What it does: Specialist advisory and investment firm
Staff stats: Around 400 staff in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Singapore
The good bits: Friendly culture, interesting work
The not so good bits: Long hours, being associated with insolvency
The KordaMentha story
In 2002, Mark Korda and Mark Mentha launched KordaMentha after they left Arthur Andersen. By its second year in business, the firm was undertaking more voluntary administrations than any other firm in Australia. Almost from the day it opened its doors, KordaMentha became the default option for big Australian companies that ran into trouble. The firm worked with the likes of Ansett, Arrium, Air Australia, Tassal and Timbercorp. By 2005 it had offices throughout Australia after poaching some top notch team members and is also affiliated with AlixPartners, which has a presence throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
Over the years, KordaMentha has broadened its services. It now markets itself as an Asia-Pacific advisory and investment firm. One that offers trustworthy consulting, forensic, real estate, restructuring and investment services. (Unlike the ‘Big Four’ it doesn’t offer auditing or tax services.)
KordaMentha staff, who are referred to as ‘specialists’, help solve challenges faced by private investors, financiers, lawyers, corporations and governments. The firm has been involved in satisfactorily resolving many sensitive commercial situations in the nations it operates in.
Team members report that KordaMentha has a friendly, collaborative and vibrant culture with an open door policy where you have the opportunity to work directly with senior people. There can be long hours however they do have a flexible working policy. Staff report there seems to an even gender split and that the focus is on a staff member’s performance rather than their background.
KordaMentha’s Corporate Social Responsibility focuses on charity events and fundraising for well deserving initiatives. Staff who work there say they are encouraged to take part in philanthropic activities such as Jeans for Genes day, fun runs, charity bike rides and fundraising efforts relating to local issues.
The recruitment process
KordaMentha offers vacation and graduate placements in either the Forensic, Real Estate or Restructuring areas of the business. To apply, first check you have an appropriate degree then fill in an online application form. You’ll then do a video interview. After that, you’ll be invited to attend an assessment centre where you can expect to participate in a group exercise and have your technical knowledge tested. Finally, you’ll do one or more interviews with senior staff in the service line you’re interested in joining.
Starting salaries are competitive for the market and there’s the opportunity to receive performance based bonuses. There are the usual benefits such as free social and networking events, ability to purchase additional annual leave, opportunity to take a career break as well as health and wellbeing initiatives such as free flu injections and Employee Assistance Programs.
KordaMentha aims to provide a stimulating and flexible workplace to those in its grad programs, allowing them to develop both professionally and personally. There are formal reviews every six months and you’ll have the opportunity to work with senior leaders, receive mentoring and generally be pushed to excel then rewarded for strong performance. You’ll be encouraged to do your CA and given financial and study support to do so. Ongoing professional development is expected of all staff. So, you’ll be spending plenty of time being trained at KordaMentha’s in-house business school and complete training webinars and regular breakfast briefings. Compared to working at one of the Big Four, you should get more exposure to senior staff and will may progress in your career at a faster rate.
The vibe of the place
KordaMentha has a “hardworking and collaborative” culture and open-plan offices. You can expect a friendly, supportive atmosphere in the office and plenty of opportunities for extra-curricular socialising. There is a social club, regular Friday night drinks and annual functions.
Star Rating: 4.3 stars
From the Employer:
"We are an advisory and investment firm that helps clients to grow, protect and recover value. We have a team of almost 400 specialists across Asia-Pacific with diverse backgrounds – in finance and real estate through to agriculture, law enforcement and the c-suite. Specialists who combine their unique skills and experiences to deliver fresh solutions to the region’s most complex commercial challenges.
Since 2002, our experts have been entrusted with many of the region’s most sensitive commercial situations. On each occasion, they have responded with a bold, impactful solution that delivers more – more growth, more certainty, more value for all involved.
Each year, we recruit a select group of switched-on, well‑rounded graduates or students in the final year of their degree for our award-winning graduate program. We also look for students in their penultimate year for four or eight week work placements through our vacationer program which runs during the summer university break.
Head to our website for more information."