It Is All About Big Data

On September 18, WHU invited experts, students, and longtime friends to celebrate the inauguration of the WHU Finance Lab.

The Finance Lab is equipped with twelve computers with the new “Eikon” software and allows students to process trading simulations with real-time data and analyze stock market data realistically.

In his opening note, Professor Dr. Markus Rudolf, Dean of WHU and Head of the Center of Asset and Wealth Management, welcomed the guests to the “Finance Day”: “Today, we already had the pleasure to inaugurate the new adidas Chair of Finance, Accounting, and Taxation; and now we are celebrating the opening of the WHU Finance Lab. For you as finance students, the Finance Lab will mean a great improvement in the analysis and understanding of market-driven data.”

Dr. Astrid Jäkel, WHU alumna and Partner Financial Services at Oliver Wyman, stressed the importance of working with financial market data in her keynote speech on “The use of financial market data in insurance and beyond – A ‘practitioner’s perspective.’“ Out of the 150 projects that she had implemented, around 140 projects included the use of financial market data. Compared to the means and methods of analyzing financial markets back then when she was a student at WHU, Jäkel assessed the introduction of the Eikon software as a big advantage.

In the panel discussion on the question “Future of Asset & Wealth Management – Will the Machines Take Over?” the discussants debated the role of robotic advisors in the investment business. Professor Dr. Axel Wieandt, Honorary Professor at WHU, who lead through the panel, claimed that nowadays, everything was about collecting and working with data. Michael Kohl, Managing Director Asset Management at Commerzbank, urged that people introducing these machines needed to raise trust in them, otherwise clients would stop following the journey.  

In between the keynote speech and the panel discussion, Assistant Professor and Director of the Center of Asset and Wealth Management, Dr. Sebastian Seidens, invited the attendants on a visiting tour through the Finance Lab. Doctoral student Nabil Alkafri presented the software and gave examples of potential applications, such as the screening of a large investment universe, and the location tracking of oil tankers that is commonly used in commodities trading. Besides, bachelor student Fabian Saliger introduced the audience to the WHU Finance Society, the oldest student finance club of WHU, and explained how they use the software for their international trading challenge. The opening ceremony concluded with a dinner in the vaulted cellar of the Marienburg.