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Vault’s Verdict

How you feel about zeb is likely a function of how you feel about the following statement: it is a firm best known for its financial services work in Germany, Austria and the surrounding Central European nations. If that sounds like your desired area of focus—both geographically and from a career perspective, then there is likely no better firm out there for your needs. zeb's client reputation is excellent, which ensures a steady flow of work, and provides plenty of incentive for its existing cast of strong performers to stay around. All of which adds up to a firm that can provide newer consultants with a strong platform on which to learn and build their careers. 

Firm Culture 

  • "Cool company but you also have to be tough to stay here."

  • "Deep knowledge of the financial services industry, regarding all aspects of the business; from thought to action."

  • "Great management consultancy to work for when being in DACH Region and being interested in Financial Services."

  • "If you want to be successful in financial services this is the best place to accelerate your career."

  • "If you want to go for management consultancy, but do not want to be only a small part in a huge consulting world, then zeb is your choice. It feels much more like a start-up (especially in offices outside of Germany). You have freedom of actions, you are made responsible from the first day—and this is a good thing."

  • "Outstanding firm culture and interesting international growth opportunities." 

Career Development

  • "I find it very useful all the internal meetings we have to promote integration amongst the offices and to promote the sharing of business insights.'

  • "Openly communicated processes for promotion. Everybody knows how it works and what [is necessary] to be promoted. Advanced training is available, but budgets are very limited."

  • "Positive: Clear career path and transparent evaluation process; Wide range of internal and external training opportunities.

    Negative: Few opportunities outside of Europe, but rapidly improving."

  • "Promotion is only merit-based, which I find amazing. We are encouraged to stay and grow (no up-or-down/elbowing culture) which creates a great working environment and corporate culture within the firm."

  • "The internal mentoring program is great. Everyone has his own mentor—a so-called career development counselor."

  • "There is actually no up or out but rather a stay and grow mentality, which allows me to adapt my work to my family situation and thus builds up my loyalty to zeb." 

Quality of Life 

  • "It is a consultancy and therefore is neither a 9 to 5 job nor very easy to manage personally."

  • "Best: You can do home office whenever possible (when not at client's side); in comparison to other management consultancies [we have] really low working hours; great culture with really helpful and open-minded colleagues.

    Worst: you can have multiple projects which requires a lot of travel (Europe-wide)."

  • "Internal responsibilities are made as fun and comfortable as possible: our practice group meetings are at cool locations Europe-wide and involve a lot of leisure activities and freedom. I love the feeling of responsibility to drive my own schedule and agenda."

  • "Special aspects of work/life balance offers (e.g. free child-care, support in different life situations) are as of now only available in Germany, where the headquarters of zeb is located, which is very disappointing for non-Germans."

  • "Time requirements may be challenging sometimes, but I like the freedom to decide (most of the time) where or when I have to work. Of course, too much workload means I am only able to choose 'where.'"

  • "Very easy to apply for a sabbatical." 

Outlook 

  • "Best: Brexit could generate a lot of projects; No. 1 FS consultancy in Germany; industry needs a lot of advice especially regarding compliance/regulatory issues. Worst: Brexit."

  • "Best: Good project and staffing pipeline, existing strategy for the next three years, ongoing internalization. Worst: Management is sometimes too risk averse."

  • "Our internationalisation efforts are delivering early results which are far above expectations. We have strong project pipelines on all new office locations and our recruiting campaigns are effective."

  • "Trying to be big but remains a company with little international awareness." 

Compensation 

  • "A detailed overview of the perks are not included in the onboarding, therefore it is not obvious what the company offers."

  • "Private use of company car (albeit taxed), laptop, mobile phone."

  • "Very transparent compensation package—you know what you get." 

Hiring Process 

  • "Callback process: The three interviewers discuss their views, fill in some forms and rank the candidate. If the candidate reaches a certain threshold of points, he/she gets an offer (min. of 2x "yes" and one neutral vote). The next day the Partner who did the last interview calls the candidate."

  • "Ideal candidate: Young, analytical, good fit to our culture (not arrogant or 'over-competitive'), strategic and entrepreneurial mindset."

  • "HR did an outstanding job planning, calling back and, eventually, onboarding. Effective and smooth."

Interview Tips & Questions 

  • "Candidates have to solve various tasks to check their abilities. For example, they have to explain how distribution margins for bank accounts are calculated, if they apply for a financial controlling job."

  • "Case study, brain teaser."

  • "How do you address a low interest market environment if you want to increase profitability?"

  • "What are typical IT transformation requirements financial services clients face at the moment?"

  • "How many smarties can fit into a VW van?"

zeb

Hammer Straße 165
Münster 48153
Phone: +49.251.97128.333

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
President & CEO: Prof. Dr. Stefan Kirmße
2015 Employees (All Locations): 950

Major Office Locations

15 offices in 13 countries

Major Departments & Practices

Strategy & Organization

Finance & Risk

IT