Originally from Havlíčkův Brod, Radek Halamka finished his studies at the IES in 2015 and now he works in London, at Enclude as an Analyst in Capital Advisory Services. Enclude is a company that works only with clients who generate, besides of their financial profit, positive impact on the society and environment. He started there right after finishing his Master at the IES, also thanks to his previous working experience with Global Alliance for Banking on Values as part of an Erasmus+ internship. Global Alliance for Banking on Values is a member organisation of banks that use their assets to make positive changes to the world around us. Radek found the internship by following the topic of his diploma thesis on ethical banking. Prior to that he spent a year working as a Financial Analyst at Accenture, and from 2012 to 2015 he was a lead of a regional unit of the International Human Rights Film Festival One World in Havlíčkův Brod. Apart from his studies of Economics Radek also graduated from Political Science and International Relations at FSS CU and he got through summer schools: Summer School on Social Banking, Institute for Social Banking, or American Institute on Political and Economic Systems, TFAS Summer School. While studying Political Science, Radek spent a semester at the Lund University in Sweden. In his free time Radek likes cycling, jogging, reading and spending the time with his family and girlfriend.
Besides Economics you studied Politics and International Relations. Why did you choose this combination?
Well, to be honest, the choice was at the beginning based more on curiosity than a masterplan. Then it was friends. And only after a year I would say came the realisation that pursuing two degrees was enriching in many ways. While IES gave me “hard skills” and tools, IPS helped me put things into context and keep in mind that there are people and real world behind all economic calculations and that not everything rises and falls with rational economic actors.
Radek, even during your studies you focused on the topics related to the ethics and sustainability. What would you recommend to the IES students with similar interests? Is there any subject or activity at the IES, which is a „must“ for these students?
First of all, I would recommend to all IES students without interest in ethics and sustainability to give these topics a try and find their way to them. In my opinion, good economists are only those who actively try to understand all aspects of decisions made and their impact, including even externalities or subjective feelings into the decision-making framework. Although we do not often think about it that way, ethics could be a powerful economic tool that helps us better align results of our decisions with initial intentions.
I am not sure what is currently on offer for IES students but when I studied the only option where to learn more about ethics was a course Ethics and Economics by prof. Mlčoch (note: currently this subject is led by doc. Cahlík ies.fsv.cuni.cz/cs/syllab/JEM020). In that sense I was lucky that I could draw from philosophy lectures that I was attending while doing my second degree. But it was all theory and I certainly missed courses where I could learn how to apply the concepts in practice. An increasing number of leading business schools, such as Wharton (UPenn) or Saïd Business School (Oxford), already offers specializations in these areas and I believe this trend will find its way to IES soon.
However, for all IES students with any interest there is always a way how to pursue what you wish. In that manner, IES enabled me to get an Erasmus internship at Global Alliance for Banking on Values where I was able to learn how sustainable or ethical finance is practiced around the world and talk first-hand with people from the field. Not only it was an invaluable experience it was also a springboard to my current job.
You work at the Enclude company, which is known to be socially responsible and generates positive impacts on the society and the environment. Could you describe more in detail, what exactly does it mean and how does itwork in reality?
Enclude is an investment banking boutique with broader capital advisory services that works exclusively with clients that in some shape or form create positive social or environmental impact. These companies share a mindset that creating financial profit for their shareholders is not the only purpose of their business. However, it is not to say that financial considerations are not important for our clients and that we deal mostly with non-profit organizations. In fact, most of the socially and environmentally responsible companies that we work with create very good financial profits. The financial side is, though, only one piece of the puzzle necessary for pursuing their mission of alleviating poverty through affordable financial services, improving health through development of innovative devices for emerging markets, or reducing carbon footprint by implementing clean energy solutions. What makes Enclude different from other investment banks is our understanding of such mindset and capability to come up with solutions tailored to our client’s needs.
For couple years, you were a a Leader of a regional unit of the International Human Rights Film Festival One World in Havlíčkův Brod. How did you start with it and what were your responsibilities? What was behind it?
It may sound funny but the impulse came from a feeling I had after leaving Sweden where I was for Erasmus. Almost all of my friends hosted dinners and all other sorts of events while I did not manage to host a single one. After leaving I felt like I should return the favour, even if it was not to the same people who fed me a number of evenings. The feeling then merged with an idea that was seeded by my IES classmate Václav Těhle who was at that time organising the same festival in Benešov and a few meetings and calls later I happened to get a green light from People in Need to join the One World family.
Since the festival had never been in Havlíčkův Brod before, I had to start everything from scratch – find people that would be foolish enough to go for it with me, find people kind enough to sponsor us and find people who would pay to watch documentary movies instead of their everyday couch adventures. It turned out to be quite an exciting journey.
Do you manage to find in your life which is full of (socially responsible) beneficial activities of all kinds some time just for yourself? What is the biggest relax for you?
Well, recently it has been rather difficult. So I bought a bike and try to cycle to work as often as possible. It is an enchanting combination of relax and thrill here in London. Other than that, I enjoy “philosophying” over beer with my friends. And of course, spending time with my girlfriend and family – both of which I wish I could do much more often. I like jogging, reading and occasionally painting.