Thinking of applying to Rothschild? We spoke to Alison Trauttmansdorff, managing director in HR, about what it takes to get a job at the independent investment bank, and why you might want to apply there in the first place.
This is what you need to know.
How many graduates does Rothschild hire in the UK each year?
We usually hire around 30 analysts, sometimes a bit more and sometimes a bit less – depending upon the market. Most of them go into our Global Financial Advisory division, but our wealth business has started hiring a few graduates too, as has our risk-based investment solutions business which is part of our asset management arm.
Does Rothschild hire MBAs too?
Unlike the U.S., we don’t have a formal MBA hiring programme in London. We do hire MBAs here, but it’s usually on an ad hoc basis currently.
Which other entry points are available to people who want to work for you?
In the UK, we regularly run a program to hire newly-qualified ACAs from accounting firms. Here we typically take on anything from five to eight people each year. They generally need to have first time passes and will have worked in transaction services or corporate finance. It’s less common for us to hire people from an audit background.
What makes people with accounting training appropriate for your business?
Several of our senior bankers have an accounting or legal background, and a lot of the work that you do in M&A touches on accounting or legal issues. The people we hire from accounting firms are able to hit the ground running. They already have a bit of work and life experience behind them.
Why would you say people should apply to Rothschild instead of the big investment banks?
We give our juniors a lot of exposure to our senior bankers and to our clients at an earlier stage than our bulge bracket competitors. We have small teams at Rothschild and our deal volume is large. This means that our analysts have broad exposure to different deals and products.
We also like our bankers to be literate across debt and equity advisory as well as M&A. Our investment bankers often move between product and sector areas and this gives them a breadth of experience that’s not always on offer elsewhere.
In the UK, we also hire for our regional offices in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. The teams there are smaller, meaning there’s even more opportunity for early exposure.
What kinds of people do you look for?
Because we offer a high degree of client exposure early on, soft skills are very important to us. We like people who are well-rounded and academic at the same time and who engage in interesting extra-curricular activities – they need to be able to interact well with clients.
J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse are both hiring senior M&A bankers in Europe. Is this something Rothschild is likely to do next year?
We focus on promoting people from within. We don’t have a structured senior hiring programme, but we do make the occasional lateral hire. When we hire externally, we look for people who can make a meaningful difference to the bottom line early.
You have a big restructuring business in Europe. How do the people who work there differ from those in M&A?
It’s hard to say from the outset that someone is destined to be a restructuring banker when they come in to do an internship. However, our people who work in restructuring need to assess a lot of risk, so if you work in that area you need to be comfortable with that. They also have exposure to litigation issues – deals are sometimes done in court, so that can be quite exciting. You also get exposure to the private equity and hedge fund arena. It is a job rich in technical content.
What are you favourite interview questions? And how should people answer them?
I like to ask people, based on their research, what makes Rothschild different from its competitors. They need to recognise that we’re a pure advisory firm and we don’t have a sales and trading arm, which makes us innately different to many of our rivals. Our business is very, very personally driven. It’s just you and your advice.
I also like to ask what people do outside their work and study. It’s important to us that people engage more broadly on extra-curricular activities – that makes them a more interesting person. You need to get along with your colleagues and with clients. Being personable is very important here!