Team Profiles

Frankfurt

David Zöllner - Director

After almost seven years as an external consultant, David knew it was time to take on a new professional challenge. He has been part of Deutsche Bank Management Consulting team since 2015. As a Director, he is responsible for strategic projects in the fields of finance and risk. He is also responsible for DBMC’s global recruitment. In this interview, he talks about his own career path and why DBMC is particularly interested in young talent.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in management consulting?

I learned the ropes of the finance industry while completing a work and study programme at a mid-sized bank in Berlin. My focus was the private client business, where I quickly became involved in a strategic project to develop a central sales management concept. During this time, it became clear to me that I enjoyed combining project work with strategic tasks.

Where did you go from there?

I decided to study for a master’s in London and stayed there for seven years. This decision set the course for my future in consulting. While completing my studies, I worked for a small strategic management consultancy firm and then moved to consulting for global banks at PwC. With my team, I supported projects including shaping the transformation process for the finance division at a major bank, but also made and maintained contacts within Deutsche Bank as an external consultant. My job has enabled me to travel to many parts of the world, while London has become my second home.

What made you decide to switch to internal consulting?

It was time for a new challenge. I didn’t have anything against my previous role, I just wanted to try something new. I was also keen to work more closely on strategic issues for a company. With its international reach and wide range of products, Deutsche Bank was my first choice.

In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between external and internal consulting?

As an external consultant, you spend a large part of your time selling a consulting concept and operating on a kind of ‘meta level’. In internal strategy consulting, we have a very strong relationship with the bank’s decision-makers. We are very close to key issues and generally act as an exclusive partner to senior management – placing us pretty much at the heart of the bank’s transformation. Each hour we invest in a project is an hour invested in improving our ‘own’ company, and we form an extremely strong, solid network.

Would you recommend Deutsche Bank Management Consulting as a good place to start a career?

Yes, absolutely. It is extremely important for us to continually attract young, talented individuals to DBMC. Their fresh perspective, high levels of motivation, and the resulting mix of young and experienced consultants all contribute significantly to the quality of our work. Those who join us step into a challenging and demanding environment in which each individual can learn a tremendous amount while laying down the best possible foundations for their future career. Every consultant has the opportunity to shape their own development at DBMC, which enables them to climb the career ladder more quickly than you might see elsewhere. This means DBMC can offer a direct springboard into a career in management within the bank. I like to refer to it as a personal ‘equity story’ that needs to combine both professional and personal factors.

What attributes and skills do you particularly look for in candidates?

Enthusiasm for the role and the desire to keep learning new things. While it is not vital that candidates come from a banking or business management background, they should be able to fill any gaps in their knowledge quickly and gradually complete their own ‘banking roadmap’. Analytical thinking is important, as are language and communication skills and, of course, strong social skills. We also want every new colleague to contribute new perspectives, experience and capabilities to the DBMC family.

How important is teamwork?

DBMC would be nothing without its strong team spirit. Our project teams draw together an incredibly wide variety of skills, experience, and seniority. Junior analysts work side by side with senior managers. We actively promote diversity within our teams and with it different opinions and approaches. Every point of view is discussed and considered equally within the team. Mistakes can always happen. What’s important is that they are properly analysed and resolved rather than swept under the carpet. Work in our teams is fun. It is based on fundamental trust and respect, but also discipline. For example, it might include a ‘running dinner’ with the entire team and a client workshop the next morning.

Do you have time for a private life?

I’m a keen mountain biker and my little one is already active on his own two wheels, too. One summer, I traversed the Alps with two friends on mountain bikes – that was a fantastic experience.

Anne Jekat - Senior Vice President

My path to Deutsche Bank Management Consulting:

In March 2019, I joined Deutsche Bank Management Consulting (DBMC) as a Vice President (Senior Project Manager). The diversity of our projects and the opportunity to work with different teams continues to fascinate and motivate me. As a senior project manager, I am responsible for managing complex projects, leading the project team and I am also available as a sparring partner for our internal clients. In addition to project work, the development of DBMC is important to me. Therefore, I am also involved in our recruiting by conducting interviews with applicants and representing our department at recruiting events.

I joined Deutsche Bank Management Consulting because: 

Deutsche Bank has kicked-off a comprehensive transformation with the adapted strategy we announced in summer 2019. As management consultants in DB, we are of course part of this transformation, across all business and infrastructure areas. We have the opportunity to actively shape the changes, together with our internal clients, and to make a significant contribution to the future of the bank. As an inhouse consultant, it is possible for us to accompany the projects for a longer period of time or at least "keep an eye on them". At the same time, our deep understanding of the bank enables us to highlight interdependencies and interfaces that make the implementation of the individual transformation projects more effective. 

A typical day at work:

As a management consultant, it is my job to advise Deutsche Bank's top management on strategic challenges and to support them in implementing their strategy to achieve our ambitions objectives. This encompasses strategic topics on the level of DB Group as a whole and on the level of individual business divisions and infrastructure units. Currently, our projects are mostly contributing to the comprehensive transformation the bank is undergoing with our adapted strategy. To succeed, the classic consulting skills are particularly relevant for globally distributed projects: structuring complex challenges, identifying the best possible solutions and bringing them to a decision, and coordinating numerous stakeholders in their expectations and contributions.

The most rewarding part of my job: 

My work at Deutsche Bank Management Consulting enables me to continuously develop and grow, both professionally and personally. The DBMC management team also attaches great importance to this. We achieve this, among other things, through regular project rotations, which always present us with new challenges, as well as an extensive and individually tailored training curriculum.

When I am not working: 

I like to spend my free time outside in nature, in the mountains or by the sea. Even in the sometimes hectic everyday life, I try to balance as much as possible, for example by cycling or running at the Main River.

What I would like to tell a potential candidate about Deutsche Bank Management Consulting: 

If you are looking for an opportunity that is both challenging and rewarding with playing a role in a major transformation in the financial industry, we should get in touch!

Matthias Regenauer - Analyst

My path to Deutsche Bank Management Consulting:

After graduating with a Master in Economics from Bocconi University, I was torn between starting my career in banking or consulting. Having worked for a large Swiss Bank before, I knew that I was interested in the financial industry, but the learning opportunities and the variety of consulting also seemed very appealing. Interviewing with companies for both options, it was only a matter of time that I would discover DBMC. The intersection of consulting and banking seemed to be a perfect fit for me as it would allow me to both, pursue my interests and to kick off my career at a renowned global company.

I joined Deutsche Bank Management Consulting because:

I had the feeling that the team was genuinely interested in me as a person and the contributions I could bring to the organization. As a fresh graduate, starting a career is often associated with chores in order to “climb up the ladder” until one is in a position where the work becomes more conceptual and interesting. My interviews with DBMC, however, gave me the positive impression that the team wanted to hire me for my personality and brain; and not because I was a fairly well-educated resource. Also, since the work at DBMC has a long-lasting impact for the organization, it requires solutions that are optimal for the bank and sustainable at the same time – principles I could highly identify with.

A typical day at work:

According to the cliché, there are no typical days in consulting. But I tend to disagree. Depending on the project, days follow a similar pattern. Usually, it starts with a team meeting in the morning to discuss and align priorities for the day, which also helps me to structure my day effectively. Afterwards, it is an interplay between meetings and completing tasks as well as discussing ideas with colleagues and clients. Often, I also have a coffee with colleagues in the afternoon where we just chat and hang out a bit before we go back to work. The day is usually wrapped up by preparing meetings for the next day and sending out a couple of e-mails.

The most rewarding part of my job:

Seeing the progress you make professionally and personally within a short amount of time. Working at DBMC means that you are entrusted with responsibility early on. You will be exposed to clients without someone constantly watching over your shoulder, so it often means that you have to learn fast and independently. What helps in the process is knowing that you have a supportive team who stands behind you. It allows you to try out different approaches and, in the unlikely event that something goes wrong, you can always count on someone to help you out. This feeling of collective support and developing fast on your own terms is really valuable and reassures me of having made the right choice.

When I am not working:

I am either roaming the streets to take pictures (I am an avid photographer), listening to music or meeting friends. That’s of course, when I am not planning my next trip to explore other countries or learn new languages.

What I would like to tell a potential candidate about Deutsche Bank Management Consulting:

DBMC is a great place to start off your career! It allows you to explore various working approaches and different parts of the bank; all in the presence of a young and fun team.

Also, one recommendation for your interviews: Be yourself. Obviously, preparing for consulting interviews and getting familiar with the basics of banking helps, but, in the end, we want to get to know you and not a rehearsed version of you.

New York

Geoffrey Wong - Senior Vice President

My path to Deutsche Bank Management Consulting:
I joined DBMC after working in the strategy team of a global insurer with a primary focus on growing their international business. Prior to this, I worked at Deloitte Consulting in their Strategy & Operations practice where I started my career. Consulting was my first full-time job after completing my undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto.

I joined Deutsche Bank Management Consulting because:
I was looking for a platform that could best use my consulting skills to deliver meaningful change and allow me to see the results come to fruition. DB stood out as a great opportunity to take part in a major transformation story and would build on my financial services experience. Furthermore, I was struck by how international and personable the team was in interviews and that really sealed the deal for me.

A typical day at work:
Each day starts with reviewing my mailbox to keep on top of any items that came up overnight, especially with many of our projects involving London and Frankfurt teams. Next, I have a quick start-of-day meeting with my project team. We not only cover project topics, but we also check-in on how everyone is doing—especially if we are in different locations. The rest of the day is a mix of client meetings, data gathering / interviews, working with the team to understand the issues we come across, and developing solutions. On days that are less busy, I find time in the afternoon to connect with other team members and catch-up on what they have been up to.

The most rewarding part of my job:
Working with a bright, supportive team to solve tough issues, and then seeing those solutions come to life in the company and news.

When I am not working:
Making the most of living in NYC! I have only been here for a few years, so there are plenty of restaurants, museums and culture left to see as well as favorites to revisit.

What I would like to tell a potential candidate:
If you are a strong problem solver, have an interest in banking and enjoy working with an international team, look no further!

Emily Zhang - Assistant Vice President

My path to Deutsche Bank Management Consulting:

I joined Deutsche Bank Management Consulting (DBMC) in June 2018 from a US bank, which I joined after completing my MBA at Georgetown University in Washington DC. During my time with the bank, I worked in the Strategy & Execution team for Small Business Banking, and the Pricing Strategy & Economics team for Consumer Banking.  Prior to my MBA, I spent three years between Shanghai and Singapore working at a multinational semi-conductor manufacturer, where I set up the Financial Planning and Analysis functionality in Mainland China and supported the regional CFO and CEO on China strategic initiatives. I started my career at KPMG in their Audit practice. I have a Bachelor degree of International Trade and Economics from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

I joined Deutsche Bank Management Consulting because:

I wanted the opportunity to work at a global bank, where I can create value for the firm through project work partnering with senior leadership across functions and divisions, and take on meaningful responsibilities and be part of the changes.

A typical day at work:

Starts from checking emails on my corporate phone to catch up what happened or is happening in Europe, as most of my projects are global in nature with project sponsors, stakeholders and DBMC colleagues in London and Frankfurt. It continues with a daily check-in together with my project team to talk about what’s been done, what’s planned to do for the day, and what we are trying to achieve for the next few weeks (updates to various governance, project sponsor presentation, etc.). The day goes by quite fast with client meetings, brainstorming with the team, content creation/ review / iteration.

The most rewarding part of my job:

I saw the Bloomberg articles about a project I worked on.  And the opportunity to work with wonderful people on the team and across the bank!

When I am not working:

You can find me at museums in NYC or wherever I travelled. I am mesmerized by impressionist paintings and started to learn more about old master, Dutch painting and American paintings. I love traveling to Europe, where I can find all my favorite painters and stumped upon some paintings I never saw. The architecture in Europe is so beautiful and always makes me want to move there. Living here in NYC, I like to try restaurants with friends and there are over 500 restaurants on my list! I also enjoy theatre, shows and concerts (took some acting class when I lived in DC). I have been practicing Yoga for over 12 years but I started running in the central park lately to get out after a day of work.

What I would like to tell a potential candidate about Deutsche Bank Management Consulting:

If you want to the opportunity of working in a high performing team, helping senior management address the most critical and pressing issues, and learning and growing with the team and the bank, come and join us!

Dylann Ephraimson - Associate

Dylann Ephraimson joined Deutsche Bank Management Consulting (DBMC) as an analyst in July 2018. Since then, she has been part of key projects within the bank’s Chief Regulatory Office and Investment Banking Operations. In this interview she tells us more about her path to Deutsche Bank Management Consulting, her experiences with the team, and what she believes it takes to work at DBMC.

What brought you to Deutsche Bank, and DB Management Consulting in particular?
A good friend from university referred me to DBMC after she interned with the team for the summer. I was interested in finance and working at a global investment bank but additionally wanted to pursue a consulting route, and I thought the team’s value proposition as an independent consultancy operating within DB was an excellent way of combining these interests.

What are the key benefits of working as a management consultant?
I’ve worked with many different parts of the business. Since joining, I’ve found that many aspects of the bank only focus on their particular product or service, whereas I’ve gotten a bird’s eye view on topics spanning across teams and locations. For example, I’ve learned about developing a global investment bank’s IT strategy, how DB’s internal control functions operate, about the different products sold through our investment bank, and how to successfully manage our relationships with clients.

What do you find interesting about working for a consultancy embedded within the company itself?
I’ve learned a lot about common challenges faced across different groups at the Bank, a perspective I likely wouldn’t have as an outside consultant brought in for a single engagement.
I’ve also acquired more knowledge about the financial services industry than I expected I would upon joining. For example, I spent four weeks learning about the different products and services offered by DB during graduate training in London which was a cool way of learning more about different products and services offered by the Bank and connecting with colleagues across different locations.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?
The two biggest challenges that I’ve faced so far are fostering communication and collaboration between different groups in the Bank and becoming an expert on new topics quickly when starting a project.

What is your experience of collaboration within the DBMC team?
The team is really collaborative, both internally and with clients. We problem solve as a group often, and developing and presenting independent points of view is highly encouraged for junior members of the team. DBMC’s collaborative nature has helped me learn about complex topics quickly, and given me confidence when participating in meetings and presenting to clients.

Give us an overview of your typical working day...
A typical day changes based on the project and deliverable I’m working on, but most days involve lots of collaboration with my project team and problem solving for our client.

Is there still time for personal interests alongside all that work?
Yes! I ride competitively on the US equestrian circuit, and have had many top-ten finishes so far this year. I’m also in the process of training for the New York marathon, and have a variety of friends from my high school and university that I see on a regular basis. It can be a balancing act, especially while staffed on a busy project, but I’ve had the opportunity to develop both professional and personal interests.

Do you have any key advice for students or recent graduates who might be interested in working at DBMC?
While preparing for interviews and in the months before joining I found regularly reading the Business and Markets sections of the Wall Street Journal, literature on the Financial Services Industry, and recent DB 10Ks and 10Qs helpful for quickly context on issues faced by the bank.

Upon joining, I’d recommend building a network both within DBMC and throughout DB. Learning about different products traded by and technologies used by the bank is much easier when sitting with different groups and asking them questions. There are many avenues new joiners can use for building a network – whether it be working on a cross-office project, attending DB-sponsored training, or joining one of DB’s interest networks.

London

Annika Banner - Vice President

My path to Deutsche Bank Management Consulting: 

After my apprenticeship at a German savings bank I knew that I would like to pursue a career in Finance. Therefore I studied Banking and Finance at the University of Cologne in Germany and subsequently joined the Deutsche Bank Graduate Programme. After 2 years, when the programme came to an end, I was very well connected within DB and got the chance to move to London and work for the Risk Culture team. After 1 year, I was looking for a new challenge. DBMC, which was already established in Frankfurt, just set up its London office and I took the opportunity and joined the newly formed team. It was great to be part of that group from the beginning and enabled me to help growing the team and client portfolio.

I joined Deutsche Bank Management Consulting because:

I like the idea of a new challenge / project every few months while at the same time getting deep insights into the bank.

 A typical day at work:

We work very close as team, therefore first thing in the morning I connect with my team members to understand how they are doing. Reading emails and checking the diary is crucial to plan the next hours. During the day, we usually have meetings with our stakeholders where we discuss various topics. Depending on the project phase, we continue with preparing presentations and analyses.

 The most rewarding part of my job:

It feels very rewarding to me when working with a ‘client’ (the area / team at DB we are supporting) for a while, I start to notice them trusting and appreciating our work.

In many cases, our client brings DBMC on board, share their visions and goals with us and we work jointly on achieving that. Many great relationships and even friendships have been forged over the years.

It is rewarding to work with a wide range of bright, motivated and hard-working people, ranging from analysts to management board members. I have the feeling that all those interactions and project challenges gave me the chance to learn something new.

 When I am not working:

During the lockdown I naturally spend time with my husband, my two young children and connect with friends / family in Germany. Once travel restrictions are lifted, we will start travelling to many countries again.

 What I would like to tell a potential candidate about Deutsche Bank Management Consulting:

Join DBMC if you would like to work not only for a multinational financial services company, but also in a management consulting setting. If you enjoy project work, solving problems and are looking for a challenge, this could be a rewarding opportunity for you.

Samia Sqalli - Analyst

Can you give us some background about your education and work experience?

I grew up in Morocco, then moved to Paris for my BSc in Finance, after which I spent 6 months in New York for an internship in a health care start-up. Thereafter, I took a gap year from my studies to complete two 6-month internships in Consulting. The first was with Boston Consulting Group where I focused on conducting African market studies, typically to assess new market entry opportunities for North African companies. For the second internship I joined Monitor Deloitte where I worked on a variety of due diligence projects in Francophone markets. I completed my MSc in Management at Cass Business School in London and shortly after joined DBMC as an Analyst in the London office.

Beyond this, I was able to participate in a volunteering programme at Cass for which I spent 2 month in the city of Helsinki helping start-ups with developing strategies for business development and growth.

What attracts you to Consulting?

The challenging environment and the aspect of problem solving really excites me. We are constantly trying to identify better, more suitable solutions that aren’t just conceptually good but that can also be implemented given the circumstances in the bank. What I like at DBMC is that we don’t just try to find ‘nice looking’ solutions that are going to be accepted and impress people. The solutions we seek need to match the problem, add value to the bank, and be actually feasible. In comparison to my experience with external consulting groups, we pay more attention to the whole package – both looking for the right solution and how can it be implemented.

Have you found any other differences between external and internal consulting?

Speaking from my experience, with internal consulting there is much more exposure to senior stakeholders, clients, and managers, this is especially important at more junior levels. I found that within external consulting, it is usually the Project Manager or Partner that interacts with the clients because there is a lot more pressure to present a polished image and sell the brand. The juniors would thus gain less exposure to clients and focus more on delivering the work, which of course is still important and valuable. In comparison, as a DBMC analyst, I have daily interactions with senior members which gives me the feeling of being really involved with the critical aspects of the problem which is very fulfilling.

At first I found the environment very challenging, however, it provides a steep learning curve to develop both your analytical and conceptual knowledge and your personal and interpersonal skillsets. Further it is a great setting to grow because the DBMC team is very supportive and always willing to help and guide you.

What does your typical day at work look like?

While my days are quite varied, the most typical part would be arriving early morning and spending some time checking and responding to emails. Then as a project team we would check the schedule for the day and plan the upcoming work before we spread out work on deliverables, for example analysing data and creating aggregate results. Throughout the day I have a couple of client meetings, either in person or through conference calls, and oftentimes a project team meeting for brainstorming and problem solving. Additionally, there are usually frequent queries coming through from clients that need to be addressed on short notice, which you need to adapt to and it keeps things fast paced.

Would you recommend someone start off their career in DBMC?

Yes – DBMC is a really great place to learn the work of a consultant. It provides loads of exposure to senior stakeholders from which you can learn a lot and you develop deep knowledge of the workings of a bank and really any large corporation. The steep learning curve quickly encourages you to be self-sufficient and confident in your skillset. Analysts also complete a joint training in Frankfurt which is fantastic!

What advice would you give analysts starting out?

Be confident from day one and be proactive in developing relationships with your clients. These relationships can help you on other projects and in your personal development. They also grant you a more comprehensive view of the bank. Always be motivated and show willingness to progress, even when there are parts of the work that don’t necessarily excite you. There is always an opportunity to learn and this attitude encourages your team to trust you with more responsibility and more exciting tasks. Also, quickly identify your weaknesses so you can actively work on them as soon as possible and reach out to members of the team. They will happily help and support you to quickly progress.

Outside of work, what are you hobbies and interests?

I like swimming, outdoors preferably, and I’m interested in French politics and current affairs so I watch French news, documentaries, and debates. I also enjoy relaxing with friends and socialising over a few cocktails. Since I am a very avid traveller, I try to get away every few weeks, even if it is just for a weekend.

What’s the culture within DBMC?

The culture and team are great. In French we say the team are very ‘Bienvenue’, they are very welcoming, supportive, and take a genuine interest in your life outside of work. They will always make time to help you with your development and they really care about the team as a whole becoming better and more effective.

The social aspect is also great, we often have team events which are a lot of fun. For example we have had Go-Karting and Mini-Golf events, oftentimes after work we get drinks together, and generally everyone has a great sense of humour. Beyond the London office, I have also made friends with colleagues in New York and Frankfurt, either through working together on projects or through joint trainings.