Working at RBB

Staff insights

Staff insights

Working at RBB

Staff insights

Simon Bishop, Founder, London Office

‘RBB Economics is a firm of economists, founded by economists and run by economists. As such, we seek to apply sound economic principles to how the firm is run.’

We provide a non-hierarchical and meritocratic environment. In addition to improving their practical economic skills, our economists are quickly given responsibility to help them attain important client facing skills.

These firm principles have allowed us to build one of the intellectually strongest teams of competition economists in the world, one that has unparalleled experience of advising on many of the most important and complex matters.

Bojana Ignjatovic, Partner, London Office

“At RBB it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from; it’s your calibre and the quality of your work that counts. There are no restrictions on how fast you can progress within the firm.”

Bojana joined RBB Economics from the Office of Fair Trading in 2007. Entering the company as Senior Associate, she progressed to Principal and then to her present role of Partner.

“As a Partner, I’m responsible for running cases and bringing in new client work. I liaise with law firms, act as project director and work with the team internally to define priorities and manage workloads.

The variety of the work is amazing; there are no silos here, we all work across different sectors, markets, offices and areas of expertise. And you’re encouraged to pursue the projects and jurisdictions you’re passionate about. For example, I’m from the former Yugoslavia, so I’ve been working to build knowledge networks in my home countries and create new avenues of work there for RBB. It’s a very rewarding process.

My advice to anyone thinking of entering the field, particularly young ambitious women, is that the opportunities are limitless, as long as you have confidence in yourself. RBB provides an open and enabling professional environment with multiple routes for progression, so you can shape your own career path and future.”

Callie Shenker, Associate, London Office

“After my Masters, I seized the opportunity to launch my career at the RBB office in London instead of returning to my home town in South Africa.”

Callie joined RBB after completing her post-graduate studies at Cambridge University.

“Following a Masters in economics that was fairly broad in scope, I really wanted to start my career at a specialist firm – which is why I chose RBB. I especially liked the idea of engaging with the practical application of economic theory in a niche field. RBB allowed me achieve a balance between refining both the quantitative and qualitative skills I’d learnt at university – it was a great first step after years of study.
Working on two or three cases at a time, juggling data and client requests, can be both intense and exhilarating. You’re exposed to a range of industries and the work never gets boring or repetitive. And the more you put in, the more you get out. If you want to take on more casework and responsibility, you can. Further, it’s a work-hard-play-hard culture; we maintain the utmost professionalism and dedication with our casework, but we do so in a fun, social and informal environment. It’s a really great place to be.”

Esther Goreichy, Associate, Brussels Office

“I’d heard a lot about RBB, but it was when I read one of their reports that I realised this was the place I wanted to be. I was struck by the specialist focus and intellectual rigour of their work, and decided to apply for a short term contract.”

Previously employed at the French Competition Authority, Esther completed a six-month contract with RBB before taking up a permanent position in the Brussels office.

“From day one my colleagues at RBB were really trusting and supportive. I was thrown into casework, given responsibility and direct access to clients – but there was always someone there to provide support and advice if I needed it. It’s also not at all hierarchical, so I was able to work with colleagues from all areas of the firm – it’s a really great way to learn, enabling you to benefit from shared ideas, perspectives and areas of expertise.

Once my contract was complete, I didn’t hesitate to accept a fulltime position. I love the pace and quality of life in Brussels, but it’s great to be able to interact with colleagues across the business in different countries and cities; in fact, the opportunities for travel and relocation are very exciting.

I’d definitely recommend RBB to potential intern candidates. The scope for personal and professional development is huge, and the exposure to hands-on client work and the collaborative, collegiate ethos is really inspiring. If you want an accelerated learning experience in a specialist and rigorous environment, this is the place for you.”

Joan de Solà-Morales, Senior Associate, Brussels Office

“For someone interested in competition economics, RBB Economics is the place to be. Since joining, I’ve worked across many different sectors and advised before the European Commission and other competition authorities. Here you have the opportunity to get involved in interesting, high-profile cases from the beginning – the only limitations you’ll encounter are those you set yourself.”

Joan joined RBB Economics in 2011, having previously worked for the economics-focused think tank Bruegel.

“At RBB Economics, career development can be very swift. From the start, you’re directly involved in discussions with partners, clients and lawyers. Gaining such valuable early exposure certainly accelerates your learning. The firm’s flat structure also means you work with colleagues at all levels.

When I started, I focused more on data analysis and commentary. Now I manage the day-to-day development of cases, write reports and maintain regular contact with clients and lawyers. There’s enough flexibility to carve out your own direction and focus on the areas you’re interested in, while receiving senior colleagues’ guidance on the path they think you should follow.

I particularly enjoy that there’s no such thing as a typical day here. The sectors we work in change constantly, so no matter how senior you are you’ll always be challenged intellectually. In my experience, working with motivated people in an ambitious, flexible and friendly environment is what makes RBB Economics such a rewarding place to work.”

Enrique Canizares, Partner, Madrid Office

“RBB’s reputation for specialism and excellence was of course a major draw for me. But it was the challenge of starting up a new operation and helping to build the firm’s presence in the domestic Spanish market that I found really exciting.”

Recruited from a competitor firm in 2013, Enrique set up and now runs the RBB office in Madrid.

“I always wanted to work for a specialist firm, and RBB are exactly that. I’d been at a larger competitor company, but they lacked that sharp niche focus. RBB are the leaders in their field, the very best at what they do, and I really wanted to be part of that.

The opportunity to help a firm like RBB establish its reputation in Spain was also very attractive. It’s a good time to be entering the Spanish market, which is starting to recover and show real growth potential. Focusing on domestic clients, I’ve been building up the RBB offer here, integrating my past experience with the insight and knowledge of my RBB colleagues.

We now have an established local team in Madrid, and we get a lot of support from the other RBB offices as we operate on a European and worldwide level. Partners from across the firm have come over to attend roadshows and conferences to help establish our presence here. It’s this level of seamless collaboration which really makes a difference; the ability to share expertise and competencies across borders has helped us to develop a really powerful proposition in Spain.”

Prerna Aswani, Associate, London Office

“The transition from university to working life can be daunting. But the informal, inclusive and supportive environment at RBB has really smoothed the process. There’s a lot of academic thinking and intellectual dynamism here, as well as a strong commitment to learning and development which, for a recent graduate, feels very familiar.”

Prerna joined RBB Economics in September 2014, straight after leaving university.

“The developmental support I’ve received since joining RBB has been fantastic. There’s no rigid training structure, it’s more about learning as you go. You’re thrown into it, and through immersion in casework and hands-on experience you learn more than you would in any lecture hall or seminar room.
Colleagues are always there to provide help and guidance when you need it, but otherwise you’re given a lot of space. You can also shape your own career pathway; if you want to specialise in the theoretical aspects, for example, you can. And the firm is always very responsive in accommodating individuals’ interests and needs.

Since I started I’ve been involved in a number of cases – pharmaceuticals one day, telecoms the next. Gaining insights into so many diverse sectors is hugely valuable, and the independence and responsibility I’ve been given has been really empowering. Indeed, the freedom and range you’re exposed to really enables you to define your areas of interest and shape your future direction.”

Rodney Armstrong, Associate, Melbourne Office

“My international transfer from Johannesburg to Melbourne has been a great learning opportunity. As Australia’s competition authorities operate differently to South Africa’s, I’ve had to evolve my analytical skills to match the requirements of the new clients and authorities. Being able to compare two different jurisdictions has also enhanced my economic thinking.”  

Rodney worked in the Johannesburg office for several years and completed a firm-sponsored Master’s degree in Barcelona before moving to Australia in 2013.

“RBB was receptive to my desire to move abroad and gain international experience. Once I’d expressed my interest, they made it happen. The opportunity and support to develop, both professionally and educationally, is something I particularly value about working here.

Every day is different, which I really enjoy. One minute you could be working on an expert witness report, the next a theoretical paper for a completely different industry. This diversity has certainly accelerated my learning – as has exposure to Australian competition law and the different set of complexities it offers.

Over time my role has changed from conducting analysis to developing economic arguments. Being able to really explore and contribute to the arguments that determine cases is especially rewarding. We have a strong culture of sharing expertise throughout RBB, and our biennial, firm-wide gathering makes establishing these international relationships a seamless process.”

Tania van den Brande, Principal, London Office

“I’d collaborated previously with a number of leading international law firms, so when a secondment opportunity arose I was pleased to accept it. Experiencing the legal side of competition economics has been invaluable – helping me understand how better to assist my legal counterparts. I also learnt to translate complex economic concepts to non-economists, which is a key element of our daily job.”

Tania joined RBB straight from university in 2008. Since then she progressed to Principal and recently undertook a three-month secondment to a large international law firm.

“At RBB you’re exposed to different types of industries and economic questions throughout your career, and I enjoy that diversity. The firm also promotes entrepreneurialism and a flexible approach to development; although we are not specialised within the firm, RBB provides the opportunity to develop expertise in specific areas of the job that you may be particularly interested in.

Applying theoretical models of microeconomics to real-life scenarios is what makes a career as a competition economist both challenging and interesting. In addition, the varied case work creates opportunities to explore different working environments and perspectives, which provide a great learning experience and feed into my analysis – and the travel opportunities are also enjoyable. During my career, my role has evolved from conducting analysis to guiding it, and now determining case strategy.

The London office is one of our largest and provides exposure to a wide range of cases and staff, which promotes learning. It’s also great to work in an environment with colleagues who are always ready for an intelligent conversation about economics – or anything, in fact.”

Yan Yu, Principal, Melbourne Office

“Following my international transfer from London to Melbourne, I’ve been helping RBB explore emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region. In China, it’s all about developing the market for competition economists and establishing RBB’s reputation and prospects in the market. To be given the responsibility and trust to break new ground overseas, has been really challenging and exciting.”

Yan worked in the London office for several years before moving to Australia in 2008.

“Once I’d expressed a desire to move abroad, the firm was quick to approve my transfer, which is something that might not happen in a larger organisation. In fact, the move was seen as a great opportunity for RBB to tap into China and other Asian markets, and I was given the green light to help set up a new office in Melbourne.

The firm was hugely supportive during the transition, and we quickly recruited a local Partner and began to establish ourselves in the region. Of course, I continue to work closely with my colleagues in other offices around the world, following RBB’s integrated model whereby we all collaborate across projects and time zones.

Such a major relocation definitely has its challenges, but overall it has been a really valuable experience. The chance to gain exposure to new overseas clients, authorities and jurisdictions has been beneficial in terms of my professional development. I particularly like the scope and complexity of the work out here, and the idea that we’re expanding into new markets with long-term future potential is very satisfying indeed.”