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Home  > Insider profile
Bob Bergman
Investment Banker

"Investment banks have different strengths and different weaknesses in certain areas. Try to decide where you'd like to be based on that and then see if the people you meet and the culture of the firm are a good fit for you."

What have been the most defining moments along your career path?

The reason why I went into banking is because I decided I wanted to defer Med school. I didn't know what investment banking was - you know I asked some of my friends that were kind of hard core Wharton people and they kind of told me and I decided, "okay maybe I'll try that." I wasn't like someone who really wanted to do it and had been focusing on getting there.

How did you get your big breaks?

As a Wharton undergraduate studying finance - all the investment banks come to campus and I just kind of hopped onto a couple interview lists. It was just really easy to do.

What was the best advice you received when you were first starting out in your career?

Understanding that investment banks have different strengths and different weaknesses in certain areas. Try to decide where you'd like to be based on that and then see if the people you meet and the culture of the firm are a good fit for you.

What have you learned from your experience?

Investment bank, and I've learned this more as I got into the industry, has a distinct reputation. Goldman is kind of the white-shoe firm: the IBM of the banking community - wear white shirts, very smart, just very well organized, very big clients, not very entrepreneurial. Morgan - a little bit more entrepreneurial, international abilities and focus, but also a little bit more of - it seemed more like a fraternity in that it had a lot of people that felt very strongly that it was the best place to be. Across the board very smart people. In my perception it was a bit more entrepreneurial than Goldman, but not nearly as entrepreneurial as DLJ. It was at that time, much smaller when I joined DLJ in 1988 - only about 120 people in its banking firms. So it was smaller and much more entrepreneurial, I felt that I could advance much more quickly and I just felt more comfortable with the people.

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