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Value Creation in Private Equity & Venture Capital

WHU Offers New Program on April 28 and 29, 2016, on the Düsseldorf Campus

WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management will offer a new Executive Education program at its campus in Düsseldorf. Over the course of two days, executives will receive intense exposure and training in private equity and venture capital.

Both PE and VC play a central role in the global economy: they revolutionize entire industries, contribute to the development of technologies, alter the modalities of competition and offer a second chance for companies threatened with insolvency.

"The time for an Executive Education program like this has never been better," says Professor Dr. Serden Ozcan, who holds a chair in Innovation and Organization at WHU. "Never before have successful strategies for investment decisions been as essential as they are today. For managers who want to endure in the market, then, continuing education in the field of venture capital and private equity is indispensable."

"The program is aimed at entrepreneurs, M&A experts, executives in the field of business development, and senior managers in family businesses," adds Professor Dr. Garen Markarian, who will also teach in the program. The benefits of this program derive from close coordination between academic standards and high practical relevance: "We will work with real case studies and simulations, discuss theoretical viewpoints, and have industry experts interact with participants." Among other things, participants will investigate the ways in which venture capital firms identify, evaluate and nurture growth opportunities, and PE creates value in an advanced lifecycle of an industrial firm.


WHU Executive Education and Stockholm School of Economics IFL Launch Joint Risk Management Program

WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management offers a new program for executives in the financial sector to develop their capabilities in managing risk and integrating risk management into business. The program will be delivered in close collaboration with the Stockholm School of Economics IFL Executive Education (SSE IFL), with faculty and participants from all of Europe.

"As one of Europe’s best business schools we are very pleased with this cooperation with SSE IFL, the Nordic region’s leading player in Executive Education and one of Europe’s top suppliers of Executive Education,” says Professor Markus Rudolf, Dean of WHU. “Our participants will profit from both school’s expanding Executive Education alumni networks and will benefit from a truly international approach to risk management, with renowned researchers from both WHU’s and SSE’s excellent faculty contributing to the curriculum."

The program has been developed by Bo Becker, Professor of Finance at SSE, and Garen Markarian, Professor of Financial Accounting at WHU, in close cooperation with WHU Executive Education. ”SSE IFL and WHU have a lot in common, both being small, independent business schools with out-standing research and top-rated education programs. Through cooperation we can benefit from the deep expertise and experience at both schools,” states Professor Becker. Faculty from both schools will be teaching in the program with modules delivered alternately in Sweden and Germany. “The program will present insights from the USA, Europe, and Asia, to provide participants with a global perspective on risk analysis,” says Professor Markarian.

The need for risk management is constantly growing as a result of increasing globalization, and laws and regulations in the financial sector that affect companies worldwide. “The amount of regulation, and its complexity, has increased enormously since the financial crisis of 2008-2009,” explains Professor Becker. As the need for risk management grows, so do the teams needed within companies to measure, report, and take overall responsibility for risk. Their task is becoming more strategically significant, especially in financial companies, and more complex. Departments’ handling of risk is more and more carefully assessed, which in turn creates new challenges.

The WHU Executive Education/SSE IFL program is designed to meet these needs. It is based on real case examples, focuses on insights from day-to-day business which have practical relevance, and treats risk management as a tool for creating value. “Participants will benefit from highly interactive sessions based on the school’s own research, case-based teaching, and a very international flavor of the program,” states Rebecca Winkelmann, Managing Director Executive Education at WHU.


First incoming class for SPOAC by WHU

Sunday marked the beginning of the year for the first incoming class in the "Advanced Executive Program in Sports Business" (AEP) at SPOAC, the Sports Business Academy by WHU. The incoming students will complete a year-long continuing-education program for professionals, with course work designed for tomorrow's leaders in the sports business.

On their first day on the SPOAC campus at WHU in Düsseldorf, participants were first welcomed by the initiators of SPOAC, Prof. Sascha L. Schmidt (Scientific Director of SPOAC) and Philipp Klotz (member of management at SPONSORs). Under the title "Strategy in Action," the first case studies on "competitiveness" were discussed, based on participants' previous preparation via a multimedia learning platform. Prof. Schmidt drew on participants' professional experience as the group worked on solutions to the problems posed. This is a core element of the "Harvard Case Method" taught at SPOAC – Sports Business Academy by WHU. The AEP comprises ten three-day modules devoted to topics ranging from "Strategy" to "Sales" to "Leadership."

Participants in the first incoming class stem from all relevant areas of the world of sports business. They include representatives of world federations such as FIFA and FEI (the International Equestrian Federation); national organizations including DFL, DFB, Eintracht Frankfurt, and 1. FC Köln; and students from the sponsoring industry, including Deutsche Sportwetten, Fujifilm, and WWP. Former and current top athletes from sports such as hockey, tennis, and Nordic skiing have also enrolled at SPOAC.

During an evening dinner, participants had the opportunity to reflect on their first day together and to engage in lively discussion in a relaxed setting. The day ended with an escape game in which the participants had to solve puzzles and brainteasers together before they could escape from a room.

Among the highlights awaiting participants on the second day was a keynote presentation by German Football League (DFL) CEO Christian Seifert. Dr. Michael Vesper, CEO of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), is today's announced, guest lecturer.

The second three-day module of the AEP, on "Accounting and Finance," will follow immediately thereafter, beginning on Wednesday and ending on Friday. Participants will complete the remaining eight modules at the WHU campus Düsseldorf, meeting at intervals of four weeks each. The program concludes in early June with a study trip to Boston, where, among other destinations, participants will visit the campus of Harvard Business School.


First WHU on Finance Program successfully started

In April 2015, the new WHU on Finance Program started. So far, more than 70 participants from different institutions attended the program in the first 10 sessions including topics as Infrastructure of Capital Markets, Behavioral Finance, Asset Management, ECB and European Bank Union, and Financial Crisis. The program will finish at the end of July with two sessions on Alternative Investments (July 21st) and Wealth Management (July 28th). Registration for these two sessions is still possible.

The program is especially useful for executives with regular contact with financial markets. In 12 90-minutes evening sessions taking place in Frankfurt both fundamental and currently relevant hot topics of financial markets are covered. The program is very flexible offering the opportunity to book the whole series of 12 sessions or to choose only specific modules that best fit individual needs. Participants who attend at least 8 sessions have the opportunity to take an exam or to hand in a short thesis and receive a WHU certificate with up to 3 ECTS points.


Alumnus of General Management Plus Program visits learning center in Cambodia

In June, Peter Kleinhütten, alumnus of the General Management Plus Program at WHU, traveled to Cambodia to visit a learning center in the rural community of Tonloab. One year ago, he had established the learning center together with eleven executives and the social enterprise BOOKBRIDGE.

The mission for his visit in June was to celebrate the first anniversary of the learning center with the community and to create awareness of different educational topics together with Vannak Pen, who is the head of the learning center.

“I wanted to show Vannak how easy it is to learn new things and have fun at the same time. Thus I decided to shoot a video with him in the learning center”, says Kleinhütten. For him, this meant learning to write a screenplay in advance, bringing a camcorder, and being a cameraman, director, and mentor in one person. He had no experience in movie-making before.

In only 24 hours, Kleinhütten and Pen shot the footage for the 8-minute video, that Kleinhütten cut himself after the trip to Cambodia. “I had never done this before, so it was quite a challenge for me to look through the footage, cut it and find suitable music”, explains Kleinhütten.

The video shows the variety of Vannak Pen´s tasks in the learning center: He organizes IT and English courses for children and adults, plays and sings with the children, and manages all financial issues. The learning center has been set up as a financially self-sustained business. To ensure good sustainability rates in the future, Pen needs to develop new ideas to earn money with offers (e.g. IT and English courses, kindergarten) in the learning center and to raise awareness for the importance of education for children in Cambodia. He will probably offer new IT courses and also will commit himself to environmental issues, for example, rubbish disposal in the community.

The film project made Peter Kleinhütten step out of his comfort zone and go on a personal learning journey, as he had done during the 9 months part-time General Management Plus Program in which he participated from September 2013 to June 2014. While continuing to work full-time in a German bank, he enhanced his knowledge in strategy, finance, leadership, and entrepreneurship in lectures and sessions at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. But there was more than just sitting in a classroom and listening to professors: Kleinhütten and his teammates created a business plan for a social business – the learning center in Tonloab – in their spare time. “I really liked the program. The combination of lectures and sessions with excellent professors and the possibility to apply the newly gained knowledge right away in a business project were unique”, thinks Kleinhütten. During the last module of the program, the group traveled to Cambodia to finish the last renovation work of the learning center and to open it officially. Today, the program participants still have a close connection to Vannak Pen, the BOOKBRIDGE team, and to the learning center.


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