London Trek 2019

What a week during the London Energy Trek !

Every year, the IESE Energy Club has been organising its trek to meet companies that are having an impact in our industry but also society.

This year, we were in London from Nov, 6th to Nov, 8th, relentlessly taking the tube, walking all over town and downing pints! Eight companies accepted to open their doors and give some insightful information on how they are performing and what’s the future of the energy sector.

On Wednesday, we started early with Solar Century, one of the oldest companies specialised in the solar sector. We learnt a lot about their outlook on the future of energy and also how their business model evolved over time to edge on this ever changing industry. We also got lucky to meet an IESE alum working there !

Then we rushed to ERM. ERM is one of the top environmental consultancy firms with offices spread all across the globe. We can say that they are as multicultural as IESE. It says a lot. Paul McConnell, who was also a speaker last year during the Global Energy Day explained us how they run analysis to understand how vulnerable companies are to Climate Change. Finally, ERM explained how they turn their recommendations into actions within their organisation. For instance, they are making their trips more sustainable and are switching to emobility with electrical and hybrid vehicles.

Right after lunch, Aramco SPOL opened their office to us. During the 3 hour session, they explained how the organisation is working but also presented all the dynamics of the crude oil market. As good MBA students, we are all interested in investment and they presented their investment arm supporting innovations in the oil and gas industry. Before the networking session, we also had the opportunity to discuss about the oncoming IPO !

Thursday was as busy as Wednesday ! Moving away from the for-profit sector, we met the World Nuclear Association, the World Nuclear University and the Nuclear Industry Association. These organisations represent the nuclear industry and manage the well-known World Nuclear website. Understanding the forecast of the nuclear industry and how they see themselves as complementary to renewables was extremely insightful. Moreover, with the rise of smart mobility and emobility, the NIA believes they have a key role to play in the future of the British electricity grid.

After all these big organisations, we met LimeJump. LimeJump is quite peculiar because it is a startup that was recently bought by Shell. One could see them as the Robin Hood of the electricity sector ! They connect asset owners to the grid and trade their electricity to get the best price. Moreover, they also implement a fleet of batteries to support the National Grid. A great example was given about the blackout that occurred in England over the Summer 2019.

To finish the long day and before our dinner at Burgers & Lobsters, we met Antofagasta Minerals. For the first time, the Energy Club visited a mining company. From Chile, Antofagasta Minerals is actually one of the oldest companies still trading on the FTSE ! We could think that mines have little to do in the energy sector but this is all wrong ! Antofagasta is actually extracting copper and this commodity is needed for electric cables. With the rise of emobility and the increasing use of electronic equipment, they directly play a role in the energy transition.

After a nice dinner, we decided to start Friday (last day of the London Energy Trek) later than usual, at 12 with BCG. I can say that we got treated extremely well ! Networking lunch, one consultant for two students and a set of great presentations ! Seeing the wide range of projects they are doing in the energy sector is mesmerising: decommissioning of oil rigs, digital twins, M&A, etc. And as many first years know that well too well, the applications for the Summer Internships in Consulting are on going and getting all these insights from the BCG’ers were particularly useful.

Finally, we opened our trek to some people from the Finance trek to allow them to join us on our last visit to BlackRock. After covering many different technologies and the consulting firms, we had to close our week in London with discussing returns, IRR, NPV and DCF. BlackRock provided amazing insights about how they choose their projects and how they invest.

As you can see, it was a busy week ! Some of us decided to enjoy London a bit more by spending the weekend there. But what’s sure is that we are always here when London is calling for the Energy trek London !

If you feel a bit of FOMO, make sure to join our Global Energy Day on March, 27th 2020 !