Deutsche Bank: The Unofficial Guide to Investment Banking

To an outsider, the world of banking can seem like an enigma. But that’s something Deutsche Bank want to change: created with the help of their recent graduates, this is their no-nonsense guide to the world of banking.

Here are the key points to help you discover what banks do, where you could fit in, and how to get a foot in the door. They’ve deciphered jargon, debunked myths, and decrypted info to make the world of banking accessible, once and for all.

What do banks do?

Put simply, banks provide services for people or organisations who want to borrow, lend and invest money. They are huge, complex organisations that play a part in the lives of people in every corner of the world, with clients ranging from individuals to businesses, and even the governments and central banks of entire countries.

What is Sales & Trading?

When people think of investment banking, they tend to imagine the trading floor. Although sales & trading is just one part of a bank’s work, it is where a lot of its commercial activity takes place.

In simple terms, traders buy and sell products like equity (stocks) and debt (bonds) and commodities (like oil and natural gas) and execute foreign exchange deals that make an incremental profit. 

What is Corporate Finance?

Corporate Finance provides strategic advice and financial products that help clients build their businesses. Or to put it another way, they link institutions that need money to institutions that can provide it.

On behalf of its client, the bank will issue debt or shares, and sell it on the global market to pension funds, mutual funds, hedge funds and private individuals. The money this raises can then be used to fund the client’s growth.

Roles in corporate finance can broadly be divided into two categories: client teams, who work with businesses directly to understand their needs, and product teams, who develop the solutions that meet them.

What is Transaction Banking?

Sending money from one place to another is such a fundamental part of modern life that most people take it for granted – but it doesn’t happen by itself. The billions of transfers that happen all over the world every day are managed by the Transaction Banking Division.

But Transaction Banking isn’t just about shifting cash; it’s about using the bank’s liquidity to provide strategic solutions for clients, and making sure that the processes involved are streamlined and protected from financial crime. It's about helping small companies grow to become big companies and aiding international business to occur. It’s because this is so essential to keeping businesses running that banks have large teams of people dedicated to it.

What is Asset Management?

In Asset Management, there’s one key objective: generating income for clients. This is done by directing a client’s capital into a range of investments, chosen carefully by balancing risk, opportunity, and other variables – from timeframes, to the other investments in a client’s portfolio.

On behalf of their clients, an Asset Management team might invest in stocks, bonds, property or the foreign exchange to help a client meet their investment goals. These are just some examples of common investments.

What is Private Banking and Wealth Management?

Individuals with substantial wealth often have complex financial arrangements, and want to make sure that their asset portfolios are generating the best possible returns. They’ll work with a specialist advisor at a bank with in-depth knowledge of financial markets and investment opportunities who will understand their perspective and help them reach their goals.

Wealth managers work in a consultative way, getting advice from appropriate experts and offering appropriate products and solutions. Their services can be either discretionary or non-discretionary.

What is Retail Banking?

Retail provides products and services like loans, mortgages and current accounts to individuals and small companies. It’s the kind of banking we think we all know, but there’s much more to it than high-street branches and call centres. It’s a huge, complex and competitive business where customers want the latest digital technology without losing access to personal advice.

Opportunities in retail range from front-line customer service and branch management to relationship management and product development. People with aptitude can progress quickly and will get the chance to study for professional qualifications.

What is Technology?

The right technology can give one bank the edge over the competition, and plays a big part in compliance with regulations that get tougher every year. It’s not about IT support – which most banks outsource – but about emerging trends set to transform the industry like Blockchain and AI, and the increasing significance of the Cloud. That’s why institutions invest vast sums in tech and employ tens of thousands of people to develop and maintain it.

It’s most evident on the trading floor, where it makes trades faster, more competitive, and more profitable. But technology, and making technology better, is crucial to every part of a bank.

What is Infrastructure?

Front-line banking is made possible by a diverse mix of specialists in infrastructure and support roles. Like every large business, banks have people responsible for human resources and accounting, as well as functions specific to financial services like risk and regulation. Some will have begun their careers in banking, but many will have crossed over from a similar role in a different industry. And as banks become more heavily regulated, they depend more heavily on teams of specialists in compliance

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