The educational journey 2018 of the University of Liechtenstein led us across the Atlantic to the financial metropolis of New York City. During the five-day programme, we visited various major corporations like the US branch of LGT Capital Partners, the private bank Brown Brothers Harriman, the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as well as other institutions like the headquarters of the United Nations and the Ivy-League University Princeton. Despite the tight schedule, we still had some spare time left between the appointments to explore the big apple.
The programme kicked off with a get-together in the St. George Tavern on Monday evening. The first official appointment of the educational journey 2018 was the visit of the headquarters of the United Nations. Before having a guided tour of the UN headquarters’ buildings, we had lively discussions about the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations.
On the third day of our trip we visited the Bank of America Tower, where the Durst Organization – a family-run real estate development business - gave us an insight into the sustainability approach of the tower. Afterwards, Mr. Bill Hagner from Eldridge Industries was so kind to invite all students of the MSc in Finance programme for lunch at Tudor City Steakhouse which is located in the world’s first residential skyscraper complex. He presented interesting ideas about how artificial intelligence and technological developments have the potential to reshape the financial industry completely. In the evening of the same day, we were invited for a thought-provoking encounter at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a major law firm which is specialised in M&A transactions and take-overs. Dennis J. Friedman, Eduardo Gallardo, Matthew Hurlock and Andrew Kaplan presented their thoughts about the role and impact of activist investors in financial markets.
The fourth day comprised a visit to the prestigious Ivy-League university Princeton. Professor Wolfgang Danspeckgruber from the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination led an exciting discussions revolving around topics ranging from the political state of the world, current advancements in technology, such as artificial intelligence, and how changes in the world economies might impact the current political world order. He emphasized that it nowadays is, more important than ever for regions to be at the forefront of technological research and that countries with no such know-how centres are in danger to fall back fast.
Professor Danspeckgruber shared stories of his own first-hand experience of numerous historical conflicts. After the discussions, a PhD candidate presented his current research concerning the maritime geopolitics of south-east Asia, where we challenged the doctoral candidate with many questions. We concluded the visit to Princeton with a campus tour, where we visited several historical buildings such as the Firestone library or the former house of Woodrow Wilson – the 28th president of the United States of America.
The fifth and last day of the educational journey provided two more meetings. We met with representatives of Brown Brothers Harriman on one hand, as well as with LGT Capital Partners on the other, before the journey officially ended with a farewell dinner. At Brown Brothers Harriman - one of the oldest private banks in the United States - Scott Clemons, the Chief Investment Strategist, shared his thoughts about current trends in private banking such as the generational wealth transfer and digitalisation. The last meeting of the educational journey 2018 led us to LGT Capital Partners where Sascha Gruber briefly presented LGT’s approach to private equity valuations and the decision making process of acquiring privately-owned companies.
Blog entry written by Hubert Hauser