Monday, December 4, 2017

The Fall Semester AIM / FMA Trip to Chicago was Again a Success

Dr. David Krause and Bill Walker led 40 Marquette finance students – for the Fall 2017 FMA / AIM Chicago trip!

Fall 2017 Chicago Trip Members

Dr. David Krause (Director of Marquette’s Applied InvestmentManagement program) led 40 finance students on the annual fall semester trip to Chicago. In addition, AIM Program Executive Co-Teacher, Bill Walker, accompanied Dr. Krause - along with FMA President, Joseph Amoroso, and forty finance students as they visited asset managers on December 1, 2017. 

Dr. Krause added, “Tim Brady, Marquette’s Regional Advancement Director in Chicago joined us for the second half of the trip. It was great to have Tim given his close work with our Chicago based alumni.”

The visits on Friday included stops at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange / Chicago Board of Trade, the Union League Club and Ziegler Capital Management. The day started early as student met before sunrise for the trip down to Chicago. "We had a treat to start the morning with a visit to the CME/CBOT to visit with alumnus Jim Bianco, President of Bianco Research, and CNBC on-air commentator, Rick Santelli," Krause commented.

Rick Santelli, CNBC On-Air Editor reporting live f
rom the floor of the CME/CBOT


The students had the unique opportunity to walk through the floor of the historic exchange which has been closed to visitors for the past several years. Jim Bianco and Rick Santelli gave the students an overview of the exchange’s history and even its future, with the introduction Bitcoin futures in late December. Rick then gave students his thoughts on the Tax bill after his on-air conversation with former US Congressman– Alan Simpson.

Image result for cnbc santelli bianco
Rick Santelli and Jim Bianco at CME/CBOT

“The students really enjoyed hearing from Rick and Jim, both colorful personalities, and we thank them for working to allow the students to visit the floor and for sharing their views on the market.” Dr. Krause commented. "It was amazing that many of the students have visited both the NYSE and CME/CBOT within the past several weeks!"

Floor of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT/CME)


 

From there, the students walked over to the Union League Club on W. Jackson Boulevard, where four AIM students pitched stocks and we were joined by recent AIM graduates, Steve Hoffman, Anthony DiSanto, and Casey McClelland. All AIM write-ups can be found here.

 


                          MU Students, Adam Hamilton and Ronnie Terry, 
                      pitching a stock at the Union League Club in Chicago 


 

AIM Equity Presentations Friday, December 1, 2017
Presenter Sector Company Name Ticker Protogee
Adam Hamilton Intl Financial BBVA Banco Frances S.A. BFR Ronnie Terry
James Hannack REIT QTS Realty Trust QTS Nick Tenuta
Brian Holland Intl Healthcare Alkermes PLC ALKS Nick Longo
Jacob Schwister Healthcare Aclaris Therapeutics ACRS Jack Senft

 



MU Students, Jacob Schwister and Jack Senft,
pitching a stock at the Union League Club in Chicago

Dr. Krause said, “The students and our guests enjoyed a nice working lunch as two international and two small cap stocks were pitched. We also enjoyed our two keynote alumni speakers: Tom Digenan, Head of US Intrinsic Value Equities at UBS Asset Management, and Jim Bianco, President of Bianco Research. They spoke to the students about a range of topics including financial bubbles. Both our speakers has very pointed and experience-driven remarks to share with the students that I know they all found to be both interesting and valuable.”



Tom Digenan of UBS spoke to the Marquette students

 

Tom Digenan (UBS) spoke to students about his experience during previous asset bubbles and identified ways to look for potential bubbles in the markets. Additionally, with numerous AIM students taking the CFA Exam on Saturday 12/2, Tom, who is actively involved with the CFA Society of Chicago, shared information and material about the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

The Marquette University AIM Program is a CFA Partner Program and incorporates the CFA body of knowledge into the programs curriculum. The AIM Program was the first undergraduate program to be labeled a Partner Program ofthe CFA.

Jim Bianco, President of Bianco Research, 
speaking to students at the Union League Club



Jim Bianco has frequently joined Dr. Krause and the AIM students at the Union League Club as a keynote speaker. Jim spoke about the rapid advancements of technology and how that is rapidly reshaping our world and the investment industry. He also elaborated on his comments from the CME/CBOT regarding bubbles in the markets and the future of Bitcoin.

Dr. Krause said, “It was a pleasure to hear from both Tom and Jim. They possess a wealth of experience and knowledge and the students always gain immensely by hearing from them. We are at a volatile point in the financial markets, it is so valuable to hear from two individuals with their fingers on the pulse of the market and the economy.” 
Image result for scott roberts ziegler
Scott Roberts of Ziegler and Dr. David Krause




From the Union League, students made their way over to Ziegler Capital Management where they were hosted by Paula Horn, Chief Investment Officer, Senior Portfolio Manager, and Daniel Kralovec, Associate and AIM alumnus. Ziegler is led by Scott Roberts, Marquette alumnus and current member of the University's Board of Trustees.

Paula Horn, CIO and Senior Portfolio Manager at Ziegler   


During our visit to Ziegler, the students had the opportunity to hear from two fixed income portfolio managers and Donald Nesbitt, Chief Investment Officer — Select Equity Group, Senior Portfolio Manager. Both teams walked students through their process as well as their current views on the markets and the economy that are driving their securities selection decisions.

“It was a pleasure to visit Ziegler Capital Management. The firm has long been a strong supporter of the AIM Program and Marquette University. This was an excellent opportunity for the program's younger students to hear from real world portfolios managers in both fixed income and equities. We are thankful for Scott and Paula for their support and the opportunity to visit the firm,” Krause commented.

Dr. Krause said, "This was again another outstanding trip – and it was all made possible through the support of our Chicago based Marquette alumni and friends. We are all extremely thankful for this opportunity to visit Chicago each fall. Our alumni are fantastic – they go out of their way to open up their firms and organize special visits. These opportunities afforded our students a view into the history of modern finance as well as the workplace and corporate culture - it is an amazing opportunity for our students." 


A current AIM Program Small Cap Equity Holding: Planet Fitness (PLNT) by: Connor Konicke. "Thumbs Up For Planet Fitness"


Planet Fitness, Inc. (NYSE: PLNT, $30.22): “Thumbs Up For Planet Fitness”

By: Connor W. Konicke, AIM Student at Marquette University



Disclosure: The AIM Equity Fund currently holds this position. This article was written by myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it and I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Summary

Planet Fitness, Inc. (NYSE: PLNT) franchises and operates fitness centers across the United States with recent expansion into international markets. PLNT offers a unique and highly attractive business model, with a high-quality fitness experience while providing a welcoming and “non-intimidating” environment called the "Judgement Free Zone".

• PLNT reported 3Q2017 earnings after market close with a 12% top line beat, boosting 3Q2017 revenue to $97.5 million, exceeding analyst’s expectations of $93.6 million. The 3Q2017 earnings call marked PLNT’s 43 consecutive quarter of same store sales. In addition, PLNT beat EPS consensus estimates by 18% to $0.19.

• Management increased full year guidance with revenue expected to be between $425-430 million vs. prior guidance of $409-415 million, with same store sales between 9.5-10% and full year EPS between $0.80-$0.82.

• PLNT opened 31 new stores in 3Q2017, bringing the total store count to 1,432. PLNT is looking to achieve 190-200 stores per year for the next five years with a long term target of 4000+ stores in the United States and 300 stores in Canada.

Key points: PLNT continues to deliver consistent earnings and revenue beat with exceptional growth coming from PLNT’s franchise segment, which currently reports ~82% EBIT margins. While the stock has risen 65% since PLNT’s IPO in August of 2015, and ~50% since the start of the year, PLNT continues to have several catalysts to drive share price. Three catalysts that will continue to allow PLNT to outpace the market are international expansion, black card memberships and fragmentation within the United States market.

PLNT has been expanding into Canada since 2014, but more recently noted expansion into Panama. As PLNT continues to be successful in the Canadian market and with an assumed long term target of 300 stores, PLNT will need be assertive and thorough in evaluating new markets as they continue to expand. While failure to expand successfully into new markets would burden PLNT’s expansion hopes and overall profitability of the company, management was positive regarding the success thus far on the 3Q earnings release, stating presale memberships have been extremely strong internationally.

Secondly, PLNT has significant pricing power over peers and has recently increased their highest priced and most bought membership (Black Card membership) from $19.99 to $21.99, because of positive response to consumer’s price elasticity. The Black Card membership rolled out on October 1, 2017 and will continue to provide incremental profitability to the company, especially heading into 4Q2017 and 1Q2018, the two busiest quarters for PLNT. Despite the price increase, the membership offers a significant discount relative to peers considering the benefits it provides.

Lastly, PLNT will need to continue being a market leader and establish its presence within their largest market, the United States. Although there is uncertainty around the long term target, PLNT needs to focus on finding the right markets and opportunities for store growth to be accretive. Over-expanding into local markets that lack the ideal demographics would pressure margins and cause investors to wonder about the effectiveness of managements ability to scale growth.

What has the stock done lately?

Since the addition of PLNT to the AIM Domestic Small-Cap Fund on September 19, 2017 at a cost basis of $26.01, the stock has gained slightly over 16% to $30.22 as of market close on November 15, 2017. The stock fluttered within the $25.00 to $27.00 range, as technical resistance bands limited the stocks appreciation until PLNT’s 3Q earnings call after market close on November 7, 2017. PLNT beat street estimates, reporting an EPS of $0.19 vs $0.16 and raising full year guidance. The stock followed with a 17.35% appreciation.

Past Year Performance:
PLNT has been one of the hotter small-cap domestic consumer discretionary stocks on the market that Amazon has not been able to penetrate. PLNT is up ~50% YTD and ~26% over the one-year period. The stock has been held down by significant short (15-20% of float), but continues to show its ability to thrive in the consumer market.

Source: FactSet


My Takeaway
Chris Rondeau and his team continue to outpace the market and prove the effectiveness of their unique business model. With full year guidance raised, increased pricing on membership’s due to positive responses from customers, and significant opportunities within the US and internationally, I believe that Planet Fitness has significant room for upside. I recommend that the AIM Small Cap Equity Fund should continue to hold PLNT.

Source: FactSet


A current AIM Program Small Cap Equity Holding: Brookfield Property Partners LP (BPY) by Joe Flynn. "Superior Assets that are Globally Diversified"

Brookfield Property Partners LP (BPY, $23.33): “Strong Fundamentals & Contrarian Investments Driving Outsized Returns for BPY

By: Joe Flynn, AIM Student at Marquette University


Disclosure: The AIM Equity Fund currently holds this position. This article was written by myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it and I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

 Summary

Brookfield Property Partners LP (NYSE: BPY) is Brookfield Asset Management’s (68% OS) primary vehicle for property investing globally. The company owns and manages an attractive real estate portfolio consisting of high-quality, trophy-like assets and conducts investments within three segments; Core Office, Core Retail, and Opportunistic. 

•Consistent FFO growth, and 5% yield have made little to no impact on its average 28% discount to NAV. REIT Conversion on hold for now.

•Capital recycling efforts currently at the mid-point of $100-200M target, flexibility encouraging investment in opportunistic strategies with strong return potential. Continued unit buybacks a plus.

•High-quality Core Office & Retail assets leading to stable cash flows. Making good progress adapting to pressured retail space, and opportunities in low-valuation environment will lead to continued involvement. Deployment pipeline and lease momentum driving meaningful growth in office portfolio.

Key points: Brookfield Property Partners operates as a limited partnership and has upheld a strong track record of generating returns through its value-oriented investment approach. After reporting 2Q17 earnings, BPY continues to show its strength despite a pressured retail space. BYP increased FFO 2% in 2Q, which makes the 9th consecutive quarter of YoY FFO growth. The company also has maintained consistent same store growth in the range of 2-3% and has grown annual distribution in line with the target of 5-8%. The current 5% yield is backed by solid cash flows from the retail and office core portfolios. The opportunistic portfolio has begun to show its high return potential as well, with now over $5.2B invested (20% of assets).

Over the past year, it was unclear whether BPY would continue their LP. or decide to pursue a REIT conversion. At BPY’s Investor Day in September it was confirmed that the firm is no longer actively pursuing REIT conversation, but was not ruled out entirely. The current LP structure allows BPY to continue recycling capital without major restriction.

Through its capital recycling efforts, BPY raised $825M of equity capital in the first two quarters of 2017, and additional $815M is expected from asset sales during the 3Q. Recently, a larger portion of recycled capital has been allocated to its opportunistic fund to capitalize on mispriced assets with operational upside. The opportunistic fund invests in high-quality, globally diversified private equity sponsored funds that generally earn +20% returns. The portfolio should continue to grow to $7M assets by 2018 and self-fund future investments in similar strategies.  The company also put capital to work to buy back $253.7M worth of units during 2017, reducing OS by 4%. The undervalued share price will likely lead to continued focus on buybacks in upcoming quarters.

Retail is the most hated investment space today, and negative headlines continue to dominate. As contrarian investors, BPY sees the negative sentiment as an opportunity to invest further. BPY has payed close attention to the challenges/trends facing retail, and has adapted its core portfolio accordingly to remain 95% occupied. BPY has yielded 8-10% by redeveloping traditional department store locations into higher revenue generating uses such as entertainment, restaurants, and omni-channel stores. BPY has also capitalized on e-commerce brands that are expanding to brick-and-mortar to widen customer base, and signed leases with retailers Bonobos, UNTUCK it, and Warby Parker. The company recently increased its position in General Growth Properties to 34% OS.

In addition, APY’s core office portfolio continues to be one of the most highly regarded, and premier office portfolios in the world. BPY’s active deployment pipeline with expected deliveries of $7.5M SF should meaningfully impact NOI going forward. Leasing momentum has also picked up this year, most notably for the Manhattan West Development Site. In 3Q, BPY signed leases with Amazon and EY bringing the tower to 82% pre-committed.

What has the stock done lately?

The only major movement in the past couple months occurred on October 4th, where the stock jumped 5.5% in one trading day to $24.80 following an article published by Reuters. It was reported that BPY was considering a partial sale of its Northeastern Office portfolio for $10B. BPY has been able to take advantage of high valuations by selling certain core properties, but since the stock declined to its current level today.

Past Year Performance:

BPY has been able to perform well in the wake of the market’s deterioration of its retail portfolio. Retail represents approximately ½ half of invested assets, and 34% interest in GGP continues to affect sentiment. Despite the retail portfolio being off by over 20% YTD, the shares have still managed to rise by 6%. The stock has also outperformed the MSCI US REIT index by 4%. The LP business model makes the stock a unique real estate vehicle, but is not widely followed and excludes billions of $$ in index money from chasing it.


Source: FactSet

My Takeaway

Finding a real estate company with superior assets that are globally diversified like BPY’s core portfolio is hard to come by. The shares still trade at a 23% percent discount to its $29 NAV, but management’s involvement is encouraging, and the buyback should set a floor for the stock at around $23 in the meantime. The company’s strong FFO growth and 5% yield has yet to narrow the discount gap, but supports future capital appreciation of its stock when retail turns around.  It may take some time to play out but returns of +20% in opportunistic strategies give BPY strong risk/return characteristics and will complement stable cash flow from the core portfolios. Management is targeting after tax returns of 12-15% per year on its invested capital looking forward. It is recommended BPY is held in the AIM fund with its original target price of $28, and offers outsized-return potential in today’s benign environment.  

A current AIM International Fund Holding: CryoLife, Inc. (CRY) by Tim Donovan. "Can CryoLife Buy Its Way Into Europe"

CryoLife, Inc. (CRY, $19.05): “Can CryoLife Buy Its Way Into Europe?”

By: Tim Donovan, AIM Student at Marquette University


Disclosure: The AIM Equity Fund currently holds this position. This article was written by myself, and expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it and I have no business relationships with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

  • CryoLife, Inc. (NYSE: CRY) is a medical devices company involved in the processing and distribution of implantable tissues used in cardiac and vascular surgeries.
  • CryoLife generated $180.4MM in revenue throughout 2016 from the sales of its extensive portfolio including products such as BioGlue, BioFoam, On-X, PerClot, and several more in the area of cardiac and vascular tissue preservation.
  •  On October 10, 2017 CryoLife entered into an agreement to purchase Germany-based JOTECH AG for a total of $225MM (75% cash, 25% stock). The acquisition is set to close by the end of 2017.
  •  JOTECH is focused on the development of endovascular stent grafts as well as cardiac and vascular grafts with a focus on aortic repairs. Over the past 5 years JOTECH has seen a CAGR of 17%.
  • The acquisition provides CryoLife access to a $2B global market for endovascular stint grafts. The market it projected to grow to $2.5B by 2021.


Key Points:

CryoLife has an impressive portfolio of products from both development and acquisition. Since its inception it has grown a list of 11 products, including some duplicate versions for international sales. Having expanded into Canada, Europe, and parts of Asia, they still derive 76% of overall revenues from the United States. With increased competition inside of the United States, international expansion is becoming a viable option to sustain overall growth for the company.

With its current focus on sealants and tissue regeneration, the company has looked for other markets to break into. With international expansion and product line growth in mind the company announced the acquisition of Germany-based biotechnology company JOTECH. This privately held company focuses on the manufacturing of endovascular stent grafts for aortic repair. This segment of medical devices has a potential addressable market of $2B. This inorganic introduction into this industry will give CryoLife an opportunity to not only partake in the aortic repair business, but also expand its footprint in Europe. A main driver that pushed the business into Europe were the costs of selling through international distributors. By having a wholly owned subsidiary in Germany, CryoLife will have an easier opportunity to try out a direct sales method to people throughout continental Europe. In the last quarter the company announced that it is now selling directly to customers in Canada, Belgium, Luxemburg, and the Netherlands, with the hopes of one day having a direct market in the rest of the continent.

While this acquisition provides an opportunity to move further into the European market, it comes at a cost. $225MM was the settled purchase price for JOTECH. Of this 75% will be cash, and the remaining 25% will be stock. The stock portion of the acquisition represents $56.75MM, or 2,682,403 shares of common stock. The company expects this recent acquisition to provide a CryoLife an EPS CAGR of above 20% over the next 5 years.

Despite significant opportunity in the European countries, CryoLife could face some difficulties in this expansion. With limited experience in European markets CryoLife will be taking a large stake in a part of the world they are not accustomed to. If they are unable to successfully transition into the European market the overall profitability of this acquisition will be strained or even eliminated.

What has this stock done lately?

2017 has not fared as well on CryoLife as expected. Posting 9 month revenues of $136.9MM fell short of expectations, representing a 1.13% change YoY. Despite slower top line growth management was able to improve efficiencies, raising their gross margin to 67.4% up from 64.7% in 2016.

Despite significant movement throughout the year CryoLife is trading up 0.26% since the beginning of January. Throughout this time it has seen troughs as low as $14.60 in April, and peaks as high as $23.85 in October.

On Monday October 30th Cryolife announced Q3 EPS of $0.08, falling $0.01 short of the targeted $0.09. On top of this their revenues came in at a modest $44MM, representing a -2.8% change YoY. This resulted in a missing of revenue projections by $1.65MM. Having significant exposure in the Florida and Texas markets, recent hurricanes in September and October have resulted in around $1MM in lost revenue during this period. On top of this they had a delay in the receipt of Ascending Aortic Prosthesis, resulting in a $1.1MM repurchase of inventory from third-party distributors.

YTD Price - Source: FactSet

Price Relative to Russell 2000 - Source: FactSet


Key Takeaways:

CryoLife has seen some headwinds in their domestic operations. Increased competition and lagging revenue growth numbers have pushed the company to make alternative moves. With the acquisition of JOTECH, CryoLife has an opportunity to drive sales abroad in both their existing market segment, as well as their recently acquired aortic repair segment.


Going forward I believe that a direct selling method in Europe along with an introduction into a new market segment will help stimulate further top line growth for CryoLife. Despite this opportunity, they need to still remain focused on domestic sales to maintain market share within the United States. This teamed with the risk of international expansion still pose some threats to CryoLife. Due to a balance of risk and reward, I recommend that CryoLife, Inc. remain held in the AIM Small Cap Portfolio while their international expansion plays out. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Marquette Finance Students in NYC - The October 2017 FMA / New York City Trip was Again a Success

Dr. David Krause was jointed by Assistant Dean Terrian and Jeff Germanotta – along with 30 Marquette finance students – for the 14th FMA / NYC trip!



Fall 2017 NYC Trip Members (New York Stock Exchange Floor)

Dr. David Krause (Director of Marquette’s Applied Investment Management program) and 30 finance students were joined during their annual New York City trip by the COBA Assistant Dean, Dr. Joe Terrian. In addition, Finance Lecturer, Jeff Germanotta, also accompanied Dr. Krause and FMA President, Joseph Amoroso, with Marquette finance students as they visited NYC investment banks and asset managers over fall break. 

Dr. Krause said,
“The students and I appreciated having Assistant Dean Terrian and Mr. Germanotta as a part of the group during our New York experience. I know the students appreciated their involvement.  This is a special trip and I know Joe and Jeff enjoyed their time with the students.”

Krause added, “Michele Galioto, Marquette’s Regional Advancement Director in New York was also with us the entire time. Michele is invaluable member of the team given her understanding of NYC and her close work with our New York based alumni. She also played an important role in making the trip a success once again.”

Everyone stayed in the heart of Manhattan at the Sheraton Times Square Hotel and enjoyed the close proximity to major New York attractions. “While our busy schedule kept students focused on visits to major investment banks and asset managers, we still found time to view Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, 5th Avenue, and other landmarks,” Dr. Krause added.
The visits on Wednesday afternoon included stops at Morgan Stanley, SS&C Technologies and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. This was followed at an Marquette alumni reception at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, hosted by John Barrett.

“We had another good visit with Armintas Sinkevicius of Morgan Stanley’s Equity Research group, as well as with Berent Kowarick of Morgan Stanley’s Private Wealth Management group. We also had an opportunity to hear from their campus recruiting team about internship opportunities. It was a good first visit and allowed the students an opportunity to hear from two of our younger alumni,” Krause commented.

The students then headed south to visit SS&C Technologies, a Connecticut based software and technology provider for the financial services industry. In the trips’ 14 year history, this marked the first visit to a FinTech firm. SS&C Technologies was founded by Marquette University alumnus, Bill Stone, and he remains the company’s Chairman and CEO. The AIM program has recently implement SS&C Learning Institute’s Zoologic web-based solutions into its curriculum. Dr. Krause said, “The AIM program has had a keen focus on FinTech for the fall semester so it was a valuable experience to visit SS&C – a leader in financial technology. The students really enjoyed learning about the company’s new wave of innovative learning technologies”.

                    Marquette students during a visit to SS&C Technologies

 The last visit of the day was to nearby Bank of America Merrill Lynch. This was a special visit with John Barrett which included a special presentation from Faiz Ahmad, a senior leader in the bank’s capital markets group. The students then had an opportunity to discuss a M&A case study with, Mr. Barrett, Tom Kruse and Ross Michler - all Marquette alumni. Additionally, recent AIM graduates, Tyler Sucharzewski and Haney Fam joined the presentation.


Dr. Krause said
, “Our alumni at BAML put together a fantastic visit. Besides the presentations of a senior leader, the case study was a great idea. John Barrett and Jeff Germanotta had conversations about this prior to the visit – and it paid dividends. This was a great way to give students a deeper understanding of the roles in which investment bankers and corporate bankers serve.”

The students then proceed to the 51st floor of One Bryant Part (Bank of America Tower) for this year’s Marquette Finance Student & Alumni Reception.  Dr. Krause said, “We were pleased to be the guests of John Barrett and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Not only were the views amazing, but it was a wonderful evening of Marquette fellowship and celebration. We are fortunate to have the support of many great friends and alumni – it was a fantastic networking event for the students and young alumni.”


 
View from the 51st Floor of Bank of America Tower

The first visit on Thursday morning was at BNP Paribas. Alumni at the firm include Louis Moran, Hendrik van der Zandt, Connor Muth and Jack Casey, and Brett Stuck. “We heard from Louis, Connor and Brett as well as numerous high-level members of the bank’s capital markets team. BNP Paribas has long been one of the strongest supporters of Marquette and the AIM program. We deeply value that relationship and again enjoyed the opportunity to visit for the morning BNP,” added Krause.
 

After visiting the Paris-based global investment bank, the students walked down the street for a visit to Barclays. Alumnus Dan Gaide presented on the company’s equity research group and hosted a networking reception for the students.

Dr. Krause said, “This was our first trip back to Barclays in many years and the students really enjoyed the visit. The students appreciated hearing from Dan and speaking to him and his fellow analysts in the networking hour following the presentation.”

 
AIM Seniors enjoy lunch on the go between visits at Barclays and SocGe

From Barclays, the students headed west to Société Générale. There, we were met by Guido van Hauwermeiren, MU parent and AIM supporter, and Joe Kennedy, AIM alumni. The students then had the opportunity to hear from Guido and then from Joe and two of his peers. Dr. Krause added, “It is always a treat for the students to hear from Guido and this visit did not disappoint. The students were then able to hear from a group of younger analysts which gave students greater insight into life on Wall Street in the years proceeding college.
 

Again on the move, the group headed across Park Avenue to J.P. Morgan. Current Marquette alumni at JPM include Gerry Madigan, Ryan Loftus, Christina Starkey, Demetrius Liston, Mariano Sanz, Vanessa Foltinger Garcia and Kevin Cobb. Gerry hosted the large group in a conference overlooking his trading floor where the students had an opportunity to learn firsthand about the firm and the different functional areas represented at the gathering.  

After a long day, the group then headed back to Time Square where Dr. Krause took students on a walking tour of NYC to see many of the city’s sights. These included Time Square, Columbus Circle, Central Park, 5th Avenue, Grand Central Station and Rockefeller Center.

Marquette students at 30 Rock in Manhattan, a stop on Dr. Krause’s Thursday evening walking tour

 
On Friday morning the students and Dr. Krause started the day at hedge fund - Balyasny Asset Management, with New York offices in the famous GM Tower. Scott Schroeder, alumnus, current Marquette trustee and co-founder of BAM – along with Jack Sullivan, analyst and AIM alumnus – organized the event. 

Jack Sullivan explained his role and responsibilities as a consumer goods analyst and then proceeded to bring in numerous speakers to talk about the different functions within the hedge fund, including portfolio management, trading, business development, and data analytics.

Dr. Krause said, “Many of the students indicated to me after the visit to Balyasny that this was one of the major highlights of the trip. The firm’s culture is very unique – with an enormous amount of collegiality and cooperation. You could see that people at BAM genuinely enjoy working there and function well as a team.”
During their visit, Dr. Krause met Michael Bloomberg

 The students then made the short walk to Bloomberg tower. Breaking into small groups, the students were taken on a tour of the global media and financial services giant. The students had a special treat as they had an opportunity to hear from Tom Keene and Charlie Pellett, both a veteran Bloomberg Radio news anchors. Mr. Pellett is also known as NYC’s most recognizable voice where he famously sounds, “Please Stand Clear of the Closing Doors” on the NYC subway system. The Marquette students then had the opportunity to travel to one of the top floors of the famous NYC skyscraper and view Central Park and Midtown Manhattan and enjoy snacks and drinks.

The AIM program is a Bloomberg subscriber and Bill Gottlieb served as the host demonstrating the newest features and functions of the information system. Specifically, the team presented to students on new features that aggregate news and social media data from around the world to inform investors.
Next the students had to navigate the NYC subway system in order to reach lower Manhattan, but not before Dr. Krause had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Bloomberg himself for a brief moment in the lobby of Bloomberg tower following our visit.

Oculus Station
Upon exiting at the Fulton Street station, the students had the opportunity to walk through the newly finished Path Station, also known as Oculus, and up into the Brookfield Place winter garden for a short break before the final visit of the trip, RBC Capital Markets.

The alumni hosts at RBCCM included Jason Spacek, Les Vowell, James Bergin, Michael O’Carroll, and Colleen Osborne as well as Anna Toshach from neighboring OppenheimerFunds. RBC graciously provided lunch for the students and a short break after a busy morning of visits and travel. The visit again afforded students an opportunity to learn more about different functions areas of a major investment bank and hear from the banks recruiting team.

MU Student on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange



Thanks to alumnus, Shari Noonan, Marquette alumnus and CEO of Rialto Trading, the students were again given the opportunity to be on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to witness the closing bell. Dr. Krause said, “It was a great opportunity for student to see the floor of the exchange, the last of its kind, on a busy Expiration Friday”. After the close, the students were given tours and had the opportunity to speak directly with many of the floor traders. The students then had a chance encounter with Tom Farley, President of the NYSE. He spoke to students about the vision and purpose of the NYSE which enables entrepreneurs to raise capital that will help them in making their dreams and ideas become realities and to improve the world and heighten the quality of life for global citizens. 

MU Students with NYSE President, Tom Farley, on the floor of the NYSE


Marquette AIM student, Adam Hamilton, then had the chance to speak with Tom Farley individually. Both Adam and Mr. Farley attended to the same high school, Gonzaga College High School, in Washington D.C. and bonded as fellow Purple Eagles.

MU Senior, Adam Hamilton, with NYSE President, Tom Farley 

 
After visiting the NYSE, students took the opportunity to see sights in the financial district such as the Bull, Fearless Girl, and Battery Park. After another short walking tour, students returned via subway to the Sheraton Times Square where they enjoyed their free time. While most hit the town during the rest of the evening, they were in the lobby early on Saturday morning and on their way to LaGuardia Airport and back to Milwaukee by early afternoon.



Dr. Krause said, "This was again another outstanding trip – and it was all made possible through the support of our NYC Marquette alumni group. In addition to the pre-visit work done by Michele Galioto and Joseph Amoroso. We’d also like to thank Assistant Dean Terrian for joining us this year." 

"We are all extremely thankful for this special opportunity to visit NYC. Our alumni are fantastic – they go out of their way to open up their firms and allow our students to experience the workplace and corporate culture - it is an amazing opportunity for our students. I know for some that this visit is a career altering event," Dr. Krause said.