WHU General

Campus for Finance – WHU New Year’s Conference 2023

Experts shed a light on how recession and inflation form a vicious cycle

Held over January 18 – 19, 2023, the Campus for Finance – WHU New Year’s Conference brought students enrolled in schools all across Europe to the Vallendar campus at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management to engage with representatives from a variety of companies and hear the latest developments in the financial world from today’s experts.

Billed under the title “The Vicious Cycle of Economy – The Illusion of Control,” the conference focused on presentations and panels covering the most relevant trends and serious challenges in the world of finance. Aside from the intriguing main attraction, the event also allowed participants a chance to network with renowned companies, connecting young talent with attractive employers.

Professor Markus Rudolf, Dean of WHU, welcomed guests on day one and highlighted the long tradition of the Campus for Finance, established back in 2001. Professor Rudolf also noted that, despite the constant changes seen in the banking world since the early 2000s, the conference has persevered and remained a constant all the while. Jans Meckel, General Manager of the Campus for Finance, as well as representatives from well-known companies such as Lanxess, were also in attendance, underlining the event’s continued significance. The Dean went on to say how proud he was of the many WHU students who had taken on the responsibility of organizing an event of such magnitude.

After the introduction, Patrick Dewayne took the stage as the emcee for the rest of the day’s program. Day one featured presentations from Lanxess and Hidden Peak Capital, as well as a panel discussion with Dr. Stefan Povaly (Senior Country Officer, J.P. Morgan Germany), Dr. Hendrik Otto (Chairman of the Supervisory Board, DBAG), and Niklas Lerche and Malte Wulfetange (Managing Directors, Houlihan Lokey). In particular, the topics of sustainability and restructuring of the financial sector played a central role in the discussion.

Guests of the event also had workshops to look forward to, which brought them into contact with various companies’ representatives, who shared their expertise—and who could also become their employers in the future. At the career fair, students became better acquainted with the numerous entities sponsoring the conference and were able to secure invitations to exclusive side-events on the agenda. For example, some were able to join a small group during a cozy wine tasting with companies such as FTI-Andersch, Boston Consulting Group, or enomyc. Later, by the end of the eventful first day, curtains rose on the conference’s very first casino night, replete with drinks and where guests could test their luck at the card tables. 

Night quickly gave way to daylight, and the event geared up again with a set of exciting contributions. Jörg Beißel, CFO of Lufthansa, for example, gave his insights on managing the airline and how to best steer such a company through times of crisis. In further engaging with the companies represented on site, students were able to get ahold of a “Golden Ticket,” which gave them access to the Gala Dinner held in WHU’s vaulted cellar. Organizers also invited students to attend an afterparty held at the Kurfürstliches Schloss in Koblenz, where the good times continued to roll.

After two days of having new experiences and learning new things, Patrick Dewayne’s emotional words left an impression: “You’re all staring at a bright future. Have the courage to follow your heart.”