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WVU finance students conquer the Big Apple

Finance Class at Nasdaq

West Virginia University College of Business and Economics finance students are in an Empire State of Mind after a weeklong, immersive trip to one of the major financial centers of the world – New York City.

Student analysts in Dr. Naomi Boyd’s Applied Investment Management course, who are involved with the WVU Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF), recently traveled to New York City, to meet with investment bankers and valuation experts connected to Wall Street. The Flying WV flag could be spotted all over the city throughout the week, as the 12 current students, accompanied by Boyd and three former SMIF student analysts, attended site visits at prestigious businesses and financial organizations in the area, like Ares Management L.P., Bank of America Merrill Lynch, UGG Australia and TIAA and also met with the director of commodities research at Societe Generale.

“Seeing the inner workings of these financial institutions was an amazing experience for our students. It is important for our students to see the concepts taught in the classroom put into practice,” said Boyd, chair of the WVU Department of Finance and associate professor. “But the experts within these major companies were also able to see how incredible our WVU students are. They were well poised, professional and prepared. At TIAA, the head of the trading floor told me he had never seen a group come through with so many incredibly thoughtful questions. They represented WVU, B&E and the finance department very well.”

Boyd brought the Applied Investment Management course and the WVU Student Managed Investment Fund to life during the Spring 2017 semester to bridge the gap between the academic and professional spheres. She worked with 1970 finance alumnus Fred Tattersall, who rallied nine friends and B&E graduates to form The Founder’s Club. Club members donated a total of $250,000 for the student managed investment fund to give students opportunities to experience real financial markets and investment portfolio management.

The course and SMIF teach students technical and fundamental analysis, development of successful trading strategies, industry analysis and communication skills, while providing them with the analytical tools to make sound investment decisions.

So, the trip was also a chance for the student analysts to show off their experience and expertise working in real financial markets and investment portfolio management. SMIF Advisory Board member, Penni Roll, a B&E alumna and chief financial officer of Ares Management, hosted the students at the New York office to present their stock pitch to the SMIF Advisory Board. It was also an opportunity to celebrate and broaden their professional network during a B&E Alumni Networking Event following their presentation.

But that wasn’t the end of their adventurous week in the Big Apple. With another special thanks to Roll, the students’ action-packed week wrapped up as they attended the Market Bell Ceremonies at NASDAQ and witnessing the online subscription and personal shopping service company, Stitch Fix, IPO (initial public offering).

“The SMIF investment board was amazed with the students and their stock pitch at Ares Management. To say I am proud is an understatement. It was easy to see these students were well versed in today’s financial world and they are able to compete in the global marketplace,” said Boyd. “And being at NASDAQ was the perfect ending to an amazing week. It really gave the students’ a holistic view of the finance industry in one of the world’s major financial hubs.” 

“The Student Managed Investment Fund trip to New York City was a once in a lifetime experience. It helped shape what I want out of life and a career in finance,” said Joseph Hobba, a senior finance major from Buffalo, West Virginia. “My classmates and I were able to meet successful WVU alumni living and working in the NYC area, visit businesses we never thought would have their doors open to us and really recognize the opportunities are endless for WVU and B&E students.”

Founder’s Club members include Tattersall, Roll, W. Marston “Marty” Becker, Doug Van Scoy, E.G. “Ken” Kendrick, Robert “Bob” Orders, Jr., Vince Anido, Jr., Phil Rosenthal, Robert “Bob” Reynolds and Stuart “Stu” Robbins, each of whom provided a generous gift of $25,000 to initiate the student managed investment fund.

For more information on the WVU Student Managed Investment Fund and how to be involved, please contact  Dr. Naomi Boyd, Chair of the Department of Finance at Naomi.Boyd@mail.wvu.edu