Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Accounting & Finance Fellows

Selection of Past events

Workshop with Deloitte on the subject "Introduction of IFRS 9"

Deloitte invited the Fellows into their "Greenhouse", where the students solved a case study on the subject “IFRS 9 – Accounting for Financial Instruments”. Trough the introduction of the aforesaid IFRS standard on 1 January 2018 a current issue was dedicated which particularly constitutes a challenge for the banking sector. In the first part of the event the Fellows got an overview of IFRS 9. The second part addressed toward three case studies which the Fellows processed in four groups.

In the first case study students were asked to develop a project plan for the implementation of IFRS 9. The second focussed on the application of the classification and measurement of financial instruments and the third dealt with impairment. After the presentation of the results the groups got feedback by Deloitte employees. The winning team was rewarded with mini drones. After the company´s presentation of Deloitte -where Mr. Grüneberg, Partner at Deloitte Audit & Assurance, joined- the event closed in a relaxed atmosphere.


Cold drinks and snacks provided a perfect foundation for the exchange of Deloitte employees, Professors and Fellows. Furthermore, the technical gimmicks shown in the Greenhouse, like VR/AR glasses, speaking robots or hoverboards, could be explored.


Workshop with Axel Springer on the subject "Investmentmanagement at Axel Springer - the case of REA Group"

This interesting event took place at Axel Springer, Europes largest digital publishing house. The afternoon with Axel Springer started off with a short presentation about the business modell and its operating range and provided the first opportunity for the Fellows to ask questions.



In the second part of the event, employees of Axel Springer worked together with the Fellows on a case study regarding an investment in REA Group. The main purpose of it was for the Fellows to apply knowledge they gained at University and to understand how a real estate platform works. One task was to calculate a value for the target company and to decide whether Axel Spring should buy the REA Group or not.


The event ended at Axel Springer's Accelorator. It provided a great environment for an exchange between Axel Springer employees, professors and members of the University and Fellows while enjoying snacks and beverages.



Joint Event with Deloitte and UniCredit: "Banking goes Digital"

A joint event from Unicredit and Deloitte, led by Mr. Stefan Sonnenberg from Unicredit, Head of Berlin / North-East branch and Mr. Timo Daus, Partner at Deloitte Finance Consulting focused on the digitization of the banking sector.


After a short presentation, the participating students were divided into 3 groups, in order to elaborate and present a position with respect to the above topic. Thesis 1 argued that "Banking is necessary, banks are not." (Bill Gates, 1994) and respectively arguing that fintech and new technologies could revolutionize the banking sector and ultimately make it redundant. Thesis 2 represented the opposite position: Fintechs could only be a temporary phenomenon - the banking sector could prevail and push young competitors out of the market. However, there is also a more moderate version for the future. Banks could buy the technology of the fintechs or share the market with them. This position was represented Thesis 3.


After a short time of preparation, the 3 teams presented the stance they adopted. Subsequently the practitioners of Unicredit and Deloitte presented their practical experiences and discussed possible future scenarios for the banking industry with the students. Drinks, snacks and networking concluded the evening.


Academic Event "Blockchain and Crypto-Currencies"

For their first academic event Professor Elendner invited the Account & Finance Fellows to the historic Tieranatomisches Theater – the oldest lecture hall in Berlin – for a presentation about the Blockchain technology and Crypto-Currencies.


At the same time, the event was the Kick-Off session for the “Blockchain Nights”, a jointly organised series by the LvB Chair of Statistics and the JP Chair for Private Equity. A series that aims to bring together those interested in the subject of Crypto-Currencies, Blockchain Technology, and Smart Contracts. Professor Elendner presented a fundamental concept on how Satoshi Nakamoto designed Bitcoins and how the blockchain solves the problem of trust by providing a technology that relies on proof. The idea of Blockchain itself goes back to the small Micronesian Island Yap which used a unique currency system of immovable limestone wheels.

After a break with fruits, coffee and treats an extended discussion about the technology concluded Professor Elendner’s presentation. Fittingly, the night ended with dinner at a Singaporean Restaurant in Berlin Mitte. After all, Singapore is the innovative center of the Blockchain technology.


Workshop with KMPG on the subject “Enforcement“

The event hosted by KPMG took place at the arena of the soccer club 1.FC Union Berlin. This special location wasn’t chosen randomly, but because of a direct relation to the case study.


KPMG invited the Accounting & Finance-Fellows to explain the framework of the German enforcement of financial reporting and introduced them to KPMG’s role in supporting companies to comply with the information demands of the DRP (Deutsche Prüfstelle für Rechnungslegung) and in their defense against a supposed accusation of flawed financial reporting. As a special treat, KPMG was presented by the Senior Manager Olaf Haegler, who himself worked for several years at the DRP and thus was able to illuminate both perspectives of the enforcement process.


For the case study, the students were separated in three groups and slipped into the roles of the DRP, a cooperation reviewed by it and a consulting firm. The scenario was a simplified version of a real KPMG case of 2007, when the soccer club BVB was accused for flawed financial accounting. The groups had to prepare for a private hearing, where BVB had to defend itself, supported by KPMG consultants. The participants got the chance to put their accounting knowledge into practice and to experience the heat and pressure during a questioning by the DRP officials.


The evening ended with drinks and interesting conversations in the VIP lounge of the soccer club, with view over the arena.


Workshop with Deloitte on the subject “CFO goes Digital“

The third event of the semester led the fellows into the Deloitte Greenhouse. Under the heading “Business not as usual” the students were asked to solve cases related to digitalization and data analytics while being introduced to some of the latest gadgets, like talking robots.


After a round of introductions, the team from Deloitte presented recent projects in which predictive analytics were used to gather valuable insight for customers.

Afterwards the fellows were separated into three groups, two of which used deloitte’s inhouse software to analysis raw data on a glove-producing company and a resort provider. They searched for ways to improve efficiency and presented their results afterwards. The third group developed their own business plan under the topic of digitalization and Big Data. The professors and staff of the chairs also joined the greenhouse while the students presented.


The event concluded in a relaxed atmosphere which gave the fellows a final opportunity to talk to the team of Deloitte.


Workshop with Axel Springer on the subject "Later Stage Investmentmanagement at Axel Springer - the case of TripAdvisor"

Axel Springer invited us to their headquarters in Berlin. It was the first event for our Fellows from the new intake.


As soon as everyone passed the security check, we went to the conference room on the 18th floor, which allowed for a fantastic view over Berlin Mitte.  After a brief introduction to the corporate world of Axel Springer and the Marketing & Classifieds Division, the fellows formed groups to solve a case study. Applying their knowledge from finance classes they had the task to decide whether Axel Springer should invest in TripAdvisor.

Afterwards, we met at the entrepreneurs’ club, right over Axel Springer Accelerator, for mulled wine and snacks, to discuss the results of the case study and seize the opportunity to ask additional questions.


Workshop with UniCredit / HVB on the subject "Financing Growth in Digital Business Models"

The event series of the Accounting & Finance Fellows Program launches with a workshop by UniCredit / HVB on the subject ”financing growth of digital business models”. High above Berlin on the 37th floor of the Park Inn Hotel at Alexanderplatz, the HVB regional manager of the Entrepreneur’s Bank East, Mr. Frischholz, gave insight into the bank and its current challenges.


Amazing view over Berlin from our conference room on the 37th floor of Park Inn Hotel

Afterwards the fellows formed two teams to solve a case study. They had to decide whether to finance a medium sized bakery in its advance towards e-commerce. The professors and staff of the chairs joined the presentation of the results.

















Preparation of the case study and presentation of the results


While the presentation was still ongoing, the buffet was prepared in an adjunct room. Here the fellows boosted their strength after the done work in a relaxing atmosphere. They also used this opportunity to talk to the team of UniCredit / HVB and ask some more questions.



Room Escape Game "Mission Accepted"

The first Accounting & Finance Fellow event after the kick-off meeting in May aimed at socialising. During a room escape game, fellows, professors and academic staff had the opportunity to get to know each other. In four groups we solved the riddles of the rooms "SECRET SERVICE", "REVOLUCIÓN OLÉ" and "HOLLYWOOD DRAMA" organized by Mission Accepted.


Successul Fellows, Professors and research assistants


Of course, all teams of fellows, professors and research assistants managed to lift the secrets of their rooms in time. That day we prevented an attack on the BND headquarters, successfully started a revolution in banana republic, and escaped the basement of a crazy film diva. To recover from these exertions, we went to have beer and pizza at the Café am Neuen See.


Kick-off meeting Accounting & Finance Fellow-Program


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Prof. Gassen is welcoming fellows and corporate sponsors


With the kick-off meeting at ESMT, on 27th of May 2016, the Accounting & Finance Fellow Program officially started. After some warm words of welcome by Prof. Gassen, our new fellows had the opportunity to get to know the professors and company representatives of our four sponsors. The subsequent panel discussion on "Digitalization in Accounting and Finance" was moderated by Prof. Adam. The different insights regarding the impact of digitalization in accounting and finance from an academic, banking and consulting perspective, led to an interesting and dynamic discussion. Questions and contributions from fellows in the audience enriched the debate.


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Panel discussion at ESMT Berlin


In the evening, the kick-off meeting ended with a joint dinner at GOODTIME restaurant at Hausvogteiplatz.