2 days in The City to visit different companies and meet with top of the line professionals. The benefits of being part of GEM Finance Society!
Despite Brexit, the call of London for people in finance remains strong. When it comes to business, stock trading and financial operations, The City is still the world’s most powerful financial hub, the stadium where all champions in finance meet to kick their career. 19 members of GEM Finance Society together with 9 Msc Finance students benefited from two days of visits into this stadium. Bloomberg, Fitch Ratings, Lloyds , OEE Consulting and NatWest welcomed our team to enjoy a breath-taking (financial) trip. To get a taste of this atmosphere, read on for a day-by-day journal!
Day 1, February 18th
Fitch ratings, 9 a.m.
In the Canary Wharf area, the second major financial district , there is the headquarter of Fitch ratings, one of the top credit rating agencies in the world. The credit rating agencies help measure the quantitative and qualitative risks of an individual, a corporation, an agency or a sovereign government. They provide investors with a rate, in order to make wiser decisions. Students had the chance to discover the rating criteria thanks to Romain Moulay, manager at Fitch and GEM Alumni, Dominique Edwards, Maria Shishkina and Andrew Shepherd who guided them during the visit. Furthermore, students had a glimpse of what it means to be working at Fitch Solutions, a branch of Fitch Ratings. To conclude the visit, they went over some opportunities for young graduates, such as internships or graduates programs. To sum up: a tour guide rated AAA!
Bloomberg, 2 p.m.
Keep talking about ratings, the afternoon was the time for visiting Bloomberg new headquarters, rated the most sustainable office building in the world and winner of the 2018 Stirling prize. Bloomberg LP opened the door of its impressive new home: the most environmentally friendly office buildings ever conceived, designed by Foster + Partners and worth £1.3bn.
Innovative water, power, lighting and ventilation systems have been settled for the majority of energy savings. Rainwater from the roof is captured, treated and recycled to serve vacuum flush toilets. 18 glass elevators, giving people a window into Bloomberg’s world, link the floor to a 210m helical bronze “ramp”, which dominates the interior of the building. The elevators, beside being a connection between the floors, are a part of a symbolic journey aimed to create a long term path for employees. The glass of the elevators represents transparency, a feature often considered oddly disjointed to finance. A plant “living wall” is installed next to the pantry, where employees can find drinks and snacks at anytime. Furthermore, the seven year construction of the HQ uncovered one of the most valuables Roman archeological found of London, offering to Bloomberg the possibility to open a museum. GEM students had the chance to attend a journey into a pervasive intelligent company catering architecture, technology, wellbeing and sustainability.
Alumni Networking Event, 8.30 p.m.
To end the day, there was a networking opportunity with GEM Alumni over a drink at Hilton Hotel. Students had the chance to talk with GEM graduates working in London, getting a glimpse into the experiences and the challenges on working in top global finance companies. Among the participants: Felix Beckmann, Alessandro Bertino, Victor Carrat, Matthias Daeseleire, Pablo Daurignac, Felipe de Souza Valladao, Sébastien Desseré, Omar Eid, Lancelot Enguehard, Fabio Faltoni, Audrey Limier, Valentin Servel, Stefani Staneva, Valentin Vigouroux and Alessandro Zoli. Special thanks to Lisa Tyshchenko and Nathanael Zobel-Pantalacci for organizing the event.
Day 2, February 19th
For the second day, students have been divided in 2 groups for the following visits:
Lloyds Bank , 8 a.m.
In a co-working space, students have been invited to a presentation hold by the cybersecurity department of Lloyds Banking Group. Lloyds Banking Group is one of the most important banks in UK, with an extensive overseas operations in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The cybersecurity department of the Group brought together a panel of experts to discuss why individuals, businesses, banks and other economic agents need to prepare themselves to manage a cyber-attack and how their response can mean the difference between survival or business failure. Through many examples, the intervenants (Harry Styles, Tim Wozencroft, Aaron Lewis, Paul Branley, Ben Morton and Tom Harrison) showed to students how the cybersecurity risk differs from business risk, enlightening about the lack of awareness of how critical IT systems have become to business.
OEE Consulting , 8 a.m.
The second group of students attended a 2h30 presentation delivered by Mark Palmer, the managing director of OEE Consulting. OEE Consulting is a consulting firm which operates in a wide range of sectors such as banking, education, healthcare, insurance, public sector, travel transport etc. Through a short video on the principles of persuasions, Mark Palmer talked about the skills required in management consulting and how the consulting firms are structured internally and externally. Then, he provided students with an insightful lesson about M&A directly based on its own experience of selling his company in October 2018.
Nat West Markets, 1.30 p.m.
The third visit of the day featured NatWest Markets, a branch of one of the Big Four clearing bank in the UK. Yetunde Abisola, career consultant, Youssef El Acheb, CLO Structuring, Joanna Neuvessel and Patrick Smith, sale specialist welcomed the students through a practical activity. After a short presentation of the Group, students were asked to solve a case study: evaluate the investment for a new terminal in the airport of London, analyze the advantages and drawbacks and take a final successful decision. It has been a great opportunity to understand how to deal with investments which can drastically influence the success (or failure) of a company.
The financial trip has come to an end, it has been an enriching experience for all participants and GEM Finance Society itself. A journey of both professional and personal discovery, with a crucial role to build the future careers and an occasion to think beyond a single function or discipline.
Special thanks to Grégory Benhamou, Georgiana Gonta, Leopold Kroell, Adrian Mattei, Thibault Principaud, Antoine Roustan, Philippe Sicard, Leila Treillard, Nathanael Zobel-Pantalacci, Lisa Tyshchenko, Alexis Giroudeau for the organization; Lisa-Jane Perraud and Jessica Barranco for their support from GEM Career Center.
Rebecca Katerina Gutmann