The inaugural York Finance Conference was a milestone for the University of York, successfully proving that it is possible to organise an event outside of London that could attract students from across the country, particularly those from the northern universities.
The conference took place at the Royal York Hotel on 15th February. It was an engaging and insightful day with notable speakers from the City sharing their thoughts and experiences to an audience of almost 200 people.
In my opinion, what distinguished this conference from others was that there were a range of topics and ideas discussed: from Europe’s banking system to technology in finance, fixed income investing to leverage buy-out structuring.
This diversity not only reminds us of the various elements that exist within the banking and finance sector, but that in order for one to succeed in it, a good grasp and comprehension of the various roles and understanding is vital, especially in today’s changing landscape.
Mark Campanale began the day’s proceedings, telling us how the future of finance does not have to be evil. Alberto Gallo, who heads European macro credit research at RBS gave a detailed outlook of Europe’s changing economic environment, and shared his thoughts on the future of Europe’s banking sector. All this was followed by an intriguing panel debate.
The delegates had three breakout sessions to choose from, and I opted for the Sales & Trading option by Steve Smith, an Executive Director of Institutional Equity Sales at Morgan Stanley.
I was so engrossed that I found myself taking notes halfway through – certainly out of character for me!
Mark Phelps, CEO, President, and Managing Director for Global Investments at W.P. Stewart & Co. gave the next keynote speech on why investing in equities, and particularly those in the U.S, is the way forward.
Delegates went to 1 of 3 workshops that focused on different soft skills. They had a choice of learning about interview skills, entrepreneurship or networking. The last keynote speech by Chris Davis – COO of the Corporate Banking Division at RBS – touched on the traditional role of a bank manager and his position from a modern perspective
The upbeat mood of those present was not dampened, and it was a joy to see participants enjoying themselves knowing that it was not only money, but more importantly time, well spent.