London Finance Tour for our Finance students - from a Financial Markets student's perspective

Within the framework of our Advanced Masters, a student trip is organised every year. During this trip, participants have the opportunity to visit different institutions and companies and meet with top-of-the-line professionals. In this light, in March 2019, our Financial Markets students ...

Robin Vervaeke |Author

Senior Treasury Consultant at o2 Finance, Alumni of the Advanced Master in Financial Markets

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Within the framework of our Advanced Masters, a student trip is organised every year. During this trip, participants have the opportunity to visit different institutions and companies and meet with top-of-the-line professionals. In this light, in March 2019, our Financial Markets students visited various institutions in London.

Here is the testimonial of Robin Vervaeke, a student in the Advanced Master in Financial Markets, on how he lived this experience :


Right after the exams of the third term, we had the chance to go on an organised field trip to London. The programme was filled with interesting company visits from Monday morning until Wednesday, but there also was time to explore the city. As London is the financial capital of Europe, we were all stoked to get this opportunity. Some of us chose to extend this trip by coming on Sunday or staying a few extra days.


Day 1 - Deutsche Bank and AkinovA Ltd

On Monday morning we met up again with our risk management professor Andrew Threadgold at Deutsche Bank. After a short introduction, some of his colleagues from different departments came in and explained how they operate and what the next challenges will be for the bank (Brexit etc.).

Having eagerly listened to these interesting speakers, we were inspired to revisit some of the topics discussed over lunch alongside our fellow students from the Quantitative Finance programme.

With renewed energy, we walked to the next company visit, which was AkinovA Ltd. This was a very different setting. Open office spaces, funky music and a pool table in the hall. Nevertheless, we got an inspiring presentation from CEO and founder Henri Winand. He launched a start-up to disrupt the insurance markets as we know them now and adapt the industry to new technology.

Next on the schedule was a hedge fund called Acheron Capital Ltd where CEO Jean-Michel Paul (also our Insurance professor within the framework of our advanced master at Solvay) was waiting for us. After a brief introduction from him, we were treated with a presentation on the impact of regulation on hedge funds, given by the operations officer. In the same office, we had the opportunity to meet Victoria Van Lennep, a former student of Solvay Brussels School. Together with her colleagues, she started a retail micro-lending company called Lendable Ltd. After listening to her incredible story, and all the other impressions we got on this first day, we were all feeling optimistic and definitely ready for what was to come in our professional life! The day ended with a nice chat with people from Acheron, who offered us an amazing dinner.

Day 2 - Riverrock Capital LLP and S&P Global

Tuesday started off with a visit to an alternative investment fund called Riverrock Capital LLP. This company maintains portfolios ranging from corporate credit to project finance, all of which were explained to us in great detail.

Having enjoyed a short break, we met up again in the afternoon at Canary Warf. On this man-made island, we had the pleasure of visiting one of the biggest rating agencies, namely S&P Global. Three young ladies, who are in the graduate programme, explained to us the ins and outs of the process of how the ratings are constructed.

As Monday was quite busy, Tuesday was a bit more at ease, which gave us the chance to explore this vibrant city on our own and visit some of its incredible tourist attractions. To conclude the second day, we all got dinner together (Financial Markets and Quantitative Finance students), offered by Solvay, joined by alumni and professors. This gave us the opportunity to network a bit and discuss some topics in a more informal way. From the restaurant, we went to a pub and made plans to explore the widespread nightlife of London.

Day 3 - ING

Last but not least, ING was on the program. Greeted by a room full of people, we sat down for an interesting but a bit more technical couple of presentations. Corporate finance, interest rate derivatives and equity derivatives, all passed along after which we got a tour of the trading floor. As a treat, we got a very generous lunch with the ING staff, so we could converse with them and talk about possible opportunities.

Visiting ING concluded the trip to London as far as the educational part is concerned, but as mentioned before some of us could not get enough of London and therefore stayed a few days longer.


A lovely and enriching experience that I will always remember!

The finance trip provided us with a remarkable 5 days of leisure and enriching visits. It was a true learning experience in various ways: 

  • First of all, it allowed us to test our current knowledge in the practical field and it filled us with confidence knowing that we have definitely broadened our knowledge in the past several months.
  • Secondly, having the opportunity to talk to industry professionals at the heart of the business also gave us the chance to ask them questions about things we have already seen in the advanced masters we participate in at Solvay Brussels School. It is the perfect opportunity to test everything you have been learning through the assignments or inside the classroom. It allows you to see that different models are employed within each bank and they all have their own way of doing things.

Solvay Brussels School’s Advanced Masters have been developed to create a breed of ‘out-thinkers’ ready to tackle the continual changes of the business world. These postgraduate programmes confer Advanced Master's degrees in focused areas for Master's students with no or limited professional experience (normally maximum 3 years). They are designed as full-time programmes for one academic year and represent 60 ECTS each.

With a placement rate of 3 months even before graduation of nearly 90% for our graduates in finance, discover how our Advanced Masters can help you launch your career!

> The Advanced Master in Financial Markets:
This programme has been designed to give its participants the tools they need to understand how the financial markets work in practice, with courses given by an unparalleled cast of senior practitioners and highly respected academics. Evening and Saturday classes. Includes a 3-month internship.

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