Insights | Article | Intern Profile: Liam Formosa

Intern Profile: Liam Formosa

1 March 2023

Altiorem welcomes you to the next post within a regular series where we profile the inspiring and generous people who are making Altiorem possible. We are excited to introduce our intern profile on the amazing Liam Formosa.

Tell us a bit about yourself? 

I am currently at the University of Technology Sydney studying Business, with a major in finance and a sub major in economics and marketing. My interests include economics, finance, aviation, cars, music and movies and I have just completed an internship with Altiorem.

What attracted you to Altiorem?

I was attracted to Altiorem after completing a university subject with a heavy emphasis on financial modelling. Here, risk management was an important component and I became very interested in the challenges of this, especially in relation to situations which are extremely difficult to quantify such as the risk of climate change affecting future cash flows for firms. I was also incredibly interested in the market’s ability to find an equilibrium and solutions to problems (or possibly the lack thereof in relation to ethical/sustainability issues) through the allocation of capital and sustainable financing.

Finally, I became interested in ESG issues from a corporate finance standpoint after completing a corporate finance subject in 2021. I wondered how a firms capital structure would interact with their stance on ESG and sustainability issues, whether they would be able to access ample financing into the future and if aggressive profit maximisation strategies at the expense of sustainable business models do harm in the long run.

How have you found the experience? How was it relevant to your studies?

The experience at Altiorem was very positive, supportive and engaging. Importantly, Interns had the opportunity to speak to Altiorem leaders, such as Pablo, and be heard in their opinions. Interns are given hands on tasks which to complete and contribute heavily to the Altiorem experience and goals and are supported every step of the way by mentors and employees.

Experience in a sustainable finance organisation will help immensely in attaining a graduate role. Sustainable finance is often not taught enough at University and this experience gives interns a perspective which differs from the mainstream education. On top of this, an internship with Altiorem provides an alternate perspective for future decision making and helps develop good critical thinking skills. This experience also provides good insight into a market shift which is picking up pace quickly, and yields knowledge which will become more valuable into the near future and coming decades.

What is the most interesting piece of research you have come across?

The most interesting piece of research is called Changing colours: Adaptive capacity of companies in the context of the transition to a low carbon economy by 2° Investing Initiative, the CO-Firm and Allianz.

It focuses on the business risks associated with a transition to a low-carbon economy and deals the way in which adaptive capacity of firms will play a part. The report details a “too much, too late” sudden shift for companies while also assessing the nature of financial analysts modelling in relation to adaptive capacity, with the large majority of analysis focusing on the short-term, thus posing a threat to understanding long-term transition risks. It discusses the complexity of financial analysis on adaptive capacity of firms and comments on how firms with extremely long product life cycles (such as Coal Fired Power) will have difficulty adapting to transition risks such as social norms, legislation and reputational risks.

What would you say to other people thinking about contributing to Altiorem?

I highly recommend becoming an intern at Altiorem. It was an exceptionally rewarding experience which I believe I could not have attained at any other organisation. Importantly, interns are free to pursue specific topics of research which they are passionate about while also contributing to the development of the website and processes in areas such as website analytics or creating a friendly user interface. Most importantly, the knowledge and skills gained from this experience will be invaluable as you move into a graduate.

Liam's research summaries

Preventing modern slavery and human trafficking: An agenda for action across the financial services sector

This report combines research, resources and advice for financial institutions to use for information, awareness and guidance in implementing measures to address modern slavery and human trafficking concerns within their supply chain and operations.

The promise of fintech: financial inclusion in the post COVID-19 era

This report uses quantitative and qualitative research to further our understanding of developments in digital financial inclusion driven by fintech, and their macroeconomic effects. It also details the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and discusses the future of fintech’s impacts on financial inclusion.

Changing colours: Adaptive capacity of companies in the context of the transition to a low carbon economy

Over the coming decades economies will transition towards a low carbon economy. This paper explores the adaptive capacity of firms to financial risks that may arise in the context of this transition, while detailing the risk of a “too sudden too late scenario of sweeping legal, social and environmental change”.

Want to become an Altiorem intern?