A mini-blog series, by Daniel Cade
Stefan Morkötter is the embodiment of the University of St. Gallen’s assertion that its faculty members have a strong foothold in both academia and industry. He’s a full professor of Finance who sits on the board of directors of a private equity fund with hands-on experience at a well-known European bank. As I came to learn during our conversation, bridging theory to application in the real world is the recurring theme in Stefan’s approach to teaching.
So, what can students expect from the Invest course in the new MBA Programme? “We won't be teaching our MBA students to be future CFOs,” Stefan explained. “They will, however, learn how to have an eye-level discussion with finance professionals.” How will he achieve this? Through a careful blend of accounting and corporate finance, and with a large helping of critical thinking, came the response. Using Stefan’s analogy, “Not only will students be able to create a discounted cash-flow model and come up with a figure that they believe in, but they will also then be able to challenge it in relation to current global economic developments.”
Another related, and very useful, string to Stefan’s bow is the unique perspective that he has on global finance. He’s spent more than nine years in Singapore and heads up the St. Gallen Institute of Management in Asia, which is the local institute of the University of St.Gallen in Singapore. Stefan advises students to expect “with 99.99% certainty” that they will interact with Asian companies within their future roles. In fact, he runs a very popular MBA elective course – on location, in Singapore – that is geared towards introducing students to Asian culture and way of business. It’s clear that he is really enthusiastic about “opening up the eyes of MBA students to Asia.” And, as I listen, I realise that this is yet another invaluable real-life experience served up in an academic setting!