The Finance Networking event is a great way to prepare oneself for the Finance Forum which HEC Paris organises each year. It is open to students from all pre-experience study programs and allows them to speak with graduates who are currently working in large financial institutions to learn more about the issues specific to each sector of Finance.
The students also have the opportunity to meet multiple businesses who are present at this event again at the Finance Forum which is taking place two weeks later.
We met three graduates whose businesses took part in these events. These alumni revisit the reasons behind their presence at these events and tell us about their intentions of recruiting from school’s hotbed of talent. They also comment on the role played by the HEC alumni network.
François-Xavier Mauron (MiM Grande Ecole, International Finance specialization,Class of 2000), Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners
After four years in the M&A department of KPMG London, François-Xavier Mauron a 2001 MiM graduate, moved towards a career in Private Equity. He started off working for the Activa Capital Fund in London, and then in 2010 for Edmond Rotschild Investments Partners in Paris.
“In order to understand the different fields of finance, both corporate and market-level, it is important to speak with professionals. Meetings with both young graduates and more experienced individuals allow them to properly understand the potential career development opportunities that exist in this sector.
It is this passing-on of experience to the students that is really the key benefit of this type of event. It is interesting to see the students growing in their understanding of the world of finance though the type of questions that they ask, and – more widely – in the way in which they predict their future career path.
I notice that HEC students, whether they’re French or International, are more and more professionalized and prepared for the world of work. The career events organized by the School play a strong role in this exposure to the possible professional fields that exist.
We are also seeing more and more candidates asking us about topics that my generation would have never dared to broach, such as the meaning that we give to our work.”
The strength of the alumni network
François-Xavier Mauron is heavily involved in the HEC alumni network, such as in the private equity and investment banking section of the alumni association.
“The Investment Banking and Private Equity section of the HEC alumni network is very powerful and perfectly structured. We represent the main alumni community in the Private Equity and Investment Banking industry. In terms of events, each year we organize a Private Equity event; an unmissable event for the industry which attracts both the HEC community but also many professionals from the sector itself. We also organize several events and conferences abroad, notably in London, where our alumni professional club, with the support of the manager of the HEC office in London Marguerite Gallant, is very active. These are, above all, the group of alumni present in all of the businesses and Investment Funds which keep this network going by consistently and actively attending our events.”
Ines Ouansafi, Barclays Capital (MiM Grande Ecole, International Finance specialization, Class of 2012)
Ines Ouansafi who graduated from the International Finance specialization in 2012, works in capital markets for Barclays Capital in London. After some internships, in Structured Products at BNP Paribas and in Private Equity at Axa, she landed a summer internship at Barclays bank. This pivotal last internship allowed her to get recruited into Barclays’ capital markets division. For the last 4 years, she has been in the role of AVP - Interest Rate Sales; her activity mainly lies in the sale of derivatives to hedge fund clients.
She works extensively with trading, structuring and research teams. She is a regular at the forum given that this will be the fourth consecutive year that she has returned for the event.
The technical and financial background of students
“First of all, we have a strong HEC alumni network at the Barclays Paris office and we recruit lots of HEC students, notably into our investment banking division.
Many alumni work at the Barclays office in London, and the continued talent we see from students from the school means we are inclined to keep coming back to these events. With an excellent technical and financial background, HEC students have the ability to hit the ground running and adapt themselves almost immediately on entering a new work environment. The international background and extensive internship experience of the students is also a real plus for recruiters.”
A co-operative network
“Time spent on the campus contributes to the creation of a very strong sense of belonging amongst each year group, which remains with the students well beyond their studies. Among class of 2012, there were quite a few of us who moved to London. With HEC Alumni, we can support each other through a cooperative network and exchange invaluable information to advance our careers.
The many events organised by the association keep our community alive. In London, the alumni can attend the HEC Gala, as well as numerous networking and entrepreneurial events. Finally, with the London office and the strong London presence among HEC staff, we get the opportunity to attend networking events such as the respective MiM specialization in International Finance and MSc Strategic Management study trips. At Barclays, we also organise a presentation for the MIF students.”
Arnaud Sultan (MiF, Class of 2011) Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking
On finishing the MIF program, Arnaud first worked in New York at Crédit Agricole CIB, before moving to London where he spent 4 years in the structuring division of Commerzbank. Then, a year ago, he joined Société Générale to work in cross-asset structuring (which can involve shares, hybrid securities, forex and credit) for private banking clients.
Identifying new talent
“Attending this forum means we can meet many candidates for summer and pre-employment internships. These are important first steps towards finding new talents. With regards to structuring and equity activities, we are looking for profiles with skills in two specialisations (such as the MIF with an engineering degree). We need to know which profiles are most interesting by meeting them directly. We sometimes guide certain students towards other departments or different offices within the group according to our needs.”
The strength of the MSc International Finance
“The education that is delivered within the MIF framework is highly sought-after. This combination of theoretical and practical teaching, alongside renowned practitioners and professors with extensive academic experience, provides the students with a solid foundation of practical know-how. Even if you wish to go into structuring or trading, it is still important to understand how a business works, and the MIF provides this dual skill-set across the fields of Corporate and Market Finance.”
Communication and Analytical skills
“We are looking for profiles who are both skilled communicators (to pitch to sales teams and customers) and good technicians (in order to work alongside trading teams and understand financial models).
In our activities, we have to constantly innovate in our products and services, it is therefore essential to possess a desire for innovation and new projects in order to be able to continue to advance.”
- Read our article on HEC Paris Careers in Finance