Erik Kroon has been attending Inquire Europe seminars since 1993 and has since then participated in a total of 45 seminars. Following his retirement this summer, he looks back on his most memorable seminar experiences:
“Many seminars were important for me. Usually, I returned to the office with ideas which I wanted to examine further or could directly use in my projects. Allow me to give two examples. In the late 1990’s I was working on a factor model aimed at measuring, for European Equities, the growing importance of industry effects at the expense of country effects (due to the birth of EMU).
Not long thereafter, during a seminar in Portugal, there was a presentation on adding style variables to such a kind of factor model. Thanks to this, I was able to quickly enrich our (internal) models with style variables.
Another more recent example was the seminar in Amsterdam with the theme of illiquid assets. The research presented there helped me a lot in my work on modelling these assets.
The most memorable seminar for me was, without a doubt, the one in Frankfurt, where I presented an initial version of our research on decomposing funding ratio risk. The final paper was later published in the Journal of Portfolio Management.“
What is unique about the Inquire Europe community?
“The open and informal atmosphere, together with inspiring seminar programs and inspiring locations, encouraging attendants to have open and valuable discussions about the presentations and more generally about work, research and industry developments. Regarding the presented research, the academic quality is consistently high. Many of the seminar topics were relevant for my company and the presented research regularly helped when working on internal projects. Inquire seminars also offer young colleagues a valuable opportunity to get more acquainted with the wonderful combination of academic research and practical work. In my experience, young colleagues really like the format and vibe of the seminars and typically are eager to return to next seminars.”
What did you miss most about not being able to attend the annual spring and fall seminars?
“A couple of things. First of all, real life presentations have a much more vivid vibe. For instance, the real-life round table discussion and the subsequent questioning round is more satisfactory than the question round at the webinars. Secondly, talking with other seminar participants and of course the social program on Monday evening. Lastly, the extra energy of being away from the office for a couple of days for the good reason of attending a worthwhile research program.”