The Centre experience: Cédric Loutan
31 Jan 2014
Cédric Loutan recently completed an internship focused on an analysis of long term investment at the Centre for Global Dialogue. Cédric describes his project and his experiences at the Centre.
What initially brought you to the Centre?
I previously worked at Swiss Re as a Research Assistant for Economic Research & Consulting while I was studying. It was there I met Bastian Seiler, who told me about his time at the Centre. I contacted Risk Research Relations, who happened to have a planned project with the Chief Investment Office that perfectly matched with my background as an economist.
What business are you working on?
Swiss Re holds long-dated liabilities which it needs to match with long-term assets. Infrastructure investment is such a long term investment. My job has been to assess the relationship between long-term investments (LTI) - in particular infrastructure - and economic growth. In my analysis I found that a 10 percent increase in infrastructure investment can increase long-run GDP by 1.5 percent. This is in part dependent on the quality of infrastructure investments, the depth of financial markets and political stability. Infrastructure investments can be even more effective in poorer countries.
Will we be able to see the results of your work?
The study is of internal value, in that it provides the Chief Investment Officer with an analysis of which states have higher and more effective levels of infrastructure investment. It will also contribute to a joint publication between the Institute of International Finance (IIF) and Swiss Re.
How have you found your time working at the Centre?
There is a special atmosphere at the Centre – it feels like a 'gateway to the world'. I could see how Swiss Re sets the agenda and shapes the discussion on topics of global importance. The Centre is a hub for exchange among business units, governmental institutions and academia. I have had the chance to hear a number of prominent guest speakers and excellent opportunities to expand my professional network.
What are the next steps for you?
I will leave Swiss Re to undertake a master's degree. I really enjoyed working in this international environment with experts from every field and I hope to return in the future.
Would you recommend a similar internship?
This is not an ordinary internship: You drive your own project and are held responsible for the results. It is a challenging but rewarding task, with plenty of support from supervisors and colleagues. Unlike most internships, it also provides you with a broad overview across Swiss Re, rather than a narrow functional view.
How can such an internship prepare you for the future?
It has provided me with an invaluable lesson in project management while working interdisciplinary and cross-functionally. It is important to reach an alignment of stakeholders and communicate effectively. It was also satisfying to put my technical skills I acquired at university to use. The study of long term investments has been, quite literally, a personal long term investment!
Academic background: BA in Economics & Business Administration from the University of Zurich with a major in Economics. Focus on macroeconomics, finance and econometrics.
Professional experience: In total four years of experience within Swiss Re in various business units such as Credit & Surety, Economic Research & Consulting and Globals.
Personal interests: Outdoor sport activities (biking and skiing), listening to music, in particular Classic and Jazz, and playing the piano.