Aalto Finance Alumni


Aalto Finance Alumni (AFA) develops and maintains the highly talented and vibrant community of Aalto University’s (former Helsinki School of Economics) finance alumni and friends world over.

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Coming up!

Aalto Finance Alumni Conference is the 2023 flagship professional event of Aalto Finance Alumni (AFA), and through close collaboration with Aalto University, takes place as one of the top M&A speaking events of the year in Finland.

Our esteemed international speakers represent top-tier financial and strategy firms and academia, and will cover current trends and insights on phases of the M&A process. We will hear intriguing discussion on matters that are highly pertinent for value capture – including risk mitigation – brought to you by truly top experts with a wealth of expertise.

While waiting for registration, please save the date!

  • When: Wednesday 11 October 2023 at 17:30-21:00
  • Where: Tapahtumatalo Bank, Unioninkatu 20, Helsinki
  • Event language: English
  • Fee: Free of charge
  • Food, refreshments, and wine to be served


More on the event’s theme

M&A, an engine of business growth and a shaper of industry structure, is a perennially central business topic for a variety of financial and corporate acquirors.

Career-wise, for finance alumni interested in M&A, developing expertise in the M&A process provides tangible and substantial career capital. This is whether they would work at private equity, investment banking, management consulting, or corporate roles, or assess others’ M&A work from farther afield as security analysts.

The event is targeted for Aalto Finance Alumni (both current and joining members), and additionally select M&A-related strategic collaborations of AFA. Our target audience includes both current M&A professionals and all AFA members simply interested in gaining insights into the fascinating world of M&A.



Registration will be opened during 12-16 June: check emails from AFA and Aalto and AFA’s social media!

Don’t worry about the early start: we will send a gentle reminder to those who have registered that canceling is an easy process, and it also opens up the opportunity for us to invite another alumnus.



Aalto Finance Alumni and Aalto University collaborate closely in organizing this event. We jointly thank the presenting companies for their role in making the event possible. Aalto Finance Alumni Conference is co-located with Aalto M&A Forum.


Questions? Contacts at the Aalto Finance and AFA board:

Markus Mäkelä, Kadir Kumral, and Jesse Hirvelä

Please scroll down to “Board” for contacts.



A roster of very-high-caliber leaders and experts will be sharing their insights for value-creation via M&A.

  • Provost Kristiina Mäkelä: Opening by Aalto University
  • Prof. Thomas Keil, the University of Zürich (keynote): Driving M&A from strategy: Target identification and development
  • Ted Rouse and Pyry Vauramo, Bain & Company: The investment-thesis driven approach to M&A: From due diligence to integration and value creation
  • Lauri Vaittinen, Mandatum: Implications of financial conditions for M&A activity
  • Prof. Vesa Puttonen, Aalto University, School of Business (Chair)

Please see the speakers’ introductions on the right.

Further information:

  • AFA’s President Roope Lääkkölä speaks during 17:30-18:00 about AFA’s ongoing work to develop a yet stronger network out of us – the people who are Aalto Finance Alumni – and we will hear from our partner Mandatum also in this session
  • After about 20:15, we will have cocktails
  • Sandwiches will be served during 17:30-18:00, to give energy after busy working day, and more food on a break at ~18:50

Speakers’ introductions

Dr. Thomas Keil,

Chair in International Management, University of Zürich

Thomas Keil is tenured full professor at the Department of Business Administration at the University of Zürich, and has previously taught at Aalto University and York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto. His other research interests than M&A include the strategic management and the senior leader’s agenda (board design, CEO succession, top management teams, transformation, and corporate entrepreneurship and innovation).

Thomas is experienced in working with corporations involved in M&A and has taught various Executive Education, Ph.D. and other audiences, based partly on his long-term research on M&A. In the 2000s, Thomas was Academic and Managing Director of the TKK Executive School of Business, a leading MBA educator in Finland, and has been an active advisor to companies across various industries.

Thomas actively publishes research on today’s theme – M&A – and other business topics in global top-quality journals, having published in Strategic Management Journal, Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Journal of Management, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, and Administrative Science Quarterly and has earned several international research awards.

Thomas’ latest books are The Next Leadership Team (Routledge, May 24, 2023) and The Next CEO (Routledge, 2021), and he frequently writes for practitioner business magazines.


Senior International Guest

Ted Rouse,

Advisory Partner, Bain & Company, London

Ted Rouse has a long and distinguished career as management consultant, specializing in M&A strategy and merger integration over several decades. He joined Bain & Company in 1982 and served as a Partner since 1988 in the firm’s London, Chicago, San Francisco, and Sydney offices. He co-led Bain’s global M&A practice during 2005-2014 and continues to serve Bain’s clients as Advisory Partner in all facets of M&A activities, advising executives on topics such as cross-border deals with complex global integrations and cultural dynamics, mergers of equals, and integrations of unrelated businesses.

Ted has led or supported dozens of merger integration efforts in a wide variety of sectors with particular expertise in the automotive industry across the entire value chain. He also led Bain’s global Industrial practice for several years.

Ted was a member of Bain & Company’s board of directors for more than 15 years and, amongst other leadership roles in the firm, the founding leader of Bain’s Chicago office.

Alongside his client work, Ted has published numerous articles on M&A topics in leading industry publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and MIT Sloan Management Review. He is an MBA graduate of the Harvard Business School.


Dr. Kristiina Mäkelä,

Provost, Aalto University

Kristiina Mäkelä, Professor of International Business, is Aalto University’s provost, leading the university’s activities related to teaching, research, and societal impact as deputy to the president. Kristiina has previously worked at several foreign universities, had departmental and Aalto School of Business leadership responsibilities, and worked for a decade in business. Her research interests include various aspects of international management, including human resource management, the future of work, talent, and knowledge.


Lauri Vaittinen,

CEO, Mandatum Asset Management

Lauri Vaittinen is the CEO of Mandatum Asset Management, a leading provider of solutions across asset classes for institutions, and is in charge of 16 billion euros of assets under management. He was previously Senior Vice President at Mandatum Life and the Chief Securities Officer of the pension insurance company Etera, among others. Lauri is an active Aalto alumnus, via both his Aalto Finance Alumni collaboration and co-publishing in the world-leading Journal of Financial Economics and Review of Financial Studies.


Pyry Vauramo,

Partner, Bain & Company, Helsinki

Pyry Vauramo is Partner at Bain & Company, based in the firm’s Helsinki office. Pyry specializes in M&A and investing advisory across the deal lifecycle and has experience in more than 100 transactions, with particular focus on the technology sector. Pyry advises both financial investors across asset classes as well as executives of leading companies on topics such as M&A and growth strategy, due diligence, post-acquisition value creation and merger integration.


Dr. Vesa Puttonen,

Professor of Finance, Aalto School of Business

Vesa Puttonen is Professor of Finance at Aalto University’s business school. His research has dealt with a number of financial topics, and he is an experienced speaker for corporate and Executive Education audiences. Vesa is also author of a number of business and finance books, and is sought after for media commentary. He has previously worked as an executive at the Helsinki Stock Exchange and Conventum, and been a board member or chairman of several quoted and other companies.


Best aspects of the alumni network


Renew old friendships developed at the school, create new ones, and enjoy an active and strong community. We provide ways for alumni to network, meet each other, and exchange ideas. Be a part of a powerful network of over 1000 Aalto Finance ambassadors.



We offer diverse and high-quality activities and events to strengthen Aalto Finance Alumni affiliation. From networking events to morning runs to panel discussions, there are many opportunities to connect. Come by yourself or with friends, we are looking forward to seeing you at our next event. The best way to keep on track of our all events is through AFA Facebook or AFA LinkedIn.


Quarterly is AFA’s very own online publication, produced mainly by the AFA Quarterly Editor in Chief. The Quarterly is published four times a year providing insightful news & stories from alumni, the University, and the world of finance. You can find the Quarterly publications from Blogs.

The board of Aalto Finance Alumni


The board of Aalto Finance Alumni consists of 14 members. The board is selected anually in the general meeting of the Aalto Finance Alumni ry.

Roope Lääkkölä



Juha Vänttinen

Vice President


Karla Kossila



Claudia Zhang

AFA Quarterly Editor in Chief


Antto Piirainen

Board Member


Antti Lehtovirta

Board Member


Nea Raahenmaa

Board Member


Toni Rechardt

Board Member


Jesse Hirvelä

Board Member


Markus Mäkelä

Board Member


Elena Davis-Kerppola

Board Member


Elmo Kekkonen

Board Member


Aalto Finance Alumni prides itself in professionalism – and rapid responses are our specialty. We encourage both corporations and alumni to contact us on matters related to the development of our organization. We believe in value of networks and reciprocal exchange of knowledge and opportunities..

Contact us: aalto@financealumni.fi