Turning Misfortune into Opportunity

Bassem Younes

Bassem Younes (MSc International Business, 2005) tells how his time at Lancaster helped with his quest to master critical thinking to find solutions to economic problems.

"From a young age I found myself drawn to the world of economics and finance, as complexities of my environment growing up put into perspective the necessity to understand and master the economic concepts, in order to find solutions.

That focus on economics and social sciences started with my baccalaureate, further developed through my Bachelor in Economics, and sharpened and expanded through the University of Lancaster’s International Business Postgraduate programme in 2005, concentrating on international economics and finance.

Through the programme that year, the focus on China and India was especially interesting and would prove key. We also ran a WTO simulation and even that had me thinking last year as the world grappled with trade tensions.

The promise received from the faculty, that we would emerge better critical thinkers and problem solvers, was kept for me, proof of which was my thesis on the Possible Systemic Risks of Collateral Debt Obligations (2005), and these same CDOs would pretty much write the next chapter of the Financial World.

Merrill Lynch would hire me as a junior investment advisor in 2006. And the rest is history. 

But that paper had me prepared. I turned misfortune into opportunity and helped a great number of clients over the years protect their wealth and put it to work to their advantage.

By 2011, the world was recovering and I took the opportunity to move to Dubai to work on a predominantly Asian focused clientele. That was exactly what I needed to continue building on my experience and now advanced understanding of Macro economic and trade-related issues, which would help me better navigate in the years that followed, the cycles of regulation and deregulation, globalization to regionalism and nationalism; not to mention the more present pandemic.

But more importantly to learn how and where to implement solutions to portfolios that would have the best relative outcome.

Over the years, I made sure to put to work the management and social skills I picked up through my masters, but also through the friends I made from different faculties at Lancaster at the time (I remember it like yesterday how we used to huddle in bars and discuss for hours - well we were having fun as well!)

That package, a lot of hard work, some luck and discipline would lead me to Geneva to first join HSBC, and then UBS.

I keep a hopeful eye on my future, but I never forget to look back to my past and be thankful."


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