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Felix Engelhardt (31) was awarded his Master of Finance degree by Frankfurt School in 2018. 

Felix Engelhardt is a Managing Director at Saxenhammer & Co., a Top 10 investment banking boutique in Germany’s SME sector. Before starting in his current role, Engelhardt spent more than 12 years working as Head of M&A at Carl Finance, in the transaction departments (investment banking divisions) of Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank and UBS in London and Frankfurt, and in various other roles – as a partner in a digital agency and an accelerator, for example.

How well did your academic studies prepare you for the challenges of working life, up to and including your current job? What did you find especially useful?

Studying at Frankfurt School was an excellent way to build on what I was doing before, and also prepared me technically for my investment banking career. The small class sizes, which enabled me to work very closely with my fellow students, allowed us to really get our teeth into the specialist topics. The teaching setup is ideal for honing your rhetorical skills and refining other soft skills. These skills are especially important at the senior management level in investment banking, as well as for building up your own networks. I still benefit from Frankfurt School network now – in my current job as Managing Director M&A at Saxenhammer, I’m always running into familiar faces from my student days.

Looking back, how important was your time as a student at Frankfurt School in the greater scheme of things?

The time I spent studying at Frankfurt School was an essential step in developing my career. On the one hand, it gave me the opportunity to get to know a lot of interesting people with whom I’ve stayed in touch ever since. On the other, my studies gave me profound insights into and access to the finance industry. All my courses featured case studies based on real-world scenarios and this, combined with my daily interaction with like-minded fellow students, was the icing on the cake. My previous professional experience as partner in an IT agency and an accelerator also helped me organise the many things I learned during the degree programme and subsequently apply them in my work.

What’s your favourite memory of your time at Frankfurt School?

I have no single favourite memory of the time I spent studying at Frankfurt School – rather, I look back with great pleasure on a multitude of uniquely special moments. Academically, I have fond memories of the highly practical courses run by Professor Werner, as well as the discussions we used to have with Professor Ecker during the Valuation course because they both contributed such a lot to my professional development. The culinary skills of my Italian fellow students also had a big influence on me – who would have believed that the university makes the best pasta in Frankfurt?

How important are alumni for a business school? What do you think alumni can do for their alma mater?

Alumni are exceptionally important to a business school because they’re both a product of and an advertisement for the institution. When it comes to further enhancing Frankfurt School’s already outstanding reputation, the strong alumni network plays a vital role. What’s more, alumni are indispensable when it comes to helping current students hook up with career opportunities. That’s why I’m happy to be part of the network and am always open to networking requests (https://www.linkedin.com/in/felix-engelhardt-cfa/) from people associated with Frankfurt School.

What’s your favourite motto?

I do not really have a motto that guides me through life. For me personally, it is important to build up long-term, long-lasting relationships.

As a consultant, you live on your reputation. That’s why my team and I go the extra mile to ensure we can really help our clients in every possible situation.

Employees appreciate it when they realise that you’re not just treating them as a number, but are genuinely interested in their personal development and in building friendships.