The Swiss Finance Institute realises lifelong learning at USI and Centro Studi Villa Negroni

Prof. Laurent Frésard during his SFI Master Class
Prof. Laurent Frésard during his SFI Master Class "Data and Technology in Finance"
Prof. Laurent Frésard during his SFI Master Class
Prof. Laurent Frésard during his SFI Master Class "Data and Technology in Finance"

Institutional Communication Service

3 December 2019

Big data, fintech, active and passive asset management, finance 4.0... The digital era poses a series of challenges for the finance sector in Switzerland, starting with keeping market players and investment professionals constantly up to date to maintain the competitiveness of the Swiss financial marketplace. As part of its continuing education programmes, and after the successful launch of the new Master Classes in June, the Swiss Finance Institute (SFI) has joined forces with Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) and the Centro Studi Villa Negroni (CSVN) to offer a new knowledge exchange and education programme for the financial marketplace in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland.  

The new lifelong learning initiative of the SFI is designed to bridge the gap between academic research and practical experience by bringing together the finest minds in academia and experts from the financial industry. Frontier topics will be discussed during short, intensive learning units, the SFI Master Classes and the SFI Knowledge Exchange Seminars, involving also professors from the USI Institute of Finance (IFin, affiliated to SFI). These events will be held at the USI campus in Lugano and at Villa Negroni in Vezia. The first SFI Master Class at USI, “Data and Technology in Finance” will be given by Prof. Laurent Frésard on January 17, 2020, whereas the class on “Opportunities in Active Asset Management” will be given by Prof. Francesco Franzoni on March 6.


SFI Master Classes

SFI Master Classes can be attended by professionals who have been active in the banking and financial sector for at least ten years. The aim is to share ideas and to enhance the exchange of experience and knowledge between the financial community and academia. This essential ‘knowledge exchange’ is realised during intensive half-day sessions at which leading academic research meets practitioner expertise, thus conveying to participants the best of both worlds. As USI professor Laurent Frésard explains, “The objective of the SFI Master Classes is to distill the latest academic thinking on key relevant topics, and allow participants to think strategically about future of finance and exchange their experiences and challenges. The events aim at fostering discussions and collaboration among peers and to understand how to adopt new ideas from research insights”.

According to USI professor Francesco Franzoni, “The SFI Master Class allows practitioners to learn about the latest findings in academic research. In my class, we will discuss the opportunities that still exist in active asset management. In some of my research, I have investigated the determinants of performance of active managers. In the Master Class, I will emphasize the relevance of this research for practical applications. These events represent two-way exchanges with the audience that are, for me, enriching and stimulating”.
For information and application:


Knowledge Exchange Seminars

To complement the SFI Master Classes, this knowledge exchange package offers a series of Knowledge Exchange Seminars (KES) in collaboration with the Centro Studi Villa Negroni, at its headquarters in Vezia. This invitation-only activity aims to encourage the interaction and dialogue between the academic world and decision makers from the financial industry on topics of common interest. During these short meetings, lasting about 90 minutes, participants will have the opportunity to discuss a specific topic of extreme relevance in the sectors of reference, all in a privileged environment that facilitates the exchange of views and knowledge.

According to Tamara Erez, director of the Villa Negroni Study Centre, "The KES allow our participants to share their knowledge on topical issues, introducing the academic perspective and thus promoting debate and professional networking. The CSVN is pleased to announce the start of this collaboration from the second half of 2020”. For information:


Other continuing education programmes

The new SFI knowledge programme complements the other training offers already available and organized in collaboration between USI and CCVN, with the support of USI professors affiliated with the SFI, namely the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) Risk Management in Banking and Asset Management, launched in 2016 and designed for risk management professionals, as well as internal auditors or legal counsel executives at financial institutions; and the CAS in Private Banking and Wealth Management, launched the year after, addressed to asset and wealth management professionals.