The second International Finance Conference held during 9-12 January, 2011 in the campus of IIM Calcutta was organized by the Finance Lab. This three day conference followed by a pre-conference tutorial on 9 January, 2011 was inaugurated by the Chief Guest – Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble Finance Minister, Government of India on 10 January, 2011. The participants in the conference were immensely delighted and motivated by his presence. The keynote address was delivered by Prof. M. Suresh Sundaresan, Columbia University and welcome address was delivered by Prof. Shekhar Chaudhuri, Director, IIM Calcutta.
Spanning over three full days of activities, the conference covered as many as five plenary sessions, twenty-two technical sessions and one panel discussion (running on the second day of the conference). With pre-lunch keynote sessions and post-lunch parallel tracks scheduled for each day, a plethora of issues pertaining to multiple aspects of Finance were meticulously deliberated, discussed and debated by the speakers as well as the audience.
Opening Plenary speakers on Monday 10 Jan, 2011 included Dr. Shekhar Chaudhuri, Director of Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Mr. Ajit Balakrishnan, Chairman BoG and Prof. Ashok Banerjee, Co-ordinator of International Finance Conference 2011, Prof. Suresh Sundaresan, Chase Manhattan Bank Professor of Economics and Finance at Columbia University and Prof. Thomas Noe, Ernest Butten Professor of Management Studies at the Saïd Business School. The Conference was inaugurated by the Chief Guest – Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble Finance Minister, Government of India.
Tuesday 11 Jan, 2011 began with a very well attended plenary session. The session was on mergers and acquisitions, presented by one of the keynote speakers Prof. Jeffrey Wurgler, Nomura Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business, NYU.
Of course the Finance Conference was not only about attending formal programme sessions; it is also a unique networking opportunity. Participants’ feedback clearly articulated the importance of networking and the appreciation felt for the special sessions and programme time devoted to fostering it. These include the informal interaction sessions, the Special Lunches and Dinners during the Conference and a special Panel Discussion. Speakers included Mr. Vipul Chandra, Managing Director & Head, Corporate Sales & Structuring, Citibank Mumbai, Mr. P. Gopakumar, Senior Vice President, ICICI Securities, Mr. C. Jayaram, Executive Director, Kotak Mahindra Bank. Moderatopr of this panel discussion was Prof. B B Chakrabarti, Professor, IIM Calcutta.
On the same day of the Conference 2011, just after Panel Discussion session, there was a Valediction session where we gave awards to top three best papers presented during the Conference. Winners were given cash awards and a certificate from IIM Calcutta. The 1st prize was sponsored by IIM Calcutta while both the 2nd and 3rd prize was sponsored by Srei BNP Paribas.
An important announcement in this session was that IIMC – IIMB will jointly hold India Finance Conference (earlier known as International Finance Conference) in December 2011. The first conference under the new name will be held during 20-23 Dec, 2011 at IIM Bangalore.
The last plenary session on Wednesday morning (Jan 12, 2011) was on the topic The Use of quantified news sentiments and newsanalytics in financial models for investment and risk control presented by Prof. Gautam Mitra, Brunel University, London.
The conference witnessed a participation of nearly 150 delegates representing various academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, banks and industry. Several overseas participants from USA, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Italy have participated and presented papers in the technical sessions.
We had excellent feedback on the keynote sessions and speakers. The awards ceremony was a particularly successful and enjoyable evening with a total of three cash awards given out to top three papers presented in the conference.
Looking back at the International Finance Conference 2011 now it is impossible to summarise the rich ideas that were shared over the three days. Feedback from the Conference was very positive – participants greatly enjoyed the chance to meet like-minded people from so many countries, the opportunity to network and to learn from one another, and the chance to explore ideas.
The next Conference, to be held in December 20-23, 2011 in Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India is now eagerly awaited.