Week 2 Consulting and Finance = Talking Money

The second week started with a visit from BTA partners ( a management and finance )consulting company. Paul who is the CEO of the talked about about fintech( finance plus technology ).It was great to learn in short period of time about clear definition of Funds and type of funds (benchmarked and Absolute return funds) . We discussed and clarified about the concepts of business model , expenses of a running a fund and management fees. Apart from management fee , there is also a high probability that fund management companies have performance fees ( usually management fee is 2% and performance fee is 20% of the investment). Risk management is also an important part of fund management. Risk management is the art of understanding the sensitivities of one’s fund to various factors. On the topic of trading , we learned the concepts of high frequency trading,Block trading and Algorithmic trading . I liked Paul’s definition of Brokers. They are the matchmakers of money. while discussing Mutual Funds, it was made clear that they are usually consisted of non complicated products like bonds and stocks and  long term oriented. Paul career advice was that whatever career path we take it is important to have strong basic education in Sciences. Also social networking is extremely important.

Afternoon visit was to the company called General Atlantic. We visited their head office at Park Avenue at 32nd floor. Our Host was Mr Matt Nimetz , who is a Lawyer turned white house diplomatic to a financial guru. General Atlantic is a big private equity investment company. It is usually a minority investor and the holding period for their investments is average 5.5 years. The Size of firm is  17-20 B USD and they have around 50 companies in their Portfolio. They invest 2 BUSD a year,average investment 150 MUSD( 12-13 investment yearly). On each investment they aim for a return of 20% a year. This company 35 years in operation. They have 10 offices, 200 people, around the Globe.

  • Financial services:
  • Internet / tech
    • Ali baba, Airbnb , facebook.
  • Business services
  • Consumer companies

GA likes to invest in developing countries, restaurant chains , companies which integrate technology in businesses. While making invest decision GA’s investment committee keeps  marco economy, bubbles , geography in mind.

Day 2 of week 2 started with a visit from Bela P. Sandor, Management Consultant, GM Vertical Cloud Solutions. Bela is private contractor/ consultant for cloud computing from business side. I am very passionate about cloud computing as well as consulting around the subject. What I learned more was about how to be a good and effective private consultant . It all starts with how one packages one’s services and what goals these packages achieve. Each package should produce a business outcome especially within a specific amount of time for a specific amount of money. Bela showcased services strategy, Operating model and Business case. Important points whole package were:

  • What you will do ( scope)
  • When you will do it
  • What you need from them
  • Contractual agreement

A part from the above being a private consultant these were the key take aways to be a successful consultant:

  • Managing cash flow
  • Never undersell  yourself
  • Always know the profitability of each gig
  • Plan your engagements carefully
  • Always use milestones
  • Do not let customer payments slides
  • Remember : They need you

In the afternoon Aaron Foster from Pfizer visited us. He leading Cross-­‐Region Business Analytics & Insights. he showcased how Pfizer is using BI and big data to purse and create strategies in multinational emerging markets. I understood that big data is used by every company these days. Big companies like Pfizer have realized the importance of business analytics and are making use of it to make smarter and well informed decisions.

3rd Day started with a visit to Ernst and Young. E&Y is the among the big 4  auditing and management consultancy firm. It was amazing to listen to the strategy ,structure and current picture of E&Y first hand from its talent head and Partners/senior managers from different division. E&Y seems to be truly global growing multinational company. Each person shared their experiences about their divisions and what was exciting for them to work on.

In the afternoon Stephen Ibach talked the future of finance and its impact on the market.

Last day of the week started with a company visit to Zephyr Management. Unlike General Atlantic. Zephyr Management is a smaller private equity firm. They like to invest in developing countries. I really like the philosophy of the founder of the firm. They were humble , down to earth intelligent people. For me the used and explained the concept of relative importance, intelligence and success very well. It is not important to try to be the smartest person in the room but rather find the room in which you can be success and smart. The session was full of advice not only career but also towards the personal side. The young people should try to work earlier in China or India in their life to get a  jump start. It is also important who they focused on integrity and honesty in business.

The week ended with a visit from Monty Graham from 350 Technologies. He is currently an energy engineer at multiple universities. He explained why the it is important for world to worry about global warming and other related issues. He is using big data and sensors to reduce the energy consumption of the buildings.How us future business leader need to make sure that we keep the greenhouse effect in mind while making business decisions. He showcased the futures technologies in the area and what the future for energy sector might look like. Energy sustainability and making it clean is important for survival of human race.

Week 2 was all about consulting and big companies. What I learned is that big companies are important for economy and the market.they can use their scale and size to produce amazing impact on the world. One can continues to creative and entrepreneurial while working for a big company!

 

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