The programme has helped me to think about risk and manage it in a much better manner than previously.
Evan Clark

Evan Clark

Nationality/Passport: Canadian Year of graduation: 2020 Current Role: Portfolio Manager

Why did you choose the INSEAD Executive Master in Finance (EMFin) amongst all other available Master programmes worldwide?

I was looking for a programme that targeted a more mature and experienced audience who would bring more to the table, enhancing the classroom discussions. Most Master in Finance programmes target candidates with far less experience than INSEAD’s EMFin. Furthermore, INSEAD’s global brand attracts candidates from around the world in a variety of finance verticals, providing for a much more diverse and robust classroom discussion.

The case method approach also adds a lot more value. Finally, the opportunity to do a module with the Executive MBAs (EMBA) in Fontainebleau, and the Leadership Capstone during the last module, were true differentiators. The programme combines the numbers with the people component.   

Did the programme meet or exceed your expectations?

I came into the programme with high expectations and they were surpassed on every aspect, including the faculty, teaching style and methodology, and the quality of my classmates. Despite being a relatively small class, we get access to the wider infrastructure of INSEAD due to the success of the business school and the other programmes.

Having worked in investment management previously and being a CFA Charter holder, I assumed that my knowledge base was quite high going in.

The programme was humbling in that respect as it exposed how many gaps I had.  

How did the EMFin help you in your career?

The programme has broadened my capabilities outside of my core equities focus. More than anything, it has helped me to think about risk and manage it in a much better manner than previously.

In addition, the core modules strengthened my fundamental skills considerably while, the latter modules helped me understand governance and leadership better, something I will apply to evaluate management teams and board composition going forward.

Do share with us your thoughts on the quality of the professors.

The professors teaching in the EMFin programme tend to be senior and very experienced. Some, if not all professors have private sector experience or deal with corporates frequently, so everything we did was tied to real-life examples as opposed to pure academia.

The quality of the professors in the programme cannot be overstated and was one of the major unexpected positive surprises for everyone in our programme.  

What were your classmates like?

We had a very diverse and experienced group, with people coming from all over the world. The areas of expertise varied but we had people coming from several sectors, including M&A, investment management, credit, risk management, trading, investment banking, corporate finance and more.

There was representation from many of the leading banks and financial institutions. The experience of our classmates showed up in the classroom and the breakout sessions, where people could offer real-world feedback on some of the topics and cases being discussed.

The relatively smaller class size meant that we became quite close over the duration of the programme and many of us will be friends for life afterwards.

Can you share more about the Leadership Capstone – how did it benefit you? 

The Leadership Capstone allowed us to consolidate our learnings in the first five modules and apply them to simulations, including the ALCO bank simulation and several board of directors’ simulations.

The ALCO simulation involved several groups managing a bank over a period, setting pricing, managing exposure and risk, and reacting to changing macroeconomic conditions and central bank policy. It required applying the learnings from several prior courses and helped us understand bank operations on a much deeper and more practical level.

Likewise, the board of director simulations required us to react in real-time to events that directors face, including activist shareholders, conflicts of interest and other crisis situations. After doing multiple cases and simulations (Tata Group, Deutsch Boerse/LSE, HP), we gained insight to the importance of Fair Process and evaluated real examples of failure in this respect.

Can you share your multi-campus experience?

The opportunity to do a module in Fontainebleau in July was a highlight for everyone in our programme.  After three quantitative-focused modules, it was great to get exposure to some of the softer skills and mix with the EMBAs and alumni for classes and networking. Fontainebleau was an incredible experience. Our group grew a lot closer as a result of this module.   

What advice will you give to potential EMFin participants?

Prepare. Make sure to do the readings and cases in advance so that you get the most out of each module. The two weeks of each module are very intense and if you are not prepared, it is impossible to catch up while juggling all the deliverables during the module.

This is an applied executive masters, so if you are looking for a programme where you can directly incorporate the learnings and programme materials into your day-to-day, the INSEAD EMFin is a great choice.