News & Views August 2018

Being an LSE Alum, New Benefits, Swiss Student Central, Asset Allocation, National Campaign, Place and Purpose, Field Notes

Being an LSE Alum

Over the years, LSE alumnae and alumni have been posing similar questions to the Officers of the Association. Additionally, lots of inaccurate, misleading and outright false information on what it really means to be an LSE alumna/us is floating around. Hence, we have created a FAQ with all the answers to your questions, annotated with external sources:


New Benefits for LSE Alumnae and Alumni

Benefit No. 35: Swiss Watching

The entertaining books on Switzerland by noted author and member Diccon Bewes are offered at a steep discount to members of the Association:

Swiss Watching: Inside the Land of Milk and Money
Slow Train to Switzerland: One Tour, Two Trips, 150 Years and a World of Change Apart
Around Switzerland in 80 Maps: A truly magical and engrossing journey across Switzerland's history

Diccon Bewes is the most Swiss of all Englishmen. He grew up in deepest Hampshire. A degree in International Relations from LSE and an 18-month world trip set him up for a career in travel writing, though he took the scenic route via bookselling. Diccon is now a full-time writer, occasional radio guest, member of the swissinfo Public Council and permanent expat.

Benefit No. 36: True Wealth Management

Take advantage of True Wealth's unique services by investing in a globally diversified portfolio of low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs), built for better returns and greater transparency. As a member of the Association, you benefit from a fee reduction of 50% in your first year. One of the Executive Board members of True Wealth is an LSE alumnus and member of the Association.

True Wealth offers a completely digital method of investing with a focus on transparency and cost-efficiency. The Swiss company systematically implement a passive investment approach for long-term investors. You invest in a diversified portfolio using index funds (ETFs) to cover different asset classes (e.g. equities, bonds, commodities), regions and sectors. Research shows that in the long run, a diversified, low-cost portfolio is likely to outperform a high-cost, actively managed portfolio. Through an easy-to-use Web portal, you are in control and save time as there is no need for lengthy talks with a financial advisor.


Swiss Student Central

To help LSE students from Switzerland make the most of their stay in Britain, we collated some practice advice from one LSE generation to the next in the new "Swiss Student Central". Check it out:


Scholarship Foundation Asset Allocation

At its meeting of 25 March 2018, the Board of the LSE Alumnae and Alumni Foundation of Switzerland (LSEAAF) decided to allocate the financial endowment as follows:

10% in cash

60% in equities (to capture long-term capital appreciation), invested in:
5% ETF on UK equities
15% ETF on US equities - broadly diversified
10% ETF on EU equities - broadly diversified
10% ETF on equities emerging markets - diversified
10% ETF on equities - developed Asia-Pacific countries
10% ETF on Swiss equities

10% in Swiss real estate (for a reliable income stream and to diversify from equities)

20% in fixed income (for a reliable income stream, to reduce overall volatility and to preserve capital during stock market crashes), invested in:
10% ETF on Swiss government bonds with short duration
10% ETF on emerging markets bonds

The Foundation has a very long-term investment horizon. The endowment and the scholarship amounts will increase over the coming decades (and centuries). You may enjoy our tongue-in-cheek comparison with the Rockefeller Foundation:


National Campaign for Scholars 2018-2019

The Swiss LSE Alumni Association (SLSEAA) is celebrating its 20 Year Jubilee and two decades of connecting LSE alumnae and alumni to each other.

This key milestone is marked by the LSE Alumnae and Alumni Foundation of Switzerland (LSEAAF) with the first National Campaign for Scholars aimed at increasing the endowment of the Foundation from CHF 55'000 to 75'000. The endowment funds scholarships to students from Switzerland to start and continue their study at the School.

Only donations to the select number of Swiss institutions, which are tax-exempt, can be deducted from taxable income in Switzerland. The LSE Alumnae and Alumni Foundation of Switzerland is one of those institutions. LSE alumnae and alumni (and their businesses) can deduct donations to the Foundation within a range of amounts.

Apart from giving back to future generations of LSE students:

you can also get involved by nominating scholars:

... or by being elected to the Foundation Board:


Place and Purpose

Opening in 2019, the new 13-storey Centre Building will, on the lower floors, include flexible spaces for independent study, lecture theatres and seminar rooms for teaching and, on the upper floors, be the new home of the Departments of Government and International Relations, the European Institute, the International Inequalities Institute and a new School of Public Policy. A new public square that will be formed for the LSE campus at the northern end of Houghton Street. Fly through the new Building:


Alums in the Field

This year's Field Trip is behind us and, once again, alumnae and alumni enjoyed it very much. View the photos and watch the video in our Media Collections:

A tradition since many years, organized by the Swiss LSE Alumni Association (SLSEAA), alumnae and alumni from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) go together on annual Field Trips. The 2018 edition brought alumnae and alumni to the Bodensee Region and Northeastern Switzerland on Saturday/Sunday, 18 and 19 August.

ETH, MIT and LSE alumnae and alumni started their Field Trip in St. Gallen with guided tours of the world famous Abbey Library. The Library is one of earliest and most important monastic libraries in the world, holding 2'100 manuscripts dating back to the 8th through the 15th centuries. The Abbey is thought to have been founded by Irish monk Gallus in 612, in an era during which the flourishing monastic culture played a key role in the cultural development of Europe. Alumnae and alumni had the privilege to view some very unique and beautiful early medieval Irish book art, and be wowed by the elaborate, rococo library with its magnificent burnished woodwork, undulating balconies and ceiling frescoes.

The next stop on the Field Trip was the Gebhardsberg high above the Austrian city of Bregenz onto which we arrived after a scenic ride along the shores of the Bodensee, Europe's third largest freshwater lake formed by the Rhine Glacier during the current ice age. ETH, MIT and LSE alumnae and alumni enjoyed a sumptuous dinner rounded off with a selection of regional wines in the Montfort Hall of the Castle Restaurant. The Castle's construction began in the 11th century after Bregenz was sacked by the army of the Abbot of St. Gallen. During the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) it surrendered without opposition to the invading Swedes. Preserved on the order of the Empress Maria Theresa (1717-1780), a restaurant was eventually added and the Montfort Hall received its current gothic ceiling from historical inventory.

The main event for Saturday was the Bregenz Festival, the world's splashiest opera. Every summer, the Festival lures huge crowds, which included this year a large number of ETH, MIT and LSE alumnae and alumni, from around Europe to its floating stage on the Bodensee. It was a stunning evening spectacle, a total musical work of art and an enchanting world created through a convincing performance of Bizet's Carmen.

After a good night's sleep, the alumnae and alumni from ETH, MIT and LSE were ready for the mountains. The Saentis is an impressive landmark. At 2'502 meters above sea level, it towers magnificently above one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Europe. Much of the lands at the foot of the mountain have been included in the inventory of landscapes and moors of national importance. More than 100 years ago, a hunting banishment area was set up and, in recent years, a wild rest area and a forest reserve have been segregated. As a result, habitats for a great variety of plants and animals have been preserved. After a nature walk with a local expert and after taking in the atmosphere of one of the largest festivals of Switzerland's national sport, the surviving band of alumnae and alumni summited Saentis by cable car.

Arriving back in St. Gallen in the early evening, alumnae and alumni were tired but also happy to have participated in the 2018 Field Trip and to have ticked off some entries on their bucket lists.

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