This summer brought the program for the first time to an emerging market: Turkey. Held in Istanbul in July, the 2007 WFC was a resounding success, attracting 32 students from 22 different countries.
Professor Can Erbil, a Turkish faculty member, organized the program, working with IBS Director of Planning, Simon Sherrington. Professor Erbil also assisted MSF Program Director John Ballantine in the teaching of the course.
The objectives of the WFC program were to acquaint students with the institutions of a different financial market, to provide a political and social context in which the market operates, and finally to develop tools to analyze real-world questions that emerge from foreign market conditions.
The one week, intensive period of study included presentations from high level officials from leading financial sector institutions including the Central Bank of Turkey, the Stock Exchange of Istanbul, a commercial bank and a brokerage firm. Rounding out the program were stimulating lectures from professors from major Turkish universities. Adding to the intrigue of the experience was the fact that the program was held just days before a critical national election. The upcoming presidential election provided an important political backdrop in which to explore economic and market issues.
Attendees gave the WFC high marks for its content, location and execution. Thomas Reedy, MSF '07 felt it was an "excellent program" providing "insights into the economic and political background of Turkey...and hurdles it faces as it tries to gain entry into the E.U." Dennis Lee, MSF 07 remarked, "the WFC program is truly world class, providing insights and access to people, information and locations typically not available to others". He complimented the team on being well organized, securing high profile presenters and providing students with excellent access to the professors. Professor Erbil added, "as a business school committed to emphasizing the global nature of markets, we are taking our students across the world to see these markets firsthand". No doubt future WFC programs will appeal to IBS students seeking to broaden their education with an intensive, engaging and rewarding educational experience.