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Study Trip of the Master's Program in Finance to New York City and Washington, DC

The annual study trip for the Master of Science in Finance is one of the highlights of the program. This year's trip took the students to the East Coast of the United States.

They visited asset managers, banks, the U.S. Capitol, the International Monetary Fund, the Embassy of the Principality of Liechtenstein, and others, focusing on the impact of digital transformation on finance, policy, and their interplay.

New York City: Global Financial Center and Cradle of Modern Finance

On the first and second days of the trip in New York City, students gained intensive practical insights from major players in finance. Accompanied by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Martin Angerer and Alexander Walch, MSc, visits included BlackRock Inc., LGT Capital Partners, and Deutsche Bank. At the latter, a special focus was placed on the role of science and economic analysis in the daily work of an international major bank. At BlackRock, students received valuable insights into the operations of the world's most significant asset manager. At LGT Capital Partners, they learned about the role a native Liechtenstein financial service provider can play in the USA. Various experts presented their work areas in alternative investments, such as primary, secondary, and direct investment solutions in private equity, venture capital, LGT's in-house fund solutions, and co-investments. Impact and sustainable investments were also discussed as increasingly important investment fields in current times. The group was welcomed by Executive Director Alex Jilla, an investment manager for co-investments, among others. Further executive and associate directors discussed their work areas, and conversations were also held with recently hired employees who shared their career paths from university to a prestigious investment company.

During the high-profile company visits, finance master’s students gained a comprehensive insight into potential career fields after graduation. They particularly appreciated the welcoming reception and the opportunity to ask detailed questions. Additionally, excursions to Wall Street and other significant sites in Manhattan highlighted New York's rise as a global financial hub. An evening visit to the One Vanderbilt Summit summarized the impressions, offering a panoramic view of all major financial service providers in New York.

Washington, DC: Political Heart of the USA and Bridge between Science and Practice

The second part of the study trip involved a change of location to the capital of the United States. On Thursday, the students learned about the history and significance of Congress during a tour through the Capitol led by a staff member of a member of the House of Representatives. They also familiarized themselves with the U.S. American political system and its differences from European democracies, as well as similarities with Liechtenstein, such as the strong role of the people in direct political participation.

The next visit was to one of the most prestigious universities, George Washington University, where students were received by Assoc. Prof. Samuel Ledermann. The scientific exchange primarily dealt with sustainable investment solutions and the significance of international affairs in the context of economic development in developing countries. The students were also shown potential career paths in research and teaching, and how possible guest stays as a PhD candidate could be structured. The eventful day concluded with a meeting with Dr. Georg Sparber, the Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the United States. The ambassador first contextualized current global political events, outlined Liechtenstein's interests, and highlighted the importance of Liechtenstein's involvement in various international bodies for securing sovereignty and promoting economic development. He particularly noted the economic significance of the U.S. as Liechtenstein's second most important export destination, especially in light of the upcoming presidential elections, before the evening ended with an apéritif.

The final day of the study trip aimed to complete the picture of Washington as a political center. In a meeting room of the Capitol, a lively discussion with lobbyist Andy Bopp, whose daily work involves encounters with Senators and Representatives of Congress and their staff, explored the significance and role of lobbying. Ethical boundaries and risks were discussed, as well as the necessity for all interest groups to participate in the legislative process and the role various types of lobbyists can play. Like all other appointments, there was ample opportunity to ask questions, clarify misunderstandings, and learn new things. Friday concluded with a visit to the International Monetary Fund, where the group was received by a very senior representative, Mr. Marcel Peter, a member of the Executive Board. He represents the Swiss-Polish voting group of the Bretton Woods institutions (IMF and World Bank), which also includes Serbia and various Central Asian states and potentially Liechtenstein in the future. Liechtenstein's application for membership in the International Monetary Fund, as well as the general role and mandate of this institution, were extensively discussed before the study trip concluded in the impressive boardroom of the IMF's Executive Board.