Fernando Rodríguez López de Andújar | Although Enrique Castellanos has been linked to BME Institute for almost two decades, he will soon have been its director for one year.
-What makes the Institute you run different from others in your area?
What sets BME Institute apart from others is our distinctly practical nature. Our education and training are provided by people with first-hand experience of how things work in real life. We offer syllabuses focused on financial markets and products, and technology and regulation applied to financial markets. In addition, we try to design syllabuses that cannot be found anywhere else, like the ones of our Master’s degrees in Financial Markets and Alternative Investments (MFIA Master’s), and in Artificial Intelligence applied to Financial Markets or that of our Course on Investor Relations, which are already educational and training references at a national level.Our unbeatable human resources team include the teachers at BME Institute, the whole of BME’s staff and the best professionals in the sector, who provide first-hand experience for our students so that they can always be at the forefront of what is being done at any given time.
-What goals have you set for the Institute and why?The aim of BME
Institute since its creation in 1990 has been to spread the financial culture . In this respect, we will continue to help spread financial training related to financial products, technology and the regulation of financial markets, which is what we are experts in.We have many free educational initiatives: courses on our online platform, webinars and talks both in schools and universities.More specifically, with our sights set in the future, we have expanded the formats in which our courses are taught. In addition to the face-to-face and online courses, we have implemented the virtual format, in which the face-to-face classes are recorded and broadcast. It gives our students a greater degree of flexibility that was unthinkable years ago. On the other hand, we are setting up some courses with recorded materials so that students can learn at their own pace at very low fees.In short, we offer an extensive list of courses which attempt to cover all the relevant areas in the financial markets and which cater to all types of students; from the recent graduate who wants to have a career in finance to the person who wants just a basic knowledge of finance to apply it to their domestic economy.
-Digitalisation, ‘Blockchain’, automated advice, trading algorithms, green finance, new OTC trading platforms… How do you see the future configuration of the stock markets and what specific trends do you see most clearly?
The world is changing very rapidly, and this obviously affects the financial markets. Fortunately, the BME Group is at the centre of the financial sector in Spain and now also part of a large European stock exchange group so we are at the cutting edge on all these matters. We have great professionals in these fields; many of whom are also part of our teaching staff. At BME we have known for years that our strategy should be to provide added value to our clients and in order to do this we must innovate and offer new services. Sometimes innovation consists simply in being flexible and knowing how to adapt quickly to a new situation or service that your clients demand. In order to be able to do that, you have to be at the cutting edge of technology and never stop learning, as in this field you can become obsolete quite quickly. That is why education is so important and it must be continuous and of quality.
– How is BME Institute planning to adapt its educational offer to these challenges?
BME Institute’s educational offer is constantly being adapted to new market trends and technologies. One of the advantages of being who we are is that we know all there is to know about what is needed.A few examples that prove this point are the modifications we have made to our Master’s degree in Financial Markets and Alternative Investments (MFIA). A Master’s degree with a great reputation because of the knowledge of financial products our students obtain. For years, we have had programming modules in Visual Basic, which, this year, have been expanded by over hundred hours dedicated to programming in Python, Artificial Intelligence (Machine Learning, etc…) and Blockchain. Our goal is that our MFIA Master’s students, most of whom are economists, can programme when they finish.
Also this year, we have given our Master’s in Artificial Intelligence some tweaks and have included in it an substantial number of hours of Quantum Computing applied to financial markets, a subject in which we are pioneers.
-The BME Institute makes a point of promoting investor relations. Can you explain what competitive edge this gives you over other competitors?
This is a course which aims to raise awareness of how important it is for companies to have resources allocated to the investor relations function. It is a critical function because all listed companies have to communicate information to their investors and it is very important that this communication should be done from within a strategy, which is why we teach this course.The Investor Relations Course is a unique course, which has no equivalent in other educational centres, neither in Spain nor in the rest of Europe. Professionals from the sector of listed companies provide our students with first-hand knowledge. We believe that at the end of the course our students have top quality theoretical and practical knowledge and therefore, a real perspective of the importance of this function.
– How do you think the integration of BME into SIX will influence the strategy of BME Institute?
Although it is still too early to know how our integration into SIX will influence BME Institute’s strategy, as the operation was finalised last June, I believe that it will undoubtedly be beneficial, as we both have very complementary businesses and we will be able to learn a lot from each other.Like BME, SIX has a very high technological component and is well-established in the banking sector. Without a doubt, given the experience of both companies, we will be able to complement and enrich our educational and training offers.