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Mi­chael Hirsch

Study programmes:  Business Studies (BA) / Real Estate Investment and Finance (M.Sc.) at Heriot-Watt University

Employer: Wealthcore Investment Management GmbH

Position: Head of Fund Management

In a straight line or via detours: How did your school career run and what interests did you have as a younger person?
After graduating from secondary school, I went straight into working life with a banking apprenticeship and only decided to go to university the second time around. After taking a detour via the Berufsoberschule and the Fachhochschulreife, I finally decided on HNU and, looking back, I can only say that the decision to study Business Administration at HNU laid the foundation for my current career.​​​​​​​

For what reasons did you decide to study at the HNU?
I became aware of HNU as a possible university for my Bachelor's degree in Business Administration at a study fair in Munich. After attending several information days at interesting universities in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, I was convinced by HNU's overall package. In particular, the small size and the proximity to the professors and other students were the deciding factors for me.

Semester abroad: In which country were you and what did you experience during this time?
I spent my semester abroad at James Cook University in Singapore. Despite the very demanding and time-consuming studies, Singapore was the gateway to Southeast Asia for me, so to speak. After arriving in Singapore and the initial culture and, above all, heat shock, I had the opportunity to explore the city and all its attractions before the actual studies began. The popularity of Singapore as a place to study abroad for a semester resulted in a large community of exchange students, but also offered the opportunity to quickly make friends and explore the city and the surrounding countries of Southeast Asia together. The studies themselves and the university were not spared the strict rules in Singapore and attendance was compulsory five days a week. Nonetheless, the semester abroad was one of the best experiences of my Bachelor's degree and also helped me to progress in my professional and academic career.​​​​​​​

What did your first job look like and how did you find out about it?
I already had my actual "first job" through my apprenticeship before my studies. However, this was very different from my first job after my Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Directly after my Bachelor's degree in business administration at HNU, I completed a Master's degree at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and specialized in the real estate sector. I started my first job at Helaba Invest in the area of real estate funds of funds. I found this job via the classic online job portals. Despite the fact that I didn't meet all the requirements 100%, I applied and was able to impress with my CV and my experience. As a portfolio analyst, my job was to analyze real estate funds and manage them as part of portfolio management for real estate funds of funds, as well as to prepare investor reporting. Above all, good Excel skills and my understanding of financial and investment calculations were important prerequisites for my job.​​​​​​​

Please describe your daily work routine. Which projects are you working on and which tasks do you particularly appreciate?
After my first job at Helaba Invest and a subsequent position as a fund and investment manager at Deka Immobilien, I decided to move to a more entrepreneurial environment. At Wealthcore Investment Management GmbH, I had the opportunity to work directly with senior management to further expand the fund management area, but also to design and sell new products. An all-round job, so to speak. As head of the fund management team, together with my colleagues I am responsible for the day-to-day management of three real estate funds with investments in Germany and Austria. Compared to my previous positions in the corporate environment, the day-to-day work here is much more diverse and we are fund managers, accountants, investment managers and the first point of contact for our clients at the same time. In addition to new fund purchases, the focus is on investor communication and constant performance management.
I particularly appreciate my creative freedom to contribute and ultimately implement my own ideas, for example in the current launch of a new real estate fund specializing in sustainability. 

What professional goals are you pursuing for your future?
Professionally, I would like to fulfill my role as a manager to the full and develop professionally, especially in the area of sustainability, and become an expert in the German market.​​​​​​​

How would you complete the following sentence?
"...provided the perfect open and welcoming environment for my bachelor's degree."