Pierre-Olivier Billard

Country of origin: France

Head of the Asset Allocation Department, Fonds de réserve pour les Retraites (FRR)

I chose to study at Lancaster University Management School as an MSc in Finance Student in the context of a double certificate combined with an MSc in Management at EM Lyon Management School. This choice made my studies a little bit longer, but I was motivated by the excellent rankings of Lancaster University's MSc in Finance and the possibility to study in England, a country with a strong culture of finance.

I was indeed very happy to study at Lancaster. The teachers are at the cutting edge in their respective topics and the international and high-level student selection ensures very interesting project work. Finally, the six-month dissertation on "option pricing under limited information" was quite challenging.

The peaceful campus offers great conditions for work (including a well-documented library) and leisure (I could play many sports at Lancaster that I had never played before). I can remember passing in front of all the rabbits living around campus in the early morning when I was going to the computer room to see the results of the programmes that ran during the night; it was very peaceful indeed.

The MSc in Finance and my specialisation in quantitative methods was a big achievement and enabled me to get an internship in Germany at DWS Investment (Asset Manager of Deutsche Bank), I then worked at Franklin Templeton Investment in Paris and finally I began wokring at the Fonds de reserve pour les Retraites (FRR), which is the biggest Reserve fund in France (€34 billion of assets). I am now Head of Asset Allocation at FRR and, when you think about it, my experience at LUMS was a milestone for me, especially to work in a foreign country before going back home to France.