Mattia Villani

Fiona Walter

Programme: MSc Banking and International Finance, 2019

Current role and company: Consultant, Sevendots, London

My bachelor’s degree was in mathematics. I had studied finance in the context of mathematics but wanted to gain deeper insight into the financial services sector, which motivated me to study the MSc Banking and International Finance.

I chose the Business School (formerly Cass) because it combines the agility of the entrepreneurial sphere, the expertise of academia and the know-how of an evolving professional network.

It is hard to pick a favourite module or lecturer! One of my favourite classes was the Hedge Funds module, which was a great mix of theory and practice. I particularly enjoyed the Commercial and Investment Banking module which took us through the challenges of banking research, with deep insight into financial intermediaries and their social purpose in a historical moment of change such as Brexit.

I also really enjoyed my business research project. I am profoundly thankful for my module leader guidance in finding compelling topics in algorithmic distributional replication, based on previous research. It was an opportunity to learn elements of computational and mathematical finance, while researching the rich history of academia that has come out of the School.

The programme taught me to keep pursuing knowledge. It was an incredibly interesting experience to gain insight in the financial markets as the industry goes through changes due to evolving political climates and technological advancements.

The programme equipped me with the background to tackle relevant problems that the industry is facing as well as teaching me professional etiquette. It also introduced me to a network of alumni that have already begun to shape me as a young professional. I look forward to keeping strong ties with the academic, student and staff community.

The School has a vibrant and dynamic community where networking occurred not only in the insightful evening events, but in the corridors and lecture rooms. The classmates you speak to about coursework will become friends working in major banks and boutique financial firms all across the world!

Through the School, I had the opportunity to apply for an internship at PwC which was shared by our Programme Director with my cohort. I saw this opportunity as an exciting new challenge and was interviewed by my professors and then by the PwC team before being selected.

I started a new role as an Asset and Wealth Management Legal Team role at PwC the day after submitting my dissertation. It was an exciting time to join the firm as it expanded its operations and explored new solutions that involve technology. I was at the forefront of this change, tasked with figuring out ways to implement machine learning, dashboarding and visualisation solutions to explore different ways of delivering legal solutions. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to learn both broadly about how regulation shaped the constraints of financial markets and delve into specifics of how Brexit is influencing the EU-UK trading relations.

Since then, I have joined Sevendots, a global brand management consultancy of senior leaders in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry. As a consultant, I unlocked multiple business opportunities for the business and built a newco from scratch.  I lead an interdisciplinary team of exceptional graduates who are willing to address the challenges of sustainability in consumer markets by creating disruptive business models for the next generation of consumption with The Red Flower Factory.

I am very excited to be at the start of a new adventure: I will be pursuing a PhD in Artificial Intelligence with the aim of developing safe and trusted AI methods that can be deployed in finance.