When I arrived at SBS-EM in 2002, I was impressed by the finance “family” built up around the personality of André Farber: professors, assistants, doctoral candidates, master’s students and a great Alumni body and supporters. Two years later, the Executive Master in Finance (EMF) was created by Professor Chapelle. It was a way of putting concepts into practice with practitioners who needed those competencies. As the years went by and the Alumni increased, we wanted to ensure that this audience, which had created such strong bonds, could continue to exchange their views after their EMF adventure had ended. So the SFS is also a Finance Club for Solvay Schools Alumni.
In the meantime, the financial crisis struck and a lot of evidence exists about a lack of financial literacy, not in terms of deep techniques, but in the intuitive understanding of key concepts and their applications. So we would like to play our part in society with our little brick in the wall…
Our main showcase is an informative and instructive blog with entertaining articles on current subjects and amused and critical observations linked to what academia has to say. In this blog, you’ll also find news about academic and professional seminars, conferences in which our doctoral candidates have taken part, reviews of interesting presentations they attended, information about what our community has achieved, news on key people in the Financial Industry, etc.
The achievements of our colleagues and PhD candidates are not sufficiently shared with the global community beyond our specialised borders and needs, demands and financial support from the world outside are not identified and seized upon. So we would like to bring these different actors together and break down the walls of those ivory towers. In this respect, our teaching and research has an important role to play. But what about impact? And not just in terms of rankings. We need our efforts to be better consolidated, have a more collegial and informal structure. A private WhatsApp group where regular, briefer news items are exchanged plays a key role in this.
The SFS has been heavily involved in the Finance Club of Brussels initiative. Founded in 2008 with Jean-Yves Dopchie, former Secretary General of Forum 187 and also an EMF alumnus, it has institutional partners including the National Bank of Belgium, Thomson Reuters, Euronext, BNP Paribas Fortis, Bain & Co and the Belgian Association of Financial Analysts. Events held have included specialised panel discussions, conferences – including one on rating agencies at the Royal Academy with more than 350 attendees –, and private round tables, including one with the National Bank of Belgium in the midst of the financial crisis, at which academics, risk managers from the major Belgian banks and the NBB debated openly on measures and instruments to mitigate the effects and potential amplification of the situation.