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Philipp BrixSenior Associate, Mergers & Acquisitionsbei Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA

“The coolest part of my job is achieving successful transactions as a team.“ That’s motivating Philipp Brix in his position as Senior Associate, Mergers & Acquisitions, at Bertelsmann. His job is to monitor the whole process of a potential transaction, to evaluate, coordinate the negotiations and finally closing the transaction. What else does he like about his position? “Also it’s very interesting to be involved in big strategic topics for the entire cooperation and to see how those things are done on the boardlevel.“

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Transkript

Was steht auf Deiner Visitenkarte?

My name is Philipp Brix. I am a Senior Associate, Mergers & Acquisitions, working for Bertelsmann.

Worum geht es in Deinem Job?

I am working for Bertelsmann. Bertelsmann is an international media services and education company, and my position is Senior Associate for Mergers & Acquisitions. Typical jobs for me would be within an M&A transaction, first of all, or course, doing a valuation for a potential target to be acquired. Secondly, coordinating the process of handling in our bid, of coordinating due diligence, and thirdly, also coordinate then the negotiation processes and, finally hopefully, also a closing of a potential transaction. And within our venture capital business, I would typically review investment proposals coming in from our funds, coordinate the investment committee's work and to also review those proposals and give back according questions to the fund teams. Then in the end, also manage and support the approval process for that. So a typical day for me would start in our headquarters in Gütersloh. Maybe the first task would be to do some market reviews about a specific industry, getting a feeling for typical valuation levels. Maybe second, I would be involved in a currently ongoing transaction draft, an offer letter or something similar, and thirdly, there would probably be also a meeting with internal stakeholders, maybe with operational colleagues from one of our divisions to discuss potential transaction opportunities. I do travel sometimes. That very much depends on actually what kind of deals we are doing. So potentially, it could be all over the world. Eg.: it has been in the U.S. I have been to China in the context of our fund businesses, but it very much depends and can change quite dramatically from one month to the other.

Wie sieht Dein Werdegang aus?

So it all started in 1989 when I was born in Hanover. I was raised there. I was at school there, then switched to a boarding school in 2006. After that, I first studied business administration in Passau, finished my studies at Zeppelin University, again at Lake Constance in Friedrichshafen. After that, I spent half a year in London working in a private equity mezzanine capital boutique firm. Continued working in that business for one and a half years in Frankfurt afterwards. And then, I joined Bertelsmann in 2013, working as assistant to a divisional managing director and CEO. In 2014, so a bit more than one year ago from now, I started working with Bertelsmann M&A.

Ginge es auch ohne Deinem Werdegang?

Yes, absolutely possible to start my job with another background. So typically, you would actually have spent your first years in an investment bank getting all the analytical skills you need. However, in my case, I was first working in the private equity and mezzanine small-cap environment, which I think also helped me quite a lot to get familiar with the social skills you need here in this corporate context.

Was ist das coolste an Deinem Job?

The coolest part of my job is definitely achieving a successful transactions as a team. That is a big fun, seeing in the end the result of having a company acquired or having been involved in a successful sales process. Also, it is very interesting and very much fun to be involved in big strategic topics for the entire corporation and see how those things are being done on a broad level. That is specific for Bertelsmann. Here, you have the chance to work with all our different divisions and see so many different industries and branches. That is very exciting too.

Welche Einschränkungen bringt Dein Job mit sich?

One important limitation, of course, if you're not born in the Gütersloh area, if you don't have family and friends here and you lived in bigger cities before, then this might be a bit difficult.

Drei Ratschläge an Dein 14jähriges Ich!

I think first and most important would be always actively try to leave your comfort zone. I think that is the general advice, and that would lead me directly to the second thing that you can realize quite easily when you're as young as 14.I would say try to go a boarding school and actively leverage all the support that you can get for that, e.g. I got a scholarship myself that made it possible to attend Schule Schloss Salem. The third advice would be always actively try to take over responsibility. It may be within your school or other social environments, within your family, whatever.

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