Deutsche Bank is among the few international investment banks to not just maintain its graduate hiring program in the Middle East, but to increase it this year.
Deutsche Bank has recruited 20 graduates since 2009, implying an average of around seven people a year, and is increasing the number of hires this year.
“We have taken a blended approach to graduate recruitment, targeting local universities while also looking to recruit Arabic speakers within international universities,” said Faye Woodhead, graduate resourcing manager, EMEA at Deutsche Bank. “Our graduate recruitment has remained consistent since 2008 across most divisions, but this year we’re increasing our intake for global transaction services by 50% on 2011.”
Deutsche’s efforts contrast with those of other banks. Many have cut their Middle Eastern businesses as fees have tumbled. Morgan Stanley has stopped its graduate scheme in Dubai, as has Credit Suisse. J.P. Morgan said that it hires a “handful” of graduates into its UAE offices across investment banking, treasury and securities services, but this is not part of a formal graduate programme.
Five years ago, most major investment banks had extended their graduate programs into Dubai. Morgan Stanley hired in 10 people, while Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche and UBS all made forays into the region, as did the now-defunct Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.
Arabic is a prerequisite for any of the roles in the international banks, as is an understanding of the practices and culture in the Middle East. As with graduate jobs in other locations, banks require a 2.1 degree or equivalent.
Regional universities are being targeted by the banks including the University of Beirut, American University of Cairo, American University of Dubai, American University of Sharjah and King Fahd University in Saudi.
Most local finance firms only hire Emiratis into their graduate recruitment programs, and this includes sovereign wealth funds like the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. HSBC also has a graduate scheme, but this is only available to local candidates.
Meanwhile, although Morgan Stanley no longer recruits for Dubai, it does hire around five graduates annually for Morgan Stanley Saudi Arabia – a venture launched in 2007 after taking a majority stake in local firm The Capital Group.