Thursday, July 24, 2014

A message from Marquette's 24th president, Dr. Michael R. Lovell

Dear alumni, parents and friends:

It is a privilege to write to you as Marquette's 24th president. I'm humbled to be leading this wonderful university at such a historic time. Since my election by the Board of Trustees in March, I've been overwhelmed by the warm welcome I've received from alumni, parents, business leaders and members of the Milwaukee community. Through my initial experiences meeting our faculty, participating in Preview for members of the Class of 2017 and attending Mass at St. Joan of Arc Chapel, I already feel at home at Marquette. Since our Marquette family extends far beyond the boundaries of campus, I'm especially looking forward to getting to know you in my travels across the country during the coming year. From New York and Washington, D.C., to the Midwest and California, I'll be meeting Marquette alumni and friends across the nation. Please watch for additional information, and consider attending an event in your region.

As I assume the role of president, I want to express my sincere gratitude to Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J., for his outstanding leadership during a remarkable 16-year tenure as Marquette's president. It's been a pleasure working with Father Wild during the transition as he helped bring me up to speed on the many opportunities and challenges facing our university. I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role within University Advancement.

As we head into what is sure to be an exciting academic year, I'd like to highlight a number of initiatives that will be priorities on campus during the next several months. As a Catholic, Jesuit university committed to education that transforms students' lives, the leadership of our academic division is vitally important. To that end, the search for a permanent provost will resume in August. I look forward to meeting with the search committee, and I plan to work closely with them to identify a permanent provost, who will be Marquette's No. 2 leader. The search for permanent deans of the College of Business Administration and the College of Engineering will trail the provost search by about a month so that the permanent provost can be involved in the hiring of the deans.

Marquette has a proud history of academic and athletic excellence, and we need permanent leadership of our Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. The search for a vice president and director of athletics is already under way, with the hope that an individual will be in place this fall to lead our 16 Division I athletics programs to success both on and off the field.

In addition to these leadership searches, I look forward to working with senior leaders, faculty, staff, students and the broader campus community to implement our strategic plan and to renew our commitment to innovation across campus. Working together, we will begin to prioritize initiatives that fulfill our vision of being recognized among the most innovative and accomplished Catholic, Jesuit universities in the world. One of my central priorities is to enhance an already-strong student experience and tradition of inquiry and service, which have allowed Marquette to make a profound impact on the lives of others for more than 130 years.

Finally, I invite you to join me for Inauguration events this fall, particularly the Inaugural Mass on September 18 and the Inauguration Ceremony on September 19, at which I will pledge my service to Marquette. I look forward to doing so in the presence of our Marquette community on campus and our more than 110,000 alumni around the world, who can watch the Inauguration Ceremony via a live webcast on the Inauguration website. 

And for those coming home to Marquette for Alumni Reunion Weekend, July 24–27, I encourage you to introduce yourself. I will be attending events throughout the weekend and look forward to hearing about your Marquette memories and experiences.

As I take on this new role, I'm indebted to the great Jesuit leaders who came before me and the spirit of discovery that infused their dreams for this fine institution. I want to ask you all, whatever your faith may be, to pray for me that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out my duties and that I may faithfully serve God and Marquette.


Michael R. Lovell
Marquette University

Marquette be the DifferenceMARQUETTE UNIVERSITY. Be The Difference.
P.O. Box 1881 .
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881

How to Break Into Finance & Banking

Have you always been interested in accounting, finance, and investing? Have you ever wondered what it might be like to work on Wall Street? These three young professionals felt the same way, and they went for it. But while they all started out after college as investment bankers, their careers now look very different from one another.

As rising juniors prepare to apply to the AIM program at Marquette University, they should be giving serious consideration to their career choices. This article, "How to Break Into Finance & Banking" is from  The Daily Muse, April 2013.

Read on to hear their stories and see where a career in finance might lead you, plus get some insider tips for breaking into the industry. To those Marquette students who have attended the annual "Ins and Outs of Wall Street" during the spring semester, they understand more about the career options available. Nevertheless, this article offers some interesting perspectives.

Jennifer Bennett - Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley
Brief Description of Job: Wealth management for high net worth individuals and families.
Years of Industry Experience: 10

Why did you choose this field?
I was attracted to the opportunity to work closely with clients and learn about their financial lives. I always had a general interest in personal finance and investing, but it was the chance to work not just as an investment advisor but also as a financial counselor that really intrigued me.

I enjoy getting to know my clients: what they find important, what they want to achieve in life, and where they see themselves in the future. So much of this job is about listening. If you don’t genuinely have an interest in and care about your client’s financial well-being, then they can see right through you.

What did you want to do in college?
I wanted to work on Wall Street, and when I landed a job at an investment bank after college, I thought I had made it. While it was a great learning experience to work on the institutional side of the business as an equity analyst, I came to realize that it wasn’t what I wanted to do longer term. I wanted to have a more personal connection with my clients. I’ve always been a planner and interested in investing, so the financial advisor role was a natural fit for me. 

What advice would you have for someone breaking into your field?
It’s a great profession, but not always an easy ride to get there. Turnover for new entrants is brutally high. If you’re motivated to beat the odds, plan on spending a lot of late nights and weekends at the office to make it happen.

In the early years, most of your time is spent trying to grow your client base—in fact, finding clients is crucial to your success. Whether you find them by giving seminars or presentations, through social or business contacts, or at networking events, find them you must. This is a tough business, but it can be very rewarding for those who can distinguish themselves. Once you can demonstrate that you provide value, more and more of your new clients will come as referrals from existing ones.

What has been the most surprising thing about working your field?
I find it surprising the relationship that people have with money: how they spend it, how they save it, and what it means to them. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can bring peace of mind. It can also bring stress and conflict.

There are an abundance of investment options on the market and the wealth planning process can be confusing. Most clients that I work with don’t have the desire to understand what the beta or standard deviation is on their portfolio—they just want to know that they are saving and investing appropriately to accomplish their goals. Sometimes clients set goals that are unrealistic, and so then it becomes a matter of breaking down each goal into manageable areas.

What I enjoy most about my job is trying to demystify the world of finance and helping clients make smarter financial decisions.

Steve Chien - Investment Banker, BNP Paribas
Brief Description of Job: Mergers and acquisitions advisory
Years of Industry Experience: 4

Why did you choose this field?
Investment banking provides a steep learning curve, friendly camaraderie with other college grads, and a wide range of exit opportunities. Former colleagues of mine have moved onto hedge fund investing, grad school, startups, or strategy and business development in a variety of industries.

It’s also one of the few ways for a recent graduate to afford to live in NYC. One of the best aspects of the day-to-day work is that I don’t just provide clients advice on transactions and strategy, but I also get to participate in the execution, unlike many types of consulting.

What did you want to do growing up?
Be a spy like James Bond.

What has been the most surprising thing about working your field?
Networking with recruiters and headhunters can be as helpful as networking with family and friends. Many smaller financial services firms, including hedge funds and private equity investment companies, are lightly staffed with respect to HR, and they rely on recruiters to be gatekeepers.

What advice would you have for someone breaking into your field?
Some junior banker candidates I’ve interviewed focus solely on their technical skills, such as accounting and finance jargon, in interviews. While technical skills are an important element of a junior banker’s skillset, it's just as important to be a human being and to not take yourself too seriously. Every interviewer will be trying to answer the question, “Will this person be tolerable—or better yet, make my life better—when we're working late?”

What is different about the hiring process in your field than in other fields?
Cover letters are rarely read, so I wouldn’t recommend spending much time crafting them. Smaller firms may take them into consideration, but a typical bank hiring process will filter through hundreds or thousands of resumes, and generally anything more than a brief and friendly note introducing yourself and directing the reader to the attached resume is unlikely to make a difference.

What industry-specific job search resources would you recommend?
Mergers and Inquisitions provides career and interviewing advice for the investment banking and investment management industries, and Wall Street Oasis hosts discussion boards frequented by junior finance types.

Ashley Harris - Corporate Development Associate
Brief Description of Job: Corporate development, business development, M&A, capital raising, and financial analysis
Years of Industry Experience: Going on 4

Why did you choose this field?
I started my career at a bulge bracket investment bank on Wall Street; I was told it was a useful starting point for future business leaders and thought, “Hey, why not—can’t be that bad.”

Having been a history and business psychology double major at a liberal arts-focused university, I found that finance was certainly an acquired taste that I eventually got the hang of over time. However, I’m a people person and a right brain, and I saw years of Excel models, PowerPoint pitches, and sleep deprivation in my future. As my two-year analyst program came to a close, instead of searching for private equity or hedge fund opportunities, I opted for corporate development.

My interest in corporate development initially stemmed from my desire to get closer to the fundamentals of how a company is run. As an investment banking analyst, the numbers on my screen were meaningless. As a corporate development associate at an early-stage venture, it is my job to look at those numbers and say, “Who, what, when, where, why, and how?” on a daily basis.

What has been the most surprising thing about working your field?
My corporate development experience has been characterized by the fact that I’m able to touch every facet of what we do. I started at the ParentCo, stayed on for a year, then participated in the initial organizational strategy and capital raising for the company where I now work, which is structured as a joint venture between the ParentCo and a private equity firm far away from Denver, our home base.

Many times you hear corporate development and you think, “M&A and capital raising,” but for a company, not an investment bank representing a company. Usually, in a company’s lifecycle, M&A and capital raising fall somewhere in the middle, after the company has established itself in its market. At my company, M&A and capital raising were our very first steps, and only now are we in market establishment mode. ParentCo and Private Equity Firm joined together and funded an idea (not assets, which would have been slightly more normal) in October 2012, and I’m lucky enough to have become a part of the team that makes that idea come to fruition.

That said, I do everything at our company, from business development to board-level reporting and participation to marketing and advertising to miscellaneous and non-glamorous roles like creating invoices, IT, and generating efficient systems that get everyone organized. Down the road, I’ll do more M&A and capital raising-centric work, but we have to be successful in our business development first.

In my opinion, the best thing about being a corporate development professional is that you are able and have the tools necessary to look at an organization and say, “Where can I help?” While I certainly wasn’t in my professional prime as an investment banking analyst, it definitely provided me with some of the tools I needed to ask that question.

What advice would you have for someone breaking into your field?
Networking is absolutely key. That’s important to remember, because investment banking analysts are very accustomed to having recruiters come to them, but companies looking for corporate development professionals aren’t necessarily going to use recruiters for their searches. The process can get very competitive, especially in New York, but it’s generally successful—everyone from my banking class was able to secure a role somewhere after our term ended.

My best advice to someone looking for a role in corporate development is to pick an industry and meet as many people as you can in that industry, and more often than not, an interesting role requiring a finance background will pop up. And even if it’s a “miscellaneous finance” role, my favorite part of my past two-ish years at my company has been my ability and my supervisor’s willingness to transform my role into something I’m really confident in. That might be unique to the early-stage role, but I truly believe that if you prove you’re valuable to a company, you can make yourself fit wherever you’re looking to fit (and wherever you’re most confident!).

Moreover, I moved to a “non-target” city, Denver, and very much took a leap of faith. I knew literally no one and I moved for an industry I hoped I would be passionate about (unconventional oil and gas development). But about a year and a half later, taking that chance was the best thing I could have done for myself and my career, and I can only hope it continues to pay dividends. Flexibility, willingness to be mobile, and an open mind are essential.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dr. Krause comments on local OTC stock seeking to jump to NASDAQ

Cellectar, an OTC Stock, Eyes Nasdaq Jump to Boost Profile, Prospects

7/22/14Follow @XconomyWI
Cellectar Biosciences is trying to move from an over-the-counter (OTC) stock to trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange—and the stakes are high for the small Madison, WI-based biotech.

Winning approval to join the Nasdaq stock exchange could give Cellectar a boost in bringing its cancer drugs and imaging products to market—assuming the company can capitalize on the opportunity. And at the very least, Cellectar would raise its profile in both the investment and research communities by moving into the big leagues of a major exchange.

Whether it’s fair or not, small companies whose stock trades OTC often are associated with penny stocks—a “pejorative term,” says Eric Blanchard, a partner with law firm Covington & Burling in New York. As “The Wolf of Wall Street,” last year’s raucous Martin Scorsese flick, vividly describes, penny stocks can be manipulated in fraudulent “pump-and-dump” schemes.

But many OTC stocks can’t be tarred with the same brush as dubious penny stocks, adds Blanchard. (The SEC defines penny stock as securities issued by small firms that trade at less than $5 per share, generally OTC. Others set the threshold at $3 or $1 per share.) Indeed, for many small private companies, which don’t have enough visibility for a splashy IPO on a major exchange, trading their stock OTC is a logical next step for raising capital after the family and friends stage, despite the negative perception, says David Krause, a Marquette University finance professor and director of the Milwaukee school’s Applied Investment Management program. “Not every stock is Google or Apple; they have to start out oftentimes raising money where they can, and it may be in the penny market,” he explains.

Biotech and software startups sometimes go the OTC route because they lack the tangible assets, like industrial manufacturing equipment, that can be used as collateral to more easily obtain financing, he says. Or they can end up as an OTC stock as the result of a merger, as in the case of Cellectar. The once privately-held company was acquired in 2011 by Newton, MA-based Novelos Therapeutics, which was already an OTC stock, and which moved the headquarters of the combined company to Madison, where Cellectar was based.

It’s not the preferred path, Krause says. “Firms would try to avoid it if they could because of the connotation.” He equated it to hawking wares at a pawnshop. “It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person and that the money you’re raising isn’t valid, it’s just not the normal route that people—or in this case, businesses—go to raise money.”

That’s why some ambitious executives view trading OTC as a way station on the path to better things. Making the jump to a major stock exchange opens the business up to more liquidity and a bigger pool of investors, says Matt Rossiter, a corporate partner with Fenwick & West in San Francisco. And given investors’ recently revived interest in biotech companies (although the biotech IPO market might be cooling), now might be a good time for the sector’s startups to try to “up-list” from trading OTC to the Nasdaq—the home of most small, publicly traded biotechs. “It helps because investors are more aware of the sector and more optimistic about its prospects,” Rossiter says.

Cellectar’s executives and investors hope he’s right. The company recently enacted a 1-for-20 reverse stock split and announced it had applied to trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market, while also planning a public offering of additional shares. The firm awaits approval by the Nasdaq, which depends on a set of criteria that include having a bid price of at least $4 per share, at least 300 shareholders, and at least 1 million publicly held shares, among other requirements. A Cellectar spokeswoman declined to comment, citing a company quiet period while the Nasdaq considers its application. But in mid-July, the company’s stock was trading above $6 per share, and its investors held 2.87 million shares.

The company has disclosed plans to trade on the Nasdaq at least once before,back in July 2011, three months after Novelos acquired it. But the company pulled back until now, when its stock price is higher and the R&D pipeline looks stronger.

“My personal opinion is I’m quite confident that we will succeed this time,” says Wisconsin businessman Jeff Straubel, an early investor in Cellectar. “It has most to do with the fact that I think we are gaining a good deal of acceptance with the right community,” namely scientists. Straubel cited recent buzz among researchers after Cellectar published a study in Science Translational Medicine that showed its compounds were effective in imaging and treating human tumors that had been surgically grafted into mice, and in detecting tumors in a small group of human patients—although a co-author of the study told The Scientist that more clinical work will be required to “optimize the imaging and therapy parameters.”

But the potential of Cellectar’s science won’t affect the outcome of its Nasdaq application, which will likely be decided upon in the next 60 days or so, Marquette University’s Krause estimates. The decision will have a huge impact on the company’s future. Cellectar’s ability to raise additional financing to develop its cancer drugs and imaging agents likely hinges on making it on the Nasdaq exchange, says investor Straubel. Straubel is president and majority owner of Wisconsin-based Greenway Properties, which currently holds nearly 22 percent of Cellectar’s shares, SEC filings show. “These sophisticated, larger biotech investors, especially, only deal with companies which are traded [on a major exchange] and have a good deal of liquidity,” Straubel says. “They just don’t take a company as serious which has a very low liquidity and a very low stock price.”

Cellectar was founded in 2002 by UW-Madison radiology professor Jamey Weichert, who currently serves as chief scientific officer. The company raised more than $23 million in venture capital between 2002 and 2010 to develop compounds from Weichert’s lab called phospholipid ethers (PLEs). Researchers have known for several decades that these PLEs have an unusual and potentially valuable property: The PLEs become trapped inside malignant tumor cells because cancer cells apparently don’t have the ability to metabolize and eliminate the molecules. As a result, PLEs could be used as a vehicle for fluorescent or radioactive material that would help detect and map the locations of cancer cells, or to deliver drugs or sources of radiation to the cancer cells. Such targeted drugs should theoretically cause far less damage to healthy cells than typical cancer drugs do, thus minimizing side effects. Cellectar has created three novel cancer-targeting products that utilize PLEs: one therapeutic compound and two imaging agents that are at various stages of development, from pre-clinical to a Phase II trial.

The product pipeline showed enough promise for Novelos to snatch up Cellectar in 2011, a year after Novelos’ leading cancer drug candidate failed a Phase III trial. Novelos moved to Madison to continue developing Cellectar’s products. The combined company renamed itself Cellectar Biosciences (OTCQX: CLRB) this year and raised $4 million in a private placement offering of convertible debt. The new money will help fund a Phase II trial of its positron emission tomography (PET) imaging compound in glioblastoma, a type of brain or spinal tumor.

If Cellectar does win Nasdaq approval, it won’t be the only small biotech that successfully graduated from the OTC market to a bigger exchange. San Diego-based Halozyme Therapeutics, for example, went from privately held to trading OTC in 2004 when it completed a reverse merger with Global Yacht Services. It later traded on the American Stock Exchange (now the small-cap NYSE MKT), beforejoining the Nasdaq in 2007.
More recently, New York-based Retrophin did a reverse merger in 2012 withshell corporation Desert Gateway, which was traded OTC. Retrophin startedtrading on the Nasdaq in January.

Small OTC biotechs considering a move to a bigger exchange can draw a couple lessons from Retrophin’s strategy, says Blanchard of Covington & Burling. His law firm represented the underwriters in Retrophin’s $40 million public offering, which occurred simultaneously with its application to trade on the Nasdaq Global Market. Conducting a public offering of at least $40 million in tandem with the application provides a fast track to the Nasdaq, Blanchard says.
Another part of the secret to Retrophin’s success, Blanchard says, was a pair of private placement offerings totaling $35 million, which were completed in the months leading up to its Nasdaq IPO. “They sought out some large investors who were really interested in the story,” Blanchard says. “They basically established a devoted shareholder base even before they did their up-listing, which is actually a good way to do it. Then once they did the up-listing, their stock shot straight up.”

Retrophin (NASDAQ: RTRX) priced the $40 million offering at $8.50 per share. It went on to trade as high as $25 per share, Blanchard says. It closed at $10.23 per share on Monday.
So will Cellectar make it to Nasdaq? Although Blanchard didn’t want to comment directly on Cellectar’s prospects, he did say that it appears the company is taking the appropriate steps to win Nasdaq approval. It’s conducting a public offering alongside the Nasdaq application, for instance, and it has already boosted its share price with the 1-for-20 reverse stock split. The latter is especially important because the biggest hurdle to listing on the exchange is typically a company’s stock price, Blanchard says. The higher the better. Cellectar closed at $6.50 per share on Monday.

Besides gaining access to a larger pool of investors, the rewards for making it onto a bigger exchange include increased buzz around the company and a big boost in its credibility, industry observers say.

But it’s not all positive. The flipside is more scrutiny. “When you open up investment to a broader array of people, not just VCs, it’s actually in some ways a bit more stringent because you’ve got more people with more ideas looking at it,” says Les Funtleyder, a former biotech financial analyst who is now a New York-based partner with international healthcare investment advisor BlueCloud Healthcare. “But it does add a certain legitimacy to your company. But I say that with an asterisk because the reality is if the IPO is weak, then as a management team, you have to overcome that. That will raise questions in other public investors’ minds, which can be dealt with if you put up good results.”

Rossiter agreed that moving to the Nasdaq only opens the door to more financing and visibility. Then it’s time to execute.

“The challenge is this is just a step on the journey toward building a company and also financing a company,” Rossiter says. “The challenge is to capitalize on that in some way.”
Jeff Engel is the editor of Xconomy Wisconsin. Email:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The CFA Institute released the 11th edition of the Standards of Practice Handbook (effective 1 July 2014)

Marquette's AIM program has been a CFA Program University Partner since 2006. Students in the program aspire to become a CFA charterholder.

The principles and guidance presented in the CFA Institute's Standards of Practice Handbook form the basis for the CFA's self-regulatory program that seeks to maintain the highest professional standards among investment practitioners. A clear understanding of the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct (both found in the Handbook) should allow the practitioner to identify and appropriately resolve ethical conflicts.

The eleventh edition of the Standards of Practice Handbook contains the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct with related guidance and examples illustrating application of the Standards in the day-to-day professional activities of members and candidates. The eleventh edition guidance and provisions are effective 1 July 2014 and can be downloaded for free at:

Who’s Afraid of Online Education? A Thought Experiment by Adeline Koh

[Note: Dr. Krause has offered Introduction to Applied Investing online in 2013 and 2014. This course was Marquette University's first MOOC. The following article was written by Adeline Koh and continues the discussion about the emergence and impact of online higher education].

Mention the words "MOOC" or “online education” and many a faculty member will raise an eyebrow and start getting defensive.
On the one hand, administrators and people outside of academia really want more of online education; they cite the outrageous hikes in college tuition over the past fifty years, and wonder if online education can be used to remedy this, they want us to be able to reach and cater to potential students who may not necessarily be able to physically attend a class.
These demands instantly raise faculty hackles. We tell administrators that online teaching is not necessarily cheaper, and if done well, will be just as expensive as face to face education. We gesture at MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) which generally consist of video lectures and assignments which are evaluated by peers or graded by computers as examples of bad pedagogy with massive attrition rates. For many, online education also represents the alienating effects of modern technology: young people sending Snapchats to each other instead of having a conversation in person.
For many of us faculty, this makes online education the big bad wolf. Online education scares us. We fear that online courses are going to make our in-person courses outdated. We fear being replaced by talking heads on computer screens. We worry that this signals the death of higher education as we know it.
Can we try a thought experiment? Let’s try to set aside our fears and anxieties just for a moment, and discuss what makes the online environment so different from the physical classroom. Let me give an example. Films and books. We often tell our students that watching the film adaptation of a book does not replace the experience of actually reading the book. Why do I say this? Because both are different media—what is available in one is more difficult to access in the other. Often film adaptations of books are unsuccessful because its producers do not consider the specific affordances of the medium adequately. A film is not a book. It is much easier to showcase a character’s perspectives and mental state in a typical book as compared to a film; while it takes pages and pages to fully visually describe a setting which a few seconds of camera time can accomplish.
Can we apply our understanding of these differences to online and face to face education? Expecting that they are or will be the same animal is expecting a film to work the same way as a book does. But in an online course, individuals are not embodied in the same way that they are in the classroom. This indicates a whole lot of limitations and possibilities in between both spaces. On the one hand, an instructor cannot rely on physical presence and charisma to get students to pay attention in an online space. On the other hand, the more disembodied nature of the space may give shyer students more opportunities to be heard than in a traditional classroom, where physical energy can often overwhelm more introverted people. In other words, both online courses and physical ones create communities in different ways. Instead of trying to superimpose one medium over another, we could think about each separately.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Marquette's College of Business has a new vision: Character and self-awareness

Character and self-awareness in business education? Great — let’s get started

By Dr. Mark J. Eppli, Interim Keyes Dean of Business Administration, Marquette University

 I recently asked a group of alumni, all esteemed, seasoned business veterans in their 50s or better, “When you graduated from college, how self-aware were you?”

Met with a measured pause followed by a few nervous laughs, I knew I had their attention.

“We’re going to teach that here at Marquette Business,” I said. “We’re going to graduate business leaders with self-awareness and character.”

If they were skeptical, it didn’t show — each was as excited as the next. “Great — let’s get started.”

Truth is, we already had. It was these same alumni who, working side-by-side with our faculty, helped shape our new “Day 1” vision. Knowing — just as hundreds of other AACSB schools do — that business education must change to meet the demands of industry, we sought industry wisdom.

While their input varied by sector, age and life experience, there were two resounding themes: 1) Business students aren’t fully prepared to add immediate value to organizations upon graduation, and 2) they lack the character and self-awareness to lead.

Over time, the answer became clear to us: A Marquette Business education will start on Day 1. From that moment we will ensure every graduate is prepared to lead with a depth of business expertise, character and self-awareness.

But what does that mean? More importantly, how do we successfully execute on such a promise?

Diligent business educators, we started with the research. A May 2014 Gallup report on workplace and employee engagement sets the tone for how we will implement the Day 1 vision. Gallup surveyed 30,000 college graduates and found that people who feel happy and engaged in their jobs are the most productive — yet only 39 percent are considered engaged employees.

Gallup then looked at what college activities correlate with workplace engagement, which ultimately leads to personal well-being and employee satisfaction. The primary contributing factors, in order of importance:

1.       Feelings of being “emotionally supported” at school by a professor or mentor

2.       Learning from a professor who excited you about learning and encouraged you to pursue your dreams

3.       Student internships

4.       Projects that took a semester or more to complete

5.       Involvement in extracurricular activities and organizations

 At Marquette Business, we believe that a brick and mortar learning environment is important to student development.  Personal interactions are critical to the overall education and formation of our students.

To be clear, we haven’t developed a magic formula. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to education. But for us, a Jesuit business school in Milwaukee with our own unique challenges and opportunities, we want to ensure that every Marquette Business graduate is prepared to lead with a depth of business expertise, character and self-awareness, and we will do so through three strategic initiatives.

First, our students will be internship-ready as sophomores. To that end, we are moving major courses earlier in the curriculum and adding a required first-year course on how businesses make money and create value. To be competitive, students need to quickly understand how business operates as a whole, rather than in isolation by major disciplines.

Second, we will capitalize on the success of our applied centers and programs in applied investment management, supply chain management and real estate. We will scale these up and use them as models to develop new centers and programs. In fact, we recently announced the expansion of our Applied Investment Management program, which will now feature a private equity track — a direct result of industry demand.

Lastly, that pesky character and self-awareness bit. How do we even begin to make good on that promise?

In part, our Catholic, Jesuit foundation gives us an advantage — but we will do more. The cornerstone of Day 1 will be the Center for Leadership and Career Development. Led by an assistant dean and guided by non-tenured faculty from industry and executives-in-residence, the center will combine traditional career services with a required leadership program built around character and self-awareness that permeates every Marquette Business student’s experience.

We will not do this softly. A hallmark of a Jesuit business education is rigor, so we must — and we will — measure student progress. The executives-in-residence and professional mentors will be accountable, too. We invite them in not to simply tell war stories, but to guide and mentor, helping our students to reflect on their experiences and solve real problems.

The Gallup report authors write: “…Answers lie in thinking about things that are more lasting than…traditional measures of college. Instead, the answers may lie in what students are doing in college and how they are experiencing it. Those elements — more than any others — have a profound relationship to a person’s life and career. Yet they are being achieved by too few. It should be a national imperative — owned by higher education institutions, students, parents, businesses, non-profits, and government alike, to change this.”

At Marquette Business, we heard this and said, “Great — let’s get started.”

Dr. Mark Eppli is the interim Keyes Dean of Business Administration at Marquette University in Milwaukee. A professor of finance, Dr. Eppli also holds the Robert B. Bell, Sr., Chair in Real Estate.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Discussion about the Newly Announced Private Equity & Banking Track within the AIM Program

Dr. Krause talks about the new AIM program track
It was recently announced by Dr. Mark Eppli, Marquette University’s Interim Keyes Dean of Business Administration, that the Applied Investment Management program is expanding. This is a key part of the Dean's DAY 1 vision which shifts the business curriculum across four years and adds a new freshman DAY 1 business course.  In this interview, Dr. David Krause, Director of the AIM program, discusses the second track which is the first of the new applied business programs planned by the Dean and the College's Executive Council.
Q)  First of all, can you provide some background about the Applied Investment Management program?

David Krause
In 2005, Marquette’s College of Business Administration launched the Applied Investment Management (AIM) program. Since then, over 200 undergraduates have passed through the program which has earned recognition as one of the nation’s top undergraduate programs in applied investment management. In short, the AIM program has allowed a select group of undergraduate finance majors to get hands-on academic and security analysis experience, including summer internships and an opportunity to actively manage three equity and fixed-income portfolios throughout their senior year. 

Students have studied from a curriculum that emphasizes the core body of knowledge covered in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) exam – preparing them to take the test upon graduation – and begin a career in the asset management industry.

In 2007, the AIM program was selected as the first undergraduate business program to become a Program Partner of the CFA Institute. This coveted partnership designation means that AIM offers a degree program that covers at least 70 percent of the CFA Institute’s Program Candidate Body of Knowledge, including the CFA’s  Ethical and Professional Standards and other requirements.

AIM alumni are working in a variety of positions in the financial services sector around the globe and the program has a perfect career placement record since its inception. The pass rate for AIM students on the challenging Level I CFA exam has averaged nearly 70 percent – while the average global pass rate is only 38 percent. Nearly forty AIM alumni have passed all three levels of the CFA exam and have obtained their charters. The AIM program has also won the local CFA Society Investment Research Challenge five of the last six years – and two teams have advanced to the semi-final round of the Americas CFA Research Challenge. In short, the AIM program has achieved considerable success over the past decade. 
Q)  What is the new Private Equity & Banking track?
The AIM program is expanding and will now comprise two tracks: Investments and the newly developed Private Equity & Banking. The Investments track focuses on asset management, while the Private Equity & Banking track concentrates on private and transactional finance.

The expansion of the AIM program is a direct response to the increased interest from employers and Marquette's undergraduate finance students – and it builds off of the College of Business Administration’s expertise in offering applied business education programs. There has also been strong employer demand as more investment funds are being allocated into the private equity space.

This new track will bridge connections among the College of Business Administration’s constituents including its growing finance alumni network, firms in the financial services sector and the currently enrolled students. It will especially address the needs of employers, including bulge and middle market investment banks; commercial and industrial lenders; privately-held companies; and private equity firms.

More students will now have the opportunity to receive AIM’s rigorous education and career preparation, benefit from new internship experiences, and achieve broader career opportunities. It also fits well with the new vision advanced by the College of Business Administration.
Q)  What are some of the elements that will distinguish the Private Equity & Banking track from the Investments track?
Similar to the Investments track, AIM students in the Private Equity & Banking track will study a rigorous core body of knowledge, but one that has an increased focus on private and transactional finance. Hallmarks of the Private Equity & Banking track include three required courses that are not a part of the Investments core curriculum: Investment Banking, Applied Financial Modeling, and Private Equity. The last two courses being brand new offerings that will offered in the 2015 spring semester.

The primary goal of the AIM program remains committed to providing students with unique real-life learning experiences that will reinforce the core skills developed through their academic work. Students in the new AIM track will receive:
  • An applied undergraduate education that will enhance their understanding of the private equity, investment banking and corporate finance sectors;
  • Training in financial modeling;
  • Opportunities to learn from, and network with, local financial services professionals and the University’s growing alumni base;
  • Internship and job search support, including recruiting opportunities, mock interviews, and help with cover letters, resumes, work samples, and communication strategies; and    
  • A leading-edge curriculum based on elements from the Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Private Equity Professional (CPEP), and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) core body of knowledge.  

Mark Zellmer
Q)  If the program is expanding will there be any new staff to support the AIM program?
 Dr. David Krause, the inaugural director of AIM, remains responsible for the program. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Finance and has been the primary instructor of the AIM courses since the program’s inception in 2005. He has taught all four of the AIM courses that are included in the Investments track curriculum and will remain focused on asset management.
It was recently announced by the Dean of the College of Business Administration that Mark Zellmer will be joining the AIM program on a part-time basis as the co-director of the Private Equity & Banking track. A Marquette undergraduate and MBA alumnus, Zellmer has been a popular adjunct instructor since the mid-1990’s. As the chairman and majority shareholder of Northern Oak Wealth Management, he has extensive expertise in financing and investing in privately held companies. He will teach the courses in the new track and offer advice to students about related internships and career opportunities. Mr. Zellmer will work closely with Dr. Krause on the program's numerous applied learning components, including internships, career development, alumni mentorships, industry networking, and the oversight of student clubs.
The AIM program has also received instructional support from other finance faculty, including Dr. Sarah Peck, who previously taught the Investment Ethics course. Current and former adjunct finance faculty who have provided teaching support at the graduate and undergraduate levels include: Mark Zellmer, Chris Zuzic, Jeff DeAngelis, Chris Swain, Tom Digenan, Bill Walker, Chris Merker, Tom Eck, Mike Blonski, Dan Geigler, Jim Fitzpatrick, and Frank Esposito – with most of them being Marquette alumnus and prominent investment professionals.
Q)  How does the expanded program fit the mission and strategic goals of university and college?
The new track seeks to strengthen and advance the University’s mission in the search for truth, the discovery and sharing of knowledge, the fostering of personal and professional excellence, the promotion of a life of faith, and the development of leadership expressed in service to others.  
The new track also strives to support the College’s mission of providing innovative applied learning experiences and to serve as a valued resource for business and societal. We seek to apply Ignatian pedagogy, which encourages the faculty and students to consider the “context” of the subject matter and how it relates to and is impacted by society trends, economics, political structure, and global and local issues. We wish for our graduates to be able to analyze, decide, integrate and lead in the 21st Century.