Investment Banking question


71 0
I have a friend who is currently applying to several investment banks for a graduate position. He is struggling to come up with an answer to this question.

Given current market conditions what do you think Deutsche Bank should do to remain competitive? (Max 100 words) *

Any help would be much appreciated!


Active member
186 1
"Stop putting silly (but presumably expensive) artwork in the lobby." (and he'd even save a few words)

More seriously it probably doesn't matter a great deal what your friend says as long as he can back it up. On the other hand if he takes an answer off the internet which talks of things he doesn't understand / isn't fully familiar with I would have thought the chances of it getting picked up on at interview are pretty good and the result would be pretty bad.

Have a look at the Annual Reports here to see what they're actually doing. Telling them either: 1) their strategy is crap; or 2) they should scrap IB to concentrate on FI trading or similar is likely to be a bad idea, so play around the edges with what they say they're doing in the IB area and what your friend understands. i.e. if he's been doing work at Uni on economics in overseas countries and they talk of expansion into the new EU states then suggesting they scale up / down in Eastern Europe for reasons X, Y and Z is likely to look good and would be something he could go into more detail on if they ask.



2,325 16
Your friend could always be cheeky, and say that if Deutsche Bank needs to ask graduate trainees to find out the answer, then surely something somewhere higher up is definitely up the creek. But somehow I don't think that will get him a job.

For a serious answer (100 words is not much) suggest that they carry out competitor analysis across all sectors of their business, and then use the standard 80/20 principle to address each of them ruthlessly and without kowtowing to internal politics. Oh, and ask the postroom staff because they will know more about what's really going on than any management team.

Airthrey Capital

Well-known member
370 18
Any graduate who is having difficulty answering a simple question like that, won't get a job at MacDonald's never mind Deutsche Bank.

There won't be anybody there to hold your hand when you get in to the big bad world of work.

Try thinking for yourself!


Active member
212 2
have to agree - its a very open ended question i.e. theres loads of things you could say. As with most Inv Bank Grad type interviews they care more on how you strucutre and back up your argument.


Experienced member
1,071 3
Quote 'He is struggling to come up with an answer to this question.'...

Not much hope then is there!


Senior member
2,536 254
The reality is that his application will be vetted by HR so he only needs some resonable arguments to show he has done his homework. Plenty of information online about the current state of investment banking. Just keep to the general points don't get specific and be able to argue intelligently around those points. They are not offering him/her Akermanns job.

Deutsche's reputation has never been higher. In dubbing it “Bank of the Year 2003”, International Financing Review, the capital markets' favourite newssheet, purred that Deutsche was a “lean, aggressive, focused universal bank”. In the league tables that investment banks watch so keenly, Deutsche excelled last year as lead manager of bonds and convertible bonds and of some racier products, such as repackaged debt securities and high-yield “junk” bonds. In other disciplines it rarely fell below the top ten in the world.
However, it is still nowhere near the top in equity offerings and advice on mergers and acquisitions, except in Germany. It still has a problem with costs, which were a fat 82% of income in the third quarter of 2003, thanks mainly to the thick pay packets of its investment bankers and its poor returns from corporate and retail banking.

That took all of 30 seconds.


Active member
134 2
I think thats a pretty tough question to ask actually. I mean if he starts criticising the company to the interviewer then he is opening himself up to further grief. On the other hand if he just goes into "tough investment banking market - cut costs etc etc" type arguement then it would show he hasn't done his homework beforehand.....only my opinion tho.

Slightly off topic: whats the most random (investment banking) interview question you have been asked? Mine:

"I am an alien. describe the game of tennis to me?"


Senior member
2,536 254
Why are manhole covers round
Also got asked to say the alphabet backwards once.


Experienced member
1,071 3
Who'd want to work for an IB anyway?

If you have ANY ability in life, you are better working for yourself. You'll never get the most out of life working by the rules someone else has imposed on you so they can exploit you under the veil of a fat bonus structure. What good is the bonus if you can't enjoy life or get the time to spend it??

Why do you think everyone looks so damn miserable in the City? Trying to keep up with the Joneses in some pathetic attempt at self worth.

You only get one shot at life. Dont sell it to the machine. Learn to trade properly for yourself and you wont need to succumb to the IB rat race.

Hey freak out hippie! I'm off for a toke!
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