Immersive Field Course: London; Beyond the Square Mile: Investing, Private Equity & Real Estate

Course Number 6084

Professor Arthur I Segel
Fall on-campus sessions: Wednesdays from 5:30 PM-7:30 PM - September 21, October 19, November 16 and December 7
Dates: Arrival on Monday, January 2, departure on Friday, January 13, 2017 (10 days)
Program fee & travel costs: See details on Course Credit and Fees
Credits: 3.0
Enrollment: 45

Career Focus

Through engagements with a myriad of leading private sector players, this course will enable students to acquire an in-depth and immersive understanding of investing, private equity, social impact investing, and real estate operations and development. 

Set primarily in London UK, this course will appeal to students planning to lead, advise, and/or invest in companies with a current or future presence in the UK - one of the world’s most active and storied investment markets. The course will be primarily taught from a general management perspective, but will also expose students to the rapidly changing investment landscape in the UK and Europe and allow student teams to deeply engage in a topical area of real estate and/or private equity.

Educational Objectives

London is UK’s perennial “power player” in investing and real estate, both in terms of domestic and foreign capital. 

This course will expose students to an eclectic mix of forward-thinking leaders and innovators within the industries, many of whom are parlaying their sector expertise into endeavors that benefit the greater society. These include notable hedge fund and venture capital managers, commercial real estate developers, and public figures. Some of these individuals may include Sir Ronald Cohen, Sir Christopher Hohn, Scott Malkin, Lord Jacob Rothschild, Sir George Iacobescu, Mayor Boris Johnson, amongst others.  

Students will be asked to tackle some of the issues and challenges facing leading firms, and apply relevant RC and EC course learnings to consider new approaches to growth and investing against a backdrop of socioeconomic considerations.

Students will have rare opportunities to engage with players from traditional and non-traditional investment firms, such as private equity powerhouses Baupost, Apollo, Elliot Advisers, TA Associates, TCI, Bridges Ventures  and real estate developers and investors such as Value Retail, Orion Capital, Patron Capital, and Canary Wharf. In addition, students will have the opportunity to visit Oxford University, nearby Bicester Village, and the Waddesdon estate including The Flint House, Waddesdon Manor and Wind Mill Hill.

Course Content and Organization

Overview and Introduction: The course will meet for on-campus sessions in the Fall in an effort to: (1) provide a broad overview of the investment and development landscape in London and its implications for global markets; (2) highlight some of the real world challenges that investors and developers are facing in this context via case studies; and (3) dedicate time for student teams to work together, engage with their project partners in London and prepare for travel.  

Immersion: Each day will follow a theme that will unveil a different angle of the character of London and its surrounding areas. Examples include, The Spirit of London, Investing, real estate design and development, social impact investing.

Projects:  Students will assemble into teams of 3-5 to work on projects throughout the course. These projects, sourced and vetted by the faculty, may include work with clients not limited to real estate development and asset management firms, hedge funds, investment banks, and foundations. Potential project partners to date include The Baupost Group, TA Associates, Orion Capital, RITCap, Patron Capital, and Value Retail. Students will be able to individually rank the projects that they’d be most interested in working on and the IFC faculty will work to group students together with similar interests.

Prior to travel, student teams will engage periodically with their project partner, though the time commitment during the Fall term will be considerably less than during the immersion. Project work in London will be intense, and will require solving a specific and well defined strategic problem. Projects will be supported by local contacts and will be enhanced through fieldwork and a variety of data collection methods and analyses unique to each project.  

Deliverables: Student teams will present their project recommendations to clients during a capstone event at the end of the immersion in London. Feedback during this capstone will later be incorporated into a group final paper (20 double-spaced pages) that summarizes the final recommendations and provides the organization guidance towards implementing the proposed solution.


A genuine interest in the workings of real estate, investing and private equity.

The Immersive Field Course Model

In contrast to FIELD 2 Immersive Field Courses are customized according to individual faculty research and are designed to enable students to take an active role in the construction of their learning. In many instances, these courses are built with a specific focus in mind and teams of students are called upon to collaborate directly with local company partners to scope projects, collect data and organize work plans before and during the immersion. Longer in duration than FIELD 2, these courses also tailor learning via field-based exercises, panel presentations,guest lectures, alumni events and plenary visits to relevant companies and organizations.

Course Credit and Fees

Students who successfully complete this course (including participation in all on-campus sessions during the Fall and Spring terms) will earn 3.0 course credits.

HBS will provide land logistical components for this course(including accommodations, select meals, and local travel) but students will need to contribute a fee of $3,000 towards defraying a part of these costs. Students who have an existing financial aid application on file may apply for additional financial support to participate in this course. Please see the Financial Aid website (login required) for more information on financial support for Immersive Field Courses.

For detailed information about what the course program fee includes and excludes, as well as information about student accommodations, please visit the GEO website.