Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This week David Tarantino and Mary McNellis of Baird visited the AIM program

David Tarantino and Mary McNellis of Robert W. Baird & Company Visited the AIM Program of Monday, September 12, 2016

Bill Walker, Mary McNellis, David Tarantino and David Krause
On Monday, September 12, 2016, David Tarantino and Mary McNellis (Marquette AIM Class of 2015) of Robert W. Baird & Company visited the AIM program. Mr. Tarantino, CFA, is a Senior Research Analyst and Associate Director of Research with Baird. He covers the restaurant segment of the consumer discretionary industry. Mary McNellis is an Equity Research Analyst who works for Mr. Tarantino.

Image result for baird logoMr. Tarantino has over 13 years in Baird’s Equity Research Department and previously spent ten years at P&G in various positions in Product Development and Brand Management. This experience has provided him with a strong foundation to function as an equity research analyst in the consumer space. Mr. Tarantino received his MBA from the Chicago Booth School of Business and has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Notre Dame.

Mary McNellis and David Tarantino of Baird in the AIM Room
Mary graduated from Marquette in May 2015. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – majoring in Finance (AIM program) and Economics. She was active on the University’s Club Swim Team and was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society. Mary studied in 2013 at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. During her time at Marquette, she interned with Baird and the City of Milwaukee Pension Fund.

During the AIM class meeting, they discussed the role of a sell-side analyst and emphasized the importance of solid writing skills – along with the ability to build financial models to estimate financial performance and to generate industry insights through analysis and data gathering. David indicated the importance of clearly communicating research insights and stock recommendations to institutional investors and highlighted the importance of personal communication skills (including face to face meetings, phone conversations, and email).

David Tarantino with AIM students after class
The students found the discussion about the restaurant industry to be especially interesting. David and Mary pointed out that as an analyst in the restaurant space they focus on those characteristics that allow customers to have a differentiated dining experience. They pointed out that successful restaurants have a strong value proposition and a benefit/price equation that consumers favor. Additionally, innovation and keeping their brand relevant is necessary; as well as crisp execution – and consistently delivering the desired consumer experience. A discussion about data analytics also whetted the students’ appetite for their Twitter research project next semester.

Mr. Tarantino and Mary McNellis stayed in the AIM Room after class to meet with the students in order to discuss career opportunities as a sell-side equity analyst. Dr. Krause said, “It was wonderful to have David and Mary visit us again. I believe this was David’s fifth consecutive year visiting the AIM program and he brings outstanding insights. I know that the students are always interested in his presentation – and it was a delight to see Mary again. We’re all proud of her accomplishments and know she will continue to advance professionally. She was always an outstanding role model for the undergraduates at Marquette --- and I miss her positive attitude!”