Meet our Team

Christoph Schön – Director

 

Christoph A. Schoen works as a director within Deutsche Bank’s Group Management Consulting team, having joined as a senior project manager back in 2015. In his role as a director, Christoph is responsible for the professional guidance and developments of GMC’s consultants, as well as the strategic positioning of GMC as Deutsche Bank’s internal management consultancy division.


How would you summarise your work as a management consultant?
My primary focus area is restructuring initiatives relating to the various business divisions. For example, that might be developing new market strategies, planning organisational redesign, optimising capacity management, or generally working on change management and communication.

What additional responsibilities do you have since becoming a director?
Since becoming a director in March 2017, I have also been responsible for supporting and guiding our consultants in their professional development. I am also heavily involved in GMC’s strategy work, advising and assisting Deutsche Bank’s senior management with their divisional strategy.

What skills do you exercise most in your daily work?
We often work on large-scale, global projects, where I enjoy exercising classic consulting skills: structuring complex challenges, identifying and refining the ideal solution in a given scenario, and coordinating the interests of internal and external stakeholders. As a director, people skills and lateral thinking are also important as I support the career development of our consultants.

What do you find especially motivating or satisfying?
I strongly identify with Deutsche Bank as an entity and want to help it succeed – for the benefit of our shareholders, clients, and employees. I like the feeling of my work having real purpose and embrace the responsibility attached to the projects I lead – successfully taking them from planning through to implementation. In addition, as a consultant, I am able gain a deeper understanding of our business models, processes, IT systems, and people. There are consulting jobs everywhere, but I don’t think anywhere but Group Management Consulting offers this level of motivation and job satisfaction.

We understand you enjoy your work – but what would you pick out to recommend it to others?
Group Management Consulting plays a unique role within Deutsche Bank as it works across divisions. Here, you are engaged in both developing and implementing strategies, and are personally appreciated by senior management. We grapple with considerable challenges that are facing the entire industry as it undergoes drastic transformation. This work is complex, ground-breaking and is transforming the way Deutsche Bank works to its very core. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who enjoys being at the centre of transformation and working with a team of talented individuals to drive change. You get to learn a lot and feel a genuine sense of significance – the things we do are shaping the future of both the company and banking in general.

Finn Bischoff – Vice President

 

Finn Bischoff started in Group Management Consulting in early 2016 as Assistant Vice President (Senior Consultant) after having spent two years in the internal Strategy department. He has been leading projects as Vice President (Project Manager) since beginning of 2018 and is constantly involved in key strategic projects to develop concepts that shape the future of Deutsche Bank. Finn is also a member of the recruitment team, interviewing candidates interested in joining the division. Here he discusses his take on his everyday work at GMC, and what brought him to GMC in the first place.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?
My role means I am involved in key strategic projects, developing concepts that define the future structure of core business divisions that make up Deutsche Bank. One of the biggest challenges we face is balancing the interests of various stakeholders. As it often happens, approved concepts may prove infeasible during implementation. Unfortunately, the complexity of many problems often only becomes clear following discussions with colleagues from the respective divisions. The fact we are both part of Deutsche Bank but separate to the business divisions we assist gives us a fresh perspective. It’s hard, but we aim to develop solutions that satisfy everyone’s expectations while also maintaining a strong focus on results. Good communication and teamworking skills combined with a pragmatic, structured approach are vital.

What are the key benefits of working as a management consultant?
I was originally attracted to the broad project portfolio at Deutsche Bank Group Management Consulting. There’s an interesting mix of strategy and implementation. Furthermore, we get the opportunity to take on new challenging topics and working with different colleagues every three to six months. It has helped me to accumulate knowledge across numerous business divisions of the bank, developing a deep understanding of the bigger picture. We get real satisfaction from what we do, often working at a high level with senior management. The job itself can be both an enjoyable and frustrating challenge, but interactions with clients and colleagues are always enjoyable, open, and cooperative.

What brought you to Deutsche Bank, and Group Management Consulting in particular?
I first completed what is known as an integrated degree programme: I studied for a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration while simultaneously completing an apprenticeship in banking. To deepen my understanding in Business Administration, I started a master’s in Business Administration with a focus on finance and management in 2014. As part of my master’s programme, I completed two internships with Deutsche Bank’s Inhouse Consulting and Group Strategy in Frankfurt, which would later form Group Management Consulting. I became fascinated by the intersection between setting strategic goals and working on their implementation. Those internships were very valuable and convinced me that joining Deutsche Bank as a consultant was the right path for me. I joined Group Strategy on a permanent basis after completing my master’s degree, and transferred to GMC after an internal restructuring in 2016.

What do you find interesting about working for a consultancy embedded within the company itself?
Deutsche Bank is a global full-service bank with considerable international prestige, even though the last few years certainly have not been easy. As an internal consultant, you always have a solid grasp of what’s going on at the Bank and are grappling with the entire spectrum of challenges facing senior management. Being in that position is extremely varied, exciting and motivating. You establish many contacts within the company within a short space of time, which can also open up interesting new avenues.

What is your experience of collaboration within the GMC team?
Good teamwork is an absolute must for project work. We work very closely together, so communication and regular dialogue are extremely important. We place a deliberate focus on diversity in the composition of our project teams. It’s great to see how experienced consultants and younger or new colleagues all work together, allowing us to benefit from the wide range of expertise and diverse ways of thinking. Our colleagues’ personal strengths and priorities are also taken into account. Each project is always an opportunity to learn something new, build new contacts and gain fresh insights from your colleagues.

Give us an overview of your typical working day...
Although scarcely a day goes by quite as planned, there is such a thing as a typical schedule. Each team generally starts the day with a project update – sharing findings and discussing next steps – before making a start on the actual project work, which can include analysis, client interviews and preparing our findings. Lunch is always an opportunity for relaxed networking. I either meet up with my GMC colleagues to find out what’s going on with them or with colleagues from other departments. Then it’s back to the project team to share feedback and test the plausibility of our findings, before moving onto another, more intensive processing phase. By late afternoon we usually meet for a team update to consolidate our findings. Depending on what stage the project is at, another round of work may follow. In addition to this, each of us has different internal areas that we look after – recruitment, in my case. If for some reason our work goes on a bit later, we always make sure to order dinner in first…

Is there still time for personal interests alongside all that work?
Of course. Sport and fitness are very important to me, so I spend as much time as I can outdoors – whether running, spending time in the mountains and snow, or on and in the water, preferably with friends and family. Although I come from Kiel, I have also really come to appreciate Frankfurt. The people here are extremely open and there is so much to do both in and around the city. The only downside is that we’re a bit too far from the sea.

Michelle Berges - Analyst

 

  Michelle Berges Cebrian joined Deutsche Bank Group Management Consulting (GMC) as an analyst in March 2018. Since then, she has been part of key projects of the bank involving direct contact with the bank’s executive management. Furthermore, she is also a member of the GMC recruiting team where she interviews applicants and is responsible for keeping in touch with candidates interested in joining the division. In this interview she tells us more about her path to Deutsche Bank Group Management Consulting, her experiences with the team, and what she believes it takes to work at GMC.

What brought you to Deutsche Bank, and Group Management Consulting in particular?
I studied Business Administration with a concentration in Finance during my Bachelor, and like most students completed different internships during this time. One of my internships was in the strategy department of a bank, which is when I discovered my passion for both the banking sector as well as the possibility to set strategic goals and thereby shape a corporation’s future. I then pursued a Master in Finance at ESADE in Barcelona, where I was able to combine both my interest in the financial industry and a strategic perspective on its future. My first contact with GMC was through a fellow student of mine who completed his summer internship at GMC in Frankfurt. I was really intrigued about the department as he told me about the high impact projects he worked on, but especially his positive experiences with the team members.
Once I was able to confirm this positive picture of the GMC team myself during my interview process, I decided that this was the perfect place to launch my career and, thus, started working at GMC a couple of months later.

How do you like the team structures at GMC?
Teams always vary in size, depending on the project – I have worked in a team of as little as 3 people, as well as in teams with up to 15 people. Independent of the team’s size however, it is always ensured that every member plays a vital part, has the responsibility for a certain range of tasks, and interacts with the relevant stakeholders. Nonetheless, there is still room to make mistakes and to ask for help – at GMC you will always receive as much support as needed while ensuring that every team member has the opportunity to learn and grow with each challenge. I also genuinely like that we have many young colleagues here at GMC, which means that we get on very well on a personal level and often socialize after work or on weekends.

You mentioned personal development through team-based project work. Can you describe that in more detail?
One of the most important aspects for me at GMC is that we are continuously encouraged to plan and work our development opportunities. Part of this includes rotating to different projects approximately every three to six months and discovering new departments. Although this can be overwhelming when you only have little prior experience around a particular topic, it allows us to learn more about the bank and deepen our knowledge.
Furthermore, here at GMC every team member sets their own goals together with their line manager and regularly reviews and discusses how to best achieve them. During my time here, my previous and future project managers often talked to each other before I started a new project with them in order to understand where my strengths and weaknesses lie and how they can best support me in achieving my development goals.

What personal goals have you set yourself?
Since starting at GMC I have set a variety of goals. Firstly, I wanted to work at least on one project in every DB business division to understand the various business models within a universal bank and build a network across divisions and departments. Moreover, I would like to especially focus on developing my analytical and problem-solving skills during my future projects. Lastly, I would like to improve my communication and presentation skills, which I hope to do during my projects but also with the help of external trainings.

Is there still time for personal interests alongside your work?
Of course! In my opinion the key is to organize yourself well. Sports are very important to me, therefore I started to go for a run with my dog in the mornings before work. Those of us at GMC who are up for the challenge also have the opportunity to participate in a tough mudder as a team once a year. As the name suggests, this is a very muddy and demanding matter (and for me means at least a week of very sore muscles), but it has always been a lot of fun and proved to be a great team building activity. In the past, I also played tennis on a competitive level. While I do not have time to do it competitively anymore, I still love to play tennis with friends or colleagues on the weekend.
Lastly, I am extremely passionate about football. I follow nearly every single game of my favourite team FC Barcelona, either at home together with my family or on special occasions at Camp Nou in Barcelona!

Do you have any key advice for students or recent graduates who might be interested in working at GMC?
I genuinely believe that the subject you studied is not the most important aspect during the application process. Instead, your interest in and passion for the banking landscape in general and Deutsche Bank in particular, as well as dealing with strategic issues is crucial. For me it is important to see that my colleagues are as motivated as I am to work on the bank’s current issues and help shape the bank’s future. To do so, it is obviously important to have good analytical, quantitative, problem-solving and communication skills. These skills will be tested in the interviews and preparation is key. At the same time, the personal fit at GMC is at least equally important. We have a great team here that gets on well and has fun, is open-minded and always keen to experience new things together.

 

Anastasiya Kurenia – Vice President

 

My path to Group Management Consulting:

Having obtained a Bachelor in Banking and a Bachelor in Translation in Ukraine, I received a scholarship to study Masters in Management in ESCP Europe Business School in London and Paris. During my studies I specialised in finance and completed my first consulting project in partnership with Cornell University, which I particularly enjoyed. Prior to joining the Bank, I spent a year in Bloomberg specialising in equity capital markets.

I joined DB Group Management Consulting because:

I was always motivated to deliver long-term value to clients and decided that consulting enabled me to work on a long-term project delivering tangible results to clients by using and developing a broad range of skills. I discovered that the Bank had a unique internal group of talented people, who worked on implementing strategic projects in various business areas of the Bank, and decided that this was the right place to be.

A typical day at work:

Usually I start my day checking my calendar and planning ahead for the day’s meetings. Then, depending on the project, I usually focus on the key deliverables – usually a presentation or particular analysis to facilitate management decision-making processes. In the afternoon, I try to allocate some time to Group Management Consulting development topics (e.g. focused knowledge groups, mentoring, team events).

The most rewarding part of my job:

We work with senior management and very often have the opportunity to learn how strategic decisions are made and also bring our own impact on the future of the Bank. In addition, the most rewarding is building strong relationships with a lot of interesting people in the Bank and developing knowledge in a broad range of products and services offered by Deutsche Bank.

When I am not working:

I usually spend my spare time with my family and friends trying new cuisines, going for a picnic or watching a good movie or a play.

Vincent Abrams – Senior Vice President

 

My path to Group Management Consulting:

I joined GMC from a large Australian retail bank, where I worked in an internal consulting team with an almost identical mandate. My work in this role included cost optimisation, operating model re-design, product development and customer experience design projects. Prior to this, I worked at KPMG in their Consulting/Advisory practice where I started my career in 2010. I have a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney.

I joined DB Group Management Consulting because:

I wanted to do impactful project work for a leading financial institution with a global focus.

A typical day at work:

A typical day at work involves progressing the project-at-hand; collaborating as a team to create and iterate project content, engaging a variety of stakeholders across the bank for input, and meeting our project sponsors to share the outcomes of our work.

The most rewarding part of my job:

Seeing the tangible outcomes of all our hard work. Also working with the great team here in NYC!

When I am not working:

Since moving to New York, a lot of my time outside of work is spent exploring the city - there are so many great neighborhoods, restaurants and bars in this place that I am always stumbling across something new. To balance this out, I've started to get back into distance running, which I used to do a lot of in Sydney. I've joined a running group and we are considering the marathon later this year … however on recent form I'm still to be convinced.

What I would like to tell a potential candidate:

If you are looking to work in a high performing team on some challenging and impactful projects, let us know!

Dylann Ephraimson – Analyst
 

Dylann Ephraimson joined Deutsche Bank Group Management Consulting (GMC) 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 Group Management Consulting, her experiences with the team, and what she believes it takes to work at GMC.

What brought you to Deutsche Bank, and Group Management Consulting in particular?

A good friend from university referred me to GMC 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 GMC 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. GMC’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 GMC?

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 GMC 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. 

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Last Update: 31.7.2019
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