"The Investment Finance class was amazing. As for Brent, I've never seen a prof like him. I really liked the way he taught us and helped us through the homework. He even advised me on some topics which were outside of our course, but were really important for me in my schooling and career." – Saksham Arora, iX Investment Finance alum, 2018.
iX teaching legend, and our very own CFO, Brent Shapiro, returns to the proverbial chalkboard, where he'll be teaching Investment Finance in Tel Aviv this year. What can his Israel class expect from this putt-putt champion, backgammon master, and generally awesome teacher? Read on to find out.
Brent Shapiro with his 2018 Investment Finance class members at their final presentation
Last year, you taught Finance in Cape Town, and now this year, it’s Tel Aviv! How will you be shaking it up?
2018 was a great success for Investment Finance, based on the feedback we received. I think that the students really thrived under pressure and developed some valuable new skills. In 2019, the structure of the program has changed, with more intensive class work in the first two weeks, followed by a blended experience in the next four weeks. We are going to ensure that the classwork remains as intense as in 2018, with students receiving more hands-on support for their work experience projects.
Tell us more about the Tel Aviv Investment Finance landscape.
Israel is renowned for being a tech hub, but it also has a strong finance presence, with many venture capital companies based in Tel Aviv. Israel, in general, is a country where hard work is rewarded, and we aim to echo this with the Investment Finance course.
What skills will your 2019 iX students have after graduating from your class?
They will learn foundational skills such as evaluating financial statements, compiling corporate valuations, as well as understanding risk vs return and where exceptional returns are on offer. They will also be exposed to derivatives and other forms of financial instruments that make the Finance industry so exciting.
What is the biggest lesson that students took away from Investment Finance last year? What do you hope to impart this year?
It would be folly of me not to say that the biggest take away would have been “Cash is King” considering it’s my mantra, and considering so much of the course revolves around the discounting of cash flows. My hope for 2019, is that students leave feeling that Finance, as a profession, is both challenging and rewarding, and that you don’t need to cut corners to be successful.
How will your students be putting what they learn to practice in the work experience component of the program? What makes it different to regular junior work experience?
Our 2019 students will be making use of skills learnt in class that few other educational offerings can provide. Many 2018 students told me, post the program, that iX prepared them for finance internships in ways they could never have dreamed of, which resulted in them landing incredible jobs in the industry.
In your off time, what are you most looking forward to doing in Tel Aviv this summer?
I was last in Israel in 1997, so I am looking forward to seeing how things have changed, taking in some sun…. and hopefully finding a putt putt course for me to try and master :)