Marquette University’s Applied Investment Management (AIM) program is expanding and will offer a second track in Private Equity & Banking. Since 2005 the AIM program has allowed 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.
In addition to the original track (which is focused on publicly traded investments), the newly developed Private Equity and Banking track concentrates on private and transactional finance.
“Expanding AIM is a direct response to increased interest from employers and finance students, and builds off of the college’s expertise in applied business education,” Interim Dean Mark Eppli said.
Nearly 70 students last year competed for the 24 coveted AIM seats, and many students nationwide choose Marquette’s College of Business Administration specifically for the AIM program. Eppli added that firms worldwide are allocating more investments into the private equity space and that demand for entry level research analysts is growing. Areas to be covered within the curriculum include: early stage venture capital investing, middle market banking, distressed debt, emerging markets, leveraged buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, and mezzanine financing.
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. “Tapping Mark Zellmer to co-lead the new program track is a coup for the College.”
As part of the expansion, Mark Zellmer was named in July as the new co-director of Private Equity & Banking track. A Marquette undergraduate and MBA alumnus, Zellmer has been a popular adjunct instructor since the mid-1990’s. 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 support AIM’s growth,” Krause said. “He’s not only a seasoned industry veteran, but he’s also an excellent, highly regarded instructor.”
The AIM program was the first undergraduate business program selected as a Program Partner by the CFA Institute. The partnership designation means that Marquette University offers a degree program that covers at least 70 percent of the CFA Institute’s Program Candidate Body of Knowledge, the CFA Institute Ethical and Professional Standards, and other requirements. Since the first class graduated in 2006, over 45 AIM alumni have passed all three levels of the challenging CFA exam.
An open house will be held on Friday, August 29th at 2:00 in the AIM Room. The topics will include the new AIM track and the application process.