Name Liam Tjong-A-Tjoe
Based in Amsterdam
Job title and business area Analyst
Year joined Lazard 2008
Year attended the International Banking Cycle   2007


Participating in the International Banking Cycle gives students the opportunity to meet prominent international banks who's aggregate track record accounts for the vast majority of deals being done worldwide. For this reason I applied for the IBC 2007 and was glad to be invited to participate in several workshops.

While the general presentations are accessible for all students and already provide a great introduction to banking, the workshops provide you with a first hand experience of how M&A works and offer the opportunity to meet and learn from bankers. During the workshop, you work on a variety of tasks including valuations, presentations and negotiations, which allow you to gain a better insight in a typical M&A process. I found that the banks had put a lot of effort in preparing the events, which showed that the IBC was just as important to them as it was to me.

The day is concluded with drinks, which offers the right opportunity to socialize with the bankers and to get a feel whether there is a 'fit' with the people of a specific bank. In general this fit is regarded as crucial and I can already concur from my experience as an Analyst that an excellent working relation with your team is essential for success. Furthermore, the informal atmosphere offers the perfect opportunity to ask any final burning questions.

If I wasn't already sure of my goal to work in M&A before the IBC, I certainly was thereafter. For this reason I decided to interview with several banks, which resulted in the opportunity to join Lazard in their Amsterdam office. After completing my studies, I started working there in May 2008.

While expectations were already high, this job has managed to beat them. From the moment I sat down behind my desk I was involved in everything that you can imagine being necessary to complete a transaction. Besides classic analyst work such as drafting presentations, performing market studies and doing valuation exercises, the work also offers the opportunity to engage actively with clients, lawyers and other advisors. Opportunities like these represent the challenging environment that I was initially looking for. 

Working in M&A is demanding and not for the faint hearted. However, if you have a genuine interest in the fast moving world of corporate finance and financial markets and a healthy ambition to succeed, the IBC 2010 might be the ideal event to get acquainted with your future.