Month: January 2020

Trading trends in 2020

When it comes to trading, strategy is essential. But which skills are required nowadays to successfully adapt to the ever-changing needs of the financial industry?

On 3rd December 2019, the Cass AIR-Q Society and the Cass Trading Society co-organised “The Cass AIR-Q Trading Forum”. The panel consisted of our keynote speaker Michal Katrencik, Emerging Markets Debt Portfolio Manager VP at Blackrock, as well as Dr Ravel Jabbour, former Regulatory Policy Manager VP at HSBC and Mr Ian Schneider, VP Cash Equities Sales and Trading at Morgan Stanley. The speakers provided exceptional insights on their day-to-day activities, innovations in the industry, current regulations and emerging industry trends.

More than 100 people attended, including master’s students, alumni and professionals from the industry, were delighted with the insightful and interactive panel discussion regarding the future of trading and its regulation, moderated by Dr Simone Krummaker, Course Director for the MSc Insurance and Risk Management.

Our keynote speaker Michal Katrencik opened the conference with a perceptive analysis of bond markets. He very practically explained how bond yields have been affected by changes in inflation rates and GDP rates in emerging markets. The presentation was followed by a round of challenging questions about the impact of climate change on investments and the use of artificial intelligence in daily trading processes.

The attendees were interested in learning about what the speakers referred to as green incentives and brown disincentives such as carbon taxes and the impacts these incentives have on long-term investments in areas such as tech.

With such vision deeply discussed by the panel according to VPs expertise, the audience was able to get a glimpse of what is currently happening in the world of trading and what to expect to happen.

With such vision deeply discussed by the panel according to VPs expertise, the audience was able to get a glimpse of what is currently happening in the world of trading and what to expect to happen.

As a Co-President of the Cass AIR-Q Society, I always enjoy hosting events such as the Cass AIR-Q Trading Forum. It offers the Cass community a dynamic and rewarding educational experience which bridges the gap between master’s students and high-profile professionals working in the field. Our attendees get the chance to resolve any queries they may have about their career and get the opportunity to learn.

Concerning the use of artificial intelligence and the skills needed to adapt to a changing society, the speakers highlighted the importance on how traders position themselves. It is essential to be able to foresee, accept and adapt to changes. Ravel Jabbour indicated “that is the main difference with automation. Humans have instinct, got feelings and know how to position themselves.”

The event was a great success and our attendees stayed on after the talks to network. It was well accomplished thanks to the disposition and collaboration of the keynote speakers, the support of Cass’ events team, the co-organisation with the Cass Trading Society and the outstanding teamwork of the Co-Presidents of the Cass AIR-Q Society.

I look forward to meeting more students and professionals in our upcoming forums and workshops over the next semester!

Rocio Plasencia Alva, MSc Insurance and Risk Management (2020)

Swapping languages for management: reflecting on my first semester at Cass

 How did I end up at Cass?

I graduated from Durham University with a BA in Modern Languages and Cultures in 2019. Although transitioning from studying medieval French poetry to quantitative methods for businesses may not appear to be the most natural progression, it was exactly my passion for languages and cultures that sparked my desire to apply for an MSc in Management.

I decided to study Management first and foremost to develop a more comprehensive understanding of how businesses operate. I felt that I could have had a more meaningful impact in my previous internships with a deeper business knowledge. In this sense, the MSc in Management represents a bridge between my academic and professional background.


 Life at Cass

The incredibly diverse choice of modules at Cass has not only enhanced my business knowledge, but has also enabled me to formulate a more concrete idea of the areas of business I am interested in. I was slightly apprehensive about taking on an MSc in Management having a completely unrelated undergraduate degree, however, I quickly realised that Management students at Cass come from diverse educational backgrounds. Juggling graduate scheme applications and academic commitments has been no easy feat, but the professors and careers team at Cass are incredibly supportive.

One of the best things about Cass is the people. Cass offers the unique opportunity to study alongside internationally-oriented and like-minded students who represent many nationalities. The strong emphasis placed on group work has enhanced my team-working capabilities and has helped me to understand the value of utilising diverse perspectives when approaching strategic business decisions. Cass also presents fantastic opportunities for building networks outside of the classroom, with guest speakers and recruiters regularly visiting the campus.

Global Women’s Leadership Programme

The Global Women’s Leadership Programme is an integral part of my life at Cass. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a Future Fund Women’s Leadership scholarship and given the subsequent opportunity to sit on the Executive Board for the Global Women’s Leadership Programme as an MSc Representative. The Executive Board meets regularly to discuss the progress of the subcommittees and the direction of the programme more broadly. Working alongside other ambitious women at different stages of their careers through the programme has already taught me a lot and I am looking forward to seeing what we will achieve in the future.

Women at the Top Summit

In October, I was invited to attend the Financial Times “Women at the Top Summit” alongside other members of the board. Hearing leaders share their stories of successes and setbacks and participating in action-focused debates with the women and men driving change was an incredible opportunity. The main takeaway from the event was that it is essential that we continue to discuss the obstacles stalling further progress towards achieving gender balance in the workplace.

Organising my own event

I also organised a panel event alongside the other bachelor’s and master’s scholars. With the panel composed of young professionals, we wanted the experiences of the panellists to resonate strongly with students soon entering the workplace. The panel spoke openly about the challenges they have faced in the workplace and opened important discussions about working towards gender equality. The event was a huge success, with attendees networking long after the event ended.

 Looking to the future

My first semester at Cass has certainly been intense, but there is a lot to look forward to in 2020. With a study trip to Budapest, consulting projects, and international electives… I am excited to see where the rest of my Cass journey will take me.

Elizabeth Barr, MSc Management (2020)

Meet Cass AIR-Q Society’s Presidents of 2019/20

I am Peter Vodicka, PhD Candidate at Cass and Founder of Cass AIR-Q Society – the Cass Actuarial, Insurance, Risk and Quants Society. We are focused on bringing together students with like-minded interests, the society organises meetups, workshops and networking events allowing students to immerse themselves in the actuarial, insurance, risk and quantitative finance industries.

The Society is made up of five Co-Presidents: one undergraduate student and four master’s students. I spoke to our Co-Presidents and asked them about their time at Cass so far and their plans for AIR-Q. Meet the Co-Presidents:

Rocio Plasencia, MSc Insurance and Risk Management (2020) from Peru

I decided to study at Cass to continue my personal and professional development. Cass is not only providing me the appropriate tools to improve my skills and to progress my expertise and vision in insurance business, but also it is giving me the opportunity to get to know the worldwide leading insurance market. I have met incredible and inspiring people from all over the world. I am looking forward to all our future events at Cass AIR-Q Society.

As a Peruvian lawyer, the diversity of the modules on the MSc Insurance and Risk Management can be a big challenge, but it was one of the main reasons I chose this master’s. What I love the most about the insurance industry is the possibility of getting to know people with different perspectives and professions.

As one of the Presidents of the Cass AIR-Q Society, my objective is to contribute to the society becoming a reference point and a source of knowledge at Cass and in the industry by hosting specialised workshops and seminars.

Lucy Nondi, MSc Actuarial Management (2020) from Kenya

Located at the hub of UK’s capital, Cass attracts a blend of cultures from all over the world. This has been one of its outstanding attributes, on top of the quality of education it provides in the fields of finance and business. My first three months have been very exciting as I have been able to attend various events that have helped sharpen both my networking skills and clarify my career path.

Joining Cass AIR-Q as one of the Presidents provides a great platform for interacting and learning from different professionals who are already in the finance field. I will therefore be able to keep up to date with what is currently happening in the industry through the networking events are planning for in the new year. Cass AIR-Q will also be an opportunity for me to improve my networking skills that is really essential in my career goal as an actuary.

Evangelos Santas, MSc Financial Mathematics (2020), from Greece

Being a postgraduate student in the heart of the financial capital and being in contact with world-leading finance leaders, every day here at Cass just feels so amazing. The professional environment have made me feel back in my element and comfortable. The many helpful people I work with every day made me quickly forget about London’s rainy weather. It’s a great way to entry in the world of business!

Coming from a university in a different country, I had to face with a completely different study culture. Understanding how to approach my finance classes, as I come from a quantitative background, were challenging but incredibly rewarding.

Joining AIR-Q Society as one of its Presidents has been a great opportunity to give back to the Cass community. I’ve had the chance to meet interesting people, to learn about the industry’s current trends and to develop my organisational and communication skills by preparing interesting events, focusing on quants master’s students.

Adam Upenieks, MSc Quantitative Finance (2020), from Canada


Walking through the doors for the first time, I noticed that Cass is more than just a place to learn. It is a place to meet people, gain connections and learn about your peers. The atmosphere of Cass and the energy of London has made it a great place to train for a career in finance.

The biggest challenge of any graduate programme is time management. It is a crucial part of being a successful student and an invaluable skill to have for a successful career. Currently, I am balancing my time between studying for my CFA level II, taking extra-curricular Python courses, and studying a full course load at Cass. This is a challenge, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Being part of AIR-Q presents you with opportunities to gain invaluable knowledge through meeting industry professionals and networking. It is also a fantastic opportunity to create tailored events for our peers in the quantitative disciplines. As a President, you need to have your finger on the pulse of what is happening in the world of finance, what is interesting to your peers and to organise remarkable events. My goal this year is to bring meaningful information to my peers in the world of quantitative finance, so that we can all learn and move forward together.

Juan Sebastián de la Torre, MSc Insurance and Risk Management (2020), from Ecuador

Joining Cass and AIR-Q has been amazing and I’m enjoying every moment. The campus facilities are excellent— you have access to every resource you need for your research and studies. The master’s programme encourages you to give your best and reach your potential.

Finding a balance between studies, social life and hobbies is a must. At the moment my modules have been amazing providing me with a lot of knowledge and that encourages me to seek for more information and always be investigating about new trends in the insurance market.

I decided to run for Cass AIR-Q President because I’m passionate about the field I’m studying and it is a great opportunity to provide my classmates and Cass students with great opportunities to assist to workshops, discussions panels and events organized by the society with interesting and experienced workers in the field. My goal with Cass AIR-Q is to provide quality events that will benefit the students and increase the society group members.

Follow AIR-Q Society on LinkedIn

David Flanigan, BSc Actuarial Science (2020), from the United Kingdom

I am in my final year of BSc Actuarial Science and have benefited hugely by making the most of the resources and facilities offered by Cass and would urge new students to do the same!

As well as my role as President of AIR-Q, I am also President of the undergraduate Society of Actuaries and hope to establish a strong link between master’s students and our undergraduate students who may be looking for mentors or advice.  Collectively, we can recognise the benefits expanding our networks to draw on our peers’ expertise.

MSc Insurance and Risk Management: The Best Decision I’ve Made

I have a clear idea of the career path I want to follow: working in insurance. Many of my fellow students studying the MSc Insurance and Risk Management have previously worked in the insurance industry and came back to study to deepen their knowledge. Studying with so many existing insurance practitioners is truly an asset and gives me the opportunity to build my commercial awareness and gain deeper knowledge about how the insurance industry works.

Thanks to support from my undergraduate university and a generous donor, a senior insurance specialist in Hong Kong, I decided to pursue my master’s straight after my undergraduate degree in Hong Kong.

It’s not always easy for international students to adapt to a new environment, but living in London for a year is definitely an awesome idea. You will meet so many people with different cultures and backgrounds, but with the same ambition. Studying at Cass is the same.

London is a great market for insurance and finance. It’s an eye-opening experience in which you learn market trends and advanced insuretech techniques.

The course in Cass is non-life insurance-focused and offers rich underwriting, law and risk management knowledge. The classes have inspired me to explore innovative ideas and are consolidating my knowledge base before engaging the industry. The programme offers a mix of theory and practical learning— I’m very excited to be going to visit Lloyds’ next term, which is the origin of the insurance market in the world.

Cass provides a variety of resources including career advice and societies with links to different programmes, which is beneficial to students for job-seeking and for our personal development.

The MSc Insurance and Risk Management is a comprehensive programme, which equips you with deep knowledge and makes you eligible for the ACII qualifications. The programme is really intensive— my first three months have already passed in a flash!

My advice to prospective students is to cherish your time at Cass and don’t forget to enjoy this city full of art and commerce.

Ting Tina Cheung, MSc Insurance and Risk Management (2020)

© 2020 Cass MSc Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Skip to toolbar