Thursday, July 31, 2014

Marquette expanding popular Applied Investment Management program: More about the new Private Equity & Banking track

College of Business Administration adds emphasis on private equity and banking

Marquette University’s College of Business Administration is expanding its nationally acclaimed Applied Investment Management program. The AIM program, which allows a select group of finance majors to get hands-on academic and financial analysis experience, including an opportunity to actively manage domestic and international equity and fixed-income portfolios, will now comprise two tracks: Investments and the newly developed Private Equity and Banking. The Investments track focuses on asset management, while the Private Equity and Banking track concentrates on private and transactional finance.

AIM is expanding as a direct response to the increased interest from employers and finance students, and builds off of the college’s expertise in applied business education.  Nearly 70 students last year competed for the 24 coveted AIM seats, and many students nationwide choose the college specifically for the AIM program. Firms worldwide are allocating more investments into the private equity sphere.  According to the 2013 Wharton Private Equity Review, $200 billion of new capital went into private equity and venture capital management partnerships globally in 2012.

Dr. David Krause, adjunct associate professor of finance who has led AIM since its inception in 2005, is excited about the program’s growth. “More students will have the opportunity to receive AIM’s rigorous education and career preparation, benefit from new internship experiences, and achieve broader career opportunities,” he said.

Mark Zellmer tapped to co-lead new AIM track
As part of the expansion, the college has named Mark Zellmer as the new co-director of AIM Private Equity and Banking track. A Marquette undergraduate and MBA alumnus, Zellmer has been a popular adjunct instructor since 1995. Chairman and majority shareholder of Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc., he has extensive expertise in financing and investing in privately held companies, and he will teach courses in the new track.

Zellmer will work closely with Krause on the program’s numerous applied learning components, including internships, career development, alumni mentorships, industry networking and student clubs.

“I’ve worked alongside Mark for nearly a decade, and he’s the perfect person to help lead AIM’s growth,” Krause said. “He’s not only a seasoned industry veteran, but he’s also an excellent, highly regarded instructor.”

One of the nation’s top undergraduate programs in applied investment management, AIM was the first undergraduate program to be recognized as a Chartered Financial Analyst Program Partner. Students in the program study the core body of knowledge covered in the CFA Level I exam – preparing them to take the test upon graduation. The pass rate for AIM students on the CFA exam has averaged around 70 percent – while the average global pass rate is only 38 percent. Further, AIM has had a near perfect career placement record since its inception in 2005.

In addition to providing an academically rigorous set of private equity and investment banking courses, the second AIM track adds a strong element of applied learning including:
·         summer internships within investment banks, private equity firms, and other financial service providers,
·         opportunities for students to learn from experienced professionals,
·         incorporation of more financial modeling and case studies into the curriculum,
·         interaction with Marquette’s growing finance alumni network who add provide valuable assistance in preparing students for internships and entry level positions,
·         the ability to manage a micro-cap equity fund,
·         use of “in the trenches” guest speakers in the classroom to allow students to learn about real private equity and banking experiences,
·         creation of a Private Equity & Investment Banking Club which will provide opportunities for coaching and nurturing that are important in helping students accelerate their careers, and
·         opportunities for students to assist in the monitoring and evaluation of the performance of private equity investments within various investment portfolios.

Graduates of the AIM program will continue to be highly valued by financial services firms in the Midwest and nationally because of their discipline, developed ‘applied’ skills, rigorous curriculum and industry knowledge.  Mark Zellmer, an experienced financial professional and popular instructor in Marquette’s Finance Department, is the program’s co-director and will help with the oversight of the Private Equity & Banking track.

Contact Information:                                      

David S. Krause, PhD                                                Mark Zellmer
Director, AIM Program                                           Co-Director, Private Equity & Banking Track                   
414-288-8024                                                            414-288-8487