AML Policies: Safeguarding Financial Integrity

Nithisha CHALLA

In this article, Nithisha CHALLA (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole – Master in Management (MiM), 2021-2024) explains the significance of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies.

Introduction

Firstly, what is AML? AML stands for Anti-Money Laundering. It refers to a set of national laws, regulations, and procedures designed to prevent the illegal generation of income through illicit activities and the subsequent integration of these funds into the legitimate financial system. 

Primary components of Anti-Money Laundering

Primary components of anti-money laundering include customer due diligence, transaction monitoring, reporting and record-keeping, training, Know Your Customer policy and risk assessment.

Customer Due Diligence (CDD)

  Financial institutions are required to perform due diligence on their customers to understand their identity, assess the nature of their financial activities, and identify any potential risks associated with money laundering.

Transaction Monitoring

  Regular monitoring of financial transactions is crucial to identify patterns that may indicate suspicious activities. Unusual or large transactions may trigger alerts for further investigation.

Reporting and Record-Keeping

  Financial institutions are obligated to maintain records of transactions and report any suspicious activities to relevant authorities. These reports contribute to the overall efforts to combat money laundering.

Training

  AML training helps in creating a vigilant workforce capable of identifying and reporting suspicious activities.

Know Your Customer (KYC)

  KYC procedures involve verifying the identity of customers to ensure they are who they claim to be. This is a fundamental aspect of preventing money laundering and other financial crimes.

Risk Assessment

  Financial institutions conduct risk assessments to evaluate the potential risk of money laundering associated with certain customers, transactions, or business relationships.

Significance of money laundering

Money laundering poses a significant threat to the stability and integrity of the global financial system, making it imperative for financial institutions to prioritize AML training and awareness. This article delves into the importance of AML training, strategies for building a culture of compliance, and the pivotal role technology plays in these efforts. Money laundering, the process of making illegally gained proceeds appear legitimate, is a global concern that affects economies, financial institutions, and societies at large. Anti-Money Laundering efforts are the first line of defense against such illicit activities. One key aspect of these efforts is AML training, a proactive measure aimed at equipping financial professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to detect and prevent money laundering. AML training programs are designed to empower employees at all levels, from frontline staff to senior executives, with the tools to recognize and report suspicious activities. Now that we know the components of AML, what would be the components of an effective AML training program? Without delving into more details here are a few things we could do to make it much more effective.

  • Building a Culture of Compliance
  • Leveraging Technology for AML Training
  • Integration with Onboarding Processes
  • Encouraging Reporting and Whistleblowing
  • Ongoing Awareness and Leadership Involvement

Common Examples of Money Laundering Techniques


Now that we know the significance of money laundering, we delve deeper into a few examples of money laundering in our day-to-day lives. 

Smurfing (Structuring)

 Smurfing, also known as structuring, is a money laundering technique whereby illegal funds are divided into smaller amounts and deposited into multiple bank accounts or financial institutions. This is done to circumvent financial regulations that require banks to report large transactions, typically exceeding a certain threshold.

Cash-Intensive Businesses

These are often exploited as a money laundering method, as they provide a convenient way to mix illicit funds with legitimate income. Criminals can use these businesses to deposit and process their illegal cash, making it difficult for authorities to trace the source. These businesses typically handle large volumes of cash through everyday operations, such as pubs, car washes, or retail shops.

Bulk Cash Smuggling

This is a prominent example of money laundering that involves the physical transportation of large quantities of illicit cash across borders. Criminals exploit this method to avoid the scrutiny of financial institutions and regulatory authorities, thereby circumventing anti-money laundering measures in place.

Shell Companies and Trusts

Shell companies and trusts are effective tools used in money laundering schemes, as they offer an intricate façade to disguise illicit funds. By establishing these entities, often in offshore jurisdictions, criminals can cleverly obscure the true origin of their wealth. Both shell companies and trusts exploit gaps in the financial system and international regulations to perpetuate money laundering activities.

Cyber Laundering

Cyber laundering, a burgeoning method of money laundering, takes advantage of the digital world to hide the origin of illegal funds. As technology progresses at breakneck speed, criminals discover new ways to cover their tracks, making it harder for traditional detection methods to catch them. 

Statistics

Notable statistics (Napier) on money laundering dated February 2022 are:

  • Global financial crime fines handed out in 2021 totaled $9.95bn, down from 2020’s record-breaking figure of $22.86bn, according to a report by AML Intelligence
  • Serious and organized crime costs the UK an estimated $50.4 billion a year
  • The median amount of money laundered in the US in 2020 was $301,606
  • Corruption, bribery, and fraud accounted for a whopping 69.6% of FinCrime fines handed out in 2021

Despite its association with the Silk Road and the dark net, only 1.1% of all cryptocurrency transactions are known to be illicit.

Why should I be interested in this post?

Understanding anti-money laundering principles is not only a regulatory imperative but a strategic necessity in navigating the complex legal environment. This post offers insights into risk management, ethical conduct, and the collaborative efforts required across organizational functions to deal with anti-money laundering. This is especially important for students who would like to work in the financial sector (asset management and wealth management). 

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ Micha FISCHER Exchange-traded funds and Tracking Error

   ▶ Nithisha CHALLA  My experience as a Risk Advisory Analyst in Deloitte

   ▶ Wenxuan HU  My experience as an intern of the Wealth Management Department in Hwabao Securities

Useful resources

SAS software History of Anti-Money Laundering

IBM What is anti-money laundering?

Financial crimes enforcement network (US agency) History of anti-money laundering laws

Lexis Nexis Examples of Money Laundering Techniques

Napier 11 FinCrime facts for 2022

About the author

The article was written in February 2024 by Nithisha CHALLA (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole – Master in Management (MiM), 2021-2024).

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Business models of exchanges

Nithisha CHALLA

In this article, Nithisha CHALLA (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole – Master in Management (MiM), 2021-2024) explains the business models of exchanges.

Introduction

Firstly, what is a business model? A business model refers to the framework that outlines how an exchange creates, delivers, and captures value from its various activities and operations. It essentially describes the way in which the exchange generates revenue, interacts with market participants, and sustains its competitive advantage within the financial ecosystem. The business model of exchanges revolves around creating a platform that facilitates the trading of financial instruments for buyers and sellers. Exchanges act as intermediaries, bringing together buyers and sellers in a regulated and transparent environment. The primary components of the business model for exchanges include marketplace facilitation, market data and technology services leading to revenues.

Delving a bit more into revenue generations and understanding the blend of volume and non-volume revenues is crucial for exchanges to ensure a diversified income stream and sustainable business growth. The primary difference between volume and non-volume revenues in the context of exchanges lies in their dependence on trading activity. Volume revenues (transaction fees for example) are directly linked to the volume of trading activity on the exchange whereas non-volume revenues are not (directly) tied to the volume of trading activity but derived from other sources (listing fees for companies). Successful exchanges strategically balance these revenue sources to adapt to changing market dynamics and evolving industry trends.

Volume revenues

Charging transaction fees

  One of the primary sources of volume-based revenue for exchanges is charging transaction fees for each trade executed on their platform. Exchanges typically charge fees to both buyers and sellers for facilitating the trading of financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, or derivatives. For example, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) charges transaction fees based on the number of shares traded.

Selling market data

Exchanges generate revenue by selling real-time market data feeds to financial institutions, traders, and data vendors. These fees are often based on the volume of data consumed. Nasdaq, for instance, charges fees for access to its proprietary market data, including bid-ask quotes and trade information.

Clearing and Settlement Fees

Exchanges may derive revenue from clearing and settlement services, especially in derivatives markets. Clearinghouses associated with exchanges ensure the fulfilment of trades by acting as intermediaries between buyers and sellers. They charge fees based on the volume of contracts cleared. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is an example where clearing fees contribute to its revenue.

Non-volume revenues

Listing Fees

Exchanges often charge companies fees for listing their shares on the exchange. These fees are not directly tied to trading volumes but are based on factors like market capitalization or the number of listed securities. The London Stock Exchange (LSE), for instance, generates revenue through listing fees paid by companies listed on its markets.

Subscription and Software Services

Some exchanges offer subscription-based services and software solutions, catering to market participants’ needs for advanced analytics, trading tools, and connectivity. These services, which may include premium data feeds, trading platforms, or risk management tools, contribute non-volume-based revenue.

Technology and Licensing

Exchanges often license their technology to other financial institutions or exchanges globally. Licensing agreements for trading platforms, surveillance systems, or other proprietary technologies contribute to non-volume revenues. Euronext, for example, has a technology solutions business that provides services to other exchanges and financial institutions.

Educational Programs and Events

Some exchanges generate revenue by organizing educational programs, conferences, and events. These events may attract participants willing to pay fees for networking opportunities, industry insights, and educational sessions. Singapore Exchange (SGX) hosts events and training programs as part of its non-volume revenue initiatives.

Example:  Euronext

You will find below a screenshot of Euronext revenue which was generated in years 2021 and 2022 with the different components (listing, trading revenue, investor services, data services, post-trade, and technology solutions).

For Euronext, the main revenues come from trading revenue (36.2%), post-trade (25.7%), listing (15.4%) and data services (14.9%).

Revenue generation of Euronext in the years 2021 and 2022.

Source: Euronext

Now that we spoke about revenues we generate through the business model of exchanges, the next natural question that comes to us is what kind of costs occur in managing it, right?

Various types of costs involved in the model of exchanges:

The costs involved in the business model of exchanges encompass various expenses necessary for their operations, technology infrastructure, regulatory compliance, and strategic development. A few elements of the costs involved are:

Technology Infrastructure

Exchanges invest heavily in developing and maintaining robust technology infrastructure. This includes trading platforms, data centers, and systems for order matching and execution.

Personnel Costs

Employee salaries and benefits constitute a significant portion of the costs. This includes staff involved in technology development, regulatory compliance, customer support, and other operational functions.

Regulatory Compliance

Compliance costs are essential for implementing systems that ensure adherence to regulatory requirements, supporting surveillance, risk management, and reporting.

Operational Expenses

General operational expenses cover day-to-day costs such as rent, utilities, maintenance, and administrative infrastructure.

Security and Risk Management

Investments are made in security measures and risk management systems to protect against cyber threats, fraud, and operational risks, ensuring the stability and security of the exchange.

Example:  Euronext

You will find below a screenshot of Euronext expenditure in years 2021 and 2022 with the different costs involved in purchasing property, plant, equipment, and intangible assets. 

Capital Expenditure of Euronext in years 2020,2021 and 2022.

Source: Eeuronext

Why should I be interested in this post?

Learning about exchange business models equips management students with insights into strategic decision-making. They can analyze how exchanges diversify revenue streams, expand globally, and adapt to market trends. The diversification of offerings by exchanges and their role in risk management showcase practical applications of management principles. Understanding how exchanges manage risks associated with different financial instruments is relevant for students interested in risk management and strategic planning.

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ Micha FISCHER Exchange-traded funds and Tracking Error

   ▶ Nithisha CHALLA  Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

Useful resources

Euronext

Euronext  Euronext business (revenue charts)

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) The NYSE market model

London Stock Exchange (LSE) An overview of the London Stock Exchange

About the author

The article was written in February 2024 by Nithisha CHALLA (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole – Master in Management (MiM), 2021-2024).

Posted in Contributors | Leave a comment

Gautam Adani and Hedge fund Hindenburg

Nithisha CHALLA

In this article, Nithisha CHALLA (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole – Master in Management (MiM), 2021-2024) presents Gautam Adani’s journey of entrepreneurial success and controversies.

Introduction

Gautam Adani, a name that has become synonymous with entrepreneurial success and controversy, is one of India’s most prominent and influential business magnates. From his humble beginnings to his meteoric rise in various industries, Adani’s story is a testament to the power of determination, innovation, and risk-taking. Born on June 24, 1962, in a small town in Gujarat, India, Gautam Adani came from modest beginnings. His journey began with his family’s trading business of agricultural commodities. In the late 1970s, he moved to Mumbai to explore opportunities beyond his hometown. Adani’s first significant achievement came when he recognized the potential in the power and energy sector. He established Adani Exports Limited in 1988, which focused on the export of agricultural commodities. This marked the initial step in his entrepreneurial journey.

Early Ventures and Foundation of Adani Group

Adani Exports Limited initially focused on trading agricultural commodities, but Adani’s ambitions were much higher. He sensed the burgeoning demand for infrastructure development as India aimed to modernize and grow its economy. In 1998, Adani’s visionary move led to the creation of the Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) in Mundra, Gujarat. This port became the cornerstone of his conglomerate, offering a gateway for imports and exports. The strategic location and world-class facilities propelled Adani Group to prominence in logistics and infrastructure.

Logo of Adani Group of Industries.

Source: The company.

Recognizing the importance of energy, Adani Group expanded into power generation. The acquisition of power plants, coal mines, and renewable energy projects further diversified the company’s portfolio. This diversification was crucial as Adani anticipated the global shift toward renewable energy sources and committed to substantial solar and wind energy investments.

By looking at the Adani group of industries, we observe that these companies mainly belong to the energy sector.

Evolution of Adani Group by its net worth from 2013 to 2023

The figure below shows the evolution of the net worth of the Adani Group of Industries for the period 2013-2023.

 Networth evolution of Adani Group of Industries

Source: Statista.

Stock chart

The figure below shows a stock chart of Adani Enterprises Limited started over 22 years from 2002 to 2024. 

 Stock chart of Adani Group of Industries from 2002 to 2023 consolidated

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Global Recognition and Investments

Gautam Adani’s leadership and Adani Group’s success have gained global recognition. The Group’s investments in Australia’s Carmichael coal mine project and its expansion into international markets have positioned Adani as a significant player on the global stage. These international ventures, however, have also exposed him to heightened scrutiny and controversy. In recent years, Adani’s wealth has surged, making him one of the richest individuals in the world. His conglomerate’s stock prices have seen significant growth, fueled by India’s infrastructure push and economic ambitions. This growth has not only enhanced his wealth but also contributed to job creation and economic development in various regions. Adani Green Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Adani Group, is one of India’s largest renewable energy companies. This move aligns with global sustainability trends and showcases Adani’s adaptability to changing market dynamics.

What is Hindenburg Research and its Controversies?

Hindenburg Research, a well-known financial analysis firm, has made a name for itself by conducting in-depth investigations into various companies and industries, often revealing hidden or controversial information. The firm is named after the famous Hindenburg disaster, which symbolizes its mission to uncover potential corporate misconduct and issues that could lead to significant losses for investors. Hindenburg Research was founded by Nathan Anderson in 2017. The firm operates as a short-selling research entity, meaning it identifies companies it believes are overvalued or engaging in questionable practices and then takes a short position in their stock, betting that the stock price will decrease. Hindenburg’s reports are comprehensive and detailed, often highlighting issues such as fraud, governance concerns, and misleading business practices. In recent years, Hindenburg Research gained significant attention for its investigations into various aspects of the Adani Group. The firm’s reports raised concerns about transparency, corporate governance, and environmental impacts associated with Adani’s businesses. Hindenburg’s reports have also had a notable impact on stock prices, causing steep declines in some cases as investors react to the information presented. By conducting thorough investigations and publishing detailed reports, Hindenburg has brought attention to potential risks and problems that could affect both investors and the broader public.

Conclusion

Gautam Adani’s journey epitomizes the entrepreneurial spirit that propels individuals from humble origins to extraordinary heights. His ventures across diverse sectors have reshaped India’s economic landscape, but they’ve also sparked debates about responsible business practices. Amid controversies and investigations by entities like Hindenburg Research, Adani’s legacy will stand as a complex tapestry of triumphs, challenges, and the ever-evolving dynamics of modern business.

Why should I be interested in this post?

Adani’s trajectory from humble beginnings to becoming a business magnate showcases the essence of entrepreneurship, offering inspiration for those aspiring to innovate and lead. His strategic diversification across industries exemplifies the power of adapting to changing market dynamics, a concept central to management education. Furthermore, Adani’s experience underscores the importance of sustainable business practices, corporate governance, and transparency – all critical topics for future business leaders. His global ventures illuminate the complexities of international business relationships. By studying his journey, master’s in management students can bridge theory with real-world application, preparing themselves to navigate the dynamic landscape of modern business with adaptability and resilience.

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ Youssef LOURAOUI  EModeling of the crude oil price

   ▶ Henri VANDECASTEELE Approaches to investment

   ▶ Micha FISCHER Exchange-traded funds and Tracking Error

Useful resources

Adani Group of Industries Businesses of Adani group of industries

Yahoo financials Income statement of Adani group of industries

Statista Evolution of net worth of Adani group of industries

About the author

The article was written in February 2024 by Nithisha CHALLA (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole – Master in Management (MiM), 2021-2024).

Posted in Contributors | Leave a comment

Index fund manager: Unveiling the Dynamics of Passive Investing

Nithisha CHALLA

In this article, Nithisha CHALLA (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole – Master in management (MiM), 2021-2024) presents the job of index fund manager and their responsibilities in shaping the future of finance.

Introduction

Index funds have become a pillar of contemporary investment strategies in the dynamic world of finance. The function of an index fund manager, a specialist in charge of coordinating the smooth running of these funds, is essential to their success. A financial expert tasked with directing the management and administration of an index fund is known as an index fund manager. The performance of a particular market index, such as the S&P 500 or the FTSE 100, is replicated by index funds, commonly referred to as passive funds. Index funds strive to replicate the performance of the index they monitor, in contrast to actively managed funds, which try to beat the market (measured by the index performance). The index fund manager’s role involves closely mirroring the index’s composition and managing the fund’s investments accordingly. Index funds can take the forms of a mutual fund an exchange-traded fund (ETF) or a tacker quoted continuously.

Responsibilities of an Index Fund Manager

The index fund manager’s responsibilities encompass a range of critical tasks that contribute to the fund’s overall performance and alignment with its benchmark index.

These responsibilities include: replicating the index, rebalancing the portfolio, minimizing tracking errors, and managing dividends.

Replicating the Index

The index fund manager’s primary task is to ensure that the fund’s holdings mirror the index’s constituents and weightings accurately.

Rebalancing the portfolio

As market values fluctuate, the index fund manager must periodically rebalance the fund’s portfolio to maintain alignment with the index. This involves buying or selling securities to match the index’s changes.

Minimizing Tracking Error

The index fund manager aims to minimize tracking error, which measures the deviation of the fund’s performance from the index. Effective management ensures that the fund closely follows the index’s movements.

Managing dividends

Managing dividends and distributions in a manner consistent with the index is another crucial aspect of the index fund manager’s role.

Significance of Passive Investing

Index funds, which represent passive investment, have become very popular due to their cheap cost structure, benefits from diversification, and ease of use of ETFs. Index funds give investors exposure to a wide range of market segments, making them a desirable option for investors looking for reliable long-term returns without the hassles and expenses of active management. By following the index’s methodology and skillfully managing the fund’s portfolio, index fund managers play a crucial role in ensuring that these advantages are achieved.

Impact on the Financial Ecosystem

Index fund managers have a big impact on market dynamics and investor behavior, which helps to shape the financial ecosystem. Since they don’t engage in the regular buying and selling typical of active managers, their strategy of passive investment has a stabilizing influence on markets. This lessens market volatility and helps to create a more stable environment for making investments. As a result of these funds’ significant holdings in various businesses, the development of index funds has also boosted scrutiny of corporate governance and responsible investment (see the book “The Problem of 12” by John Coates).

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite the appeal of passive investing, index fund managers encounter several difficulties. It can be challenging to strike a compromise between tight index replication and performance optimization of the fund. Concerns regarding potential market distortions and ownership concentration in specific companies have also arisen because of the expansion of index funds. However, these difficulties also offer index fund managers chances to innovate, improve transparency, and respond to investor worries.

What do asset management firms do?

There are several functions of asset management firms but to brief about it, these firms are entrusted with the task of optimizing returns while managing risks, offering a diverse range of investment products and services. Functions of Asset Management Firms:

  • Wealth Management: Asset management firms specialize in managing and growing the wealth of their clients.
  • Investment Advisory: Offering investment advisory services, these firms provide insights, analysis, and recommendations on various asset classes, helping clients make informed investment decisions.
  • Portfolio Construction: Asset managers construct diversified portfolios tailored to meet specific financial goals and risk tolerance. They allocate assets across various classes such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and alternative investments.
  • Risk Management: Asset managers employ sophisticated risk management techniques to protect portfolios from market volatility and unforeseen events.
  • Research and Analysis: Firms conduct in-depth market research, economic analysis, and company evaluations to inform their investment decisions.

There are few notable asset management firms, to whose analysis a lot of index fund managers look up for various above-mentioned functionalities. A few examples of these Asset Management Firms are:

  • BlackRock: As one of the world’s largest asset managers, BlackRock manages trillions of dollars in assets. Known for its expertise in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), BlackRock offers a wide range of investment solutions for institutional and individual investors
  • JP Morgan Asset Management: JP Morgan Asset Management is a prominent player in the asset management industry, offering a spectrum of investment solutions, including mutual funds, institutional mandates, and alternative investments.
  • Fidelity Investments: Fidelity is a global asset manager providing a comprehensive suite of investment options, including mutual funds, retirement planning, and brokerage services. It is recognized for its research capabilities and investor education.
  • Vanguard Group: Vanguard is renowned for its low-cost index funds and a client-owned structure that aligns its interests with those of its investors. It pioneered index investing for the masses, emphasizing simplicity and cost-effectiveness.

Conclusion

An index fund manager is like a guide for passive investors, helping them navigate the financial landscape. Their job involves carefully mirroring the market, managing things effectively, and making sure the fund’s performance aligns with market indices. In a world where people want diverse investments, low costs, and steady returns, these managers look out for investors’ interests. For management students, understanding the role of an index fund manager holds valuable lessons in strategic investing and financial management. Studying the index fund manager’s role can enhance a management student’s grasp of investment strategies, financial markets, and the importance of aligning business practices with market trends.

Why should I be interested in this post?

For Master in Management students, exploring the activities of index fund managers offers practical insights into modern investment strategies relying more and more on index funds like ETFs. By understanding the role of index fund managers in passive investing, students bridge theory and practice, grasp the significance of low-cost diversification, and comprehend market trends. This knowledge enhances career prospects in finance.

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ Micha FISCHER Exchange-traded funds and Tracking Error

   ▶ Youssef LOURAOUI Passive Investing

Useful resources

Forbes, What Are Index Funds? How Do They Work?

Vanguard Index funds vs. actively managed funds

Oxford Law blogs Giant Asset Managers, the Big Three, and Index Investing

John Coates (2023) The problem of 12 Columbia Global Reports.

About the author

The article was written in February 2024 by Nithisha CHALLA (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole – Master in Management (MiM), 2021-2024).

Posted in Contributors | Leave a comment

CumEx files

CumEx files

Matthieu MENAGER

In this article, Matthieu MENAGER (ESSEC Business School, Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA), 2017-2021) we take a look at the CumEx files scandal. The total amount of the fraud, according to the 19 media that revealed the affair (including Le Monde, Die Zeit and La Repubblica) amounts €140 billion.

CumCum & CumEx : What is the difference

CumEx and CumCum are two tax avoidance schemes that came to public attention in 2018. CumCum is considered a legal form of tax optimization, while CumEx is illegal. CumCum involves artificially transferring ownership of dividend-paying shares or securities, when dividends are paid out, to avoid tax. Foreign investors sell their shares back to domestic banks for what is often a very short time before receiving their dividends. These investors thus escape any levy and then recover their dividends, in return for a commission paid to the bank that temporarily housed their financial securities. The operation is so quick that the tax authorities are unable to identify the true owner of the securities. CumEx, on the other hand, consists of obtaining a tax refund on dividends that have never been paid. This practice is illegal and has cost European countries billions of euros.

The damage done by CumEx Files

Dividend fraud, known as “CumEx”, is a form of tax plunder estimated at €140 billion, last amount dating from 2022 (€33.3 billion for France; €28.5 billion for Germany; €27 billion for the Netherlands; €18.8 billion for Spain), as reported by FranceInfo (2021). Revealed in Germany, this fraud affected 11 countries (Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Finland, Norway and Switzerland). Hanno Berger, a renowned lawyer, has devised a manipulation that involves buying and selling shares around the time of the dividend payment, so quickly that the tax authorities can no longer identify the true owner. The manipulation, which requires the agreement of several investors, enables the same dividend tax refund to be claimed several times over, thereby prejudicing the tax authorities.

The scam can be illustrated as follows:

CumCum

Tim from Frankfurt transfers his shares in a French company to Hugo, who lives in Dubai, where dividends are taxed at 0% under an agreement between Paris and Dubai, a few days before the dividend payment (Figure 1). The dividends are then paid by the French company to Hugo (Figure 2) and therefore has no dividend taxes to pay to the French state (Figure 3). The shares are then returned to Tim, who didn’t have to pay any taxes (a tax saving of 15 to 30%). The tax system in France for dividends is a flat tax of 30% and consists of a single flat tax of 12.8% and 17.2% social tax. Tim and Hugo may agree to share the tax saving between them (Figure 4).

Figure1. CumCum mechanism – First step:
 CumCum mechanism - First step:
Source: The author.

Figure 2. CumCum mechanism – Second step:
 CumCum mechanism - Second step:
Source: The author.

Figure 3. CumCum mechanism – Third step:
 CumCum mechanism – Third step:
Source: The author.

Figure 4. CumCum mechanism – Fourth step:
 CumCum mechanism – Fourth step:
Source: The author.

CumEx

Tim, Lea and Hugo will trade hundreds of thousands of shares over a very short period around the dividend payment date. The tax authorities will have no way of knowing who the real owner of the shares is and they’ll pay back taxes they haven’t even collected.

Figure 5. CumEx mechanism
 Figure 5. CumEx mechanism
Source: The author.

Who is implicated?

BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Natixis and Crédit Agricole (Cacib) are suspected of helping their customers to avoid paying tax on dividends. The resale and repurchase of shares, even for a short period, is in fact legal. On the other hand, the industrialisation of this practice to evade tax can be punished. In 2018, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole and Société Générale were among the French banks singled out by the “CumEx Files” investigation group for this type of practice.

In Germany, dozens of people have been charged (traders, bankers, lawyers, advisers). The Warburg bank in Hamburg is one of the banks accused and should have reimbursed 47 million euros to the German port city. The municipality waived this obligation in 2016. The investigators are therefore looking into whether political leaders – including Olaf Scholz, the city’s mayor at the time – put pressure on the municipal tax authorities to waive recovery of these taxes. The decision to waive repayment of the sums owed by the Warburg bank was apparently taken shortly after a conversation between Olaf Scholz and Christian Olearius, then head of the bank. Investigators discovered more than €200,000 in cash in a safe at the home of another SPD member of parliament, who may have played a role in the bank’s repayment, fuelling suspicions of possible secret financial arrangements.

At the end of March 2023, the French Parquet national financier (PNF – a national prosecutor’s office specializing in major economic and financial crime) launched a wave of searches. On May 2, before the French Senate, Gabriel Attal, Minister Delegate for Public Accounts, made public the total amount of reassessments notified to date by the tax authorities: €2.5 billion, according to L’Express. This bill, which includes penalties in addition to the amounts reassessed, concerns in particular the five banks targeted by the PNF searches (Société Générale, BNP Paribas and its subsidiary Exane, Natixis and HSBC), but also Crédit Agricole (which managed to avoid the search).

Financial concepts

Shares

Shares are part of a company’s equity when it is incorporated as a public limited company. It is therefore a source of financing for the company, in the same way as debt securities, from which, however, it differs clearly. It has an unlimited lifespan (it can only be disposed of by selling the share, and there is no contractual repayment), and its holder bears the full risk of the company (he or she receives no income if the company goes badly, and in the event of liquidation the shareholder takes second place to the creditor in the distribution of the proceeds from the sale of assets – in other words, most of the time he or she can recover nothing). In return, the share gives the holder the right to share in the company’s profits and management via voting rights.

Dividends

By definition, the dividend is defined as the shareholder’s income. This is the amount that a shareholder (owner of shares in a company) receives as a result of the profits generated by the company over a given period. The choice of dividend payment is made at the general meeting. At that time, distributable profits and available reserves are recorded.

Shareholders receive a dividend in two cases:

  • When there is a distributable net profit
  • But also when the company does not make a profit but wishes to draw on its reserves of cash to remunerate its shareholders.

Why should I be interested in this post?

CumEx Files is also a very recent scandal. What I find most shocking is that some very well-known banking institutions are also implicated in the scandal. Politicians (including the German Chancellor) are even suspected of involvement. So it’s worth taking a closer look at these affairs to understand how they worked.

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ Louis DETALLE Wirecard: At the heart of the biggest German financial scandal of the 21st century

   ▶ Louis DETALLE The incredible story of Nick Leeson & the Barings Bank

   ▶ Louis DETALLE The 3 biggest corporate frauds of the 21st century

Useful resources

Press articles

Le Parisien (21/10/2021) CumEx Files : la France a perdu 33 milliards d’euros de recettes fiscales en vingt ans

Le Monde (18/10/2018) « CumCum », « CumEx » : le scandale des dividendes expliqué simplement

Le Monde (15/05/2023) Scandale « CumCum » : le fisc réclame plus de 2,5 milliards d’arriérés fiscaux aux banques

L’Express (19/08/2022) Allemagne : tout comprendre au scandale “Cum-ex Files” qui éclabousse Olaf Scholz

France Info (21/10/2021) “CumEx Files” : ce que l’on sait du “pillage fiscal à 140 milliards d’euros” révélé par plusieurs médias

France 24 (21/10/2021) “CumEx Files” : Hanno Berger, le cerveau présumé du scandale aux 140 milliards d’euros

Le Monde (21/10/2021) « CumEx Files » : un pillage fiscal à 140 milliards d’euros, quatre banques françaises dans le viseur du fisc

Videos

Le Monde (18/10/2018) CumEx Files : comment arnaquer le fisc avec la Bourse

Zonebourse (31/03/2023) Comment les banques fraudent le fisc grâce aux dividendes (CumCum, CumEx)

The Dark Side of Money (15/02/2022) CumEx Files: Biggest TAX FRAUD in Europe

Explainitychannel (04/03/2020) Cum-ex deals explained

About the author

The article was written in February 2024 by Matthieu MENAGER (ESSEC Business School, Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA), 2017-2021).

Posted in Contributors, Financial techniques | Tagged | Leave a comment

Wirecard: the biggest financial scandal in Germany

Wirecard: the biggest financial scandal in Germany

Matthieu MENAGER

In this article, Matthieu MENAGER (ESSEC Business School, Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA), 2017-2021) looks back at the Wirecard case, one of the biggest financial scandal in Germany.

Wirecard: what exactly is it?

The Wirecard affair is one of the biggest financial scandals in Germany. Wirecard is a financial start-up founded in 1999 by Markus Braun (an Austrian with a background in computer engineering). This fintech is a German payment and financial services platform. Its first customers were pornography and online betting sites. But little by little, and thanks to the expansion of online sales in the 2000s, Wirecard established itself with airlines, travel agencies, online pharmacies, etc. It was in 2008, unlike traditional banks (2007-2008: the sub-prime crisis) that the company experienced a major boom. In 2010, Jan Marsalek (a very important member of Wirecard) officially became Wirecard’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). His arrival will have a significant impact on the scandal (L’Express, 2022).

The decline

In 2018, Wirecard joined the DAX 30 index (the German equivalent of the CAC 40 index), knocking Commerzbank off the ranking (the second-largest bank in Germany). Between 2016 and 2018, Wirecard’s turnover doubled from €1 billion to €2 billion. At the beginning of 2019, the company had a market capitalisation of €17 billion, comparable to that of Deutsche Bank (Germany’s leading bank), but with fifteen times fewer employees and less turnover. Markus Braun, who held 7% of the shares, was a billionaire at the time. In January 2019, an investigation by the Financial Times (the British financial daily) revealed a number of abuses by Wirecard. According to the newspaper, its managers in Asia had written false contracts and worked on financial manipulations. In November 2019, Ernst & Young (one of the world’s top 4 audit firms) refused to certify the 2017 accounts. In the meantime, it had seen nothing but fire. This crisis has even reached the supervisory authority, which lacks the resources and has not done its job. As a result, supervision has been withdrawn from it in favour of another organisation, the BaFin (the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, better known by its abbreviation BaFin, is Germany’s financial regulatory authority). In June 2020 everything accelerates:

  • Mid-June: Wirecard repeatedly postpones the publication of its annual results (an investigation has been launched into suspicions of stock price manipulation)
  • 19 June: Markus Braun resigns
  • 21 June: the company confirms that the €1.9 billion mentioned in its balance sheet (i.e. a quarter of the size of the balance sheet) “most probably does not exist”.
  • 23 June: Markus Braun is arrested by the authorities, then released on €5 million bail.
  • 25 June: The company lost 98% of its value on the stock market, declared itself bankrupt and filed for bankruptcy (Its bank creditors expect to lose 80% of the money lent to Wirecard, according to an estimate by the Wall Street Journal).

Figure 1. The Wirecard’s Share Price.
Wirecard share price
Source: Boursorama

Figure 1 shows Wirecard’s share price with its entry on the DAX 30 in September 2018. In June 2020, we see the complete decline and the loss of around 98% of its value.

The investigation eventually revealed that Wirecard’s accounts for the years 2015 to 2018 had embellished the situation, in order to make the company attractive to investors. Some of the commissions based on payments did not come from Wirecard but from so-called third parties in Asia and the Gulf region who had a licence to operate. However, “there were in reality no resellers connected by these partners” and therefore no tangible turnover, according to the indictment. The business lawyer Mark Tolentino, presented by the German press as the person who operated as a fiduciary agent on behalf of Wirecard, is a key figure in the case. He claimed to be the victim of identity theft (the sums deposited in the accounts he opened were “just enough to buy an iPhone”).

January 2024, the trial is still ongoing and continues to raise questions about the truth (Euromaidan, 2023). It will probably take a few more months to reach a definitive conclusion. Markus Braun is still in prison and awaiting the end of his trial. Jan Marsalek is still missing. The day after the revelations, he left on a private jet from a small Austrian airport for Belarus. He faces a much longer sentence than the others. The investigators discovered that Jan Marsalek was part crook, part spy for Russia. He was apparently very close to the Kremlin (which also helped him to escape). He had a number of interactions with important figures, including Nicolas Sarkozy (they had lunch together). Neither the German authorities nor Interpol have managed to arrest him. He is now believed to be in Moscow under a false identity, protected by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB). He remains Europe’s most wanted man.

The impact of the scandal on Germany

Wirecard had taken on considerable importance in the lives of German citizens. Its companies manage payments via mobile applications or marketplaces, speed up the granting of credit, facilitate the sending of currency between countries and help companies manage their spending. It is a veritable economic infrastructure, in the same way as energy, water or transport networks. It involves the most delicate thing of all: money. All stakeholders must draw conclusions from the Wirecard scandal, including companies, shareholders, regulators and even customers:

  • Start-ups now have two options for operating their services: obtain a payment institution licence, which is time-consuming and costly, or go through intermediaries who offer turnkey payment services.
  • Shareholders and financial regulators will be stepping up their supervision.
  • Customers will pay more attention to the products they use.

The government also has its share of responsibility in the affair. The German financial market supervisor (BaFin) is under the authority of the Ministry of Finance (formerly headed by Olaf Scholz, who is currently Germany’s Chancellor). Since the affair, Olaf Scholz has announced a reform of the BaFin to give it more power. However, the minister himself was implicated in the scandal: a document from his own ministry states that Olaf Scholz knew that “BaFin was investigating in all directions” Wirecard as early as February 2019. The radical left-wing party Die Linke was outraged: “Negligence in the control of companies worth billions is totally unimaginable”. Chancellor Angela Merkel herself promoted the company during a trip to China in 2019, even though her services (but not herself, according to her circle) were already aware of the existence of an investigation, reports (Le Monde, 2020).

Why should I be interested in this post?

This case is very interesting in terms of the impact it has had on the development of the various authorities in Germany, Europe and the world. Just like the subprime crisis in 2008, the Kerviel affair in 2008, the carbon tax scam between 2008 and 2009, or the CumEx files in 2018, the Wirecard scandal has seen its share of fraud and manipulation. These various scandals show that today’s financial system is still not perfect, and that it must constantly be improved and made more secure to avoid a crash in the national or even global economy. These frauds are also causing a huge chasm in the national economy, which cumulatively is proving to be very significant. Although we cannot yet quantify precisely the impact of the Wirecard scandal on German GDP, we can see that the crises mentioned above (among others) are more than alarming: The CO2 emission allowance scam deprived the French tax authorities of a total of €1.6 billion in revenue, according to the Cour des Comptes. Losses estimated at €5 billion, according to Europol. The fraud perpetrated by the former Société Générale dealing room trader Jérome Kerviel resulted in a loss of €4.9 billion between 2005 and early 2008. The level of losses following the subprime crisis is close to $400 billion or even $500 billion. So, it’s important to be aware of the various mistakes we may have made and to avoid repeating them. I’d also like to take this opportunity to make a transition to the next case I’m going to look at: CumEx files.

N.B.: To find out more about the Wirecard case, you can watch the documentary “Skandal!” or the scripted series “King of Stonks” on Netflix.

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ Louis DETALLE Wirecard: At the heart of the biggest German financial scandal of the 21st century

   ▶ Nithisha CHALLA The DAX 30 index

Useful resources

Wirecard

France 24 (08/12/2022) Wirecard : le scandale financier qui a secoué l’Allemagne arrive devant la justice

Forbes (17/07/2020) Le Scandale Wirecard Ou La Fintech Au Révélateur

RTL (30/06/2020) Wirecard : tout comprendre au scandale financier qui ébranle l’Allemagne

La Tribune (25/07/2020) Scandale Wirecard : la gigantesque fraude de la fintech expliquée en 5 points

Le Monde (31/08/2022) Comprendre l’affaire Wirecard, le scandale financier qui secoue l’Allemagne depuis juin

20 Minutes (19/06/2020) Allemagne : Le scandale Wirecard coûte sa place au patron fondateur Markus Braun

Euromaidan (16/12/2023) WSJ : Wirecard fraudster CEO was Russian agent for nearly a decade

L’Express (08/12/2022) Fraude Wirecard : comment le sulfureux Jan Marsalek est devenu l’homme le plus recherché d’Europe

About the author

The article was written in February 2024 by Matthieu MENAGER (ESSEC Business School, Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA), 2017-2021)

Posted in Contributors, Financial news | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Creating a portfolio of Conviction

Creating a portfolio of Conviction

Chloé ANIFRANI

In this article, Chloé ANIFRANI (ESSEC Business School, Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA), 2019-2024) explains what it means to create a portfolio of conviction.

Conviction as a filter for your investment universe

In their article on Asset Allocation, Akshit GUPTA, an ESSEC student, defines the basics criteria considered by investors when building a portfolio. He defines them as the profile of the investor (risk profile, objective, time horizon), characteristics of the chosen assets (expected returns, risk, correlation), and chosen strategy of investing (strategic or tactical allocation).

Although those characteristics are what any good investor should consider in the first place, some other criteria might come into account. This is the case for portfolio used in thematic and conviction funds, which use particular quality filters to reduce their investment universe before taking a closer look at other characteristics in the highlighted assets.

In this article, we will only talk about equity assets (no bonds, structured products…).

For example, these filters might be geographic (global, European, American…), by capitalization (small, mid and large caps) or sector (technology, luxury, energy…).

Another type of filter seen in stock picking might be a conviction: after analyzing a company, the investor strongly believes that it shows a particular quality that makes it eligible for their portfolio.

The filter we will talk about today is one of those: Pricing Power.

Pricing Power is defined as the ability of a company to raise their prices without affecting the demand for their products, mostly thanks to specific technological invocation or patent, brand image and/or high barriers to entry for competitors.

This quality is often observed in sectors like luxury (LVMH, Hermès, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz…), health (Cooper, Zoetis, medication for rare disease…) or aeronautics (Airbus Dassault…), for example. On the contrary, it is harder to find in sectors like energy, insurance or telecom, where many actors offer the same type of products and services.

Pricing Power in asset allocation: how can an analyst recognize Pricing Power in companies

Although Pricing Power is greatly influenced by sectors, as explained above, it also is company specific. Firms might possess technologies and innovations that allow them to showcase Pricing Power in a sector that isn’t known for it, while others may not be able to utilize their sector’s strength in a way that would lead to gaining Pricing Power.

Therefore, here are some characteristics that help recognize Pricing Power in companies (Louis Vuitton, Ferrari, Hermès, Atoss Software, Capgemini, Airbus, ASML, Safran, EssilorLuxottica, Disney, Netflix, L’oréal):

Brand strength

Companies with strong and well-established brands often have better Pricing Power. Consumers may be willing to pay a premium for products associated with a trusted and recognized brand.

Examples: Louis Vuitton, Ferrari, Hermès

Unique products or services, technological innovation

If a company offers unique or differentiated products or services that are not easily replicated by competitors, it may have greater control over pricing. This uniqueness can create a competitive advantage.

Examples: Atoss Software, Capgemini

High barriers to entry

If a company is established in a sector with high barriers to entry, like high cost of development or strict regulatory environment, it may showcase Pricing Power, as switching from this company to competitors might be difficult for customers in case of price increase.

Examples: Airbus, ASML, Safran

Market position

A leading market position or a dominant market share can provide Pricing Power. Market leaders often have more control over pricing, since customers may view their products as industry standards.

Examples: LVMH, EssilorLuxottica

Customer loyalty

High customer loyalty can enable a company to maintain Pricing Power. However, since customer loyalty derives from a feeling of trust between the client and brand, it shouldn’t be considered as a primary element to examine for investors, as too many raises in prices might negatively impact the relationship.

Examples: Disney, Netflix

Track record of price increases

Examining a company’s historical ability to implement price increases successfully can provide insights into its Pricing Power. Consistent or periodic price increases without significant negative effects on sales would be a positive indicator.

Examples: L’oréal, Louis Vuitton, Hermès

It is important to note that elements like cost advantages (economies of scale, economies of scope, relationship with manufacturers…) do not lead to pricing power, but to margin control, which would be another type of filter.

The case of luxury: intangibles in Pricing Power

To better understand how Pricing Power evolves for brands, let’s talk about the case of luxury today.

In 2022 and 2023, the market has been shaken by the new hawkish monetary policy declared by central banks, with interest rates raising at a rapid pace and to a level that had not been seen for many years.

This new reality led to difficulties for firms which relied heavily on debt to finance their activities.

In the case of the luxury sector, our new situation of “Higher for longer” rates lead to a strengthening of the already existing barriers to entries. Firms that have been major actors in this field for decades (LVMH, Kering, Hemes, Richemont…) should see fewer young brands emerging to their levels for the years to come.

It is interesting to note that those actors’ Pricing Power comes primarily from their brand image. This component helps them to sustain an “asset light” growth, which doesn’t require much investment in new technologies or patents on their parts.

However, an investor might worry that the current inflation and reduction of houses’ purchasing power might affect demand on luxury products, that are often not primary necessities.

Indeed, if 2022 was a particularly good year for the sector (9-11% annual growth), its trajectory has slowed down in 2023, coming back to average historical levels (7-8%). The major actors, who raised their prices significantly in 2022 and 2023, already plan more moderate raises for the years to come.

Those elements should be considered by an investor interested in Pricing Power. However, they do not invalidate it for the sector. We notice two elements that are in its favor for the upcoming years: the consumption of luxury goods is becoming more and more concentrated on the most “iconic” brands (Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton…) and the number of clients is increasing steadily every year. In 2023, there were 400 million of luxury consumers. 50 million of them where millionaires, which is interesting to note, knowing how polarized this sector consumption is: 1% of the customers equals 20% of the total sales. This means that the main luxury consumers are the least affected by the current drop in purchasing power.

With this information and the previously stated higher barriers to entry, we can consider that the current state of the market might actually be beneficial to the luxury sector’s main actors’ Pricing Power.

Funds and ETFs with Pricing Power at their core

To conclude this article, we will cite some funds that have been basing their investment strategies around Pricing Power.

We selected three of these funds, all primarily invested in Eurozone. The funds are Delubac Pricing Power I (FR0011304229), Pictet Premium brands I (LU0217138485, also invested in the US) and Amplegest Pricing Power (FR0010889857).

Top 10 Delubac Pricing Power.
Delubac PP top 10
Source: Morningstar.

Top 10 Pictet Premium Brands.
Pictet PB top 10
Source: Morningstar.

Top 10 Amplegest Pricing Power.
Amplegest PP top 10
Source: Morningstar.

While examining their top 10 stocks, it is interesting to note that some brands, well-established as having Pricing Power, can be found in all three allocations (LVMH, L’Oréal, Linde).

For your information, here are the funds’ performances over the last five years, compared to their zone of investment’s.

Performances over 5 years
PP funds 5y track
Source: Quantalys.

Performances in 2023
PP funds 2023
Source: Quantalys.

Annual Performances from 2017
PP funds perf from 2017
Source: Quantalys.

And yes, investing with conviction can be rewarding and a great way to differentiate your product, but it doesn’t always beat the market!

Why should I be interested in this post?

If you wish to work in Asset Management, as an analyst or funds manager, or as a customer, this post will help you understand what kind of criteria might be used to do so. Asset Managers sell a product, not just a track record, and it is important to know how to build a portfolio around a concept in order to differentiate yourself on a very saturated market!

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ Youssef LOURAOUI Asset Allocation Techniques

   ▶ Louis DETALLE A quick interview with an Asset Manager at Vontobel

   ▶ Akshit GUPTA Asset Allocation

Useful resources

Pricing Power is the magic ingredient for equity investors

JP Moorgan Combating inflation with pricing power

Morgan Stanley Combating inflation with pricing power

About the author

The article was written in February 2024 by Chloé ANIFRANI (ESSEC Business School, Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA), 2019-2024).

Posted in Contributors, Financial techniques | Leave a comment

Top 5 Asset Management firms in Europe

Top 5 Asset Management firms in Europe

Chloé ANIFRANI

In this article, Chloé ANIFRANI (ESSEC Business School, Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA), 2019-2024) discusses the top 5 Asset Management firms in Europe.

Methodology

To define the top 5 Asset Management firms in Europe, we built a methodology based on a selection of criteria. However, as the initial pool of firms would have been too extensive to analyze, we first looked for rankings online, led by independent research institutes, to reduce the area of research.

We then took the companies that appeared in their top 5 the most often, and obtained this first ranking:

  1. Amundi Asset Management
  2. BlackRock
  3. Allianz Group
  4. UBS Group
  5. Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM).

However, this ranking will not be final.

While we will use it to know which companies to analyze, we will reorganize our list thanks to the following elements, which seem like the most relevant and the most useful for an objective comparison. We also think these elements will be the most interesting to a student trying to learn more about the Asset Management field for their future career. The following criteria will each bring insights on the companies’ businesses and sizes, on their catalogs (interesting for customers), and on their social policies (interesting for employees) :

  • Global Asset under Management (AuM)
  • 2023 net inflows
  • Diversity of product offer
  • Employee well-being.

Considering the AuM, we would have rather used European numbers, instead of global, but we couldn’t access this data.

Therefore, our final ranking will be a top 5 of Asset Management firms in Europe in 2023, based on these criteria. The criterion of reputation was already considered by the original rankings, which is why we won’t use it.

For each criterion, we will rank each firm according to the other’s results, 1 being the highest rank and 5 the lowest. Then, we will compute the average score of each company and rank them accordingly.

Asset under Management and 2023 net inflows will be found on the firms’ websites or in press releases.

To grade firms’ offers’ diversity, we will see how many funds each company sells (source: Quantalys), but also what type of products they offer (stocks funds, fixed income, diversified, ETFs, structured products…).

To grade their employee’s well-being, we will use their average scores on Glassdoor, a website where employees can grade their firms. Each criterion weights the same.

Amundi Asset Management

Logo of Amundi

Asset under Management 2023: 1973bn€

Net inflows 2023: 69bn€

Diversity of product offer: 673 funds (stocks, structured products, diversified, fixed income, monetary, real estate)

Employees’ well-being: 3,9/5 (841 reviews)

BlackRock

Logo of BlackRock

Asset under Management 2023: +10000bn$

Net inflows 2023: 289bn$

Diversity of product offer: 876 funds (stocks, fixed income, diversified, monetary)

Employees’ well-being: 3,9/5 (5812 reviews)

Allianz Group

Logo of Allianz

Asset under Management 2023: 2162bn€

Net inflows 2023: 2,2bn€

Diversity of product offer: 290 funds (stocks, fixed income, diversified, monetary, structured products)

Employees’ well-being: 4/5 (8509 reviews)

UBS Group

Logo of UBS

Asset under Management 2023: 146,9bn$

Net inflows 2023: 11,5bn$

Diversity of product offer: 542 funds (stocks, fixed income, diversified, monetary)

Employees’ well-being: 3,9/5 (14212 reviews)

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM)

Logo of LGIM

Asset under Management 2023: 1471bn$

Net inflows 2023: 271bn€

Diversity of product offer: 48 funds (stocks, fixed income)

Employees’ well-being: 3,7/5 (219 reviews)

Conclusion

Once we consider all these elements, here are the ranks we obtain for each criterion and their average for each firm:

Ranking of asset management firms.
Ranking of asset management firms
Source: The author.

Therefore, our new ranking for the top 5 Asset Management firms in Europe in 2023 is :

  1. BlackRock
  2. Amundi
  3. Allianz
  4. UBS
  5. LGIM

Why should I be interested in this post?

As an ESSEC student in the SimTrade course, you might be interested in Asset Management, and wanting to know more about its key players. This post will be a good way for you to know more about them and their characteristics. Maybe your future employer is one of them!

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ Louis DETALLE A quick presentation of the Asset Management field…

   ▶ Akshit GUPTA Asset management firms

   ▶ Youssef LOURAOUI ETFs in a changing asset management industry

Useful resources

Mordor Intelligence Asset management markets in Europe size & share analysis – growth trends & forecast

Yahoo! Finance Global Asset Management Market Insights (2022-2029): Development Trends and Dynamics, Latest Opportunities, Growing Factors, Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis, Emerging Technologies and Forecast to 2029

MarkWide research Europe Asset Management Market Analysis-Industry Size, Share, Research Report, Insights, Covid-19 Impact, Statistics, Trends, Growth and Forecast 2024-2032

About the author

The article was written in February 2024 by Chloé ANIFRANI (ESSEC Business School, Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA), 2019-2024).

Posted in Contributors | Leave a comment

My experience as an Asset Management Sales Assistant for Amplegest

My experience as an Asset Management Sales Assistant for Amplegest

Chloé ANIFRANI

In this article, Chloé ANIFRANI (ESSEC Business School, Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA), 2019-2024) shares her professional experience as Asset Management Development Assistant for Amplegest.

About the company

Amplegest was established in 2007 and operates across three main business segments: Private Wealth Management, Family Office, and Asset Management.

Private Wealth Management

Wealth Engineering: A team of wealth engineers provides personalized advice to clients, addressing evolving issues related to wealth, taxation, and family matters over time.

Discretionary Portfolio Management: The firm offers the market expertise of its fund managers, developed through extensive experience in banks or asset management firms. Amplegest actively seeks new investment opportunities across all asset classes and geographical regions, employing a short and collaborative decision-making process for responsiveness.

Profiled Portfolio Management: The firm offers specific profiled portfolios to retail investors, who manage their own clients’ portfolios.

Family Office

Amplegest serves high-net-worth individuals in France and internationally through a dedicated department, Canopée FO, offering fully customized services.

Asset Management

Amplegest’s Asset Management division offers three expertise:

  • Equity: with 5 funds, the firm covers many thematics (such as technological innovation, pricing power), capitalizations (large, mid and small caps) and regions (global, US and Eurozone),
  • Diversified portfolios: with its Latitude range, the firm offers diversified funds with precise return objectives and risk allocation, with an offer for each profile of investor,
  • Fixed Income: the firm distributes Octo AM’s funds, a company specialized in bonds funds, with a Value management style.

Key Facts and Figures

  • Assets under Management (AuM): 3bn€
  • A large product range of more than 13 funds
  • Diverse clientele: institutional, retail, funds selectors…
  • All activities of Amplegest are approved by the AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers).

Logo of the company.
Logo of Amplegest
Source: Amplegest.

My internship

My internship was in the sales department of Amplegest Asset Management. With a team of five sellers, I learned about the different distribution channels of funds in a B2B model (the team I was in did not work with final clients). The focus of the team is on institutional and retail clients. In 2023, we mainly worked on distributing Octo AM’s bonds funds, which have met a great success following the interest rates’ raises. The firm’s fixed income’s AuM went from €350m in 2022 to €800m in 2023.

My missions

Over the course of six months, I supported the team with customer relationship management and enhancing our understanding of the firm’s competitive landscape.

One of my primary responsibilities involved diligently preparing for client appointments. This entailed creating comprehensive briefs on Amplegest funds and conducting in-depth analyses of their competitive environments. Whether addressing global competition or specific funds selected by clients, my aim was to highlight the differentiating aspects of our offerings.

In addition to client-focused tasks, I took charge of producing documents containing technical information about the funds, ensuring compliance with our customers’ regulatory requirements such as “étude de transparisation”, KYC, and Due Diligence. Monthly, I managed the dispatching of these documents, tailoring the frequency to the individual needs of each client.

Collaborating closely with both the Asset Management and Marketing teams, I actively contributed to the planning and execution of numerous B2B events. This encompassed the coordination of trade fairs such as Patrimonia, organizing large-scale professional lunches and presentations, facilitating webinars, and orchestrating engaging professional afterwork events.

Furthermore, I dedicated efforts to augment the firm’s understanding of its funds’ positions in the market. Collaborating with dedicated tools designed to gather real-time information on competitors’ performance and track records, I systematically compared these metrics against our own. This included the creation of specific peer groups tailored to each fund, providing valuable insights into their relative standing within the market.

Required skills and knowledge

In Asset Management firms, the role of Sales Assistants requires a multifaceted skill set that encompasses technical expertise and strong interpersonal skills. B2B clients expect sales professionals to possess an in-depth understanding of the market and its dynamics, coupled with the ability to articulate a fund’s management process, recent market movements, and current values with the same proficiency as a portfolio manager.

Upon assuming the role, I prioritized enhancing my knowledge of current events, particularly those related to the stock market and global financial trends. Each day commenced with a thorough review of newsletters, and I highly recommend daily publications by Bloomberg for comprehensive insights. This proactive approach allowed me to respond swiftly when clients sought information about the prevailing market conditions and how they correlated with Amplegest’s product offerings.

A good knowledge of the regulatory environment of Asset Management firms is also essential. The rules that govern this profession are numerous and constantly updated. This means that a great interest for current events (suits and convictions in other firms, general recommendations…) will be beneficial, as well as a good understanding of the guidelines provided by the Compliance department.

A proficiency in Excel is paramount, serving as a vital tool for data analysis, reporting, and decision-making within the asset management landscape. Additionally, financial analysis skills are crucial for interpreting complex financial data and providing comprehensive insights to clients.

In terms of soft skills, effective communication is fundamental—both verbal and written—enabling the clear and concise articulation of complex financial concepts. Strong client relationship management skills are essential for building and maintaining long-term partnerships, understanding client needs, and providing excellent customer service.

Adaptability is key in navigating evolving market conditions, client preferences, and organizational changes. Problem-solving skills come into play in identifying challenges and proposing effective solutions to address client inquiries and concerns.

Negotiation skills are valuable in securing mutually beneficial agreements with clients, while team collaboration is essential for working effectively with colleagues across different departments, fostering a cooperative and supportive work environment. Effective organization and multitasking are necessary for managing multiple tasks and projects simultaneously, while analytical thinking is crucial for making data-driven decisions and providing valuable insights to clients.

Furthermore, networking skills contribute to building a professional network within the industry, attending relevant events, and staying informed about industry trends. Finally, strong time management ensures efficient task prioritization, meeting deadlines, and delivering results in a fast-paced environment. Together, these skills collectively contribute to the effectiveness of an Asset Management Sales Assistant in navigating the complexities of the financial industry and delivering value to clients and the organization.

What I learned

In terms of knowledge, I learned a lot about the organization of an Asset Management firm, and its funds. In this internship, I gained practical knowledge of the regulatory landscape governing the financial sector. I also learned about fund organization and shares, exploring the nuances of fund structures, issuance of shares, and compliance with legal frameworks. Moreover, I developed a perspective on the distinctions between the back, middle, and front office specific functions within an asset management firm. This exposure allowed me to appreciate the integral roles each department plays in the overall operational efficiency and success of the organization.

In this role, I was also able to use skills developed in previous internships. Time management was one of them, which, as explained earlier, revealed itself to be a crucial component to a good experience in this field. Indeed, some requests from clients and coworkers needed to be tended to in a matter of minutes or may make the firm lose millions (a bit extreme, but sometimes realistic). Therefore, my other missions needed to be done as soon as possible, to allow time for the more pressing ones. I learned to organize my work to optimize my efficiency on this matter.

In terms of technical skills, I learned funds analysis, with the ability to evaluate their performance, risk profiles and underlying strategies thanks it their allocation and communications. This involved a systematic examination of the firm’s competitive market and its key players and trends.

Thanks to this in-depth benchmark, a sales team is able to prepare clients’ briefs, but also to offer new strategies and product offerings to their managers, identifying market opportunities and specific needs for the clients.

This experience has not only enhanced my analytical capabilities but also deepened my understanding of the intricate dynamics within the financial markets.

As a Sales Assistant, I also developed my VBA skills, and learned the power of this tool, especially used in finance firms. Excel VBA helped me to automate and streamline numerous tasks related to data analysis, reporting, and client communication, thereby significantly enhancing my efficiency and productivity. By developing proficiency in Excel VBA, I could create customized macros and scripts tailored to the specific needs of our team, automating repetitive processes and allowing me to focus more on strategic aspects of sales and client relationship management.

Overall, this experience not only broadened my knowledge and skills base but also equipped me with practical insights crucial for navigating the complex and highly regulated landscape of asset management.

Financial concepts related my internship

Fixed income

As explained earlier, 2023 was the year of fixed income. Because of this, understanding the inner workings of a bond funds was essential, as those funds are more complex than equity funds.

In order to give the clients the information they required and work adequately with the provided documents, this knowledge was a real necessity.

Diversified Asset Allocation

In preparing briefings for clients and partners, I often had to summarize the recent movements made on the firm’s diversified funds. Those funds invest in ETFs, bonds, monetary funds structured products in order achieve their expected annual return and respect their risk budget. Therefore, this type of product is, once again, more complex than equity funds, and require a deep understanding of active asset allocation and market movements.

Return on Investment

In order to have more insight on Amplegest’s clients’ satisfaction, I had to compute their total RoI, taking into account every movement they made over the course of their investment in the firm (subscription/redemption), in different funds at different times and with different net asset value of the shares they bought. This required a good understanding of Return on Investment.

Why should I be interested in this post?

As ESSEC students, we often think of working in Asset Management firms as working as a portfolio manager. However, there are many other functions in this field, and sales is one of them. If you are looking to expend your knowledge on the field and your potential future job inquiries, this post will teach you more about a very exciting position!

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ All posts about Professional experiences

   ▶ Louis DETALLE A quick interview with an Asset Manager at Vontobel

   ▶ Akshit GUPTA Asset management firms

Useful resources

Asset management markets in Europe size & share analysis – growth trends & forecast

Amplegest

About the author

The article was written in February 2024 by Chloé ANIFRANI (ESSEC Business School, Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA), 2019-2024).

Posted in Contributors, Professional experiences | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

M&A Strategies: Benefits and Challenges

M&A Strategies: Benefits and Challenges

Lilian BALLOIS

In this article, Lilian BALLOIS (ESSEC Business School, Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA), 2019-2023) explains about the M&A Strategies.

Reminder: What are Mergers & Acquisitions?

M&A (short for Mergers and Acquisitions) refers to the processes of combining two or more companies into a single entity or the purchase of one company by another. These activities are typically undertaken to achieve specific objectives such as expanding market share, gaining competitive advantages, increasing efficiency, or accessing new technologies.

In a merger, two companies come together to create a new entity, while in an acquisition, one company acquires another, which may result in the acquired company becoming part of the acquiring company or continuing to operate as a subsidiary.

What are the five main M&A strategies?

M&A activities can take various forms and involve different strategies, such as vertical mergers, horizontal mergers, conglomerate mergers, market extension and product extension. Each approach comes with its own set of benefits and challenges.

Vertical strategy

Vertical strategy.
Vertical strategy
Source: The author

A vertical strategy involves the consolidation of two or more businesses operating at different stages of the supply chain to create an integrated product or service. A notable example of a vertical merger is the merger between Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios in 2006 for $7.4 billion. The merger drove growth between the businesses. The benefits of a vertical strategy include increased operational efficiency, lower operating costs, higher profits, and improved quality control. On the other hand, challenges may arise from opposing company cultures, potential loss of key team members due to role combinations, and increased bureaucratic costs.

Horizontal strategy

Horizontal Merger.
Horizontal Merger
Source: The author

A horizontal strategy involves two businesses within the same industry merging to eliminate competition. A good example of a horizontal merger is the merger between Exxon and Mobile in 1998 for $75.3 billion. This strategy offers benefits such as increased revenue, diversification of products and services, a larger market reach, and reduced competition. Nonetheless, it comes with challenges, including heightened regulatory scrutiny, decreased business mobility, less control over decision-making, and the risk of providing less value to customers compared to pre-merger offerings.

Conglomerate strategy

Conglomerate Merger.
Conglomerate Merger
Source: The author

A conglomerate strategy involves merging two companies with distinct business activities, either through pure mergers, where each company continues operating independently in their respective markets, or mixed mergers, involving product and market extensions. In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion. The merger enabled Amazon to step foot in the grocery sphere and Whole Foods accessed Amazon’s vast customer base to boost its sales. The benefits of a conglomerate merger include a larger market share, business diversification, and increased revenue through cross-selling. However, challenges may arise, including reduced efficiency, conflicts in workplace cultures, and a shift in core business values that could lead to friction with customers and stakeholders.

Market extension strategy

Market extension strategy.
Market extension strategy
Source: The author

The acquisition of LinkedIn (valued at $26.2 billion) by Microsoft from 2016, illustrates a market extension strategy, uniting two entities that offered distinct services — Microsoft’s technology and productivity solutions with LinkedIn’s professional networking platform. While both companies operated in different spheres of the market, the merger aimed to create synergies by integrating their respective strengths. The benefits of this merger allowed Microsoft to broaden its reach and enhance services by tapping into LinkedIn’s extensive database of professional connections. For LinkedIn, the benefits were an expanding client base and market presence. However, challenges such as increased business responsibility, higher capital requirements, and the potential for accumulating debt were factors that need careful consideration in the post-merger landscape.

Product extension strategy

Product extension strategy.
Product extension strategy
Source: The author

An example of a product extension merger is when Pepsi Co acquired Pizza Hut in 1977. This merger involved two companies operating in the same market, offering complementary products designed for joint consumption. Pepsi Co’s acquisition of Pizza Hut aimed to diversify their offerings and tap into a broader customer base. By linking Pizza Hut exclusively to Pepsi beverages, Pepsi Co expanded sales and market reach. Within a year of the merger, Pizza Hut sales exceeded $436 million. Benefits of product extension mergers include an expanded customer base, shared resources, and reduced operational costs through collaboration. However, challenges such as potential market clutter and confusion, as well as decreased efficiency in production and marketing efforts, may arise. Despite these challenges, the primary advantage lies in creating a “mega product” that leverages a wider customer base, while the downside involves the risk of market saturation and reduced operational efficiency.

Ensuring fair competition

L’Autorité de la Concurrence

The French competition authority (Autorité de la Concurrence), uses several mechanisms to prevent mergers and acquisitions from resulting in anti-competitive practices:

  1. Merger Control Review: The Autorité de la Concurrence conducts a review of proposed mergers and acquisitions to assess their potential impact on competition. It evaluates factors such as market concentration, barriers to entry, and the likelihood of unilateral or coordinated effects that could harm competition.
  2. Market Analysis: The authority conducts market analyses to understand the dynamics of relevant markets affected by the merger or acquisition. This analysis helps to identify potential competition concerns and assess whether the transaction could lead to the creation or strengthening of a dominant market position.
  3. Assessment of Efficiencies: While examining mergers and acquisitions, the Autorité de la Concurrence also considers potential efficiencies that could benefit consumers, such as cost savings, improved product quality, or innovation. These efficiencies must outweigh any potential harm to competition.
  4. Imposition of Resorts: If the authority identifies competition concerns arising from a merger or acquisition, it may impose resorts to address them. Resorts can include divestitures of overlapping businesses or assets, licensing agreements, behavioral commitments, or other measures designed to preserve competition in affected markets.
  5. Legal Enforcement: If a merger or acquisition raises significant competition concerns and cannot be resolved through resorts, the Autorité de la Concurrence can prohibit the transaction outright. It can also impose fines or other sanctions for violations of competition law.

Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) focuses on regulating securities markets and protecting investors, rather than directly overseeing antitrust aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Nevertheless, the SEC plays a crucial role in ensuring transparency and fairness in the disclosure of information related to M&A transactions, which indirectly contributes to preventing anti-competitive practices.

Here’s how the SEC helps ensure that M&A activities do not lead to anti-competitive practices:

  1. Disclosure Requirements: The SEC mandates that companies involved in M&A transactions disclose relevant information to shareholders and the public. This includes details about the terms of the merger or acquisition, potential risks, and the rationale behind the transaction. By providing comprehensive and accurate disclosures, the SEC helps investors make informed decisions and promotes transparency in M&A transactions.
  2. Enforcement of Securities Laws: While the SEC’s primary focus is on enforcing securities laws rather than antitrust laws, it may investigate M&A transactions if they involve violations of securities regulations. For example, the SEC may investigate cases of insider trading or fraudulent activities related to M&A deals.
  3. Proxy Statement Review: The SEC reviews proxy statements filed by companies involved in M&A transactions to ensure compliance with disclosure requirements. Proxy statements contain essential information about the proposed transaction, like details about the parties involved, the terms of the deal, and potential conflicts of interest. Through its review process, the SEC helps to ensure that shareholders receive accurate and complete information about M&A transactions.
  4. Regulation of Tender Offers: The SEC regulates tender offers to protect shareholders from coercive or fraudulent practices. Companies making tender offers must comply with SEC regulations regarding disclosure and fairness to shareholders. The SEC may intervene if it identifies any irregularities or violations of securities laws in tender offers.

While the SEC’s role in directly preventing anti-competitive practices in M&A transactions is limited, its oversight of disclosure requirements and enforcement of securities laws contribute to promoting transparency, fairness, and investor protection in the M&A process. Additionally, the SEC collaborates with other regulatory agencies, such as the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which have primary responsibility for enforcing antitrust laws related to mergers and acquisitions.

Why should I be interested in this post?

This post offers a comprehensive understanding of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) strategies, providing insights into the benefits and challenges associated with various approaches. Covering the five main M&A strategies – vertical, horizontal, conglomerate, market extension, and product extension – the post dives into real-world examples. Readers will gain a deeper understanding of how different M&A strategies are implemented, their advantages as well as the challenges they may encounter. Whether you’re a business professional looking to expand your knowledge of M&A or a student delving into strategic management, this post offers valuable insights into the complexities of M&A strategies in today’s corporate landscape.

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ Louis DETALLE A quick presentation of the M&A field…

   ▶ Louis DETALLE How does a takeover bid work & how is it regulated?

   ▶ Raphaël ROERO DE CORTANZE In the shoes of a Corporate M&A Analyst

   ▶ Rick MARCHESE Difference between a merger and an acquisition

Useful resources

Academic References

Bernile, G., Lyandres, E. and Zhdanov, A. (2011) A theory of strategic mergers European Finance Review, 16(2) 517–575.

A practical guide to mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures Delta Publishing Company

Specialized References

McKinsey & Company

PwC (2020). Mergers & Acquisitions

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Autorité de la Concurrence

Reuters Mergers and Acquisitions

Bloomberg

About the author

The article was written in February 2024 by Lilian BALLOIS (ESSEC Business School, Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA), 2019-2023).

Posted in Contributors | Leave a comment

Discovering Private Equity: Behind the Scenes of Fund Strategies

Discovering Private Equity: Behind the Scenes of Fund Strategies

Lilian BALLOIS

In this article, Lilian BALLOIS (ESSEC Business School, Bachelor in Business Administration< (BBA), 2019-2023) explains about Private Equity fund strategies.

Reminder: What is Private Equity?

Private Equity entails investors directing capital into privately held enterprises that are not publicly traded on stock exchanges. Private Equity firms manage investors’ funds, which are utilized to secure ownership stakes in these companies, fostering their growth, innovation, or resolution of financial challenges. In exchange, investors anticipate yielding profits upon exiting the investment, typically within a span of 5 to 8 years.

Private equity thus offers a way for companies to receive strategic financing and for investors to earn returns on their investments, in an alternative way to traditional investments.

But how do you know which funds to invest in?

Decoding Success: How to choose the perfect Private Equity Investment Strategy

Aligning Investments with the Company Lifecycle

Private equity investments are aligned with various stages of a company’s lifecycle (Cf. chart below). In the early stages, venture capital provides funding for startups to assist in innovation and growth. As companies mature, growth equity offers expansion capital to fuel further development and market penetration. In the maturity stage, private equity often engages in leveraged buyouts (LBOs) to acquire established companies, implementing operational enhancements and strategic changes to boost efficiency and profitability. Finally, distressed capital may be deployed to support struggling businesses, offering resources and expertise to facilitate turnaround efforts.

Company life cycle.
Company Life Cycle
Source: The author

Venture Capital: at the Introduction Phase

Venture Capital is a private equity and financing approach focused on supporting early-stage startups and high-potential businesses. Investors, including affluent individuals, investment banks, and angel investors, contribute funds to fuel the growth of these companies. Apart from monetary contributions, investors may also offer technical or managerial expertise. An illustrative example of Venture Capital at work is Uber, which in 2010 received its initial major funding of $1.3 million led by First Round Capital. Shortly after, in early 2011, it raised $11 million in a Series A funding round led by Benchmark. With these funds, Uber expanded its operations to various cities in the United States and abroad, including Paris, where the concept originated. By December of 2011, Uber secured $37 million in Series B financing from Menlo Ventures, Jeff Bezos, and Goldman Sachs, further fuelling its global expansion and technological advancements.

Growth Equity: at the Growth Phase

Growth equity is a less speculative form of financing, aids companies in their expansion phase. Unlike venture capital, growth equity is directed at already profitable and mature businesses with minimal debt. This type of funding, commonly involving minority ownership through preferred shares, facilitates strategic business growth, such as entering new markets or acquiring other companies, with a balanced risk-return profile. Adyen, a prime example, initially self-funded, but experienced exponential growth after securing $250M in Series B funding led by General Atlantic in 2014. This injection of capital significantly accelerated Adyen’s trajectory, leading to its successful IPO on Euronext in June 2018, with a market capitalization of €7.1B. Adyen’s subsequent revenue surge to €721.7 million in 2022 further underscores the potency of growth equity in fuelling sustained business growth.

Leveraged Buyouts & Management Buyouts: during the Maturity Phase

Leveraged Buyouts

Leveraged Buyouts (LBOs) funds combine investment funds with borrowed capital to acquire companies, aiming to enhance profitability. By leveraging creditors’ and investors’ money, the fund manager has more capital to purchase larger companies, either outright or by securing a majority stake for strategic control. The term “leveraged buyout” reflects the use of borrowed funds to afford larger acquisitions, potentially resulting in substantial returns if the strategies pay off. An instance of an LBO is Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, Inc. Despite initial resistance from Twitter’s board, who employed a “poison pill” strategy to deter hostile takeovers, Musk’s persistent pursuit led to the acceptance of his buyout offer of $44 billion on April 25.

Management Buyouts

Management Buyouts (MBOs) are transactions in which the existing management team of a company acquires a significant ownership stake or complete ownership of a business. In a MBO, the current managers collaborate with a private equity firm to purchase the business from its existing owners. This transaction is common when a company’s management team believes they can run the business more effectively or exploit growth opportunities better than the current ownership structure allows. The MBO of Dell Inc. in 2013 stands out as one of the largest and most significant in history. With a valuation reaching approximately $24.9 billion. The company’s founder, Michael Dell, partnered with Silver Lake Partners to reclaim control of the company he had founded. The move allowed Dell to implement long-term strategies and make pivotal decisions without the immediate pressures of quarterly earnings reports, facilitating a more nimble and adaptable approach to the rapidly evolving tech landscape.

Distressed Capital: at the Decline Phase

Distressed capital consists in lending to companies facing financial crises and to take control of businesses during bankruptcy or restructuring processes. The strategy involves purchasing distressed companies at a lower price, turn them around, and eventually sell them. Distressed capital carries inherent risk due to investing in financially challenged companies. For example, in May 2020, Hertz Global Holdings, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business, which saw a significant decline in travel demand. During its bankruptcy proceedings, Hertz secured funding from distressed debt investors to support their operations and restructuring efforts. This financing came from a consortium of lenders and institutional investors, providing Hertz with the liquidity needed to continue operations, pay essential expenses, and navigate the bankruptcy process.

Timeless Investing: Optimizing Portfolios through Vintage Year Diversity

What are “Vintage Years”?

“Vintage years” refer to specific time periods during which a fund was raised or initiated. Each vintage year represents a cohort of funds that were raised and deployed within a similar timeframe. These vintage years are often used by investors and analysts to track the performance of funds over time, as funds raised in the same vintage year may encounter similar market conditions and economic environments, which can affect their overall performance and returns.

Mitigating market cycles

Private equity has demonstrated superior performance compared to public equity throughout market cycles. However, returns are subject to fluctuations based on the phase of the business cycle. For instance, if a fund initiates investments during a downturn, it is likely to encounter a broader array of distressed and undervalued assets, with the potential for profitable exits when the market peaks. Conversely, a fund entering the market at its highpoint may face challenges as assets are likely to be expensive and may risk undervaluation upon entering public markets during the exit phase.

Given the unpredictability of market timing, diversification across vintages serves as a strategic approach to dampen this cyclical risk. This approach aims to create a more stable return profile that mirrors the overall characteristics of the asset class.

Establishing a self-sustaining portfolio

Company life cycle.
Self-funding Portfolio
Source: The author

As written above, funds can diversify through various vintages. This strategy allows to generate returns from an earlier vintage, which are reinvested as commitments for a subsequent vintage. In doing so, a self-funding portfolio is cultivated, steadily appreciating in value over time.

Exploring Sectors of Private Equity Investments

In 2023, technology continued to lead private equity investments, capturing a significant 31% share of total investments. Cloud-related ventures, especially enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS), remained appealing, fueled by expectations of sustained growth. Additionally, the rapid adoption of machine learning, driven by global enterprises integrating generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) into operations, signaled a broader trend towards innovation.

Consumer-focused investments, accounting for 14% of total investments, saw a focus on low-risk ventures in the food and agribusiness sector. Sustainable farming, combined agriculture, and timber ventures stood out, driven by increasing emphasis on environmental sustainability and responsible resource management.

In addition, financial services (11%) and health sectors (9%) saw significant private equity activity. In finance, investments spanned various subsectors, reflecting a pursuit of diverse opportunities. Meanwhile, health sector niches like enterprise imaging solutions and voice-based diagnostics attracted attention, driven by innovation in medical technology platforms, highlighting the sector’s transformative potential.

Company life cycle.
Sectoral Share in Private Equity Deal Values
Source: Moonfare

The private equity landscape in 2023 featured a diverse range of investment opportunities, with technology dominating while consumer, financial services, and health sectors also drew significant interest, providing distinct pathways for growth and value generation.

Why should I be interested in this post?

This post offers a comprehensive overview of private equity investing. It defines private equity and explores various investment strategies such as venture capital, growth equity, leveraged buyouts, management buyouts, and distressed capital, providing practical insights into their roles at different stages of a company’s lifecycle. Additionally, the post discusses the concept of vintage years and their significance in tracking fund performance over time, highlighting the importance of portfolio diversification and risk management.

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ Louis DETALLE A quick presentation of the Private Equity field…

   ▶ Louis DETALLE A quick review of the Growth Capital…

   ▶ Louis DETALLE A quick review of the Venture Capitalist’s job…

   ▶ Matisse FOY Key participants in the Private Equity ecosystem

Useful resources

Academic References

Martin, J. and R. Manac (2022) Varieties of funds and performance: the case of private equity, The European Journal of Finance, 28(18) 1819–1866.

EVCA (2007) Guide on Private Equity and Venture Capital for Entrepreneurs

Caselli, S. and M. Zava (2022) Private Equity and Venture Capital Markets in Europe

Specialized Press

Investment Strategies in private equity

Barber F. and M. Goold (2023) The strategic secret of private equity Harvard Business Review

Private Equity Pulse: key takeaways from Q4 2023

Financial Times Private Equity

Wall Street Journal Private Equity

About the author

The article was written in February 2024 by Lilian BALLOIS (ESSEC Business School, Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA), 2019-2023).

Posted in Contributors, Financial techniques | Tagged | Leave a comment

My professional experience as a property manager assistant at Urban Premium

My professional experience as a property manager assistant at Urban Premium

Lilian BALLOIS

In this article, Lilian BALLOIS (ESSEC Business School, Bachelor in Business Administration Program, 2019-2023) shares his professional experience as a property manager assistant at Urban Premium.

About the company

Founded in 2010, Urban Premium specializes in the structuring and management of real estate investment trusts (REITs). The company specializes in the management of residential and commercial SCPIs (Société Civile de Placement Immobilier). A SCPI is a collective investment undertaking in the form of a company that is not listed on the stock exchange. SCPIs collect money from many investors with the sole aim of acquiring and managing a property portfolio for rental. Urban Premium specializes in inner-city real estate investment, incorporating attractive tax incentives like “Pinel/Denormandie”, “Malraux” and “Déficit Foncier”.

The Pinel and Denormandie instruments offer tax reductions for the construction or renovation of real estate in specific areas of France, based on the duration of the lease.

The Malraux Law promotes investment in high-quality real estate, often in city centres and protected areas, offering an income tax reduction.

The Déficit Foncier allows for reducing tax pressure by generating a deficit through investments in properties requiring renovations, deductible from rental income.

Logo of Urban Premium.
Logo of Urban Premium
Source: Urban Premium

As a property manager assistant, I was able to work alongside the front office managers. It was the central unit within the company, and it was responsible for implementing the investment strategy in line with tax incentives (Pinel/Denormandie, Malraux, and Déficit foncier). The front office was made up of one Managing Director, 5 managers and me.

In addition to these responsibilities, our department played a crucial role in managing funds and making strategic decisions. This involved overseeing the allocation of resources across various investment channels, ensuring optimal utilization of available funds while adhering to risk management protocols. Furthermore, our team engaged in market research and trend analysis to identify opportunities.

My internship

I had a 6-month internship at Urban Premium as an assistant property manager.

My missions

During my 6-month internship from September 2022 to February 2023, I engaged with multiple investment opportunities and projects. I took on the responsibility of analysing and crafting pitch-books for weekly meetings with managers when investment opportunity booklets were received. In addition to this, I had to monitor the accounting sheets of the real estate funds, analyzing, and providing insightful comments on their performance. While also overseeing fundraising to a lesser extent, my internship enabled me to understand the complexities of regulatory compliance concerning tax incentives for real estate finance and portfolio management within my company.

Required skills and knowledge

To be able to work in a real estate investment fund, it is necessary to have certain key skills:

  • Financial analysis to assess the profitability and viability of real estate investments.
  • A certain degree in accounting knowledge to understand and manage financial sheets. Particularly, you need a good knowledge of property valuation and lease accounting.
  • The ability to implement and analyse benchmarks to evaluate investment performance relative to the market.
  • Some background knowledge of the mechanisms of real estate markets and investment strategies.
  • Excellent communication skills to collaborate effectively with team members, partners, and investors.
  • Mastery of IT Tools, notably Excel.
  • Especially for the fund in which I was employed, knowing the principles of the different tax systems (Pinel, Malraux and Déficit Foncier).

What I learned

During my internship at Urban Premium, I learned new concepts and solidified the knowledge I already had. The hands-on experience provided through my internship gave me understanding of the management of real estate investment portfolios. Other important aspects of my internship were analyzing and contributing to the assessment of investment opportunities, navigating the complexities of project financing, and honing my skills in financial analysis.

Financial concepts related my internship

(Real estate) Financial analysis

Real estate financial analysis is the process of evaluating the financial aspects of property investments. It involves a comprehensive examination of various financial metrics and considerations to determine the profitability and feasibility of a real estate venture. This analysis encompasses factors such as property values, rental income, operating expenses, financing costs, and potential returns on investment.

Investment opportunity evaluation

Evaluation of an investment opportunity is the process of assessing the viability and potential returns of a specific investment. It involves an analysis of financial data, market trends, risks, and potential rewards. This evaluation aims to provide decision-makers with an understanding of the investment’s feasibility and align it with the overall goals and strategies of the investor or organization.

Portfolio Management

Portfolio management is the strategic and systematic process of overseeing and optimizing a collection of financial assets (real estate in this case), known as a portfolio, to achieve specific investment goals.

Why should I be interested in this post?

This post provides insights into the professional experience of working as a property manager assistant at a real estate investment trust (REITs) and managing residential and commercial SCPIs. It delves into real estate finance, including French tax incentives such as “Pinel/Denormandie”, “Malraux”, and “Déficit Foncier”. Additionally, the post outlines the responsibilities and skills required for working REITs, making it a must-read for anyone interested in pursuing a career in this field or seeking to enhance their knowledge.

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ All posts about Professional experiences

   ▶ Arthur EVERARD My experience as a Real Estate Analyst at Eaglestone

   ▶ Clément KEFALAS My experience of Account Manager in the office real estate market in Paris

Useful resources

Urban Premium

About the author

The article was written in February 2024 by Lilian BALLOIS (ESSEC Business School, Bachelor in Business Administration Program, 2019-2023).

Posted in Contributors, Professional experiences | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Extreme correlation

Extreme correlation

Shengyu ZHENG

In this article, Shengyu ZHENG (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole Program – Master in Management, 2020-2024) explains the concept of extreme correlation.

Background

In financial risk management, there is a concept that is often overlooked, the extreme correlation also known as tail dependence. Tail dependence reveals how extreme events in two variables are linked. The oversight could leave portfolios exposed to amplified risks during market turbulence. In this post, we will get to see the definition and implications of this concept.

Linear correlation and copula

As presented in the post on copula, using linear correlation to model the dependence structure between random variables poses many limitations, and copula is a more generalized tool that allows to capture a fuller picture of the dependence structure.

Let’s recall the definition of copula. A copula, denoted typically as C∶[0,1]d→[0,1] , is a multivariate distribution function whose marginals are uniformly distributed on the unit interval. The parameter d is the number of variables. For a set of random variables U1, …, Ud with cumulative distribution functions F1, …, Fd, the copula function C satisfies:

C(F1(u1),…,Fd(ud)) = ℙ(U1≤u1,…,Ud≤ud)

Here we introduce Student t-copula as an example, which will also be used as an illustration in the part of extreme correlation.

Tail dependence coefficient

The tail dependence coefficient captures the dependence level of a bivariate distribution at its tails. Let’s denote X and Y as two continuous random variables with continuous distribution F and G respectively. The (upper) tail dependence coefficient between X and Y is defined as:

with the limit of λU∈[0,1]

We can conclude that the tail dependence coefficient between two continuous random variables is a copula property, and it remains invariant with strict increasing transformations of the two random variables.

If λU∈(0,1], X and Y are considered asymptotically dependent in their (upper) tail. If λU=0, X and Y are considered asymptotically independent in their (upper) tail.

It is important to note that the independent of X and Y implies that λU=0, but the converse is not necessarily true. λU describes only the dependence level at the tails.

Examples of extreme correlation

Longin and Solnik (2001) and Gkillas and Longin (2019) employ the logistic model for the dependence function of the Gumbel copula (also called the Gumbel-Hougaard copula) for Fréchet margins, as follows:

This model contains the special cases of asymptotic independence and total dependence. It is parsimonious, as we only need one parameter to model the bivariate dependence structure of exceedances, i.e., the dependence parameter α with 0<α≤1. The correlation of exceedances ρ (also called extreme correlation) can be computed from the dependence parameter α of the logistic model as follows: ρ= 1-α^2. The special cases where α is equal to 1 and α converges towards 0 correspond to asymptotic independence, in which ρ is equal to 0, and total dependence, in which ρ is equal to 1, respectively (Tiago de Oliveira, 1973).

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

About extreme value theory

   ▶ Shengyu ZHENG Extreme Value Theory: the Block-Maxima approach and the Peak-Over-Threshold approach

   ▶ Shengyu ZHENG Optimal threshold selection for the peak-over-threshold approach of extreme value theory

   ▶ Gabriel FILJA Application de la théorie des valeurs extrêmes en finance de marchés

Useful resources

Academic resources

Gkillas K. and F. Longin (2018) Is Bitcoin the new digital Gold?, Working paper, ESSEC Business School.

Longin F. (2016) Extreme events in finance: a handbook of extreme value theory and its applications Wiley Editions.

Longin F. and B. Solnik (2001) Extreme Correlation of International Equity Markets, The Journal of Finance, 56, 649-676.

Zeevi A. and R. Mashal (2002) Beyond Correlation: Extreme Co-Movements between Financial Assets. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=317122

Other resources

Extreme Events in Finance

Rieder H. E. (2014) Extreme Value Theory: A primer (slides).

About the author

The article was written in January 2024 by Shengyu ZHENG (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole Program – Master in Management, 2020-2024).

Posted in Contributors, Financial techniques | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Optimal threshold selection for the peak-over-threshold approach of extreme value theory

Optimal threshold selection for the peak-over-threshold approach of extreme value theory

Shengyu ZHENG

In this article, Shengyu ZHENG (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole Program – Master in Management, 2020-2024) explains the different methods used to select the threshold for the tails for the peak-over-threshold (POT) approach of extreme value theory (EVT).

The Peak-over-Threshold threshold approach

As we have seen in the previous post, Extreme Value Theory: the Block-Maxima approach and the Peak-Over-Threshold approach, there are two main paradigms to model the extreme behavior of a random variable (say asset returns in finance).

Amongst the two, the POT approach makes use of all data entries above a designated high threshold u. The threshold exceedances could be fitted into a generalized Pareto distribution (GPD):

Illustration of the POT approach

Threshold selection

Along with the POT approach arises the issue of threshold selection to define when the tail of the distribution starts. Estimating parameters for extreme value distributions becomes more stable when based on exceedances beyond an appropriate threshold. In the tail, the distribution may behave more consistently, leading to more reliable parameter estimates. This stability is crucial for making accurate predictions about extreme events.

An efficient method for the computation of an optimal threshold optimizes the trade-off between bias and inefficiency (Jansen and de Vries, 1991). As explained by Gkillas, Katsiampa, and Longin (2021): “on the one hand, a low threshold value induces an estimation bias, due to observations not belonging to the distribution tails considered as exceedances. On the other hand, a high threshold value leads to inefficient estimates with high standard errors, due to the reduced size of the estimation sample”.

Methods of optimal threshold selection

There are several methods to this issue. We explain in detail the methods based on the plot analysis and Monte Carlo simulations. We also briefly discuss other methods: bootstrapping techniques, bias reduction, etc.

Plot analysis

The most known plot for deriving the optimal threshold is the Hill plot.

The Hill estimator is commonly used to estimate the tail index of a generalised Pareto distribution and to estimate the optimal threshold. The tail index is a measure of the heaviness of the tails of a distribution. According to the statistical order X_(1:n), the Hill estimator for the tail index α=1/ξ is given by

with k being the highest statistical order.

The Hill plot is a graphical representation of the Hill estimators. In a Hill plot, the sample data is sorted in descending order, and the plot shows the logarithm of the sample quantiles against their corresponding order statistics. The slope of the line in the plot provides information about the tail behaviour of the distribution. What we are looking for here is the point from where the plot starts to stabilise.

Here we have an example of a Hill Plot of the logarithmic losses of the S&P 500 index.

There exist alternative plots based on the standard Hill plot, such as Alternative Hill plot, smoothed Hill plot. These two alternatives are available in the evmix R package.

Monte Carlo simulations

Jansen and de Vries (1991) proposed a Monte Carlo simulation method as follows. Imagine we would like to study the behaviour of a random variable at its extreme. First a family of specific models for this random variable is assumed (say the family of Student-t distributions). Based on the assumption of a specific distribution, Monte Carlo simulations are launched. For each simulation, the optimal number of return exceedances is computed, and this corresponds to the optimal threshold. The mean squared error (MSE) of simulated optimal numbers of return exceedances is then calculated. With this result, we can derive the optimal threshold for the observed series. As Theil (1971) explains, the MSE criterion takes into account of a double effect of bias and inefficiency. The MSE of S simulated observations of the estimator of a parameter X could be represented as:

Where X̄ represents the mean of S simulated observations. The first part on the right of the equation represents the bias, and the second part represents the inefficiency.

Other methods

There are many other methods based on various mechanisms, such as bootstrap and bias reduction. The tea package in R has in place multiple methods for estimating optimal thresholds from a series of scholars. In the R file that can be downloaded below, we can find various examples. For instance, the “danielsson” function from the package is based on a double bootstrap procedure for choosing the optimal sample fraction. (Danielsson et al., 2001). The “DK” function is a Bias-based procedure for choosing the optimal threshold. (Drees & Kaufmann, 1998)

Download R file to model extreme behavior of the index

You can find below an R file to calculate optimal threshold for the POT approach.

Download R file

Related posts about extreme value theory

   ▶ Shengyu ZHENG Extreme Value Theory: the Block-Maxima approach and the Peak-Over-Threshold approach

   ▶ Gabriel FILJA Application de la théorie des valeurs extrêmes en finance de marchés

Useful resources

Academic resources

Danielsson, J. and Haan, L. and Peng, L. and Vries, C.G. (2001). Using a bootstrap method to choose the sample fraction in tail index estimation. Journal of Multivariate analysis, 2, 226-248.

Drees H. and E. Kaufmann (1998) Selecting the optimal sample fraction in univariate extreme value estimation. Stochastic Processes and their Applications, 75(2), 149–172.

Embrechts P., C. Klüppelberg and T. Mikosch (1997) Modelling Extremal Events for Insurance and Finance.

Embrechts P., R. Frey and A.J. McNeil (2022) Quantitative Risk Management, Princeton University Press.

Gumbel, E. J. (1958) Statistics of extremes New York: Columbia University Press.

Jansen D. and C. de Vries (1991) On the Frequency of Large Stock Returns: Putting Booms and Busts into Perspective, The Review of Economics and Statistics, 73, 18-24.

Longin F. (2016) Extreme events in finance: a handbook of extreme value theory and its applications Wiley Editions.

Longin F. and B. Solnik (2001) Extreme Correlation of International Equity Markets, The Journal of Finance, 56, 649-676.

Other resources

Extreme Events in Finance

Rieder H. E. (2014) Extreme Value Theory: A primer (slides).

About the author

The article was written in December 2023 by Shengyu ZHENG (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole Program – Master in Management, 2020-2024).

Posted in Contributors | 2 Comments

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

Nithisha CHALLA

In this article, Nithisha CHALLA (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole – Master in Management (MiM), 2021-2024) presents the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) which is empowering markets and ensuring integrity.

Introduction to SEBI

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) serves as a regulator over the country’s financial markets and has a significant impact on how the economy of the country is shaped. Established in 1988, SEBI’s regulatory authority is responsible for a broad range of activities, including promoting open and honest market processes and protecting investors’ rights and interests. Protecting investors’ rights and interests is SEBI’s main goal. Market manipulation, insider trading, and other fraudulent activities are also in the scope of the regulatory authority. Investors receive reliable and timely information to help them make informed decisions thanks to SEBI’s strict standards and requirements for listed companies on Indian exchanges. This emphasis on openness and disclosure encourages investor trust, which increases market activity.

Logo of Securities and Exchange Board of India.  Logo of Securities and Exchange Board of India
Source: SEBI.

Market development and innovation

The purpose of SEBI goes beyond simple regulation; it also actively promotes market expansion and innovation. SEBI has broadened the investment options available to both institutional and individual investors by introducing mutual funds, derivatives, and alternative investment vehicles. These cutting-edge financial products have expanded the investment landscape and drawn institutional investors from abroad, helping India integrate into the world financial markets.

A barrier to malpractices is SEBI’s effective market surveillance systems. To identify and stop market manipulation, SEBI uses an integrated surveillance system to track trade patterns, price changes, and unusual activity. Its ability to punish offenders shows how committed it is to upholding market integrity.

Global Integration and Investor Confidence

Market-friendly policies and international acclaim have been won by SEBI’s regulatory initiatives. Increased foreign direct investment, portfolio investment, and institutional investor activity in Indian markets are the results of this. India’s reputation as a desirable investment location is greatly influenced by SEBI’s role in establishing a favorable investment climate.

While SEBI’s achievements are noteworthy, it faces challenges such as the rapid pace of technological advancements, ensuring effective implementation of regulations, and maintaining a balance between innovation and investor protection. Moreover, as the financial markets evolve, SEBI’s role in regulating emerging areas like cryptocurrencies and digital assets becomes increasingly critical.

Conclusion

The distinctiveness of SEBI rests not only in its ability to regulate, but also in its innovative projects that go beyond conventional regulatory functions. The SEBI stands as a testament to India’s regulatory foresight, from empowering investors through cutting-edge processes to stimulating innovation while safeguarding investor protection. Its dedication to sustainability, education, and technology-driven surveillance distinguishes it as a regulatory pathfinder that keeps up with changes in the financial world.

Why should I be interested in this post?

For a Master in Management student like me, delving into SEBI’s operations provides a real-world context to the theories we study. Understanding SEBI’s unique initiatives, such as the Regulatory Sandbox (a framework that allows businesses, especially in the financial technology sector, to test innovative products, services, business models in a controlled environment) and its emphasis on sustainability, offers insights into modern regulatory challenges and innovative solutions. Exploring SEBI’s role in investor protection and market integrity enhances my grasp of ethical governance and responsible business practices. SEBI’s dynamic approach aligns with the multidisciplinary nature of my studies, allowing me to connect theoretical knowledge with practical implications in the financial world.

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ All posts about financial techniques

   ▶ Akshit GUPTA Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

   ▶ Akshit GUPTA Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF)

Useful resources

SEBI What’s new in SEBI?

About the author

The article was written in January 2024 by Nithisha CHALLA (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole – Master in Management, 2021-2024).

Posted in Contributors, Financial techniques | 1 Comment

My professional experience as a credit analyst at Targobank

My professional experience as a credit analyst at Targobank

Matthieu MENAGER

In this article, Matthieu MENAGER (ESSEC Business School, Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA), 2017-2021) shares his professional experience as credit analyst at Targobank (a subsidiary of the Crédit Mutuel group).

The Company

Targobank, a subsidiary of the Crédit Mutuel group, is a German bank operating mainly in the retail and corporate customer segments. Founded in 1926, it is one of the major players in Germany. With €2.6 billion in equity (8.6% of its total liabilities), Targobank AG generated €1.2 billion in income and interest in 2021.

Targobank has 7,000 employees in 2022.

The Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale group is one of the largest and financially strongest banks in Europe (18 billion euros in interest and similar income in 2022), with a very good credit rating (S&P: A). It combines the advantages of a cooperative bank with strong local roots with those of an international bank, Crédit Industriel et Commercial.

Logo of the company.
Logo of  Targobank
Source: Targobank.

What is really a credit analyst?

Credit analyst is an important position in the organization of a bank. It generally belongs to the back office (in my case I was in the front office). This department determines a company’s ability to repay one or more different types of loan (syndicated loan, current account overdraft, club deal, etc.) and the degree of risk for the bank. It carries out a financial, macroeconomic, microeconomic, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and overall analysis of all the criteria that can have an impact on repayment capacity.

In addition to carrying out a complete analysis on established customers and prospects (potential new customers), the credit analyst must also ensure that the systems are properly maintained (internal rating commitments, updating the group’s status, etc.). This is a task that should not be neglected, as it allows all the other divisions to be informed about the situation of each agency.

What were my missions in the VIE ?

I arrived in June 2022 as a VIE (Volontariat International en Entreprise in French) for a period of 1 year and 6 months (I’ve extended by 4 months until April 2024). My objective at Targobank was initially, to look after the 42 existing customer files at our Frankfurt branch by carrying out each year either a simple annual review (simple review of our borrower’s group without any major decisions), a renewal (complete review and renewal of one or more lines that are due to expire at the time of the administrative deadline for the file), or a new application (complete review and new application(s) in addition to the review or renewal of other existing lines).

We offer companies every possible type of loan (traditional loans, facilities, leasing, factoring, SDM, or even guarantees). I also analyze certain prospects to determine whether they could become our customers. This analysis can have several objectives: either the customer is solid and profitable or belongs to a group with which we would like to have a future commercial relationship.

Finally, it is also my task to keep the various files on our internal systems up to date. I’m in constant contact with the Back Office to obtain the various documents needed to carry out internal tasks. These tasks may include filling in financial data, listing the various commitments, updating the company’s status, etc.

Required skills and knowledge

To be a credit analyst, you need several hard skills. You need to know how to use Excel and all the internal programs (we have a few days to familiarize ourselves with the systems), you need to be able to produce complete and concise analyses (financial, risk, data, etc.), you need to have a good grasp of accounting and be able to draw up financial forecasts. In my personal case (I work in Germany), I also need to be able to speak several languages (German, English and French).

Soft skills are just as important as hard skills. As a credit analyst, you have to turn in reports on time. You have to be meticulous about every detail so as not to mislead those who are going to validate the reports (commitments can amount to €20 million). Another skill is knowing how to collaborate and communicate with your team in order to provide the best file based on the various documents obtained. Finally, it is important to manage time and stress so as not to make mistakes when sending the report to the committee.

What I have learnt

During my almost two years in banking, I was able to broaden my knowledge of the world of finance. I worked in many different sectors and was able to get familiar with several other finance-related jobs (leasing, back office, etc.). My analysis of different financial situations has only improved and I’m now very comfortable with technical terms and their repercussions on a company. I can quickly form an initial impression of a group by carrying out a simple financial and market analysis. I’m also increasingly careful in my research to avoid being misled by a group’s appearance (some groups may claim to be doing well but are actually in decline).

My communication (email exchanges, Skype, Meeting Calls) has also improved. I try to give clear, concise answers so that I don’t get bogged down in a flood of emails and so that my interlocutor and I waste as little time as possible.

I’ve also acquired knowledge of the different markets (trends, clients, best manufacturers, etc.) in which I’ve worked (construction, pharmaceuticals, automotive, etc.). This is a quality that could be very useful to me in any field in which I might later wish to work.

Financial concepts related my internship

Group Annual Report

A group’s annual report is essential to its analysis. It must or may be published depending on a number of conditions and the surrounding standards (IFRS or HGB in Germany). The annual report provides a detailed picture of the group’s profitability (income statement), financial strength (balance sheet) and liquidity (cash flow statement). Annual reports also include a market analysis and financial forecasts (PLAN and FORECAST).

Environmental Social Governance (ESG)

Environmental Social Governance (ESG) is playing an increasingly important role in finance. For some time now, I have had to carry out an internal analysis of these 3 non-financial factors for each group and assign a rating, which can have an impact on the increase or decrease in financial interest on each commitment. The group must pay attention to its carbon footprint, diversity within the group, and the health and well-being of its employees.

Covenant

A covenant is a clause in a contract that allows the loan to be repaid if targets are not met. Covenants often relate to financial aspects and require the Group to send a Compliance Certificate, which verifies whether or not the objectives have been met and which is to be delivered on the date specified in the contract. Examples of covenants I have dealt with are: leverage >3.0x; Maintain equity >= 30%; or Gearing <100%.

Why should I be interested in this post?

If you’re interested in the world of finance, the position of credit analyst will undoubtedly be very popular. You’ll be exposed to several areas of finance, you’ll acquire a lot of knowledge and skills, and you’ll be responsible for monitoring several files. It’s a job that requires a lot of qualities and rigor, but also a lot of experience and knowledge. You’ll be doing financial analysis, macroeconomic analysis, microeconomic analysis, ratings, reports, simplified excel sheets and lots of other tasks.

I’d highly recommend the job and I’d advise starting out in a banking institution. It will be easier to get into the swing of things in a bank because you have less risk-averse credits. You could then consider joining an investment fund, where the decisions taken will have greater importance.

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ All posts about Professional experiences

   ▶ Arthur EVERARD My experience as a Real Estate Analyst at Eaglestone

   ▶ Aamey MEHTA My experience as a credit analyst at Wells Fargo

   ▶ Bijal GANDHI Credit Rating

   ▶ Raphaël ROERO DE CORTANZE Credit Rating Agencies

   ▶ Jayati WALIA Credit risk

Useful resources

Targobank

Crédit Mutuel

About the author

The article was written in January 2024 by Matthieu MENAGER (ESSEC Business School, Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA), 2017-2021).

Posted in Contributors, Professional experiences | Leave a comment

Trading strategies based on market profiles and volume profiles

Trading strategies based on market profiles and volume profiles

Michel Henry VERHASSELT

In this third article on a series on market profiles, Michel Henry VERHASSELT (ESSEC Business School – Master in Finance, 2023-2025) explains trading strategies based on market profiles and volume profiles.

Introduction

We have defined and seen illustrations of all the key concepts related to both market profiles and volume profiles. Let us now look at their practical applications and trading strategies that may be applied.

These techniques apply to both market profiles and volume profiles.

Mean reversion

A mean reversion strategy is a trading approach based on the idea that prices tend to revert to their historical average or mean over time. Traders employing this strategy look for opportunities to enter trades when prices deviate significantly from their historical average, anticipating a return to the mean.

Market profiles naturally fit this kind of strategy, as their whole point is to show where participants have deemed the price to be fair. For example, a trader could consider that when the price is trading below a high-volume area, that area will act as a magnet to pull the price up. The prices in that region were indeed considered fairer, and the current low price would be an anomaly to be corrected by market participants. Therefore, the trader would buy at the current price and sell around the POC or at least within the value area.

Resistance and support

Conversely, a different interpretation within the same framework involves viewing these highly-traded areas as potential resistance or support zones. Support is a crucial level preventing an asset from further decline, often due to an upsurge in buying interest. In contrast, resistance is a pivotal level inhibiting an asset from rising higher, typically caused by intensified selling activity.

For a trader emphasizing resistance and support concepts, consider a rising price nearing a heavily traded zone encountering resistance, similar to reaching a ceiling. The outcome may lead to either a breakout to new highs or a reversal downward. In this context, the value area is not seen as a magnetic force drawing prices toward fair value; instead, it functions as a testing ground. The result hinges on whether the attempt to breach resistance is rejected, leading to a lower price, or successful, resulting in an upward move past this pivotal point. This dynamic interaction adds layers of complexity to mean reversion and support/resistance strategies within the realm of market profiles.

Entries and exits

More generally, traders employ various tools to make well-informed decisions about when to enter or exit market positions. One such powerful tool is the market profile. Even if a trader’s primary strategy relies on other triggers to look at a trade, say for example macro events, they can still leverage market profiles. These profiles help determine optimal entry or exit points, considering factors like obtaining liquidity with minimal market impact and identifying levels for stop losses and target profits based on perceived resistance and support.

Breakouts

As mentioned above, breakout trading is a strategy employed in financial markets where traders capitalize on significant price movements beyond established levels of support or resistance. In a breakout, the price surpasses a predefined range or pattern, triggering potential buying or selling signals. Traders often interpret breakouts as indicators of strong momentum, with the expectation that the price will continue moving in the breakout direction. The aim of breakout trading is to enter positions early in a new trend and ride the momentum for profitable gains.

Market profile can help identify breakout opportunities. For example, when a market exhibits confined trading within a narrow range and the profile reveals an accumulation of TPOs (Time Price Opportunities) near the boundaries of this range, a breakout surpassing these levels could indicate a potential trading opportunity.

False breakout strategy

The false breakout trading strategy relies on discerning instances where the price briefly moves beyond a trading range but subsequently retraces, indicating potential weaknesses in the current trend. In a false bullish breakout, signaling buyers’ weakness, traders might opt for short positions. Conversely, in retraced bearish breakouts, suggesting sellers’ uncertainty, opportunities for long positions may emerge. The effectiveness of this strategy lies in recognizing imbalances in supply and demand, a task facilitated by market profiles.

Market profiles offer a nuanced visual representation of price movements over time, highlighting areas of significant trading activity and the distribution of volume at different price levels. This information aids traders in identifying potential entry and exit points more precisely. By integrating market profiles into the false breakout strategy, traders gain insights into the dynamics of supply and demand within specific price ranges. This, in turn, enhances their ability to navigate market sentiment shifts and make informed decisions, contributing to the overall effectiveness of the false breakout trading strategy.

Single prints

The Market Profile Single Print strategy is a dynamic approach leveraging the unique concept of single prints within the Market Profile chart to identify potential breakout opportunities.

The strategy’s foundation lies in identifying single prints—instances where a price level remains untouched throughout the trading session, creating a gap in the Market Profile chart. Price can often revisit these areas to test these inefficiencies. These single prints therefore act as crucial markers, indicating potential areas of support or resistance. The significance of this lies in the ability to pinpoint breakout levels: a break above a single print suggests a bullish breakout, while a break below indicates a bearish breakout.

Crucially, market profiles assist in managing risk effectively by providing a visual representation of potential areas of support or resistance. Continual monitoring of the trade is emphasized, with adjustments made based on evolving market conditions. Trailing stop-loss orders are recommended to protect profits as the trade progresses favorably.

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ Michel VERHASSELT Market profiles

   ▶ Michel VERHASSELT Difference between market profiles and volume profiles

   ▶ Theo SCHWERTLE Can technical analysis actually help to make better trading decisions?

   ▶ Theo SCHWERTLE The Psychology of Trading

   ▶ Clara PINTO Strategy and Tactics: From military to trading

Useful resources

Steidlmayer P.J. and S.B. Hawkins (2003) Steidlmayer on Markets: Trading with Market Profile, John Wiley & Sons, Second Edition;

Steidlmayer P.J. and K. Koy (1986) Markets and Market Logic: Trading and Investing with a Sound Understanding and Approach, Porcupine Press.

About the author

The article was written in December 2023 by Michel Henry VERHASSELT (ESSEC Business School – Master in Finance, 2023-2025).

Posted in Contributors, Financial techniques | Tagged | 2 Comments

Difference between market profiles and volume profiles

Difference between market profiles and volume profiles

Michel Henry VERHASSELT

In this second article on a series on market profiles, Michel Henry VERHASSELT (ESSEC Business School – Master in Finance, 2023-2025) explains the difference between market profiles and volume profiles.

Comparison

Both Market Profiles and Volume Profiles follow the auction theory of markets. According to this theory, price, time and volume are the three processes through which trading takes place.

More exactly:

  • Price advertises all opportunities. It lets the participants know that they can buy or sell an asset at a given price; it tells them what their opportunities are.
  • Time regulates all opportunities. Indeed, the opportunities given by price are limited in time; they are ephemeral and depend on the liquidity and volatility of an asset, in other words, how much time it takes for the price to change and the opportunity to vanish.
  • Volume measures the success or failure of advertised opportunities. Volume reflects the degree of market participation and validates the relevance of the opportunities presented. If an opportunity is advertised and becomes successful that means many participants agree on the fairness of this opportunity and a relatively significant amount of trading activity (volume) takes place at this price. A price that is not accepted over time is, in fact, rejected: the advertisement has failed.

All traders feel the pressure of time ticking away during a trade. When a trade stalls and doesn’t go as expected, it can create doubts, especially the longer it remains stagnant. The constant tick of the clock forces traders to ponder what might be going wrong. For instance, the late liquidation or short-covering rally in the pit session may be due to day traders running out of time rather than a lack of trading volume. In that sense, volume must take place within a given time range to validate the price advertisement.

Now when it comes to Volume Profiles, the chart shows the distribution of volume at different price levels, kind of like a visual map of where the action is happening. It uses a vertical histogram to make it easy for traders to see where the most trading activity is concentrated. This charting tool is all about giving traders a closer look at how much trading is going on at different price points over time.

Comparing Volume Profile to Market Profile, we find three key areas of differences: analytical focus, representation of data, and time and price dynamics.

Analytical Focus

Volume Profile: As the name suggests, Volume Profile places a paramount emphasis on volume, aiming to dissect the distribution of trading activity at different price levels over a designated timeframe.

Market Profile: In contrast, Market Profile combines time and price to create a graphical representation of market behavior. It divides price movements into designated time segments, typically 30-minute intervals, offering a nuanced perspective on the interplay between time and price.

Representation of Data

Volume Profile: The chart generated by Volume Profile provides a clear visualization of how volume is distributed across various price levels, offering insights into where significant buying or selling activity is concentrated.

Market Profile: While also representing volume, Market Profile charts use letters (TPOs) to signify the time spent at specific price levels, creating a distinctive visual pattern resembling a probability distribution.

Time and Price Dynamics

Volume Profile: Its primary concern is the interrelation of volume and price, with a focus on understanding the significance of different price levels based on the amount of trading activity.

Market Profile: Integrates time as a crucial factor, providing traders with a holistic view of market behavior over specific time intervals. This temporal dimension aids in identifying periods of heightened activity and potential areas of interest.

Let’s now look at Market and Volume profiles graphs.

Illustration

The figure below is taken from Steidlmayer’s main work: “Steidlmayer on Markets, Trading with Market Profile”. Each letter (A, B, C, D, etc.) corresponds to a single timeframe of 30 minutes. The condensed triangle-shaped figure shows where price has moved throughout the entire time period according to the trading activity.

Market profile.
Market profile
Source: Steidlmayer’s book “Steidlmayer on Markets, Trading with Market Profile”.

If we rotate the figure, we get a bell-shaped pattern that looks like a normal distribution.

Market profile (reversed presentation).
Market profile
Source: Steidlmayer’s book “Steidlmayer on Markets, Trading with Market Profile”.

The price distribution in a Market Profile tends to exhibit a bell-shaped pattern due to the nature of market dynamics and participant behavior. In a well-functioning and liquid market, prices are subject to constant fluctuations driven by the interplay of buying and selling activities and the bell-shaped distribution is simply a reflection of the statistical tendency of prices to cluster around a central point. The majority of trading activity should in theory occur around a fair or equilibrium price. As you move away from this central point, the occurrences of extreme price levels decrease, forming the characteristic bell curve. It is a visual representation of the market’s natural inclination to spend more time around prices that are deemed fair.

The figure below represents the volume profiles of the BTC/USDT pair on Binance’s futures market from December 8 until December 15, 2023.

Volume profile.
Volume profile
Source: exocharts.com.

We see the point of control (POC) that corresponds to the most traded price as a red line extending through the volume profile of each day. The value area is marked both by a whiter grey and dotted lines. The current price is a green line on the far left. On the far right, we find the volume profile for the whole timeframe displayed on the screen, with its own value area and point of control.

While the two profiles are very similar, however instead of looking at price and time as in a market profile, the volume profile focuses on volume. First, the volume profile is indifferent to when exactly a given trade took place within the same timeframe, here a day. Second, the volume profile uses true volume data rather than simply whether or not a trade took place. The length of each bar within a volume profile is directly proportionate to the volume of the trades at that price. In contrast, the market profile does not show the size of the trades but simply shows whether or not a price was traded during a 30-minute period, and then aggregates (or “collapses”) the data to form one profile, as we saw in the bell-shaped curve above.

Why should I be interested in this post?

Students of finance interested in financial markets and trading would be the target audience of this post. I believe this technique to be relatively obscure despite its long history. We rarely see asset charts displayed as histograms as an effort to understand market behavior and participant psychology. I believe it is fundamental to consider that the market is made up of human actors, that these actors have their biases on price and value, and in turn that these biases’ success is represented as a function of volume. Even if a student does not subscribe to this understanding of markets, it would broaden his/her perspective and allow him/her to understand trading more generally.

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ Michel VERHASSELT Market profiles

   ▶ Michel VERHASSELT Trading strategies based on market profiles and volume profile

   ▶ Theo SCHWERTLE Can technical analysis actually help to make better trading decisions?

   ▶ Theo SCHWERTLE The Psychology of Trading

   ▶ Clara PINTO Strategy and Tactics: From military to trading

Useful resources

Steidlmayer P.J. and S.B. Hawkins (2003) Steidlmayer on Markets: Trading with Market Profile, John Wiley & Sons, Second Edition;

Steidlmayer P.J. and K. Koy (1986) Markets and Market Logic: Trading and Investing with a Sound Understanding and Approach, Porcupine Press.

TPO versus Volume Profiles

Trader Dale Volume Profile vs. Market Profile – What Is The Difference? YouTube video

About the author

The article was written in December 2023 by Michel Henry VERHASSELT (ESSEC Business School – Master in Finance, 2023-2025).

Posted in Contributors, Financial techniques | Tagged | 2 Comments

Market profiles

Market profiles

Michel Henry VERHASSELT

In this first article on a series on market profiles, Michel Henry VERHASSELT (ESSEC Business School – Master in Finance, 2023-2025) explains the history behind this concept and defines its central themes.

Introduction

The concept of Market Profiles emerged as a response to the dynamic nature of financial markets, where prices are in constant flux due to the continuous flow of information. Peter Steidlmayer, a trader at the Chicago Board of Trade during the 1960s and 1970s, sought to develop a charting method that could capture the interplay between price and volume, reflecting the idea that, despite the constant price changes, there should be a fair value around which prices revolve at any given time.

In traditional charting methods like bar charts and candle charts, the emphasis is typically on plotting price against time. Steidlmayer, however, wanted to make volume immediately apparent on the chart. This emphasis on volume is crucial because it provides insights into the level of participation and conviction among market participants.

The development of Market Profile was influenced by various theories and disciplines. In particular, it drew inspiration from the concept of value investing articulated by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd, the statistical bell curve, and John Schultz’s work on minimum trend. By combining these influences, Steidlmayer aimed to create a charting technique that would not only reveal price movements but also offer a visual representation of the market’s perception of value.

Market Profile, as a charting technique, differs significantly from traditional methods. Instead of using standard bar charts with prices plotted against time, Market Profile organizes data in a way that reflects the distribution of prices at different levels. Each time period is represented by a separate column, with prices displayed in ascending order on the vertical axis. This organization provides a visual representation of how much time the market spent at different price levels, creating a histogram-like structure.

The resulting chart, with letters (A, B, C, D, etc.) representing Time Price Opportunities (TPO), helps traders identify key areas such as the Value Area (where the majority of trading activity occurred), the Point of Control (the most traded price level), and Single Prints (indicating areas of price discovery). These elements collectively contribute to a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics and help traders make more informed decisions.

Definitions

We define below the key terms to understand Market Profile: Volume, Value Area, and Point of Control.

Volume

Volume in the context of financial markets refers to the number of contracts or shares traded at during a specific time period. Volume is a crucial component in Market Profile analysis because it provides insights into the level of participation and conviction among market participants. High volume at a particular price level suggests a significant level of interest or agreement on the value of the asset at that point.

Volume helps us shape the Time Price Opportunities. A TPO represents a unit of time and price on a Market Profile chart. Each 30-minute period (or another specified time frame) is represented by a letter, forming a vertical histogram on the price axis. TPOs help visualize the distribution of trading activity at different price levels over time. By organizing price data into these time brackets, traders can identify patterns, trends, and areas of importance, contributing to a better understanding of market behavior.

Value Area

The Value Area represents the range of price levels that contain a specific percentage of the total traded volume (usually 70% of the day’s trading activity). Traders also use the Upper Value Area (where 15% of the volume is located above) and the Lower Value Area (where 15% of the volume is below), with the area in between considered the “fair value” zone. It helps traders identify the price levels that are deemed fair by the market. It provides insights into where the majority of trading activity occurred, offering potential support and resistance zones for future price movements.

Point of Control

Within the value area, we find the Point of Control. The Point of Control is the price level at which the most TPOs occurred during a specific time period. It is considered a point of balance and represents the price where the market found the most acceptance. It indicates the price level that had the most trading activity, suggesting a level of equilibrium where buyers and sellers found agreement. Traders often monitor the POC for potential shifts in market sentiment.

By understanding the interplay between these elements, traders can gain valuable insights into market dynamics, identify key support and resistance zones, and make more informed decisions in their trading strategies.

With this background and definitions, we can look further into the practice of market profiles and its closely related concept, volume profiles.

Why should I be interested in this post?

Students of finance interested in financial markets and trading would be the target audience of this post. I believe this technique to be relatively obscure despite its long history. We rarely see asset charts displayed as histograms as an effort to understand market behavior and participant psychology. I believe it is fundamental to consider that the market is made up of human actors, that these actors have their biases on price and value, and in turn that these biases’ success is represented as a function of volume. Even if a student does not subscribe to this understanding of markets, it would broaden his/her perspective and allow him/her to understand trading more generally.

Related posts on the SimTrade blog

   ▶ Michel VERHASSELT Difference between market profiles and volume profiles

   ▶ Michel VERHASSELT Trading strategies based on market profiles and volume profile

   ▶ Theo SCHWERTLE Can technical analysis actually help to make better trading decisions?

   ▶ Theo SCHWERTLE The Psychology of Trading

   ▶ Clara PINTO Strategy and Tactics: From military to trading

Useful resources

Steidlmayer P.J. and S.B. Hawkins (2003) Steidlmayer on Markets: Trading with Market Profile, John Wiley & Sons, Second Edition;

Steidlmayer P.J. and K. Koy (1986) Markets and Market Logic: Trading and Investing with a Sound Understanding and Approach, Porcupine Press.

Letian Wang (2020) Using Python for Market Profiles

About the author

The article was written in December 2023 by Michel Henry VERHASSELT (ESSEC Business School – Master in Finance, 2023-2025).

Posted in Contributors, Financial techniques | Tagged | 2 Comments

Impact du contrôle de gestion sur l’entreprise

Impact du contrôle de gestion sur l’entreprise

Medine ACAR

Dans cet article, Medine ACAR (ESSEC Business School, Programme Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA), 2020-2024) analyse l’impact du contrôle de gestion dans l’entreprise.

Introduction

Le contrôle de gestion est une fonction clé en entreprise, axée sur la performance et l’efficacité. Il implique la planification, la mesure et l’analyse des activités pour aligner les performances avec les objectifs stratégiques de l’entreprise. Ce processus inclut la budgétisation, la prévision financière, et l’analyse des écarts entre les résultats réels et les prévisions. Le contrôle de gestion aide également à identifier les opportunités d’amélioration et à mettre en œuvre des stratégies correctives pour optimiser les opérations et les coûts. Entre autres, le contrôle de gestion assure la santé et la viabilité des entreprises. Allons plus loin.

Amélioration de la Performance et de la Prise de Décision

Le contrôle de gestion, au cœur des stratégies d’entreprise, joue un rôle déterminant dans l’analyse et l’amélioration des performances financières. Il offre une perspective claire sur les forces et faiblesses de l’organisation, permettant ainsi une prise de décision plus stratégique et éclairée. Des études de cas dans divers secteurs, telles que celles menées sur des entreprises comme IBM ou General Electric, illustrent comment l’application rigoureuse du contrôle de gestion peut entraîner une transformation significative dans la performance et la gestion des ressources. Par exemple, l’implémentation par GE des pratiques « Six Sigma » et de gestion Lean sous la direction de Jack Welch a conduit à des améliorations substantielles de l’efficacité opérationnelle et de la réduction des coûts. (Etude de cas: General Electric’s Two-Decade Transformation Under the Leadership of Jack Welch).

Gestion des Risques et Assise de la Durabilité

Au-delà de la simple surveillance financière, le contrôle de gestion est essentiel pour la gestion des risques et la durabilité à long terme de l’entreprise. Il permet d’identifier les risques potentiels, tant financiers qu’opérationnels, et de mettre en place des stratégies pour les atténuer. Des recherches menées dans le domaine bancaire, par exemple, mettent en lumière l’importance de cette fonction pour prévenir les crises financières et assurer une stabilité continue.

L’étude “Management controls and crisis: evidence from the banking sector” menée par Pall Rikhardsson, Carsten Rohde, Leif Christensen, Catherine E. Batt en 2021, sur l’utilisation des contrôles de gestion lors de la crise financière de 2008 dans six banques a révélé que l’emploi à la fois de contrôles de gestion organiques et mécanistes était essentiel pour gérer le changement.

Ces contrôles jouent trois rôles principaux :

  • Guider et contrôler le comportement
  • Changer les perceptions internes et externes
  • Assurer la responsabilité.

Résumé

Le contrôle de gestion n’est pas seulement un outil de surveillance financière ; c’est un levier stratégique qui influence profondément la performance, la prise de décision, la gestion des risques et, en fin de compte, la durabilité de l’entreprise. Les études dans ce domaine confirment son rôle inestimable dans le succès et la pérennité des entreprises à travers le monde.

Autres articles sur le blog

   ▶ Jessica BAOUNON Enjeux de la pratique de la pleine conscience et de l’intelligence émotionnelle dans la fonction de contrôle de gestion

   ▶ Chloé POUZOL Contrôle de gestion chez Edgar suites

   ▶ Emma LAFARGUE Contrôle de gestion chez Chanel

Ressources utiles

Robert Obert et Marie-Pierre Mairesse (2008) “Le Contrôle de Gestion: Organisation et Mise en Œuvre”, Dunod.

Case Study: General Electric’s Two-Decade Transformation Under the Leadership of Jack Welch

6 sigma (2017) General Electric (GE) et Six Sigma

Henderson, K.M. and Evans, J.R. (2000) “Successful implementation of Six Sigma: benchmarking General Electric Company”, Benchmarking: An International Journal, 7(4): 260-282.

Karim Saïd and Soufiane Kherrazi (2021) Du contrôle de gestion à l’innovation dans le contrôle HBR France

Rikhardsson, P., Rohde, C., Christensen, L. et Batt, C.E. (2021) “Management controls and crisis: evidence from the banking sector” Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 34(4): 757-785.

A propos de l’auteure

L’article a été rédigé en décembre 2023 par Medine ACAR (ESSEC Business School, Programme Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA), 2020-2024).

Posted in Contributors, Financial techniques | Leave a comment