IESE ranks among the best business schools in the world

Financial Times ranks IESE’s MBA fourth in the world

  • Result follows recent no.1 ranking in The Economist, consolidating IESE´s positon as one of the world´s top business schools
  • FT ranking highlights IESE´s focus on responsible business, career outcomes for graduates and the program´s internationality

February 08, 2021. The FT Global MBA Ranking 2021, released today by the Financial Times, has ranked IESE Business School´s full-time MBA in the top five programs in the world, and third in Europe. This latest result, which comes off the back of ranking no.1 in the world by The Economist, consolidates IESE´s position as one of the best MBA programs in the world.

According to the FT´s 2021 ranking, IESE´s full-time MBA ranks joint fourth in the world, alongside Yale School of Management. Insead, followed by London Business School in second and Chicago Booth in third, complete the top five spots. 

No.1 in the world for CSR

This latest ranking by the Financial Times particularly highlights IESE’s strength in developing responsible business leaders. IESE’s MBA is ranked first in the world for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the second year in a row. The CSR metric looks at course content dedicated to CSR, ethics, and social and environmental issues. It means that since this criterion was introduced by the FT in 2019, IESE has only ever ranked first or second in the world on this measure.

“Coming first in the world for Corporate Social Responsibility for the second year in a row reflects our focus on social impact,” says Marc Badia, Associate Dean for MBA programs at IESE Business School. “Throughout the MBA, students take courses covering all aspects of social, environmental and ethical issues in business.  That includes dedicated courses on topics like social impact consulting, or our new joint MBA course on the Future of Capitalism, where students critically observe the current state of capitalism and explore the roles of business leadership required to create a better future.”

The career outcomes for IESE MBA students also stood out as key to IESE´s good performance in the ranking. IESE ranks no.5 in the world for the career progress of its MBA graduates. There was also a 131% salary increase on average for IESE graduates, the highest increase of any school in Europe according to the ranking.

IESE also ranked no.8 in the world for International Course Experience, as well as performing well on the international mobility of its alumni (no.12 overall), reflecting the strong international approach of the program which prepares its graduates to take up positions across the globe. On the IESE MBA, students have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of business across different continents and interact daily with international faculty and peers.

“While there are always a number of factors that determine a school´s ranking position in any given year, this excellent result combined with our solid performance in the major international rankings year-on-year, confirms the strength and depth of our program,” says prof. Badia.

This latest result continues IESE´s strong performance in the major international rankings over a number of years. Including:

  • 1st in world according to The Economist 2021 MBA ranking
  • 1st in the world for executive education for six straight years (2015-2020), according to the FT Executive Education ranking
  • 3rd in Forbes for the two-year international MBA

See the complete FT ranking here


WHU and IESE join forces

Boosting Board Member Performance: WHU and IESE Join Forces to Launch New Program

  • WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management and IESE Business School are launching a unique Executive Education program aimed at improving corporate and supervisory board member effectiveness. The international program, which starts in May 2021, will be taught in Düsseldorf, Munich and Barcelona.

February 2, 2021. The joint High-Performance Board Member Program of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management and IESE Business School enables participants to enhance their executive impact by focusing on the critical issues and strategic challenges facing organizations today: digitization, stakeholder management and how to successfully counteract corruption. The program combines a dynamic practical approach with methods academically proven to get results, including interactive lectures, team-based projects, case studies and guest speaker sessions with distinguished supervisory board members from some of Europe’s largest companies.

“In a business landscape characterized by constantly evolving challenges, the High-Performance Board Member Program provides top-level executives with critical strategic tools for shaping the future of their organizations to secure long-term success,” states Professor Dr. Serden Ozcan, Chair of Innovation and Corporate Transformation at WHU. “Participants will benefit from the cooperation between the two highly ranked Business Schools,” he adds.

The program is designed for senior-level executives who currently serve on corporate boards and those who aspire to transition into this role, as well as senior managers who seek to engage more effectively with their board.

Marc Sachon, professor of Production, Technology and Management at IESE Business School, says, “by drawing on the deep expertise of both institutions and by collaborating with their high level C-suite peers, participants will learn how to boost overall board performance and drive business value.”

The three modules of the High-Performance Board Member Program will take place on the WHU campus in Düsseldorf, followed by IESE Business School´s campuses in Munich and Barcelona, comprising seven days in total from May 31, 2021 to September 08, 2021. Participants will be taught by world-class faculty from both institutions, including the program´s Academic Directors: Professor Dr. Serden Ozcan, Chair of Innovation and Corporate Transformation, as well as, on the part of IESE Business School, Professor Marc Sachon, Ph.D., Professor of Production, Technology and Management.

About WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management:

WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management is an internationally oriented, privately financed business school with university status, located in Vallendar and Düsseldorf. At WHU, more than 50 faculty members research and teach in the fields of management, finance and accounting, economics, entrepreneurship and innovation, marketing and sales, and supply chain management. WHU’s high level of research competence is the result of a focus on three fundamental research principles: quality, internationality, and relevance for teaching and practice.

WHU’s strategy is based on four core values: excellence, entrepreneurship, strong cohesion, and a cosmopolitan culture. An atmosphere characterized by openness, curiosity, diversity, and equal opportunities is of utmost importance to WHU. Further information.

About IESE Business School:

IESE is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra. It is one of the world’s most international business schools, with campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, Munich, New York and São Paulo, and programs offered throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. For more than 60 years, IESE has been at the forefront of management education and leadership development. It has done this through offering transformational educational experiences to more than 50,000 entrepreneurs and executives.

IESE´s mission today remains the same as it was back when it was founded in 1958: to educate and inspire leaders who wish to have a positive and lasting impact on people, business and society. This effort has been recognized by the Financial Times ranking, which for the sixth consecutive year has positioned IESE as the number 1 school in the world for executive education. Further information.

The Future of Capitalism MBA course

IESE and Shizenkan Launch MBA Course on The Future of Capitalism

  • Students critically examine today´s socio-economic system and then present their vision for the future of capitalism to a group of prominent business leaders and CEOS
  • Guest speakers include formerly homeless children and former child soldiers, as well as top executives, entrepreneurs, policy makers, academics and activists of various backgrounds
  • The course is a joint initiative between IESE Business School, Spain, and Shizenkan University, Japan, in cooperation with the School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL), India and Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), Brazil

January 26, 2021. IESE Business School and Shizenkan University, in cooperation with the School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL), India, and Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), Brazil, have joined forces to deliver an MBA course designed to help students critically observe the current state of capitalism and explore the roles of business leadership required to create a better future. The course will explore the key issues society faces within the capitalist system today, and invite students to reflect and come up with a plan on how business (and themselves as future business leaders) can have a more positive role in society. At the end of the course, students will present their own vision for a more equitable form of capitalism to a group of prominent business leaders and CEOs.  

The Future of Capitalism is an optional MBA course open to second year IESE MBA students, as well as MBA students at the three other participating schools. The three-month long course kicks off this week on January 26 with 81 students from 22 different countries.

During the course, students will engage in virtual conversations with a variety of guest speakers from around the world, including people dramatically affected by our current capitalist system, such as formerly homeless children and former child soldiers. They will also hear from top executives, entrepreneurs, policy makers, activists of various backgrounds, and academics, among others.

Some of the sessions include:

  • Hearing from former child soldiers in Uganda who were kidnapped and forced to participate in military actions. This session will be coordinated in cooperation with Shingo Ogawa, President of Terra Renaissance, a Japanese NGO that offers vocational training for former child soldiers in Uganda.
  • A dialogue with formerly homeless children in Bangladesh, coordinated in cooperation with Shubhashish Roy, Founder and CEO of Ekmattra Society, a Bangladeshi NGO promoting the advancement of underprivileged children.
  • A discussion about capitalism, democracy, and the role of the media with Mark Thompson, former CEO of New York Times and Director-General of the BBC
  • A session discussing climate change and environmental sustainability with Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director of Greenpeace International

The program has been designed and led by Tomo Noda, Professor and Chair of the Board of Trustees at Shizenkan University, and Franz Heukamp, Dean of IESE Business School. Together they, along with the other co-academic directors, will lead and facilitate the discussions in class.

Throughout the course, students collaborate in teams to work on a final output, where they develop an outline of how business can build a bridge between the current status quo and their future vision of capitalism. Two finalist teams will then present their outputs to a group of prominent business leaders who are supporting this MBA initiative. These include, among others:

  • Paul Polman, Honorary Chair of International Chamber of Commerce and former CEO of Unilever
  • Tak Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings
  • James Higa, Executive Director of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation and former Senior Director of Office of the CEO at Apple
  • B. Muthuraman, former Vice Chairman of Tata Steel and Chairman of Tata International
  • John Elkington, Founder and Chief Pollinator of Volans; among others

The business supporters and academic directors will then discuss the findings in a roundtable discussion with the whole of the class.

In addition to teamwork, each student is also expected to reflect upon the responsibility of business leaders, and translate the inputs from the sessions into a personal commitment for the betterment of society and an actionable plan to bring about changes to their future professional environment, further boosting the impact of the course.

Franz Heukamp, IESE Business School Dean and co-Academic Director, said:

“It is crucial that business works for the good of every one of us, not just a select few. In the past, many business programs have not done a great job overall with the ´why´ of business. Many have been very good for the most part with the ´what´ – the technical, managerial, entrepreneurial education of business leaders. But most schools would probably admit that they have not gotten their best grades when it comes to purpose, to business ethics, to teaching people how to use their powerful positions in order to make the world a better place. That is why we are happy to partner for this innovative MBA course, which enables the next generation of business leaders to think about these issues in the first person, and gain insights on how to reshape the future of capitalism to have a more positive impact for all.”

Despite the covid-19 pandemic creating logistical difficulties for meeting in person “this initiative also show how we can continue to bring together relevant people from different parts of the world to deliver educational experiences across the globe”, he added.

The Economist Ranks IESE’s MBA no.1 in the World

  • The Economist’s 2021 WhichMBA? Full-time ranking highlights the educational experience of the program, potential to network and career opportunities for graduates

Madrid/Barcelona. January 21 2021. IESE Business School´s MBA program has been ranked the best MBA program in the world, according to The Economist´s WhichMBA? 2021 Full-time ranking, released today.

The Economist ranking assesses full-time MBA programs across four broad areas: the creation of new career opportunities, personal development opportunities and educational experience, salary enhancement, and the potential to network. IESE´s position at the top of the list reflects its high scores across all four categories.

In particular, the ranking highlighted the exceptional educational experience that IESE´s MBA offers its participants, which is based on close collaboration with diverse classmates and faculty, innovative learning methods and personalized feedback. It also highlighted the rich opportunities for networking, due to the global reach of IESE´s international alumni network of more than 50,000 executives across the globe.

IESE´s program also scored well for the post-graduate salary of its MBA alumni, and for the new career opportunities that are opened up for graduates after studying an IESE MBA. In fact, 96% of IESE´s MBA class of 2019 received a job offer within three months of graduation, according to MBA CSEA reporting standards. This reflects the work of the school´s Career Development Center, which organizes numerous activities, resources, support, career forums and fairs throughout the year for students.

Marc Badia, Associate Dean for MBA programs at IESE Business School, said:

“At IESE, our focus is on creating a transformational educational experience for students, one where they get stretched and challenged both in and outside the classroom. This result is a confirmation of our ability to maintain the highest standards across all aspects of our MBA. It takes a tremendous team effort to make the MBA so transformational for students, and it’s great to see that recognized.”

This is the fourth time that IESE´s MBA has been ranked no.1 in the world by The Economist. The result also follows a continued strong performance in other international rankings for IESE´s MBA and other programs in recent years, including being ranked no.1 in the world for a record sixth straight year by the Financial Times for Executive Education.

When IESE Business School launched its full-time MBA program in 1964, it was Europe’s first two-year MBA program. Since its inception, it has continually innovated. Today, the program offers students a unique international experience, with roughly 85% of the class coming from abroad. The curriculum also covers the latest business topics such as AI and big data, and allows students to customize the program further to their needs by earning a concentration in specific topics (such as Data Analytics & Digital Business or Entrepreneurship & Innovation) along with their MBA diploma.

IESE´s full-time MBA is taught in English from the school´s campus in Barcelona, with the option of completing the program in either 15 or 19 months, offering even greater flexibility and choice to participants.

Full information on The Economist’s WhichMBA? 2021 Full-time ranking.

More information on IESE’s latest rankings.


Employment Report 2020 shows power of IESE MBA to boost careers

  • Nearly 90% with employment three months after graduating; third of MBA Class of 2020 make ´triple jump´ career switch

December 21, 2020. A pandemic and resulting economic crisis may not seem an optimal time for anyone’s career prospects, let alone if you are trying to make an ambitious career change. Yet IESE MBAs continue to be highly sought after by recruiters worldwide.

Despite the massive disruption to recruiting caused by COVID-19 this year, 87% of IESE’s MBA Class of 2020 found employment within three months of graduation (as calculated according to the MBACSE rules.) What is more, a significant portion of the class used their MBA experience to make a substantial career switch this year.

A class of career changers

According to IESE’s 2020 MBA Employment Report, Europe was the most popular career destination for the Class of 2020, with 46% of graduates accepting jobs on the continent (26% in wider Europe, 20% in Spain.) Latin America (22%) and Asia-Pacific (20%) were the next most popular regions for alums.

In terms of sectors, consulting continues to reign supreme with around 33% of the class, followed by industry (29%), financial services (23%), and technology (15%.) Of those who chose consultancy, around 80% were career changers without prior experience in the sector.

And career change is a key theme for the class of 2020. About a third of the class made a notoriously difficult “triple jump” career switch this year – changing sector, function and geographic location all in one go. (An increase from 21% of the class last year.)

The figures highlight the power of an IESE MBA for those thinking of changing their career path. On the program, students have access to a dedicated careers center with expertise in different sectors and regions. They also are able to take a corporate internship between the first and second year, giving them a chance to test and try out different career options.

One such triple jumper is Rohit Gokul. With a background in engineering, he was an entrepreneur working in the United Arab Emirates prior to studying at IESE. He says the career support offered on the IESE MBA, including providing sector-specific and regional expertise, was key to landing his current position at Citigroup Corporate and Investment Bank in the U.K.

“Coming from a non-traditional background…I can confidently attest to the fact that the career services and Finance Club take all the credit for my successful transition into investment banking,” Gokul said. “Having closely worked with the Career Development Center, I have witnessed first-hand how the entire team goes the extra mile, making all the difference.”

Connecting recruiters with IESE MBA talent

In a year marked by uncertainty, the latest report shows the trust the world’s leading companies place in IESE for its recruiting needs. Around 300 companies currently recruit at IESE, including: 

A.T Kearney, ABInBev, Amazon, Bain, BCG, Citigroup, EY, Google, Johnson&Johnson, Mastercard, McKinsey, Michelin, Microsoft, Nike, Novartis, PepsiCo, Unicef, Werfen and ZS Associates.

Each year, IESE’s Career Development Center organizes numerous activities with these companies, offering structured recruiting opportunities as well as providing career guidance for students both before and during the MBA program, dedicated events, workshops and support, among others.

IESE’s MBA Class of 2020 counts 356 students of 55 different nationalities, with an average age of 31 at graduation.

Download the latest 2020 MBA Employment Report here.

Factory with air pollution

A way forward for reducing corporate carbon emissions?

  • New IESE research shows a strong link between the world´s largest asset managers’ engagements with companies and a reduction in CO2 emissions of their portfolio companies
  • Using new data, the paper “The Big Three and Corporate Carbon Emissions Around the World”, forthcoming in the Journal of Financial Economics, suggests company engagements by BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street can offer a complementary approach to tackling climate change

Climate change is one of the most pressing global issues we face as a society. While ´Big Business´ is frequently criticized for its role in increasing greenhouse emissions, in recent years leading corporate figures such as BlackRock CEO Larry Fink have publicly committed to focusing on environmental issues. Yet up until now, there has been scant data on whether these corporate efforts are starting to have any effect.

New research by IESE Business School professors, forthcoming in the Journal of Financial Economics, sheds light for the first time on the role that BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors (the so-called “Big Three” largest asset managers) are playing in reducing carbon emissions around the world. The Big Three have come to dominate the global corporate landscape in recent years. Significantly, the study´s findings suggest that the world´s largest asset managers are having a positive impact in reducing the CO2 emissions of their portfolio companies.

The Big Three and Corporate Carbon Emissions

The paperThe Big Three and Corporate Carbon Emissions Around the World”, accepted by the Journal of Financial Economics, is coauthored by IESE professors Jose Azar, Miguel Duro, Igor Kadach and Gaizka Ormazabal.

In the paper, the authors examine if: a), the Big Three are engaging with their portfolio companies on environmental concerns; and b), whether these engagements are actually effective in reducing carbon emissions at those companies. To do so, they analysed two novel datasets: carbon emissions data for a wide cross section of firms between 2005 to 2018, complemented with data on Big Three engagements with their portfolio companies. 

Unlike previous studies that look at institutional investors in general, the authors claim they focus only on the Big Three due to their unique characteristics and position in the global economy. Together the Big Three manage $16 trillion and control approximately 20% of the shares of the S&P 500. In addition, the authors focus on carbon emissions as opposed to environmental scores. According to them, this is important, “as changes to a firm´s environmental score could reflect “greenwashing” rather than actual environmental improvements.”

The key findings

The paper finds that:

  • The Big Three focus their engagement efforts on large firms with high CO2 emissions and in which these investors hold a significant stake.
  • Consistent with this engagement influence being effective, the study shows a strong and robust association between Big Three ownership and a subsequent drop in carbon emissions
  • This pattern becomes stronger in the later years of the sample period, when the three institutions have publicly committed to tackling environmental issues.

The paper also shows how, beyond altruistic reasons, there could be several economic incentives for the Big Three to engage with firms on environmental issues. One reason could be a belief that reducing CO2 emissions increases the value of their portfolio (reflecting a growing awareness of the financial implications of climate risk); another is that pushing firms to reduce carbon emissions can help attract or retain clients sensitive towards environmental concerns.

ESG engagement as a complement to carbon pricing

According to the authors, “one of the main conclusions of our research is that the Big Three, contrary to what many believe, have both the incentives and the means to get CO2 emissions reduced. And our empirical evidence suggests that, through engagement with their portfolio companies, they have already been playing a positive role in this important dimension of corporate governance.”

Still, they caution that the magnitude of these carbon reductions may not be enough on their own to tackle the climate challenge we face. As such, the authors stress that the research points to how the big three could contribute to reducing world carbon emissions, alongside other approaches already underway or under study, such as carbon pricing.

“Climate change is a major global problem which requires coordinated global action” say the authors. “That´s where the unique size and reach of the Big Three may help. While the Big Three´s importance to the global economy is controversial, their almost supranational status means that, when they engage with companies on environmental issues, they can avoid the global coordination issues that hinder the quick implementation of other full-scale regulatory solutions. In doing so, our research suggests that they can offer a complementary way of addressing climate change, alongside other efforts.”

Access the full paper The Big Three and Corporate Carbon Emissions Around the World.” 


About the authors:

Jose Azar is a Visiting Professor of Economics at IESE Business School and an Assistant professor at the University of Navarra. 

Miguel Duro is Assistant Professor of Accounting and Control and Academic Director of the Center for International Finance (CIF) at IESE Business School. 

Igor Kadach is Assistant Professor of Accounting and Control at IESE Business School. 

Gaizka Ormazabal is Associate Professor of Accounting and Control and holder of the Grupo Santander Chair of Financial Institutions and Corporate Governance, at IESE Business School. He also serves as academic director at the IESE Center for Corporate Governance. 

IESE Holds Europe´s Most Important Conference on Purpose

  • Three-day virtual event draws preeminent business executives and scholars including Former Unilver CEO Paul Polman and Nobel laureate Bengt Holmström

November 2, 2020. IESE Business School´s Center for Corporate Governance’s recently organized one of Europe´s most important conferences on corporate purpose, drawing around 2000 attendees from across the global business community. The conference ended on Friday after three days of debate on the link between purpose and governance and the best practices for both.

A trio of business leaders concluded the event, which was co-hosted by the European Corporate Governance Institute, with a discussion on the need to reemphasize the importance of the individual within a corporation and an organization’s ethical responsibility to the society surrounding it. Some of the key topics discussed included:

Purpose as an existential need

“When we talk about purpose, we’re talking about something that’s existential,” said José Viñals (Chairman, Standard Chartered) in a final session that considered how boards of directors can define and instill purpose. “This is about making organizations more human.” 

Baroness Denise Kingsmill (NED, Inditex and IAG) struck a similar chord. “It’s from the relationship with human capital that the upholding of corporate purpose takes place,” said Kingsmill, who’s also a member of the UK House of Lords.

“I think the next 10 years will be about acting, not about talking,” said Juvencio Maeztu (Deputy CEO and CFO of Ingka-IKEA).

Action is needed, he added, given the grave challenges currently facing the planet. “Building financial resilience is a precondition of creating sustainability.” 

While the IESE CCG conference’s six sessions included lively debate between prominent academics and executives regarding purpose and how to authentically pursue it, there was a consensus that the coronavirus pandemic and climate change were the key catalysts behind the current drive to do good while also doing well.

“The overwhelming reason why we have to bring ethics back into the picture is climate change,” said Professor Patrick Bolton (Columbia). “This is the biggest challenge that awaits us in the 21st century. What climate change and the pandemic teach us is that nature matters. And we have to take it seriously.” 

While the climate change crisis predates the pandemic, several speakers drew links between the two. “The COVID-19 crisis is just a symptom of our shortcomings. We cannot have healthy people on an unhealthy planet,” said Paul Polman (Founder, Imagine and Former CEO, Unilever).

The danger of inauthenticity

Despite agreement on the need for corporate purpose in the face of contemporary social and environmental crises, several speakers warned of the dangers of cheap talk, greenwashing and rushed, misguided action in response to public uproar amplified by social media.

“I’m worried about the court of public opinion being too extreme or too biased,” said Nobel Laureate Bengt Holmström (MIT), who also questioned how many companies would actually reduce shareholder benefits in order to do social good.

Professor Colin Mayer (Oxford) offered a franker appraisal of false purpose, beginning the conference by saying, “In many cases, corporate purpose statements are not just verbiage, but might also be described as twaddle.”

Yet his similarly blunt definition of authentic purpose as “not profiting by doing producing problems for the people of the planet” imagined an effective path forward.

Another recurring theme of the event was the connection between a fully formed purpose and better financial performance.

“It’s not an either/or between purpose and profits,” said Professor. Rebecca Henderson (Harvard Business School). “It’s a dynamic process.”

The conference, sponsored by the Social Trends Institute, featured panel moderators including journalist Henry Tricks (The Economist) and IESE Business School faculty members Mireia Giné, Joan Enric Ricart, Xavier Vives and CCG President Jordi Canals, who introduced and concluded each day of the conference with Marco Becht (Université libre de Bruxelles.) IESE CCG academic committee members John Almandoz and Fabrizio Ferraro moderated group discussions during the conference.


FT Ranks IESE´s Global Executive MBA #8 in the World, #3 in Europe

  • Ranking highlights the quality and diversity of IESE participants, as well as the program´s international scope, relevancy and focus on responsible business

IESE Business School’s Global Executive MBA is among the top 10 programs in the world, according to the Financial Times Executive MBA Ranking for 2020, published today. IESE takes eighth position overall, and is third in Europe.

One of the reasons for IESE´s good position in the ranking is the high caliber of its participants, who are typically senior business leaders with around 15 years’ experience at top companies across the globe, as well as their international diversity (94% are international.) According to Eric Weber, IESE Business School´s Associate Dean and head of the Global Executive MBA program, “this diverse mix of backgrounds, perspectives and business knowledge that our participants bring to each class, creates a very dynamic and enriching learning environment. As participants have to collaborate closely with their high-level peers throughout the program, it also opens up numerous networking opportunities.”

With classes taught in five world cities on three continents, the truly international experience provided by the Global Executive MBA also stood out as key to the strong showing in the ranking. As did the program´s ability to help participants fulfill their goals.

First in the world for CSR

Finally, the FT ranking also highlighted the focus IESE places on responsible business leadership.  IESE placed first in the world on the Corporate Social Responsibility criterion, a measure which looks at the amount of course content dedicated to CSR, ethics, and social and environmental issues.

 “This strong ranking result is a reflection of the transformational impact of our Global Executive MBA and its ability to provide executives with the tools and vision needed to become outstanding global leaders. The fact we once again rank first in the world for corporate social responsibility, is a testament to the importance we place in making sure participants understand that the purpose of business, ultimately, must be to serve other people”, said Weber.

IESE´s Global Executive MBA is a 16 month long blended program that combines online learning with residential modules in five cities across the world. During the course, participants take in-person classes in five global business hubs: Barcelona, New York, Munich, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. They then customize their learning experience further by choosing from a portfolio of elective modules offered in Africa, Europe, India, Latin America, South East Asia and the United States.

The participants in the program hail from more than 30 different countries and 30 different industries, are on average 39 years old, and have around 15 years of professional experience. Nearly 40% are women. The next edition of IESE´s Global Executive MBA starts in April 2021.

This result comes after the FT also ranked the school first in the world for Executive Education, which IESE reached for the sixth consecutive year in 2020.

For more on rankings at IESE, see here.

The power of AI for optimizing your business

IESE and the Fraunhofer Academy Launch AI program in Germany

  • The Power of AI for Optimizing Your Business is an innovative, practical program that addresses how businesses can get the most out of artificial intelligence from both a corporate strategy and implementation perspective

IESE Business School, the no.1 school in the world for executive education according to the Financial Times ranking, and the Fraunhofer Academy, part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, a world reference in applied-research, are joining forces to offer a program targeted at helping executives in Germany get to grips with the transformative power of AI for their business.  

The Power of AI for Optimizing your Business is a program that will address Artificial Intelligence from both corporate strategy and implementation standpoints, providing a complete and practical look at how to harness this revolutionary technology in the workplace.

The program starts in January 2021 and will be delivered in a three-module blended format – an online module, followed by residential modules at IESE´s campuses in Munich and Barcelona. It is aimed at CEOs, board members, top-tier executives and managers in global firms, as well as business leaders in DACH-based enterprises, where operational issues often cut across functional areas. Thanks to its two-pronged focus, the program offers keen insights for decision makers from across the organization.

According to IESE Business School Professor Sampsa Samila, the Academic Director of the program and of IESE´s AI and the Future of Management initiative:

“AI is a paradigm shift that calls for a new approach merging global leadership with technological expertise. That is why this program is so crucial. It combines the knowledge of two leading organizations who are looking at how AI will reshape organizations top to bottom, as well as how to deal practically with the management, leadership and ethical challenges that arise from this shift. As such, the program helps not only CEOs and board members who need to understand the implications of AI, but also those people who are more directly in charge of executing the strategy throughout an organization.” 

The program, which will be taught by leading faculty from IESE Business and the Fraunhofer Academy, draws on the deep expertise of both institutions in delivering cutting-edge research insights and leadership training in a practical way for executives.

Georg Fuchs, Head of Business Unit Big Data Analytics & Intelligence, Fraunhofer IAIS, said:

“Fraunhofer, as Europe’s leading applied research organization, brings to the program our premiere experience of transforming state of the art research into intelligent systems that work. During the program we want participants to identify their business potential, and help them tailor the right roadmap for integrating AI into their organization.”

On the program, participants will gain a managerial perspective of AI and its impact on business operations, examine the core challenges and opportunities of AI integration, as well as evaluate how it can affect business models and sources of competitive advantage. They will also gain new insights into the digitalization of their business. At the same time, they will learn how AI should shape their role as a leader, as well as exploring in-depth the ethical implications of AI. To boost the practical relevancy of the course, participants will also have to design a 100-day corporate plan, helping ensure they put the learnings from the program into immediate use in their workplace.

Find out more.

About IESE Business School

IESE is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra. It is one of the world’s most international business schools, with campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, Munich, New York and São Paulo, and programs offered throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. For more than 60 years, IESE has been at the forefront of management education and leadership development. It has done this through offering transformational educational experiences to more than 50,000 entrepreneurs and executives. IESE´s mission today remains the same as it was back in 1958: to educate and inspire leaders who wish to have a positive and lasting impact on people, business and society. This effort has been recognized by the Financial Times ranking, which for the sixth consecutive year has positioned IESE as the number 1 school in the world for executive education. Web:

About Fraunhofer Academy

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is one of the world’s leading applied-research organizations, aspiring to develop innovative technologies that help global companies and industries boost their performance. Founded in Munich in 1949, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft today operates 74 institutes and research institutions throughout Germany. The Fraunhofer Academy is the specialized unit for executive education and training initiatives.

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IESE Business School professor Núria Mas

42% of doctors feel more tired and less prepared to deal with a “second wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • The impact of the health crisis on physical and emotional health has meant that 24% of  doctors have at some point considered leaving the profession  
  • Teamwork is a clear protective element for the well-being of  doctors, and to reduce the stress and ethical conflicts that occur when making decisions   
  • These are the preliminary results of a study on the impact of pandemics on the health of healthcare professionals in Catalonia, carried out by the CoMB, the Galatea Foundation and professors from IESE Business School and IEB-UB

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on the physical and emotional health of the general population. But healthcare professionals are a particularly vulnerable group, as they have to cope with the daily stress of being on the frontline of care, a lack of means, the pressure of making difficult decisions on a daily basis and a fear of contagion a. In fact, before the pandemic, several studies had shown that health professionals generally have a worse perception of their own mental health than the general population. 

In the midst of the pandemic, preliminary data from a study on the impact of COVID-19 on the health of healthcare professionals, which was carried out by the Galatea Foundation, the CoMB and the professors Núria Mas (IESE Business School) and Judit Vall (Barcelona Economics Institute IEB-UB), confirms that the current health crisis has not only greatly worsened the physical and mental health of doctors, but that the impact has been so great that this group now feels more tired and less prepared to deal with what has been called the “second wave” of the pandemic. This is affirmed by up to 42% of doctors, who face more pessimism in the coming months. 

The preliminary data of this study are based on a survey of 1,648 medical doctors in Catalonia who responded between July and August 2020. Going forward, and in collaboration with the Organización Médica Colegial and Mutual Médica, the study will be expanded to include other regions in Spain and other healthcare professionals.

The exhaustion shown by these healthcare workers is also evident by the 24% who say that, at some point over the last few months, they have questioned whether they wanted to continue working in their profession (22% have considered leaving their jobs, while 2% have considered this option more seriously). However, the bulk of the group still maintains a firm commitment to the profession and to their patients, despite the harsh environment they have experienced since the outbreak of the pandemic. 

The survey confirms the worsening physical and mental health of medical doctors from several indicators: the frequency with which they experience physical and emotional exhaustion, headaches, stomach ache or back pain; as well as the capacity to deal with problems, among others. The values of these indicators are compared at three different times: before the pandemic, during the outbreak of the first wave (March and April) and during the summer. The worst values are obtained in the March-April period, while during the summer, despite experiencing an improvement in their well-being, they do not recover the levels they experienced pre-pandemic. 

The study finds that there are certain groups that show worse health indicators, such as the doctors working in primary care, those who worked at ICUs and emergency services and those who decided to self-isolate during the harshest months of the pandemic to protect their relatives. These groups also show a slower recovery than their peers. 

Among primary care doctors (25.7% of the sample), more have considered leaving the profession: 31.7% have considered it at some point, well above the 21.3% of their colleagues in the hospital field and 22.2% in other areas. They also indicate that they feel less prepared to deal with what is left of the pandemic: 48.4% of primary doctors say this is the case, while the same feeling is reported by 44.5% of hospital doctors and 34.8% from other areas. 

As for doctors who worked at ICUs and in emergency services, up to 68% stated that at the peak of the pandemic (March-April) they felt tired always or very often (above 57.6% of the total sample), a percentage that before the crisis was 27.7% (18.9% in the total sample) and still remained at 47.4% in July-August (42% in the total sample). 

Teamwork acts as a protective element 

One of the most positive aspects revealed by this study is the role of teams as protective elements for the health and well-being of doctors. Professionals who work in teams where goals are shared and where there is a “sense of belonging” report better indicators of physical and emotional health than the rest. These professionals face fewer ethical conflicts and less stress in their daily activity, as decisions and problems are shared. According to the survey, up to 31.2% of medical doctors who do not have the support of a “protective team” say they face ethical conflicts frequently, a percentage that drops to 24.5% among professionals who feel integrated and supported by a team. 

These preliminary data suggest that group interventions aimed at care teams, such as those being carried out by the Galatea Foundation, can be very useful, both to redirect problematic situations and to restore the well-being of professionals, and to carry out preventive interventions. 

General recommendations: 

The preliminary results of the study Impact of COVID-19 on the health of health professionals make it possible to formulate general recommendations aimed at improving the health of healthcare professionals, reducing risk factors and promoting preventative activity. The authors of the study emphasize that ensuring the physical and mental health of healthcare professionals and, ultimately, “caring for those who care for us” is a key element in ensuring good care for citizens. These are their main recommendations: 

  • The current health system must be reformed in order to guarantee the protection of the health of the professionals within it and minimize the risk factors favored by the system itself. To do this, we need to move towards having adequate human and financial resources, more autonomy for health professionals and teams, providing training for stress management and complex decision-making, and so on. 
  • The health of healthcare professionals must be a priority of the health authorities, which must offer adequate care, both in terms of treatment, prevention and the promotion of well-being. 
  • It is also necessary to promote professional training in relevant areas (e.g. management of emotions, difficulties, etc.) to aid prevention efforts. 
  • It is essential to promote and support working in teams, as well as to facilitate how they can operate best, as they are one of the main protective elements that the system itself can offer. 


About the authors of the study:

Núria Mas

Professor and head of the Department of Economics at IESE Business School. PhD in Economics from Harvard University and a degree in Economics from Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). She is a member of the Governing Council of the Banco de España, holder of the Jaime Grego Chair in Healthcare Management and academic director of IESE´s Health Sector Meeting. She was a member of the Advisory Council for the Sustainability and Progress of the Generalitat’s Health System. Her research focuses on the field of health economics, especially the organization of health systems.

Judit Vall Castellón

Applied economist, specializing in the analysis of econometric and quantitative methods. She has a degree in Economics from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). She holds a master’s degree from the University of Essex and a doctorate from the University of Maastricht, which she received with a Marie Curie scholarship. Her current research focuses on analyzing the impact of public policies and pension systems on labor market decisions as well as health.

Galatea / CoMB Foundation Team

Working group of professionals from the Galatea Foundation (Antoni Calvo, Anna Mitjans, Mari Pau González and Lucía Baranda), the CoMB (Berenguer Camps, Gerard Serratusell and Sònia Miravet), the WTO (Mª Fe Bravo Ortiz, Domingo Sánchez and Félix Martín) and Mutual Médica (Montse Clarà and Assumpció Torrents) with expertise in research on health professionals and their health, as well as in the demography and working conditions of doctors.

About the Barcelona Medical Association (CoMB)

The Barcelona Medical Association (CoMB) is a democratic corporation, with more than 125 years of history, which brings together all doctors in the counties of Barcelona (currently, more than 35,000 professionals). It represents the profession, defends and supports doctors and ensures good practice in front of the citizens. More than twenty years ago, the institution was a pioneer in designing and launching a program (PAIMM) for the care of doctors with mental health disorders and addictions that has become a national and international benchmark, and the starting point for the subsequent creation of the Galatea Foundation.

About Galatea Foundation

The Galatea Foundation ( offers healthcare services aimed at improving the health and well-being of health professionals. Professionals with severe mental disorders and addictions are treated at the Galatea Clinic, while emotional suffering and less severe conditions are treated through the Foundation’s emotional support service. With the health crisis caused by COVID-19, the Psychological TeleSupport for health and social professionals has been launched. At the same time, the Foundation also carries out preventive and health promotion activities: studies on health, lifestyles and working conditions of professionals, training to promote healthy professional practice, team interventions.

About IESE Business School

IESE is the graduate management school of the University of Navarra. With campuses in Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Munich, New York and São Paulo, IESE offers training for executives in Europe, Asia, America and Africa. Since 1958, the school has formed more than 50,000 entrepreneurs and managers, offering them a personalized and transformative experience. IESE wants to continue to build tomorrow by training leaders who can have a positive and lasting impact on people, businesses and society. This effort has been recognized by the Financial Times ranking, which for the sixth year in a row has positioned IESE as the number one school in the world for executive education.

About the Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB)

The Institut d’Economia de Barcelona (IEB) is an economics research center that aims to promote and disseminate research, and contribute to the debate and decision-making on economic policy. Founded in 2001 at the University of Barcelona, ​​the IEB received a major boost in 2008 with the establishment of the IEB Foundation, in whose Board of Trustees private companies (Abertis, “la Caixa” and Saba), public institutions participate. (Barcelona City Council) and universities (University of Barcelona and Autonomous University of Barcelona), which is a paradigmatic example of public-private collaboration with the academy. Thanks to research excellence and collaboration between the university, the public sector and business, the IEB has become a leading international research center.