The joint elite graduate program “Finance and Information Management”, which was re-launched last year by TUM and the University of Bayreuth welcomed the 2nd cohort of FIM students last week. Besides an introductory course in Stochastic Processes taught by Prof. Dr. Zagst, the new class of 31 students had a highlight to look forward to at the end of their first week: they were attending the ESG & Sustainability Event at Haus der Bayerischen Wirtschaft altogether with the 21 students of the 3rd semester cohort, professors from both TUM (Prof. Dr. Maximilian Schiffer, Business Analytics & Intelligent Systems) and the University of Bayreuth (Prof. Dr. Max Röglinger, Process Management & Optimization) and of course a variety of industry representatives from all the FIM program’s corporate partners, namely: Allianz Global Investors, Celonis, ERGO, Airbus, Kuka, Oetker Group, Vista, and Hilti.
A warm welcome by our new Academic Program Director
Professor Schiffer, who recently became the head of the FIM program kicked off the event with a warm welcome to both generations of FIM students. In the following Vlada Yatskovskaya and Yu Jung, who enrolled in the FIM program in 2021 and ever since have become working students at Allianz Global Investors, introduced the first speakers of the day: Matt Christensen (Global Head of Sustainable and Impact Investing and Managing Director at AGI) and Thomas Roulland (Head of Sustainability Methodologies & Analytics AGI). They highlighted – among many other things – how proprietary research is an essential component of a robust and sustainable investing approach in a world of imperfect data. Afterwards, the more than 60 attendees had the chance to ask questions during a 30-minute Q&A slot.
What does sustainability mean across industries?
Tobias Arndt (Project Manager Sustainability, Dr. Oetker) and Deborah Ingerfeld (Senior Talent- & Project manager, Oetker-Group) provided valuable insights on how not just the climate crisis but a variety of issues impact the day to day of the Oetker group and how they put the customer at the center of all their activities. For example, their products’ GHG emissions have become important for their customers, so it has become an important production factor. Additionally, Oetker’s customers pay higher attention both to what they put into their body and how doing so impacts their environment. Similarly, Sebastian Klapdor who was virtually joined by his colleagues Dr. Anna Kloss, Dr. Toni Casas and Dr. Capranico) from Vista showcased how to drive sustainability through leveraging NLP and Machine Learning by detecting single use banners and therefore significantly reducing the amount of wasted plastics. Due to the fact that “Deep Reinforcement Learning” is a part of the first year’s FIM curriculum, the Q&A session was very much appreciated and helped to bridge the gap between theory & practice.
Celonis – FIM from the very first day on
Bastian Nominacher, Co-Founder of Germany’s once most valuable startup and now decacorn Celonis, once studied the FIM program. Over a decade later, Celonis as one of the corporate partners held by Janina Bauer (Global Director of Sustainability). Again, many questions came up during Janina Bauer’s talk, hence another Q&A session was highly appreciated by all. Afterwards, the students were able to engage in a lively closing panel discussion with Dr. Sebastian Klapdor, Dr. Anna Kloss (both from Vista), Janina Bauer and Prof. Dr. Maximilian Schiffer which was the perfect way to end the afternoon.
In summary, it can be said that it was great for all parties involved to come together with numerous corporate partners and be able to put a name to the faces of those one previously did not have the opportunity to engage with during our numerous company event days within FIM’s first year at TUM. Directly connecting theory and practice was equally motivational and reassuring for the students, as the FIM curriculum directly addresses the challenges being faced across all industries. Problem solving with regards to the climate crisis or any crisis for that matter in the 2020s and beyond requires a holistic analysis across the fields of finance, computer science and mathematics.
by FIM student David Bayer