Trip to Frankfurt

Known as “Mainhattan” of Germany because of its impressive concrete skyscrapers which chararacterise its main river skyline, Frankfurt is a dynamic finance and business hub. Home to the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) and one of the largest stock exchanges worldwide, Frankfurt has everything needed to become the leading financial capital in Europe. Moreover, the compact city laying in the heart of Germany, with its charming old town and plenty of social activities, ensures a high standard of living.

As part of the MSc Finance programme, 80 students went on an educational trip to explore Frankfurt. Our group departed from London Heathrow on Thursday 15th February. After quickly checking-in at our hotel, we had the opportunity to relish the first presentation, held by Mr. Alexander Pfister, a renowned lecturer at the University of Mannheim. He talked about the strengths and weaknesses of the German economy and its transformation. The key lessons learned were that the now flourishing German economy was not always as strong as it is today. A clear turnaround could be noticed after Germany hosted the FIFA world cup in 2006. This unique opportunity proved to the German population why they should be proud of what they can achieve as a nation. This motivation still holds true today and is broadly represented by the main pillar of the German economy – its middle-class companies.

A refreshing shower and a quick wardrobe change later, all participants went to a traditional apple wine tavern to enjoy dinner. The combination of good food, wine and pleasant classmates created a delightful ambience. Networking events such as this represent one of the strong characteristics of the Cass Business School community and forges strong lifelong friendships.

On our second day we experienced the highlight of our trip: a visit at the European Central Bank. Usually only encountered in television or newspapers, we had the opportunity to visit the institution where all the important decisions for the Eurozone are made. Entering the impressive building, we could sense the importance of this place. The flags of every nation stood proud in the middle of the entry area and were a popular spot for student photos. After being warmly welcomed, we attended two presentations.

First we received information on the monetary instruments of the ECB, as well as a detailed insight on its current quantitative easing. Ms Valerie Jarvis, Economist Analyst for the United Kingdom at the ECB,  gave us economic analysis on the current Brexit discussion and its expected impact on the British economy – supporting economic data was presented to illustrate the impact Brexit decision has already had on UK citizens.

One consequence of Brexit could be the movement of several banks from London to other locations. One possible candidate is Frankfurt and therefore we wanted to know more about this financial hub in Germany. A representative from Frankfurt Main Finance, a promoting organisation for Frankfurt, gave us a very detailed overview about the benefits of living and working in Frankfurt. With its low taxes and rents, as well as its outstanding infrastructure and quality of life, Frankfurt is a very attractive place for banks. Furthermore, a wide range of Business Schools and Universities provide a talented pool of candidates for the diverse roles. It is no surprise that many banks, such as Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley, have already decided to move to Frankfurt. We finished this informative day with a presentation on the banking industry of Germany by two representatives of the German Landesbanken.

An international trip like ours offers students first-hand insight and an opportunity to outstand and learn more about an alternative financial hub besides London. Moreover, it helps to enhance interpersonal skills and gain knowledge that can’t be developed in a classroom. We all enjoyed this trip very much and we are thankful to Cass Business School for organising it.

Fabian Frech & Timon Wyder
MSc Finance (2018)

Cappuccinos and espressos for master’s students in Florence and Milan

Assassin’s Creed, Armani Silos, and Pinocchio – it must be the MSc Management study tour of Italy

The Arctic freeze that recently swept across Europe didn’t prevent 172 MSc Management students from travelling on their annual study tour in February. The study tour is a non-credited option in term two that provides students with an alternative experience to traditional classroom-based education.

Students had a choice of either visiting Florence to learn more about the wine industry, culture and art or to Milan where design, branding and the luxury goods sectors were the main focus.

Tours were led by four Italian Cass faculty. Professor Davide Ravasi and Dr Alessandro Giudici guided students in Milan and Dr Simone Santoni and Dr Paolo Aversa in Florence. Each of the faculty was able to share stories and their local knowledge via passionate storytelling which brought to life the country they call home.

The Florence study tour started with a day trip to the enchanting Tuscan hilltop town of San Gimignano which was the location of Assassin’s Creed, the massively popular mixed-media franchise. Students then roamed the picturesque streets and squares, browsed the local shops and ate award-winning gelato while walking among the town’s famous medieval towers. After lunch the group visited the Fatoria Poggio Alloro vineyard, where they were able to taste world renowned wines such as Chianti Classico.


The second day was spent in Florence, a city noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture. Students visited the Galleria dell’Accademia Museum which displays Michelangelo’s “David” as well as The Uffizi Gallery which displays Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation”.

Students who chose the Milan study tour visited the Kartel and Alpha Romeo museums as well as Galleria Campari and Armani/Silos, a new edition this year.  Armani/Silos is a fashion art museum which showcases Giorgio Armani’s career in fashion. Armani is the most successful Italian designer ever and is fondly thought of as the patron saint of fashion having designed a gospel book cover for the Pope, as well as uniforms for Milanese taxi drivers and the police force. Students later visited Terrazza Triennale, a rooftop restaurant with a magnificent view to listen to a guest speaker talking about design.

“We hope that our study tours are a refreshing and fun experience” says Course Director Dr Joanna Zaleska. “An option to take part in a study tour enhances social skills as students spend time with peers outside of the classroom to explore new things together. The Cass master’s study trips are about experiencing the real world and provide a learning experience that is creative, lively and encourages new friendships.”

Joanna Zaleska
Director, MSc Management 

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