One of the great aspects of the MBA program is that we have the opportunity to attend various events – such as boardroom talks, meeting consultants, and attending conferences. When I was given the invitation to attend a conference hosted by the Fitch Ratings group, I was excited to listen to experts provide their insight on current relevant topics. This conference represented a chance to go outside the classroom and see how what we learn is applied within the financial industry.
Given the number of people who were invited, Fitch had to hold the conference in a larger location, which made their choice of Sofitel Frankfurt Opera ideal. An hour before the talks officially began there was a networking breakfast where you could relax and meet with people within the industry. As a student, it is a bit natural to feel a bit like an outsider, but fortunately they provided small tables, so you could have discussions with others as you ate your breakfast.
After the breakfast, we were all called into the main conference room as the initial talks began. We started with an overview of the world economy and what to expect in the future. Luckily, we had just finished our course on the business cycle, so it was nice to apply what we had learned there to this speech. Afterwards, there were a number of presentations ranging from collateralized loans to a panel discussing their view on the future state of the economy. I appreciated the chance to listen to experts gave their opinions on various topics – it allows me to try and understand how they come to their conclusions.
Following these talks, we had a small break, so they could prepare the room for the additional speeches. During the break, Fitch provided all participants with their 2018 outlooks on covered bonds, sovereign bonds, their outlook on banking, and so on. Opportunities like this don’t come along so often, so I was more than happy to take the research home to read for later.
Once the break finished, they split the conference room into two – where each room would now speak about different topics. I attended a panel discussing the current regulatory structure and what they expect will happen as additional regulation is rolled out in the future. It was interesting to hear the differing opinions and experiences of the panelists on stage. The conference then concluded with a small lunch, providing another opportunity to network. Overall, it was a great experience to gain insight from the experts in their field and I hope to attend additional functions in the future.