Interview of Guy Ertz, Professor of Finance, Portfolio Management Courses

Guy Ertz

Guy Ertz, Chief Investment Advisor @ BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg, tells us about co-teaching the Portfolio Management Course.

1. Guy, can you please briefly introduce yourself?

I have more than 25 years’ experience teaching topics like international economics and exchange rate dynamics, general equilibrium theory, risk management, etc. During my Ph.D., I had the opportunity to spend one year at the University of Minnesota, thanks to a Fulbright scholarship. That was a fantastic experience. I have been working in the Banking Industry since 1999 in Wealth Management and more precisely in Portfolio Management. I have been a member of the investment committee at group level for BGL BNP Paribas for more than 15 years. Managing through the great financial and Eurozone crisis was a challenging and important experience.

2. You are teaching this Portofolio Class with Mark Ritter, Former Senior Executive @UBS Stamford – Connecticut; why this “co-teaching” initiative?

I had the opportunity to participate in exchange programs at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) and at the University of Minnesota. I was fascinated by the complementarity of these teaching approaches with the program at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium where I studied. Having the opportunity to teach with Mark will thus be quite complementary since we will be combining two different approaches, professional expertise (Capital Market Assumption & Initial Public Offering), visions and experiences from two sides of the world (his American one and my European one). This idea became a concrete project thanks to our Digital Campus initiative launched during the pandemic.

3. What are the benefits of such a class for our students?

I have been working on applied finance topics such as the estimation of long term expected returns of asset classes and more recently the risk-return properties of portfolios managed using ESG criteria. I started working on the first topic after I had participated in the 2006 CFA Summer School at Harvard. This topic was discussed in one of the Business cases and generated a lot of exciting debates at the time. We will share this experience in class. The second topic is more recent and is one of the most exciting and promising areas in banking and asset management, especially in Europe. We will discuss whether managing portfolios using ESG criteria improves the risk return trade-off based on a survey of the recent academic literature.

Mark will be using a number of business cases on key topics and will use his experience in investment banking and some of his publications to add a specific topic on IPOs and the recent trend in so-called SPACS (special purpose acquisition company).

4. What advice would you give our students to navigate through all these changes within the banking industry?

The banking industry has gone through challenging times especially since the great financial crisis and the low interest environment. It is key to remain open for new trends and adapt quickly. As mentioned, I think that the most challenging and promising trend is sustainable finance and the use of ESG or similar criteria in asset management.