Casper Speelman

Based in


Job title and business area

Analyst, Generalist

Year joined Lazard


Year attended the International Banking Cycle



As is the case for many bankers in the Netherlands, my way into investment banking started with the International Banking Cycle (“IBC”). At the time of applying, I was in the same position that many of you reading this are likely in right now. I was a student with a keen interest in finance who wanted to learn more about the career prospects in the exciting world of banking. I decided to participate in the IBC in 2021 and can, looking back now, say that it was one of the best career moves that I have made to date. Through the IBC I was able to familiarize myself with some of the most renowned investment banks in the Netherlands and gain an understanding of their similarities and differences. Moreover, through the IBC I was able to land an internship and, eventually, my analyst position.

What I found great about the IBC is that its workshops provide you great insight into how M&A processes work and offer you the opportunity to meet with and learn from bankers. In a relative short amount of time, you are able to get a sense of what the banking profession is all about and how different banks are unique in terms of the services they provide and their culture.

Out of all workshops I attended, I found myself being most drawn to the Lazard bankers. Across the board, I found them to be down to earth, diligent, sociable and extremely passionate about their work. The team radiated a relaxed atmosphere, more so than other banks, and everybody really seemed to be in tune with each other.

After the IBC, I got offered the opportunity to interview at Lazard for an internship position. I successfully completed the interview rounds and, a few months later, joined the Amsterdam office as an intern in the Benelux team. The Lazard bankers were welcoming, and I immediately felt valued and respected. Before I knew it, I received real responsibilities and got to experience the comradery of working in close-knit deal teams. I was very surprised at the diversity of work which I got to help on. Far from offering just plain-vanilla M&A advisory, the Lazard Benelux team is generalist and covers multiple sectors and products within the Benelux region. This means that interns gain exposure not only to different types of industries but to different types of banking services as well. During my internship I got to, apart from ‘classic’ sell-side and buy-side M&A deals, work on a fairness opinion, a public-to-private transaction and an acquisition defense plan. I can safely say that during my whole internship, no two days were the same!

Besides the content of the work, I was also pleasantly surprised by Lazard’s flat organization. Whereas banks are sometimes known for their hierarchal organizational structure, I experienced absolutely none of this during my internship. At Lazard, as an intern you will not only work together with Analysts and Associates, but at times also with Vice Presidents, Directors and sometimes even Managing Directors. This is a great experience and really pushes to take ownership of your work and step up your game.

So, if you are interested in banking and want to learn more about the different career opportunities that lay ahead of you, I can fully recommend that you apply for the IBC. I would suggest visiting as many workshops as possible and see which bank appeals to you the most. At this stage in your career, it is important to gain an understanding of where your interests lie and what you’re looking for in an employer. The best way to figure this out is by speaking to as many people from the industry as you can.

Good luck with your application and hopefully we’ll meet at the Lazard workshop!