Investment Management Club Explores London's Business Scene
The AUBG Investment Management Club (IMC) took to London -- one of the world’s leading financial hubs – for three days of meetings with prominent business experts. Initiated by AUBG student and IMC president Martin Iliev and AUBG professor in business Andrey Gurov, the trip was sponsored by Dr. Aleksander Petrov, chair of the Aleksander Foundation, a CFA Charterholder and a person who has studied in Sofia, Vienna, Budapest, Brussels and London. The students that took part in the trip share their impressions.
Monday. Nov. 4
Catching the first rays of the early morning sun, we arrived in London - the whole day ahead of us. If there is one thing that you need to try when visiting the UK, it is the English Breakfast. The delicious food certainly lifted our spirits and we were ready to head out to our first meeting with Plamen Dokov, partner and senior analyst at Carrhae Capital, who spoke about the ins and outs of investing in emerging markets across the globe.
Following an engaging discussion with Plamen, we stole a bit of free time to explore London – a truly cosmopolitan city that, with its rich history and vibrant culture, has something new and exciting to offer behind every corner.
A highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the dinner with our generous sponsor Aleksander (Alek) Petrov and serial investor and entrepreneur Stuart Till. While most of us met Alek for the first time that evening, his charm immediately put us at ease and encouraged the flow of the conversation. Apart from the work that he does in support of Bulgarian higher education as part of the Aleksander Foundation, Alek heads McKinsey's risk advanced analytics group in Europe, advising clients on a broad range of critical issues, such as stress testing, recovery planning, and asset quality analysis. He also maintains a wealth of experience in capital markets, derivatives pricing, and portfolio management from his earlier days in the financial services industry.
The dinner with Alek was a unique chance to ask questions about his life and career, graduate study opportunities and professional development, as well as several other business topics that interest us as students and members of the IMC.
Tuesday, Nov. 5
Our first stop on Tuesday was leading global professional services company Accenture, where we met with Elitsa Nacheva (‘12), AUBG alumna and Management Consultant at the company. Her vibrant personality was contagious, and we felt very much at home as she took us on a journey to the exciting world of management consulting and technological implementation. Elitsa showed us Accenture’s AI innovation hub, where we got to observe the company’s cutting-edge algorithms in action.
We next headed to the main event of our field trip: the visit to McKinsey’s headquarters, where Alek himself welcomed us. He offered valuable advice on topics ranging from acing a job interview at the management consulting firm, to a day in the life of a McKinsey consultant to personal stories from his dynamic career.
We then visited the London School of Economics (LSE), where we met with admissions staff and learned more about their summer programs and graduate study opportunities. LSE is one of the world’s leading universities and many AUBG graduates have continued their studies there.
Later that day we also got the chance to meet Victoria Entwistle, Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees at AUBG, and Chair of the Investment Committee overseeing our endowment fund. We discussed current events at AUBG, her boutique investment firm Magnolia Advisory and the exciting work they do in support of promising young companies.
Last on the day’s agenda was a cocktail with alumni currently working in the UK, where we got to hear some of their amazing stories about life and work after AUBG.
Wednesday, Nov. 6
The last company on our list was Algebris Investments, where we were again welcomed by one of our own: Iliyana Tsankova (‘11), who graduated AUBG in 2011 and then moved to UK to study Finance and Economics at LSE. She currently works in Investment Relations and Business Development at the company.
During our visit, we got an insider view into the operations of the asset management firm and learned more about the strategies the company employs to gain an edge in global financial markets. At the intersection of finance, mathematics and neuroscience, their work is truly fascinating.
Following three dynamic days, it was now time to head back home, hopefully more experienced and wiser than before.