MSc in Finance students learn about Wealth Management with IUM visiting professor, Cecilia Ibarra.
Mrs. Ibarra is founding partner and Business Consultant at Cybercultus S.A. Luxembourg and IStrategy Monaco.
She is a professional in finance with extensive experience gained in an international context in world leading institutions.
Her main fields of expertise are business strategy, risk management and asset allocation, all asset class’ investment, structuring products.
She has more recently been working as well, in government funded (ESA, Luxembourg) projects, in charge of business development and of financial planning and forecast.
In your opinion, what is the most important added value of having a professional, teaching students?
I believe we have all experienced as young professionals coming out of university, the inadequacy between our formal studies and most of the real working experience, both in terms of what the hiring institutions expect and in terms of what we believed we could do.
Having a course with a professional as a teacher brings students down to earth, but moreover contributes to their understanding of what the professional choice they are about to make really means and how they could achieve their goals.
Particularly in my field, wealth management -which is a rather opaque business sector- people in general and students in particular have either an excessive technical perspective or a vague understanding of the different positions in the sector, how to best move from one to another and how to build a career.
In your opinion why is it still important to have a master’s degree today?
A master’s degree adds specialization to the more general knowledge students bring from the bachelor’s degree and enables them to get to a more mature stage in their lives.
What are you teaching and why is it very important for IUM students?
Well, I do not know if it is “very important” for students, I want to think it is!
I am teaching Structuring Products. What I like about my subject is its versatility: in order to be able to build such financial products students have to master most of the technicalities of financial products, as we will be using options on all type of instruments: forex, commodities, equities, indices and other bonds, … You name it!
Above all, they have to understand the needs and risk profile of the customers. They have to be truly aware of a banker’s compliance responsibilities so as to build portfolios integrating structured products that can provide suitable solution to investor requests.
Why would you hire an IUM student?
Probably because I know them well!
Jokes aside and more generally, because on top of a very good level of education, they have a unique cultural mix, which allows them to first, adapt themselves easily to new circumstances and second, support their employer in the understanding of a global economy, which by definition means that clients/providers come from all over the world.
What is the most important advice you can give to our students?
To remain as open as possible: financial markets undergo dramatic changes, new technologies are radically changing our approach to banking and this will affect their careers even more than it has affected ours. I believe these changes will mean a lot of new possibilities, while others will disappear.
Stay in tune with the market and keep renewing your skills.
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