By Joao Miguel Rodrigues Pereira (MFA2023)
London Business Challenge Week (LBCW) is one of the Masters in Financial Analysis’ unique selling points. It’s an intensive but rewarding experience that allows students to address complex business challenges and develop solutions with real impact. Simultaneously, it constitutes a chance for businesses to gain fresh ideas and insights from our MFA cohort.
The company project champion and mentor present the project brief, clarifying the scope, objectives and expected deliverables of the project on the first day, with a final presentation and live feedback on the last day. The LBCW allows students to develop the skills that employers will be looking for, through immersion in a pressured environment. Students can build on their academic learning and gain insight and exposure to how companies work, whilst also developing their networking skills and improving their virtual presence.
Over the years, the MFA cohorts have built a strong track record and have become known for their diversity and talent and the insights and recommendations delivered by the MFA project team have helped organisations like The Raine Group to tackle pressing challenges.
As LBCW moved closer, we were provided with a list of companies that had a partnership with LBS, including both start-ups and established firms. We ranked our preferences according to our interests and I was super excited to be selected – along with 6 of my peers – to support INDIGO Fund.
INDIGO is a crypto hedge fund that invests across the entire spectrum of the market; from blue chip digital assets such as bitcoin and ether to the hottest tokens in the fast-growing GameFi, metaverse, and DeFi sectors. The INDIGO Fund is managed by a team of experienced professionals who have extensive experience in the institutional cryptocurrency ecosystem. The team also includes the well-known crypto DJ Blondish, bringing a unique creative perspective and insights to the fund. The fund’s investment strategy is centred on identifying and investing in high-quality, liquid tokens that have the potential for strong long-term growth.
After working groups were formed, we had our first contact with the project hosting companies in the form of an introductory pitch. For us, the presentation was held by Thomas Puech and Nathaneal Cohen from INDIGO Fund, who not only introduced their company and the project at hand but also explained their expectations regarding the quality of our work and the key deliverables. The project was focused on the NFT lending market, which at the time the NFT lending market was valued at 350 million US dollars. Despite the challenges faced by financial markets as a whole, the NFT lending market was proving to be “bear resistant,” with the ability to provide additional leverage during bull markets.
Our job was to perform a deep-dive analysis of the NFT lending/borrowing market across platforms using Crypto analytics data. Our analysis was expected to cover all important aspects of the loans, including structuring, the underlying price mechanisms, differences across platforms as well as a potential optimal loan structure. A second important deliverable of the project was to find what could be the next generation of NFT (e.g. fractionalized assets).
We started our work on the project right after the pitch by deconstructing the tasks into several milestones and creating a road map of when we would complete them. Over the next two days, we effectively assigned responsibilities among our group members and made great progress with our deliverables. In the middle of the week, we had the chance to discuss our status with the client, who provided us with constructive feedback on our approach and answered clarifying questions that had emerged during the process. I particularly enjoyed that every single member of our team brought a distinctive skillset to the table that they had acquired through previous work experiences. For me, the brainstorming and analysis of what could be the next generation of NFT was where I could provide the biggest impact.
At the end of Wednesday, we were able to merge the individual parts of our presentation and had a great time going through it together as everyone explained the intuition behind their work. I highly appreciated the respectful, professional and communicative mindset that every single member of our team demonstrated during the process – despite coming from vastly different geographical and cultural backgrounds, we were able to establish a strong communal spirit that made the teamwork not only very productive but also truly enjoyable. Towards the end of the week, we discussed our outcomes and prepared everything for the presentation at INDIGO’s office.
On Friday, the day of the presentation, we were able to successfully communicate our findings and answered all the questions posed by INDIGO. Besides Thomas Puech and Nathaneal Cohen, a private banker joined and tested our understanding of the topic by asking in-depth questions. We closed our presentation by providing an overview of the potential of web3 in the sports industry, where we demonstrated that assuming football properties are willing to adopt a long-term strategy when analysing possible web3 initiatives, this technology could become a major source of revenue within their commercial model.
For me, LBCW has been one of the best experiences during the MFA programme due to several reasons: firstly, the week allowed me to gain deep insights into the fascinating topic of Web 3 and why is it important in an exciting and motivating real-world environment. Secondly, the project gave me the chance to not only further develop my technical skills but also to put my intercultural team-working and communication skills to the test. Finally, the week was an amazing opportunity to get to know my team in a great way and it certainly forged a strong bond between us. I believe that all of these things incorporate what London Business School stands for and I am very grateful to everyone who made this experience possible: Thomas Puech and Nathaneal Cohen from INDIGO Fund, the MFA programme office and of course my fantastic teammates Cadman Long, Michelle Xue, Minxin Liu, Nina Ferrer-Eriksson and Susan An!
Interested in the MFA programme? Submit your CV or LinkedIn profile to have an informal chat with our team.