London vs Frankfurt (2019)

Intern in IB-M&A

Guys, I would like to hear your opinion on:

Internship/analyst experience?
Pay/savings (COL)?
PE recruiting?
Nightlife?
Girls?

My options:
T1 BB in Frankfurt vs T2-3 BB in London

What is essential for me: culture and PE recruiting

I am very curious about how do you see the culture in Frankfurt. I did an internship at T2 there (not BB) and these 3 months were by far the worst experience ever. Even though I speak good German, for me, a Southern European, it was very hard to fit into local culture. Stiff people who don't want to have any social interaction, less international, hard to make friends/meet girls, social life incomparable to London... was it just wrong place at the wrong time or is this a standard in Frankfurt?

Comments (25)

Dec 11, 2019

frankfurt culture is dogshit an glad you can see it. PE spots are also very limited in mainland europe. and social scene is incomparable.go to london and don't look back - I'd take any BB in london over GS FFM

Array

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Dec 11, 2019

Current MM ib intern in Frankfurt: don't come, boring af.

Dec 11, 2019

Who even does MM in FFM?

Non-Targets?

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
Dec 11, 2019

Actually DB/Roths/BNP are all doing many mm deals since it's a small market and a boring country

Most Helpful
Dec 11, 2019

Here you are:

Internship/analyst experience?: it really depends on the bank more than the market (the group within the bank). Go with the one you felt more "at home" with and it'll be a good summer. In both cities you'll find legend MDs or Associates which will work you to the bone. It's partly luck I guess.

Pay/savings (COL)?: Frankfurt. Generally in Germany, the CoL:Pay ratio is way out of wack with CoL being very low compared to the monster salaries you get in IB or MC. From a purely financial standpoint, Frankfurt is your best bet.

PE recruiting?: It depends. Many PE firms have German offices so that'll help if you want to stay in Germany (but the language requirements may be stricter in PE). Any PE firm with 2 guys and pulse tries to set up in London so I would dare say London for PE.

Nightlife?: London and it's not even close. Frankfurt has some life but it is minimal. In London you can pretty much do and find anything you want. From super cool underground speakeasy bars to live sex shows on Wednesday night at The Box.

Girls?: Depends on what you like my man. You can find babes or baboons in both cities. I guess from a pure "diversity" standpoint you have get more types in London but it just depends on what you like. In both cases though, if you have IB hours the only action you'll be getting is some "alone time" ;)

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Dec 11, 2019

Don't go to mainland Europe if PE recruiting is one of your criteria. Headhunters mostly operate out of London so even for Germany-based roles you will find they will only contact you after they have finished screening their database of London-based German speakers.
Also the number of PE positions in Germany is extremely limited.

Dec 11, 2019

Given that you aren't from DACH countries London seems like the pick. You'll hardly fit as not from the above.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Dec 11, 2019

So you had similar experiences as me? Is there any BB in Frankfurt with international atmosphere/British flair? I really missed that.

Regarding Frankfurt, from the first phase (telephone interview) to the last one (final round live) no one asked me almost anything unrelated to IB/business in general. That was first warning signal for me. I tried to ask a few personal questions during the interview to see with which type of personality would I work, a few questions completely normal for London, people who interviewed me were negatively surprised, gave short answers and returned to technical questions. I had interviews with various BB there and it is 5% CV 95% technicals.

Guys only cared about technicals and that was later reflected during (and more important) after the work > extremely boring environment with people that started with preparations to break into IB at the age of 13-14, with 4-5 M&A internships each, very narrow-minded without any other interest in life, only IB and actually only M&A.

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Dec 11, 2019

Yeah germans care a lot about technicals. Never worked in a Frankfurt office but the guys I've met from there from my BB (1VP, 1 Asso, 2interns) were everything but fun and interesting.
I guess it was reflected in your experience. Note that you are just expected to come in do your work and that's it. If you're looking for more than just a team to work with (ie don't have friends in Frankfurt) etc don't work there imo.

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Dec 13, 2019

Thank you sir!

Dec 13, 2019

Why TF would you live in Frankfurt if you can go to London. Everything is better there, culture (talking people and art), nightlife, diversity, etc.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Dec 13, 2019

Because of the offer from the top tier IB in Frankfurt.

Just as a consideration.... as I said, culture and PE recruiting are essential for me.

Dec 14, 2019

"culture"
no

"nightlife"
definitely true

"diversity"
that is not a good thing...

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Dec 14, 2019

fkin Germans...

Dec 13, 2019

London has better pay

Dec 14, 2019

LDN pays less and has higher average living expenses

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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Funniest
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Dec 14, 2019

That's true.

But in Frankfurt I would have to live with people like you.

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Aug 1, 2020

OP I was wondering what level of German fluency do you have? I am applying for the 2021 off-cycle internship session. My german is not that good, but I hope I get conversationally fluent till next year.

Aug 1, 2020

Usually fluency in German is required. However, GS FFM might be worth a try - they have extended offers to non-natives in the last two analyst classes and will continue to do so.

Aug 2, 2020
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