For centuries, the Rothschild name has been synonymous with art, culture, great wines – and, of course, finance. Today, The Rothschild Group is the world’s largest independent merchant and investment bank, not to mention one of the most prestigious.
- Excellent reputation in Europe
- Stable company, especially in light of the recent crisis
- You're able to gain a lot of experience very quickly
- Very low staff turnover
- Reasonable hours and friendly working environment (compared to other banks)
- Eurocentric, with a limited US presence
- Sometimes misses out on the biggest deals because of a smaller balance sheet
- Can be pretty hierarchical from time to time
- Diversity initiatives don't take centre stage
Rothschild is the investment banking branch of family-owned N.M. Rothschild Group – the largest independent merchant and investment bank. For two centuries, the firm has been providing financial services to governments, corporations, and wealthy individuals through its 49 offices in over 34 countries worldwide.
Rothschild has a strong reputation in M&A advising, with its strength centred in Europe. Despite an excellent international reputation, Rothschild has sometimes struggled to keep pace with the larger pace setters and remain independent. The bank went through a notable reshuffle in September 2002 whereby 13 separate private banking units were aggregated into a single worldwide private banking business. Then in December 2002, the retail and institutional asset management businesses were sold to Insight investment management, the fund arm of British bank HBOS. This redistributed the power so that both English and French sides of the family would have an equal stake in the firm. This was effective in mitigating cross border relations throughout Rothschild’s complex private network.
Rothschild offers corporate finance advise across a wide range of sectors including property, financial institutions, consumer products, transportation, health care, natural resources, industrials, business services, oil and gas, infrastructure, media and technology. The business is structured around 3 main areas:
The bank’s investment banking provides financial advice and execution expertise in mergers & acquisitions, debt advisory, restructuring, and equity advisory.
Its Corporate Banking arm includes include lending, treasury, asset finance, offshore banking and investor relations, while private banking and Trust business offers independent advice on strategic planning, trust and fiduciary services, investment management and credit solutions services to wealthy individuals, families, trusts and charities.
Rothschild also has a stake in other business areas including venture capital, asset management, and growth equity.Read all 50 employee quotes
Making the cut at Rothschild is difficult, in large part due to a low staff turnover – attributed to the fact the firm only recruits candidates who are interested in building an extensive career there. Rothschild wants bright, energetic graduates, enthusiastic about the company, global financial advisory – as this is the sole area the bank offers graduate schemes in – and the investment banking industry in general. Strong A-levels and a top degree are expected of all applicants, although the discipline doesn’t necessarily have to be based in business or finance. However, candidates must possess strong numeracy skills and be analytical masterminds.
Rothschild’s ideal candidate is not solely defined by these favourable characteristics. You also need to be driven and have lots of ambition to make it in investment banking. How best to do this, you wonder? With plenty of common sense, an eagerness to learn and a strong work ethic. Rothschild expects its graduates and interns to be fully integrated into the team so you need to feel confident about the amount of responsibility you will be given. However, there is no need to get all boastful as the firm is after down-to-earth folks who will fit in with Rothschild’s company culture.
The Hiring Process
The firm tends to hire 20 to 25 graduates each year and the hiring process starts off with an online application form. Expect to fill in gaps with the usual stuff such as academic background, skills, career motivation etc. Keep in mind that only a relative small number of applicants will be invited to interview so make sure you spend enough time on this first stage.
A successful application will be rewarded with an initial 30-minute interview, accompanied by verbal and numerical tests. These will ask you to interpret data from a table, graphs, and charts – so familiarise yourself with rations, fractions, currency conversions, percentages etc. An understanding of inflations and rebasing will also come in handy.
You’re likely to be interviewed by two people and can expect to be grilled on your technical knowledge. The firm is also keen to find out how much effort you’ve put into researching Rothschild so make sure you keep track of recent events and deals. A typical question would be ‘How is Rothschild different from other firms?’. Interviewers may also ask you to comment on company market values and profits so you better know the answer to these questions. The first stage will be heavily competency-based as well so you should come armed with a list of examples on how you’ve demonstrated your teamwork, communication or leadership skills. Don’t forget to familiarise yourself with numerical reasoning tests as you’re not likely to pass this stage without previous practice!
If you’ve done well in the first interview you’ll be asked back for more. There should be at least two rounds of panel interviews. Now, if you think the first stage was difficult – think again. This is where things get tough and the firm will seriously stretch your knowledge about the financial markets and throw in very precise and detailed questions such as ‘How do you compute a valuation?’, What is a P/E ration?’ or ‘Why is industry x doing better than industry y?’. It’s challenging, but interviewers will want you to perform well and you can impress with honesty and making the interview engaging. You may also have the opportunity to meet up with some recent graduates currently training at the firm and find out what work is really like at the firm.
Programmes for Graduates, MBAs and PhDs
At Rothschild graduate schemes can be taken up primarily at analyst level. Hence PhD or MBA candidates interested in associate roles are advised to apply for one of the company’s experienced hire programmes.
Graduates are placed in Rothschild’s global financial advisory division, and as a new recruit you will join one of the teams in M&A, equity advisory, or debt advisory and restructuring. The firm’s services cover a number of sectors such as property, consumer products or healthcare so you will gain exposure to most of these during your training period.
However, don’t expect a break from studying when you join the Rothschild clan as your graduate programme will start off with six weeks of training in London where the firm’s new hires from across the globe will get to meet each other. The first week will introduce you to Rothschild and its structure whereas the remaining five weeks will be spent in the classroom – this is made up of intensive training, teaching the fledgling banker the ins and outs of financial analysis, investment banking and related financial markets and legal issues. Those from a non-finance background should have nothing to worry about as this rigorous training will help you catch up – and you can always look forward to the teambuilding weekend in a fancy countryside location rounding up the training programme.
After this, graduates are seconded to their chosen office and allocated to a number of different teams, with the prime objective of immersion in ‘real’ work. Responsibility is placed upon graduates from the offset. The majority of tasks will include research, analysis and financial modelling, and a steep learning curve and long hours go hand in hand with this. International opportunities will also crop up during your time at Rothschild although they are likely to be very competitive.
If you want to get to know Rothschild’s ethos, you better sign up for one of the firm’s associate or analyst internship schemes. Ten-week summer internships for students in their penultimate year are on offer, and like the grad schemes, these are only available in the global financial advisory division. You can expect to spend your first week at Rothschild undertaking a training programme, which covers subjects such as accounting, financial analysis, computer training and data research. Although you will be working in one division, you will still get an understanding of the firm’s other business areas that include corporate banking, private banking, and asset management.
Long-term internships lasting three to six months are also on hand and would suit both graduates and second-year students. It’s good to keep an eye open for these placements as they are offered all year round. You’re likely to work on transactions and marketing projects and should also be prepared to do some research and analytical tasks.
Long-term internships are probably more fruitful than summer internships when it comes to retention – long-term interns are often offered a bespoke place on Rothschild’s graduate scheme. Nonetheless, the firm is still after high calibre candidates for both of their internship programmes as you will need to be an academic highflyer and outgoing professional.
Gap year students can apply for a six-month placement taking off in September or March. This is based in London and after an initial training period, you will get to start work straight away. The firm only accepts people who have a keen interest in the financial and economic markets so if you’re planning to embark on a business-related degree, you will stand a good chance of being accepted.
Rothschild Graduate Recruitment Info
Graduate programme info
Approx graduate hires in 2012-2013: 30-35
Length of grad programme: Permanent
Application deadline: 3 November 2012
Approximate intern hires in 2012-2013: 50-60
Length of internship: 10 weeks to 6 months
Application deadline: See website
No. of Employees: Approx. 3,000
Analysts: £35,000 - £50,000 (Approx.)
Private Banking & Trust
The nice thing about Rothschild is that you are part of a bank that does not have a large number of graduates who rotate through different divisions. You’re more than just a number in a big pool of graduates.Analyst, Investment BankingHelpful?
The firm invests heavily in training its employees and training (on hard as well as soft skiils) is readily available at all levels.Analyst, Investment BankingHelpful?
The bank does not require you to put in face time.Director, Investment BankingHelpful?
The firm lacks a LGBT network as well.Analyst, Investment BankingHelpful?
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No. of offices: 49
1 King William Street
London EC4N 7AR
Tel: +44 20 7280 5000