Busy times here at Frankfurt School! I haven’t been able to write a blog post for a while, as classes in the second semester got under way and final exam week approached faster than anyone could expect. Now, after the dust has settled and exams are over (at least for time being), I want to share the great experience we had at this year’s CFA Institute’s 68th Annual Conference.
For those of you who do not know, the CFA Institute organizes a conference each year, usually rotating from continent to continent, where they gather, according to their own website, as many as 1,800 delegates from 70 different countries. Last year, the conference took place in Seattle, in the State of Washington. This year, luckily for us, it was held in Frankfurt!
Why do we care? Well, as the conference gathers the best and the brightest minds in the investment industry in one place, not only is it a great opportunity to learn the newest trends in the investment world, but also a great place for students to network with financial professionals from all over the world. As Frankfurt School Students, we were delighted to have been given the chance to participate in the CFA Delegate and University Student Networking Reception, which took place on April 26th at 1pm at the Congress Center Messe here in Frankfurt.
As we entered the Congress Center, all suited up and feeling important, we received our badges and made our way to the networking event, where we were welcomed with some great food and drinks. Keep in mind this was on a Sunday afternoon, one week before exams started, so all we could afford to drink was coffee and water. As we waited for the event to start, some of the geeks in the group took the time indulge themselves in a very geeky manner and purchased some investment books that were for sale at the event. It’s tough to compete with these guys!
At the start of the event, the Managing Director of the CFA Society Germany, Mrs. Susan Spinner, CFA explained a bit about the CFA Society in Germany, the events they offer (which they encourage students to participate in, by the way), as well as the importance of ethical standards and how we, as the future of the financial services industry, have the duty to always keep clients’ interests before our own, and the interests of our firms. It is widely known that all 3 levels of the CFA designation put a high premium on understanding the CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. In light of all the banking scandals in the last decade, this topic seems to be more important than ever.
Anyway, back to networking! After the initial speech, we were able to approach Career Services professionals of the CFA Institute, and ask them as many questions as we liked, such as trends in the job market for financial professionals, as well as inquire about the most relevant skills necessary succeed in this competitive field. It turns out being part of the Masters of Finance program at Frankfurt School already opens many doors for us. At the end of the day, this is truly what matters, since we wouldn’t otherwise be investing 2 years of our lives in it.
Finally, as the event came to an end, we were allowed to stroll around the conference hall and participate in all the activities scheduled until the end of the day, which included book signings with authors such as by John Coates, author of The Hour between Dog and Wolf: How Risk Taking Transforms Us, Body and Mind. There were also many interesting topics being discussed. The presentation that interested me the most was An Introduction to Neuroeconomics and Its Impact on Financial Decision Making, which focused on irrational behaviour by market participants, behavioural finance, and how to overcome our own biases in making better financial decisions.
I hope I was able to give you a good view of what happened during the conference. Check back soon for some new interesting blog posts to come in the future.