Senior Partner at Oliver Wyman
Elie Farah is a Senior Partner at Oliver Wyman, a strategy consulting firm; he specializes in Financial Services with a focus on Corporate and Institutional Banking. Elie holds an engineering degree and an MBA from ESCP and has been teaching the “Financial Institutions Strategy” course at HEC MIF since 2010.
- The structure of the course you teach in the program is somewhat unusual. Can you tell us more about it?
When I structured the course, I had two objectives in mind: The first is to ensure that MIF students get the best possible grasp of the challenges facing Financial Institutions as they adapt to the new post-crisis environment - to do that we use real life case studies of Universal banks, Insurers, Investment banks adjusting their strategy in the context of moving regulatory and competitive environment and constrained resources.
The second objective is to help students develop and strengthen their synthesis, verbal and written communication skills as if they were consultants – to do that we organize the work around teams and each team has multiple opportunities to present and defend the result of its work. At the last session we hold “heated” debates around topics (re)shaping the financial services industry today
- You have worked a lot on the transformation of the banking industry during and after the crisis. What are your views for the years to come?
The transformation of the industry is not finished and the freedom to operate of banks is more constrained than ever. The banks have to deal with a unique optimization puzzle that spans liquidity, capital, leverage as well as operational gearing and areas where they have competitive edge; this is make it a very challenging but also very interesting times for the industry and those who work in it.
- In your opinion, what is the value added of attending a master of finance for a student keen on working in consulting?
Clients who are looking for advice clearly see the value of specialization; Oliver Wyman was one of the first firms that specialized its teams, moving away from the generalist model. Attending a Masters of Finance is a clear asset for consulting candidates looking for a fast track career in Financial Services consulting for example.