Q&A: M&A Vice President at Deutsche Bank - Ask me anything!! (AMA)

Hi!

I would like to introduce myself to the WSO community. As a way of quick background.

  • Currently Vice President at a BB Bank, with 7+ years of experience leading M&A and IPO transactions 
  • Mainly worked within TMT and infra space 
  • Executed several multi-billion and crossborder deals
  • Led on-campus recruiting initiatives and served as a mentor to graduate analysts
  • Studied Telecom Engineering in top-ranked school and Grande Ecole in HEC Paris and executive program at Columbia

I act also as part of the intern and graduate recruiting program at EMEA and would be very happy to answer any questions around Investment Banking, M&A, the recruiting process, or DB in particular!!

Also, I am available as a mentor, so feel free to reach out to me.

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Comments (85)

  • Prospect in IB - Cov
Jun 28, 2021 - 9:45am

Hi, thanks for taking time out to do this! I'd love to know can a US college student recruit for an internship in the UK or your respective EMEA office? Or is it very difficult to receive an offer in this instance?

Jun 28, 2021 - 9:57am

Not at all - when I was part of the TMT team, there were several grads coming from the US. In regional offices is more difficult, unless you speak Spanish, Italia, French, etc but also doable (as has been the case this year for 1 candidate / -out of 2). What it is important is that your CV / cover letter is im perfect shape as will be scrutinized in detail (yes, I do read every single CV that gets into my mailbox).

Happy to have a one-to-one session with you on my mentoring program (you can look at my profile and book it through there).

More than happy to help!

Jun 28, 2021 - 9:56am

Top 15MBA here and will be doing internship in PM at Big Tech company. How is a PM internship typically viewed come full time IB Associate recruiting? Could this provide any advantage vs the more traditional SA recruiting track?

Thanks for doing this - truly appreciated!

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Jun 28, 2021 - 10:01am

Sure. Not the typical route but I have seen everything, from ex-marines to doctors. I think the question is how you convey the messages and the motivation. If under your hobbies / certifications you have somethign that has to do with finance (on top of the MBA) then I think people would spend time looking at your CV and recommend you for the interview process - if they like what they see.

Happy to have a look into it on my mentoring sessions, and good luck!!

Jun 28, 2021 - 10:03am

Thank you for taking the time. I sent you a PM about DB IBD. Also having a couple of other questions:

1.) Your favorite sub vertical business model and why?

2.) Over the course of your career what is the most memorable example of where you had to "jump in and figure it out" at work?

3.) A piece of feedback you received (at the time could have been difficult for you to accept) that accelerated your development/growth?

4.) In becoming a more senior person in banking, what aspect of the job do you think doesn't get the most "love" (underrated)?

Jun 28, 2021 - 10:09am

1.) Your favorite sub vertical business model and why? TMT infra. A lot of things going on, interesting dynamics, love the industry (I have TMT engineering background...)

2.) Over the course of your career what is the most memorable example of where you had to "jump in and figure it out" at work? Haha 1st-year analyst... first project, running model and valuation with 3 different clients (consortium) on an infra asset (which are technically very difficult)... such a great experience

3.) A piece of feedback you received (at the time could have been difficult for you to accept) that accelerated your development/growth? My mentor is also a top-ranked banker, super detailed, super smart, so very difficult to meet expectations. A lot of times of stress which now I made me who I am now!

4.) In becoming a more senior person in banking, what aspect of the job do you think doesn't get the most "love" (underrated)? I guess at the higher levels, you will need not just to be good, but also to be a bit political, which does not match my personality...

Jun 28, 2021 - 10:04am

Thanks for doing this! I wanted to understand your view on:

(a) Directly recruiting for EMEA FO teams (pre-MBA roles) at BBs (esp. London) with prior work ex at an Indian EB FO (have seen plenty of folks work for BB middle offices in India and lateral to London/ HK/ SG FO teams but rarely seen Indians recruit directly to BB FOs)

(b) Are BBs open to sponsoring visas for candidates that require this assistance? Esp when they are pre-MBA candidates?

Best,

Jun 28, 2021 - 10:12am

(a) Directly recruiting for EMEA FO teams (pre-MBA roles) at BBs (esp. London) with prior work ex at an Indian EB FO (have seen plenty of folks work for BB middle offices in India and lateral to London/ HK/ SG FO teams but rarely seen Indians recruit directly to BB FOs).

I sponsored someone with the background you mention 3 years ago, so it is possible.

(b) Are BBs open to sponsoring visas for candidates that require this assistance? Esp when they are pre-MBA candidates?

If we like the candidate, yes. One alternative is that such a person stays at a regional office till getting the VISA. 

Again, key to have everything perfect as everything will be scrutinized very carefully (CV, cover letter) - feel free to reach out ot me on my mentoring program.

Jun 28, 2021 - 10:25am

A colleague of mine moved from HK to London, and after 2 years she moved to Australia (all within the M&A practice) - so indeed it is possible and people do it often.

  • Analyst 3+ in CorpDev
Jun 28, 2021 - 10:45am

Thanks for doing the AMA!

I'm keen to move into an investment banking role from corp dev and I've closed a couple of deals as well. I don't tend to have much luck with recruiters since they tend to go for people which tend to be an easy sell so usually go with those already in banking.

Is there anything I can do to better position myself?

Is networking effective to get a position at the analyst/associate level in London?

Thanks!

Jun 28, 2021 - 10:57am

Networking is much more useful than what people think - we all share comments about candidates after the networking session. I have seen people joining banking from corporate (not many, but possible) - would need to have a look at your CV to see how are you selling it.

Jun 28, 2021 - 8:05pm

Bro you're a freshman in college. Forget about banking and just have fun. I'm sure this VP will tell you the same thing. Don't be a hardo chasing money, instead use this time to find yourself and what you're really interested in. Go get ass, go to parties and socialize. Go on wild trips with your boys. Just don't become another finance bro wannabe who once they break in realizes how absolutely shit, boring, and miserable IB/Finance actually is. Plus you're still young and will probably hop off the finance bandwagon early on and change career paths. That's fine and normal. Just focus on having fun and finding yourself and who you truly are as a person. Then you'll know the answers to nearly everything.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jun 29, 2021 - 6:30pm

I think it depends. I go to a semi target and really hustled to get a good offer. Had I not done that, I don't think I would have received as good an offer (at a bank I am a total non target for). That being said, I did try to "play hard" too but went a little overboard. It's def a balance. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 3, 2021 - 4:41pm

If you're going to UT, you're in a good place. Will have opps with all banks in Houston. Join the finance clubs and get a good position there if you want to stand out some more - the clubs are the real feeders out of many of these large public schools anyways. Without the clubs more networking will be needed, clubs might save you some time(or a lot) on that front.

Best thing at UT you can do is join the wall st for McCombs program, I guess it's kinda similar to IU Kelly's workshops but the placement is absolutely lights out to NYCs top offices. They take 25 kids and recruit in soph year so you have some time but getting into that should be your ultimate goal for a smooth sail into the industry. Good luck, but like others said, you don't need to worry so soon but it's good to just be aware of what needs to be done so props there.

Jun 28, 2021 - 3:50pm

Hi, thank you for taking the time to do this here. I am eager to pursue an Analyst position in the UK, preferably TMT or Industrials, but it seems very difficult to find something. Could it be because as a German citizen I no longer can freely work in the UK without a visa? I'd really appreciate any advice or insights you could give me.

Jun 29, 2021 - 3:39pm

I do not think being in the EU poses any problem when it comes to work at London now - banks will find a way as there is not sufficient grads at UK to cover all the positions, and we need people from different countries, backgrounds, etc... so do not worry at all, apply as if it were a normal year.

Jun 28, 2021 - 3:51pm

I am going to be a college freshman at a T20 school in the US this fall. How can I get ahead and ensure I have good internships for sophomore and Junior summer and eventually get a full time offer for IBD?

Jun 28, 2021 - 3:54pm

First of all, thank you for taking the time to do a Q&A on here.

If you would have to name one trait or quality or habit that has helped you the most in your career, what would it be?

P.s. Apologies for the username ;)

Jun 29, 2021 - 3:41pm

hahaha I think making sure that you add value in each iteration is somethign really important to succeed. Do everything as good as you can, no matter what is something I try to apply, both at banking and in my personal life, and has proven to be a very good asset.

Jun 28, 2021 - 3:54pm

Thanks so much for posting this. I am currently an intern in consulting with one semester left of my undergraduate degree. I am super passionate about breaking into banking and making a transition to a FT banking role post graduation. I am graduating a bit off cycle with my graduation set to be in December of 2021. This would mean I would be able to start work at the beginning of 2022 as opposed to the Fall of 2022. Do you have any tips or advice for someone in my position trying to make the jump from a non-IB internship to a FT investment banking role?

Jun 28, 2021 - 3:56pm

Hey, thanks for doing this!

In my country, I am a non-target MBA with multiple industries experience. Most recently, senior level risk management for commercial real estate underwriting.

Trying to bypass HR's gate keeping when applying to Real Estate IB roles. How have candidates approached your team in the past, outside of HR's referral? Also, who should I target VP or Director level. Actually fired off an email to a Director this morning in application to an open associate role. Curious to hear your thoughts!

Jun 28, 2021 - 4:01pm

I am a final year Chemical Engineering undergrad in India. Plan to do a MS Finance from the US and target IB.

What schools/programs you think should be good enough to position me favorably?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 28, 2021 - 4:03pm

Is it true that DB just laid off a bunch of analysts?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 28, 2021 - 4:34pm

^ Wanted to learn a bit more about how DB is navigating headcount throughout their performance over the past couple of years. Have they been lowering headcount and bonuses? 

Jun 28, 2021 - 4:03pm

Just accepted an offer as Associate in BB corporate banking credit risk ($200mm+ loan values per client) - managing a portfolio of about 24 institutional clients, industry agnostic, and doing annual reviews of creditworthiness, contributing to new loan transaction underwriting, etc. Previously worked in middle market underwriting (at a different BB) doing the same thing but with lower loan values.

How common is it for people to move over from this kind of corporate banking loan portfolio management role into an M&A function (especially since we as corporate bankers can be involved with the senior debt tranche of acquisitions)? Can this be done directly from this kind of middle office credit role? If not directly, do you have any recommendations for another stepping stone position (like perhaps client facing corporate banking) following a stint in credit risk?

I know this is a lot but thank you in advance for any feedback on this you can provide.

Jun 29, 2021 - 3:44pm

Mmmm difficult question, of course, is possible, and I believe the easiest way is through networking... people tend to underestimate how important it is, and a great number of candidates that I recruited was through networking events...

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 28, 2021 - 5:31pm

Does the cover letter actually matter? In the US I heard it's not even sent because they don't read it anyway 

Jun 29, 2021 - 3:46pm

I think this requires a bit of work... otherwise I will just mention the obvious things that add little value... I really encourage you to order a mentoring one-to-one (happy to do it myself) that will really help you!

Jul 1, 2021 - 11:30am

How do you suggest I find a mentoring service? Money is a bit tight right now and while I know mentoring is far from a necessity, I love learning more about the different careers in finance. Also, how do you think a mentoring service differs from being able to network with a variety of active bankers ranging from first year analysts to managing directors? 

Jun 28, 2021 - 7:48pm

hi, thanks for doing this. I'm gonna be doing STEM at UCL this autumn and was wondering what sorta stuff helps someone really stand out for spring weeks/early schemes during interviews and CV. I've done some work experience with Jane Street related to trading and a lot of medical type of work experience and by the time i arrive hopefully I should have some extra finance things through SEO London and brokerage. I'm pretty clear on what I want to do (markets - probably research) and was wondering if showing that interest early would be good or if being more open minded would be preferable? Recruiting for London :)

Jun 28, 2021 - 8:07pm

Hi, thank you so much for doing this.

I am about to start my 3rd year at a target school in Canada. Have really been focused on trying to get an IB SA internship in EMEA, particularly in London. Ive been trying hard to network with Canadians in the city but I've been having trouble getting responses. I was wondering if you had any tips for reaching out to network. Also, what is your take on sending a resume in a cold email.

Thanks again.

Funniest
Jun 28, 2021 - 8:36pm

is DB still a BB?

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

  • 2
Jun 28, 2021 - 10:57pm

Thanks for doing this AMA. I currently work in technical accounting after a couple of years in Big 4 Audit. My company provided resources for our team to learn financial modeling and I built financial models to determine whether goodwill was impaired. I want to eventually get into IB or Corp Dev. So i guess, my question is, do i have a decent work experience to make the switch, considering the fact that my experience is accounting heavy?

Jul 3, 2021 - 12:56pm

It is indeed a very interesting question... look, you can do very well in banking and. competition for good assets within PE houses are super difficult these days, a lot of stress, very small teams... I stay also because I love my team, peers, bosses... we do a lot of transactions, still, continue learning every day... so when things work, do not touch them!

Jun 29, 2021 - 12:19am

Hey,

I am a rising Senoir and I am a chemistry major. I originally intended to attend Nursing school but changed my career path while in college. I have the necessary experience as a Private Equity Summer Analyst for 2 summers. I was just wondering what I can do to help break into the field, especially, given the fact that I am not a traditional finance major (Although I have self studied alot of knowledge and learned alot through my internships).  Thanks!

Jun 29, 2021 - 1:30am

Hi, thank you for your time.

I am an Indian and want to get into IB FO. I'm currently working in a BB IBD mid-office (India branch). In order to get into IB FO, I'm planning to do a master's from London (target uni for 2022 intake). By the time I join (if I join), I'll have a total work ex. of 3 years in IBD mid-office and another one year prior to that in an IT MNC (so total 4 years of exp.). I'm also a CFA Level 3 candidate. I have a couple of questions - 

a) is it too late to get into IB after 4 years of work ex as an IB Analyst? I'm currently 27 years old. What I mean to say is, do banks recruit people with 4 years of exp. as an analyst (even if the candidate is ready to start from scratch) or I'm too experienced or old? Since you've been part of recruitment, I think you might help here.

b) do banks sponsor visas to international students? Post Brexit, all EU students are also considered as international, so will it be the same for all non-UK candidates?

Many thanks :)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 29, 2021 - 4:28pm

Hi there, 

I've received a position to join DB as an off-cycle analyst (Undergrad student from continental Europe)

Do you happen to know whether off-cycle analysts need a MSc degree if they want to convert to a full time analyst position? (In the case of students being from non-UK continental Europe). Or, does a BSc suffice? 

Thank you in advance!

Jul 3, 2021 - 12:53pm

First of all, congratulations! Re your question, no they don't. If you get an internship / off cycle, is because, with your current student path, you will be eligible for full-time position (and typically, if you do well, you will be given an offer). Keen to connect to you - you can send me your details in a private message and happy through the DB platform :)!

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jun 29, 2021 - 6:32pm

Does an American interested in working in Paris IB have to be completely fluent in French, or is Business proficiency (B2/C1) enough?

I ask just because my bank has a really cool group in Paris 

Jul 3, 2021 - 12:49pm

Let me answer you in another way. We just recruited a full-time analyst in the Madrid office who just business proficiency in Spanish (he is American). Think that 95% of all what we do is in English; there can be a case of a big family business whose documents are in Spanish / French, or that the management does not speak English for which you will need a local - but there will be plenty, so I would not worry for that.

Regards,

Santi

Jul 3, 2021 - 12:59pm

Interviews is all about preparation, preparation, preparation. Personal section is sometimes subjective (but it can be mastered as well), but technical needs to be perfect - you need to read all the guides, books, and have mentoring sessions to prepare both intellectually and mentally. 

But before, you need to have a perfect CV. My personal experience is that 8 out of 10 candidates have mistakes (and trust me, bankers have a clinic eye when it comes to attention to detail) - for that, you need a senior banker to review that has review thousands of them...

Jul 3, 2021 - 12:47pm

There are many routes... normal applications are for me the most difficult way (without sponsorship); for me, networking is key (such as what we do at WSO). Go to all career fairs or specific recruiting events that banks organize. Meet the bankers, give your CV, ask their contact, etc... 

Jul 1, 2021 - 7:22am

Hey! Thank you for doing this!

I'm a math undergrad / Quant. Fin Master based in Frankfurt. I did an internship at DWS while I was in my bachelors and they told my "I was the best intern in 30 years" (sry if it sounds like bragging) and offered me a job. Since I was in the middle of studying I declined, but I was wondering if this internship could help me get into DB at all.

I'm afraid that my application will just get thrown away like thousand others. 

Looking forward to your reply!

Jul 3, 2021 - 12:44pm

Congrats, I am sure you are being honest with your comment about your internship - and indeed, bankers need to be a bit flashy, so you are on the right path.

The question as you point out is making sure that such a message gets across to the HR / Bankers, which is not easy. I would need to hear the rest of your background to understand how to portrait such a strong message... but there is always a way. Happy to help here of course.

Santietsit

Jul 3, 2021 - 1:45pm

Hey - thanks for the reply!

It wasn't even meant flashy.. just thought this is an anonymous forum and I tried to make my point so theres that :)!

I'll gladly accept any help - would you mind if I DM you?

Jul 1, 2021 - 8:10am

Hi, currently working in corporate banking - been in coverage for 6months and syndicated loans for 1month in non BB bank. How can I work at BB ib? Knowledge, experience, careers, etc any advice much appreciated. Graduated undergrad degree in good uni last year and willing to make a transition by going mba

Jul 3, 2021 - 12:41pm

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