FMI is a consulting and investment banking firm working within the engineering and construction industry, or the broader built environment. It has several locations in the U.S., and since it’s been working in the same niche for nearly 70 years, its team is thoroughly knowledgeable and is considered expert in its field.
Firm Key Stats
Firm Website: www.fmicorp.com
Firm Headquarters: Raleigh, North Carolina
Firm Number of Employees: 237
Firm Number of Locations: 4
Firm Chief Executive: Chris Daum
Firm Revenue: <$5 M
FMI was founded in 1953 by an accounting professor at North Carolina State University, Dr. Emol Fails. He began doing small accounting jobs locally for mostly small construction businesses and it grew into Fails and Shepherd Accountants. It expanded to a few more U.S. locations, and over time added an investment banking branch, ultimately morphing into FMI as we know it today.
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Investment analysts and consultants are the most visible and in demand—as well as competitive—roles available at FMI, but the firm also employs research analysts and management for the business side of the firm, along with various smaller positions. For those with previous knowledge of construction, or a strong interest in it, a career with FMI would allow a deep dive into all things within the industry. However, most former employees at FMI say they felt the career trajectory was too ambiguous and they would’ve liked more clarity on what could be expected in proportion to satisfactory work performance and dedication.
FMI internships don’t come in many shapes and sizes, but there are usually several positions available per summer. Searching through current openings is the best way to see location and positions.
FMI practice areas are all closely related as the firm keeps its circle of work pretty tight, but interested employees should have opportunities to try new things and expand out of their normal departments.
- Compensation & Rewards
- Leadership & Organizational Development
- Boards & Governance
- High-Performing Teams
- Market Research & Due Diligence
- Peer Groups
- Succession Management
FMI industries stay firmly within its wheelhouse, specializing just in what it has expertise for.
- Building Products
- Construction Materials
- Contractors & Construction Services
- Engineering & Design
- Private Equity
FMI has four offices in the US in different states spread around the country, giving applicants at least the choice of which major section of the country they prefer.
FMI isn’t the largest consulting or investment bank firm by a long shot, so when looking for opportunities outside of the firm, the name may not prop applicants up too much unless they’re aiming for another construction related opportunity. However, relevant experience is always sought out, and if there’s a good report to be made after a period at FMI, that may go a long way toward securing another consulting or finance position.
FMI target schools include the following:
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- North Carolina State University
- UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
- University of Colorado Boulder
- University of Denver
While the firm claims to support diversity and inclusion, many have said it does not feel that leadership takes this position seriously. However, it has partnered with the United States Minority Contractors Association, and has stated that it has changed its processes and added accountability to make sure it hires more women and people of color.
Employees’ feelings about FMI culture vary quite a bit depending on location. The Raleigh office sees mostly high praise, and most of the less than positive things employees have shared doesn’t apply to them. Most schedules will involve a fair amount of travel, which works better for some than others. Those who don’t thrive on this find it very difficult to balance a healthy personal life with their work. Making work friends and enjoying one’s colleagues is common, but many feel that sometimes management isn’t using best practices as far as what’s up to date, most efficient, and also takes employees’ best interests into account.
FMI interviews vary by office and position, but often have hiring manager, HR, and upper management rounds, featuring mostly behaviorals and experience questions. For some positions, especially investment banking, you may receive a case study to work on that you’ll present to a panel after a period of preparation time. You may be asked to answer questions about what you’ve shown. Some applicants were also given an exam featuring math and other multiple choice questions.
Examples of questions previous interviewees were asked in early rounds:
- Describe what your best boss was like
- Why did you leave your last job?
- Describe a project where you experienced failure
Satisfaction with FMI salaries also varies by office, but below are a few averages. Check out our salaries report for a detailed comparison of compensation at hundreds of firms.
- Consultant: $115,811
- Senior consultant: $140,645
- Investment banking analyst: $132,006
- Research Analyst: $73,814
FMI has a primary strength: it knows construction inside out. Those who are interested in the firm for this expertise should look no further and expect to learn valuable skills. Experience at FMI will teach any intern or employee much about the consulting and finance worlds as well, but applicants should look at the firm as a whole before making career decisions.
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