Every year, the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management student initiative Tradity organizes the “Tradity Meets WHU” event. With the aim of promoting financial education at German schools, the student club set up a digital conference, which attracted more than 100 motivated high school students. In addition to the award ceremony for the Tradity stock market simulation and several networking sessions, five speakers delivered compelling keynotes about finance, politics, and economics.
WHU Prof. Dr. Ralf Fendel kicked off the event. As Chair of Monetary Economics, Fendel conveyed to the students how monetary policy has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and what economic implications the crisis might have. WHU alumnus Kris Tschischke then introduced the topic of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and discussed the role of private equity firms. After a virtual campus tour, the students were able to choose between two afternoon sessions. While the FDP MEP Moritz Körner spoke about global trade issues, passionate chess player Sebastian Kuhnert gave insights into the IPO processes of companies. As Kuhnert outlined, he turned his hobby into a profession after graduation from WHU. For several years he worked in various Internet companies and eventually became the CEO of the chess platform chess24, which he merged and took public under the parent company Play Magnus. Kuhnert found the preceding financing rounds even more demanding, and the IPO required several months of hard work before its debut. As Kuhnert described to the eagerly listening students, the process was nevertheless extremely exciting. After the stock market debut, he had overwhelming feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
One of the highlights of Tradity Meets WHU 2021 was a speech made by Aya Jaff. The young founder published her first book at the age of 22 and was listed as one of the most successful "30 Under 30" by Forbes magazine in 2019. With their “30 Under 30” award, Forbs annually selects the most successful business and industry personalities under the age of 30. As the now 25-year-old revealed, she started trading stocks out of sheer curiosity. Since then, she says, one of her most important lessons has been that stock trading requires patience. Jaff therefore recommended that the students gain their first experience in stock market simulations. Although neo-brokers such as Trade Republic and Robinhood would also be an easy way to get started, young people in particular should first get a feel for the market without the risk of losing money. Tradity's stock market gameoffers a great opportunity to do this, she noted. And when is the best time to start? According to Jaff, “it is always the right time to start.”