Summer Associate” positions are offered on a case-by-case base to post-graduate students who would be joining the program with 3 or more years of applicable experience already under their belts. The program includes a 2-3 week bootcamp to expand the interns’ technical skills, followed by a 2-week case competition, which simulates a Private Equity buy-side deal using real data.
Upon completion of the bootcamp and case competition, the interns meaningfully participate in live deal engagements alongside established Palm Tree employees at every level of the corporate hierarchy. The Palm Tree internship offers experience in every stage of the M&A cycle, with mentors assigned to offer specific guidance in the intern’s service line of choice: Transaction Advisory, Transitions & Transformations, or Investment Banking.
As a PE-oriented consulting firm specializing in Mergers & Acquisitions, the Palm Tree main practice areas encompass the different stages of the M&A lifecycle. These are known as “service lines” and they include: Transaction Advisory, Transitions & Transformations, and Investment Banking. The services Palm Tree focuses on most include:
- Financial Due Diligence
- Modeling, Data Analysis, & Transaction Support
- Capital Markets Solutions
- Carveout Services
- Special Situations Advisory
- Sell-Side and Buy-Side M&A Advisory
- Public and Private Mergers
- Financial Planning & Analysis
- Interim Financial Support
- Business Intelligence
- Performance Improvement
- 100-Day Planning
- Accounting Advisory
- Data & Analytics
With its PE-mindset and its specialization in the complete M&A lifecycle, Palm Tree services clients operating in virtually every industry. Palm Tree employees are trained to be generalists so they can help virtually any client in any stage of the M&A process and in related Private Equity transactions. With that said, Palm Tree has built particular expertise servicing the following industries:
- Building Products
- Business Services
- Consumer Goods
- Entertainment & Media
- Power & Energy
- Transportation & Logistics
Palm Tree Locations
There are four main Palm Tree locations:
- Palm Tree Los Angeles
- Palm Tree Chicago
- Palm Tree Detroit
- Palm Tree Dallas
The Palm Tree career path is structured by three tiers, each with different responsibilities.
- Junior Tier: This includes Analysts, Senior Analysts, and Associates. Employees at this level are responsible for executing the bulk of the models and deliverables for clients.
- Mid-Tier: This includes Senior Associates, VPs, and SVPs. Employees at this level are responsible for managing the workflow by reporting progress to senior leadership, overseeing work and resources at the junior tier, and by handling client engagements.
- Senior Tier: This includes Principals, Directors, and Managing Directors. Employees at this level lead the work being done by the junior and mid-tier employees, while also managing high-level client relationships and deal flows.
Palm Tree consulting exit opportunities offer many possible transitions for departing employees. Because of the firm’s PE emphasis, many departing employees move straight into Private Equity, with some taking on senior roles such as CFO and F&A Director PE-backed. Portfolio companies.
Further, Palm Tree’s holistic specialization in the M&A process prepares departing employees to work in a variety of roles and companies in line with Palm Tree’s main service lines of Transaction Advisory, Transitions & Transformations, and Investment Banking.
Palm Tree recruits aspiring consultants from many of the top business, finance, and consulting schools. Palm Tree consulting target schools include:
- Ohio State
- UT – Austin
- American University
- UC Berkeley
Palm Tree has begun making an effort to improve their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Practices. The main Palm Tree consulting diversity program is the DE&I committee, which meets bimonthly to help institutionalize superior DE&I practices, focusing primarily on empowering women and people of color in finance, an industry where those groups have historically been underrepresented.
Palm Tree Culture
The Palm Tree consulting culture is centered around the company’s five core values.
- Palm Tree Quality: “Do Your Best to Be the Best”
- Palm Tree First: “We Over Me”
- Rooted in Integrity: “Bend but Don’t Break”
- Perceptive Perspective: “Think Like Owners”
- “Stay Frosty”
The most unique value is the last one, “stay frosty,” which describes the company’s emphasis on each employee maintaining their personal well-being so they can show up to their work responsibilities with resourcefulness and dogged determination. As such, Palm Tree encourages more work/life balance than many other consulting firms, including by offering an unlimited PTO policy.
This is in line with the collaborative and supportive atmosphere Palm Tree aspires to maintain. As a lean and flat organization, teamwork is extremely important to the Palm Tree culture, and employees are encouraged to treat one another with respect while taking shared pride in their work together. In terms of their corporate approach, Palm Tree is focused on growth, which emphasizes an intelligent and rigorous approach to taking smart risks.
Palm Tree Interview
If all the above information is interesting to you, then you’re probably starting to think about just what it takes to get hired at Palm Tree. One of the main hurdles you’ll have to clear is the Palm Tree interview, and it’ll be helpful to know as much as you can about that process before you proceed.
Palm Tree Interview Process
The Palm Tree interview process for full-time employees typically includes three rounds of interviews. Most interviews are conducted via Microsoft Teams, but in-person interviews are common in the later stages at the senior ranks.
The first round is with the Palm Tree recruiting team, and usually takes 30 minutes or less. The second round is led by a Palm Tree employee who will serve as your peer in the event you’re hired. These early interviews relate to personality/behavioral fit as well as the applicant’s experience.
Upon passing the first two rounds, the candidate will move into the later stage interviews. In most cases this includes a 4–6-hour case study, typically to be scheduled off-hours or over the weekend. Next, the candidate will spend about an hour with a Senior member at Palm Tree discussing the case study in a technical review. Assuming everything goes well with the technical review, the candidate may be scheduled on 1-2 shorter calls with other team members of the service line to build rapport.
Palm Tree Salary
On the financial consulting side of the business, returning Summer Analysts are reported to have a base salary of $75k, jumping to $100k for Senior Analysts and $125k for Associates. There is also reported to be a significant performance-based bonus. For more detailed salary information on hundreds of firms, check out our salary report.
The consulting landscape continues to fragment into smaller and leaner firms offering more specialty services. Palm Tree stands out because, by focusing on PE and the entire M&A lifecycle, they offer their employees the ability to gain experience in highly attractive practice areas while also offering broad experience across an array of consulting services.
This enables employees to diversify their skill set and expertise while adding an array of work experience that many other firms will find valuable. If you’re interested in working in the exciting area of Mergers & Acquisitions, and if you want to work at a firm that will enable you to gain a variety of hands-on experience, consider applying to Palm Tree.