Livingstone’s Employee Spotlights are our way of highlighting some of the incredibly talented individuals we have from offices all over the globe. Zac Bishkin started his career at Livingstone in 2021 as an Analyst and was promoted to Associate in July 2023 on account of his drive, proactiveness, and willingness to take charge. Read the Q&A below to learn about how he first discovered Livingstone and how it has impacted his career.
How did you get your start at Livingstone?
I came to Livingstone after two years in Deloitte’s Audit and Assurance practice. I worked primarily with consumer products brands, real estate developers and investors, and private equity funds on their annual financial reporting. I was introduced to Livingstone after connecting with Stephanie Koehn, Director of HR for the U.S. office. After a great conversation about the firm’s culture, broad industry focus, and global reach, I quickly determined that Livingstone would be an exciting workplace.
After several interviews with Livingstone’s professionals, it was apparent that the bankers were keenly focused on developing talent and that the firm would be an excellent platform to grow. I almost immediately accepted when I received the offer to work in Livingstone’s Los Angeles office.
“Working at Livingstone has been a career accelerator. Since joining the firm, I’ve learned something new every day, whether financial technicals, soft skills, or client-management best practices.”
How has Livingstone impacted your career? What challenges have you met?
Working at Livingstone has been a career accelerator. Since joining the firm, I’ve learned something new every day, whether financial technicals, soft skills, or client-management best practices. Livingstone’s size and team structure provides the ideal environment to cultivate this growth; unlike bigger banks, Livingstone Analysts regularly get “at-bats” to interact with clients, present at pitches, and drive technical analyses.
In terms of challenges – some might think that working in the firm’s Los Angeles office, the smaller of the two U.S. offices, may feel a bit distant from the headquarters in Chicago, but this could not be further from the truth. The firm makes abundant efforts to ensure all employees are part of “one firm.” To that point, the firm had me spend a month in the Chicago office when I first started to ensure I could connect personally with the entire team. There have also been multiple opportunities to visit Chicago for firm events, and just recently, I attended a Cubs game with the firm. It felt like we hadn’t skipped a beat from my first month in Chicago.
What expectations has Livingstone lived up to? What is the most enjoyable part about working at Livingstone?
Livingstone promised from the beginning that there would always be exciting opportunities to learn and grow, which has certainly been my experience. For example, rather than the model building being reserved for the more senior Analysts and Associates, I was given the opportunity to work on detailed models and drive financial analyses from my first week as an Analyst. Even more importantly, the bankers above me were always available and excited to answer questions and provide feedback when I stepped up and executed a new task that might have otherwise been reserved for a more senior Analyst or Associate.
The most enjoyable part of working at Livingstone has always been the “moments between the moments.” We certainly work hard and are focused on the work; however, the firm is also interested in getting to know each other personally and will dedicate time to doing so.
What do you consider to be a successful deal and why?
A deal is successful when all parties feel like they are walking away in a better position than they started – the buyer is excited about the future of their new business, the seller believes they achieved a great outcome, and other stakeholders are appropriately rewarded. I think this is particularly relevant in our end of the market because we work with many entrepreneurs who view the businesses they’ve built as their “baby” and have a personal interest in seeing it succeed in the future, even if it has “grown up”, so to speak.
“The most enjoyable part of working at Livingstone has always been the ‘moments between the moments’. We certainly work hard and are focused on the work; however, the firm is also interested in the team getting to know each other personally and will dedicate time to doing so.”
What is your most memorable moment working at Livingstone?
The most memorable moment so far was being told I would be promoted to Associate. When I landed the Analyst job in 2021, I was so focused on breaking into banking that it felt like a massive achievement at the time. Ultimately, the subsequent promotion was the endorsement that I had broken into banking and was doing something right. Everyone I’ve seen be promoted at Livingstone was a strong performer (and the firm prides itself on this), so it felt validating to be included.
Share any advice you have to someone considering joining Livingstone
Anyone interested in joining Livingstone should talk with its people. The people are the firm’s biggest strength and its most prominent advocates.