Philipp, our Frankfurt School Student Philipp, our Frankfurt School Student



„Number Cruncher“

Interview with a working student in the Strategic Asset Finance department at Commerzbank - about experiences, motivation and his time in investment banking

Curriculum Vitae

  • Apprenticeship “Bankkaufmann” at Hamburger Sparkasse
  • Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
  • Start in SAF 3/2015 as „Number Cruncher“ / Financial Modeller
  • Bachelor’s degree 2/2018
  • US-Investmentbank as of 5/2018 (assistant of the German CEO)

A tailored solution for every financial need: Strategic Asset Finance (SAF) is the central unit at Commerzbank that provides advisory and financial services for complex and tailor-made financing solutions – from first financing discussions with clients to financial close and repayment. The department focuses on Energy & Utility, Aircraft Finance, Transport; Industry and infrastructure sectors.

The SAF-Monitoring Group assumes responsibility for the financings of the department after financial close and handles it until repayment. Dr. Droste, Head of SAF-Monitoring Group: “Thanks to the variety of our projects, interns are able to gain an excellent introduction to complex financing in investment banking. They become an integral part of the work process and have to handle rating reviews, cashflow modelling, market and technical advisor reviews, provide annual reports for the credit department and handle waiver requests.”

How did Philipp Weiss experience his time as a Commerzbank working student? We spoke with him about his placement in the Strategic Asset Finance department:

What advice can you give students who haven‘t been a working student before?

  • Before joining Commerzbank, I had already completed an apprenticeship in the banking sector and worked also with corporate clients. It is very helpful to familiarize with the tasks of a department before you apply for an internship. The more information you have, the better your chances are of finding adequate working student positions and convincing the employer to hire you.

What motivated you to apply for a working student position at Commerzbank?

  • During my apprenticeship I developed a strong interest to learn more about advanced financial solutions. I realized that cash flow modelling could be a great door opener to this area. As the curriculum of Frankfurt School puts a strong emphasis on corporate finance and accounting, I was looking for a position that offers strong synergy effects from learning at university and applying this knowledge right away at the workplace. Further, the financial support for study fees was a strong argument for applying at Commerzbank.

What were the main learning experiences you had during your time in the Strategic Asset Finance department?

  • On the one hand, I enhanced my analytical skills a lot, inter alia through cash flow modeling, rating analysis and the structured approach of the department. Both, my work with the origination team and with the monitoring team increased my know-how about business and deals in general. I also learned that there is a substantial difference between theory and practice. Even if you have a solid theoretical background in finance, it is a challenge to apply it in concrete practical situations. As a working student, I was involved in all stages of financings. My know how in financial modeling helped me to become quickly an integral part of the project team.

What would you say your successor can look forward to in this particular internship?

  • It is a great opportunity to evolve in a very demanding work environment broadly open to the economy. The team deals with broad sectors such as energy and utilities, media and telecommunication and even aviation. Working students are involved in all stages of transactions from the origination phase until repayment. Teamwork is another essential dimension of this position. You will meet and work with a range of people from diverse backgrounds.

Thank you for the interview, Philipp!

Would you also like to explore the world of investment banking at Commerzbank for yourself? Then follow in Philipp footsteps and apply for a working student position in the Strategic Asset Finance department



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