Monday, October 3, 2016

Bob Organ and Mike Stankovsky of Northwestern Mutual Capital visited the AIM Program on Friday, 9/30/2016

 On Friday, September 30th, Robert Organ. Director, and Mike Stankovsky. Analyst,  Private Debt & Equity of Northwestern Mutual Capital visited the AIM program.

Bob Organ, Northwestern Mutual Capital
Mr. Organ joined Northwestern Mutual Capital in 1997. Prior to joining Northwestern Mutual Capital, he was a consultant for Hewitt Associates. Bob received an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and a BS from Marquette University. Bob is a CFA charterholder. Mike joined Northwestern Mutual Capital in 2015.  Mike received his BSBA from Marquette University and was a member of the Applied Investment Management (AIM) program.

Mike Stankovsky, AIM alumnus
Mike Stankovsky joined Northwestern Mutual Capital in 2015.  Mike received his BSBA from Marquette University and was a member of the Applied Investment Management (AIM) program.

Northwestern Mutual Capital (NMC) is a key part of the firm’s overall investment portfolio. While NMC’s investment-grade assets represent the majority of their total Assets under Management (AUM; it is the private equity assets that generally occupies the majority of NMC’s evaluation time.  Bob and Mike mentioned that NMC’s portion of the firm’s overall assets is roughly equivalent to Harvard’s endowment. Additionally, Northwestern Mutual’s total assets are more than half of CalPERS, the nation’s largest pension fund.

Richard Bernard, Dr. Krause, and Mike Stankovsky
As Dr. Krause, AIM program director pointed out, “This is an incredibly large portfolio and the opportunity to work on the NMC team as an undergraduate is almost unprecedented. We truly enjoy our excellent relationship with Northwestern Mutual.”

Mike helped the AIM students understand the private equity and debt analysis that he performs and give them career advice. He talked about the positive culture at NMC and the experience he is gaining in working with different business models and financing structure. Mike indicated he especially enjoyed the exposure he has been receiving to view all areas of the LBO/investment banking deal process.

Mr. Organ’s presentation focused on “Digitalization and its Disruptive Potential.” “He provide the students with much to consider – for example, they should think about the how nearly every business should be viewed as a technology business – and to consider how algorithms are increasingly guiding nearly every function in the modern enterprise.
Donald Smiley and Bob Organ talk after the lecture

Using numerous examples of how technology has disrupted industries and companies (i.e. Kodak), he was able to help students think within a framework about how to view technological disruption. Identifying inflection points (or ‘knees of the curve’) is essential for analysts…. Looking around corners and thinking about how major industries might be transformed (i.e. taxis vs. Uber) is a vital skill for the young analysts to develop.

Dr. Krause commented, “I love to bring Bob Organ into the classroom because he stimulates creative and critical thinking. He pushes students to think about change and how to evaluate in advance who is likely to thrive or fail. The discussion about Unicorns and global trends with technology forces students to think about the future and to assess how the investment process will continue to evolve. Bob has helped me create an assignment that requires the students to identify a disruptor within their sector and to evaluate how existing holdings in the AIM fund might be helped or hindered by disruptors within their industries.”