Monday, December 1, 2008

What are League Tables?

As we have discussed in the past, when interviewing with an investment bank you should be prepared to answer the question: Why this bank?

There are several elements to answering this questions effectively. You will definitely want to talk about the "Culture" of the bank. This is when you tell your interviewers what their perspective of the institution is. Speak with analysts at the bank to get an understanding of this.

Another possible element is the "People." This is where you rub the interviewers back and tell them how great they are. "The people I've interacted with the firm have been . . . .". If you mention individuals names, you sound more sincere.

Finally, to our topic, you will want to highlight the bank's performance or "Strengths." Using league tables to discuss this subject gives you the physical data and makes you sound highly informed on trends in the industry.

League tables are published every quarter by Thompson Reuters and can be found here.

Take some time and acquaint yourself with this resource; the more familiar you are with these, the more informed you'll sound.

If you're interviewing with a bulge bracket investment bank, you'll want to look through the most recent debt and equity tables as well as the global M&A. Look for trends and highlights. Maybe the bank is a middle of the road M&A shop but is particularly strong in Asia Pacific M&A. Maybe your bank is traditionally an equities shop but has a real and growing presence in Latin America debt offerings. If you can find a way to mention your source when talking about the bank's strengths your arguments will sound solidly based.