Travel journal of a financial trip: Paris

28 Msc Finance students met and exchanged with major companies during an insightful trip to Paris

Coty, BPCE Group and Eight Advisory. These are the companies  which opened the doors to 28 Msc Finance students, on January 28th-29th. Ranked 16th worldwide in the Financial Times, from the Msc Finance course come out graduates with a further knowledge of finance in academic and professional terms.  To boost the professional dimension of the program, students attended several events (meetings, conferences and network evenings) in order to better understand which job opportunities in finance are available in Paris. We followed them during these two days, to provide a travel journal with some insights of the trip.

day 1, January 28th 

Visit of the Groupe BPCE, 1p.m.

The study trip started with few meetings at the headquarter of Groupe BPCE, where GEM students  had the opportunity to learn more about the company, to attend a set of conferences on digital banking and blockchain and to conclude with some recruitment interviews.

With more than 8200 branches nationwide, serving nearly 31 million customers, Groupe BPCE is the second largest banking group of France. Its subsidiaires include Banque Populaire, Caisse d’Epargne, Natixis, Crédit Foncier, Banque Palatine etc..

Accompanied by Domonique Mondoulet, from GEM corporate department, the students had the occasion to learn more about the digitalization of the banking sector. Stéphane Hannache, the head of digital Ecosystem Partnership clarified the values of the group to the students, highlighting its rapid expansion.  Pierre-Philippe Cormeraie, the chief Evangelist Officer, delineated the key of success of the group: a combining model between diversity of subsidiaries and the respect of customers’ privacy,an essential point when it comes to digital transformation. Frédéric Dalibard, Digital Head at Natixis CIB and Blockchain Global Coordinator, highlighted the importance of blockchain in the finance system and Pierre Lebars, project assistant on the We Trade project, informed the students about its use. Last, but not the least, the students had the chance to meet a GEM alumni, Pierre Grégoire, bank inspector for the group, who talked about his job at Inspection Générale, a program where young graduates can discover many aspects of the banks and gain new knowledge over different areas such as payment, health insurance, asset management, market activities or retail banking.

Alumni Networking event, 7 p.m.

By the end of the day, students had a networking meeting with GEM Alumni. It was an insightful exchange between the current Msc Finance students and Msc Finance past graduates. This event has been a great opportunity to involve graduates into the school activity and for students it was the occasion to discover possible opportunities for their future. The right event for understanding the challenges, the right professional dimension to follow and which company choose for the future. 0.jpegAmong the participants: Allen Barrak, senior consultant in the banking sector; Cesar Cantu, controller at Société Générale; Benjamin Foret, senior banker at BNP; Vincent Jusselin, sale ETF assistant at BNP; Camille Verwaerde, analyst at Pwc; Mohammed Amor, team manager at Natixis; Yasmine Fakir, analyst at Citi; Mehdi Boukhalkhal, financial consultant at Deloitte;  Hicham Aissi and Luis Gustavo Lafosse, financial analysts; Philippe Millot, consultant at Sia partners and Camille Paranque, asset manager for the Coface. Special thanks to Lisa Tyshchenko for the work in organizing this event.

day 2, January 29th

 Visit of Eight Advisory, 8.45 a.m.

 For the second day of the study trip, students have been invited to visit the headquarters of Eight Advisory. Eight Advisory is a financial and operations consulting company, founded in 2009. The company provides transaction, restructuring and transformation services to firms. With 8 international subsidiaries at different parts of the world, the company has today 39 partners worldwide.

Xavier Bailly and Arthur Brule,  Restructuring; Maxime Goerens, Transactional Services; Andrea Rusca and Thibault Lorin, Analysts interacted with the students through conferences and presentations all along the morning. Students were introduced for the first time with Financial Restructuring, the process to correct and implement a firm’s financial strategy. Various case studies have been presented to students. The employees highlighted the importance of data treatment as an essential stage to interact with clients on a large scale. Students had also the chance to discover all the internship and job opportunities of the company, as well as its growth achievements. Eight Advisory, already present in France and UK, has started targeting US; the opening of a subsidiary in North America is one of the company’s next goals.

A meeting with COTY, 4.30 p.m.

Learning more about the opportunities in a non-financial company has been the last step of this financial tour in Paris. Hanna Sianko, Luxury Brand Finance Director, and David Jutteau, Senior Financial Analyst have been welcomed at the Paris campus of Grenoble École de Management.  There, Msc finance students had the chance to discover Coty, the third biggest beauty company in the world.  Coty, with 9 billion dollars net revenues in 2018 and 77 brands, develops, manufactures and distributes fragrances, cosmetics, skin care, nail care, and both professional and retail hair care products. It owns some well-known brands such as Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Lacoste. Its beauty sector is organized in three activities: COTY luxury, COTY consumer beauty and COTY professional beauty.

After a presentation of the company and its financial opportunities, participants were involved into an interactive workshop, aimed to create a strategic portfolio perfumes. The intent was to develop optimal financial strategies with short and long term goals. Moreover the students had the opportunity to work on productions costs and margins. The workshop has been a great opportunity to show students their skills in maintaining and using brand equity to support new launches.

The variety of these events has allowed 28 MSc students to benefit from their predecessors’ experience. In addition, they have acquired knowledge about all the activities on the financial sector. Now they should have a wider vision of the field and a being better oriented for their future career!


Rebecca Katerina Gutmann

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