Investment Night 2018: “Times do change, but the hunger for Alpha doesn’t”

Our hunger for Alpha

“Alpha is used in finance as a measure of performance. Alpha, often considered the active return on an investment, gauges the performance of an investment against a market index or benchmark which is considered to represent the market’s movement as a whole[i]”. View this definition as a metaphor. Where we, as committee, actively want to outperform the previous editions of Investment Night (benchmark). Everything has a start, so let us go back to the beginning.

In the beginning of..

The committee was formed and roles were divided. The next step was to come up with a theme. Every member had his vision and perspective how ‘The Night’ should look like. It did not  take long, before we saw the opportunity to combine the ideas into one marvellous topic: various investment strategies through time. To cover the different strategies, we needed a panel of speakers.

Call to action

In order to realize our wild hopes and dreams, we needed speakers and partners. For every strategy, we constructed a list of potential companies and allocated these companies to the committee members. Before we knew, we had all our desired speakers. Our panel consisted of an active investor, a passive investor, a technical analyst and an ESG investor. A tougher challenge was our search for a suitable chairman of the day. We had a concrete view on the role of our chairman of the day. This made it even more difficult. After a couple of months, and many calls later, we had our ideal chairman of the day: Esther van Rijswijk. From this moment on, we could start with brainstorming about ‘The Night’ in detail.

‘The Night’

We had several key ingredients for the sixth edition: interaction, debate, a tight schedule, informative presentations and finally some entertainment. Moreover, our theme had to become recognizable during ‘The Night’. For us it was important that our theme and matching slogan stood out. Therefore, we needed a cheeky chairman of the day. By her hand, we could generate debates and discussions.

Without promotion, something terrible will happen… Nothing!

Before we could start with promoting, we needed promotion materials. After hours and hours of designing, our materials were finished and the promotion period could start. As I mentioned earlier: we are hungry for alpha. Thus, our goal was to receive more registrations than the previous edition. The first week we had a huge number of registrations and we were even dreaming off a bigger stage. Unfortunately, the registrations started to stagnate and we thought that we would not made it. Luckily, the last week many people registered and with a smashing number of 213 registrations, we set a new record. Something we, as committee, are proud of.

‘The Night’ in practice

Finally, the day we marked in our agenda arrived. May the first: Investment Night. It was show time. Everything was prepared, and we could only hope that Investment Night would turn out the way that we wanted it to. The big question was: do the key ingredients come together? In hindsight, I can say yes! By the using Mentimeter, we created interaction and debates. Check. People had a laugh. Check. The schedule was tight and we had no delay. Check. We discussed the four investment strategies and showed how they create Alpha. Check. In my opinion, ‘The Night’ as whole was a big success!


Once again, I would like to thank the speakers, the audience and our partners for this amazing night. This would not have been possible without the coordinator and my committee members. Therefore, I would like to thank Iris Uijttewaal, Guido van Poppel, Tom van Arendonk and Dax Tops for everything they have done. And for myself, Teun Onstenk, I am very proud that Investment Night 2018 was a success.

[i] Source: