MFM Trip to Amsterdam

Wednesday, 7 December 2016, 13:37 | Category : Masters
Tags :

Greetings fellow students, prospective students, alumni and really all the great people reading this. This is my first (and definitely not last) blog for the year 2016-17 so bear with me. I want to share our experience with you guys.

The Master’s in Financial Management program offers many opportunities for students to meet finance professionals and executives from a great deal of companies. One week we are in Bovendonk taking on a case for Pfizer, the next we are roaming the streets of Brussels to the headquarters of Bpost for a presentation from the CFO. I know we’re cool.

amsterdam-1Last week’s adventure took place in Amsterdam! It started at 5 A.M (5:30 for some of us that live closer to campus) and we met outside the bus at 6 A.M ready to depart at 6:30. Surprisingly too me, most of the guys were energetic and ready to take on the day. Everyone seemed to have gotten to bed early the night before, which for me (and I’m sure for most MFM’ers) is midnight. After about an hour of excitement and chit chat the inevitable happened. Suddenly, the bus was quiet. La sommeille nous on attraper! If you listened attentively, you could actually hear people calculating WACC in their sleep J

After approximately two and a half to three hours we arrived in Amsterdam. It was exciting for me especially because it was my first time there. Our first visit was at ABN Amro. ABN Amro is the leading investment bank in the Benelux area and one of the biggest players in M&A and corporate advisory in Europe. We got into the dauntingly beautiful office building and waited for the bankers that would host us for the morning activities. We settled into one of the meeting rooms, got some coffee and cookies (ok, a lot of cookies) and it was straight to business. The Managing director of the Netherlands region gave us a presentation before we split up into groups to commence with the M&A business game. After that it was lunch time. We were treated to some sandwiches at the fancy Oliver’s restaurant where we joined by some more bankers and Vlerick MFM alumni. Networking of course!

Lunch was short-lived as we were a little bit behind schedule. Our next visit was to Optiver, a trading company that uses its own financing to perform its’ main business of ‘market making’. I’d explain more but the nerd in me would bore you so just check Investopedia. We did not know what to expect at Optiver but after our visit, I can speak for of us that Optiver made an impression on us. They presented the company and what they do to us. Of course one of the presenters was MFM alumni. Not long after, we took a grueling numerical test; 80 questions in 8 minutes! After the test we split into groups to play a market making game where we estimated the size of Ghent in km2 and the amount of beer consumed by the average customer in a year. Fun but challenging it was.

Lastly we played a trading game online. This gave us a snippet into the life of a trader. Taking calls (missing calls) from banks, buying, selling, quoting, making spreads, it was all a flash but we learnt a lot. As if they hadn’t gotten our attention already, they decided to treat us to an arsenal of delicious pizzas. Work Hard, Eat Hard?

Unfortunately the day came to an end and it was time to go. Would’ve loved to stay but our Capital Budgeting & Valuation amsterdam-trip-2
professor wouldn’t be very happy the next morning. We got our coats, got into the bus and hit the road. Very typical of us, we quickly started to use what we learnt during the day and incorporated it into our jokes. “Minutes it takes to get to get back to Brussels, first bid, 180 – 200.”



(Terrible finance jokes, it’s one way to live, don’t judge)

Overall it was an incredible day and hope future MFM’ers get to enjoy it as much as we did.

Till next,


2 Comments for “MFM Trip to Amsterdam”

  1. 1Pieter Decavel

    Great read! Well done Boris!

  2. 2Gabriel Martinez Roa

    Great article!

Leave a comment