Thursday, February 28, 2019

Dr. Joe Daniels named acting Keyes Dean of Business Administration

Congratulations to Joe Daniels - Marquette's new acting Keyes Dean of Business Administration

Image result for joseph daniels marquette
Joseph Daniels, Acting Dean
of the College of Business Administration

Dr. Joe Daniels, chair and professor of economics in the College of Business Administration, has been named acting Keyes Dean of Business Administration, Acting Provost Kimo Ah Yun announced today. Daniels will assume the role on May 20, succeeding Keyes Dean Brian Till who earlier this month announced he would be stepping down at the end of the semester.

“Over his nearly 30 years at Marquette, Dr. Daniels has demonstrated not only strong, progressive leadership in the College of Business Administration, but also a dedication to the university’s mission, vision and values,” Acting Provost Ah Yun said. “He is the ideal individual to help the college build on its momentum and advance its vision of becoming a ‘destination business school.’”

“I have called the College of Business Administration home for nearly my entire career, and I’m honored to step in as acting Keyes Dean at this key moment in our future,” Daniels said. “The college is fortunate to have such a dedicated and visionary faculty and staff — together we will continue to dream big and achieve great things.”

In addition to serving as chair of the Economics Department — which serves students in the College of Business Administration and the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences — Daniels is co-director of the Center for Applied Economics. He currently serves on the University Financial Planning and Review Committee, the Dean’s Executive Council for the College of Business Administration, and the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences.

Image result for joseph daniels marquetteDaniels, who has a bachelor’s degree in business economics and political science from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, received his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Indiana University – Bloomington with specializations in international trade and finance. He is widely published in economics, finance and political science, and his research has appeared in outlets such as the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking; Journal of International Money and Finance; Journal of Monetary Economics / Carnegie Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy; and International Tax and Public Finance, and he has been reviewed in the Wall Street Journal and Foreign Policy. He teaches international currency markets and international trade and is the recipient of university-wide teaching awards from Indiana University and Marquette University.

Daniels served as a Visiting Fulbright Chair of Governance and Public Policy at McMaster University, the Farr Distinguished Visiting Professor of International Finance in the Economics Department at Wake Forest University, and as a Visiting Fulbright Research Scholar in the International Relations Program at the University of Toronto. He has functioned as an officially credentialed media expert at G7/G8 economic summits and has been interviewed by a wide range of media outlets including the Washington Post, New York Times, and Financial Times.

The search for the next permanent Keyes Dean of Business Administration will follow the provost search so that the permanent provost can weigh in on that process.

Provost search update
According to the President’s Office, the search for Marquette’s next permanent provost will begin after spring break — a search committee and search firm will be identified in the preceding weeks. Listening sessions and the development of a position profile will take place over the spring semester, with a candidate pool created this summer.

Scott Roberts was the guest speakers this week in Dr. Krause’s Fixed Income and AIM classes

Marquette AIM students continue to learn from industry professionals how to apply the theories and concepts presented within the curriculum

Marquette alumnus and President/CEO of Ziegler Capital Management, ScottRoberts, visited the campus on Monday, February 24, 2019. Per his custom over the past decade, Scott Roberts, again presented to the students in Dr. Krause's Fixed Income class. Scott has been an annual guest since 2005, the year the AIM program began.

Scott Roberts presented to the Fixed Income class as co-teacher Chris Swain looks on
Dr. David Krause said, “It is always a pleasure to have Scott back in the classroom. He was an early supporter of AIM and he continues to assist Marquette and the College of Business. He always does an outstanding job connecting theory and practice.”

Image result for ziegler capital“I know that the students appreciate Mr. Roberts 25+ years of investment experience,” Dr. Krause added. “This year he was especially valuable in helping the students understand the significant of fixed income duration and how most portfolios have been subject to severe duration drift.”

Prior to joining Ziegler, he was President and Chief Investment Officer of Deerfield Capital Management and was responsible for all investment management, marketing, and operational activities of the firm. Scott oversaw the growth of assets under management at Deerfield from less than $400 million in 2000 to over $15 billion at the end of 2007.

Scott Roberts
Prior to joining Deerfield Capital, he was the Chief Investment Officer at several Zurich Insurance Company subsidiaries including Scudder Kemper Investments, Zurich Investment Management and CentreRe. Prior to Zurich, Mr. Roberts was the Director of Fixed Income for Loomis Sayles in Milwaukee and a Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager for Putnam Investments in Boston.

Scott has severed on the Board of Trustees of Marquette University, Marquette University High School and the Catholic Charities of Chicago. He has served on the Board of Directors of several of the firms with which he has worked, including Centre Cat, Centre Investment Services, Zurich Investment Management, Liberty Hampshire and Deerfield Capital. Mr. Roberts received an M.B.A. in Finance and Investments from the Applied Security Analysis Program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Marquette University. He was a student of Dr. Krause in the 1980s.

 Dr. Krause said, "It is always a pleasure to have Scott Roberts in the classroom. He is a rare breed - he is an outstanding investment manager and he is a talented businessperson. It is uncommon to find someone who knows as much as he does about the financial markets - as well as how to run a $10+ billion business. He is a special Marquette University alumnus."

AIM Students Attend Milwaukee CFA Society Speed Reading Seminar

Marquette AIM students learned about speed reading and memorization techniques at the CFA Society of Milwaukee event held on February 27

Successful people need information – and lots of it! Today there is so much information and because there is only a limited amount of time, you need to be able to read and comprehend more in the given time available.

The Marquette AIM students and Jessica Hoerres (AIM program coordinator) attended a speed-reading seminar sponsored by the Milwaukee CFA Society on Wednesday, February 27, at the University Club.

They learned that reading large amounts of information is a habit especially prevalent among seasoned research analysts and successful business executives.

According to a recent speed-reading test, here are the typical speeds at which humans read, and in theory comprehend, at various stages of educational development:
  • Third-grade students = 150 words per minute (wpm)
  • Eight grade students = 250
  • Average college student = 450
  • Average “high level exec” = 575
  • Average college professor = 675
  • Speed readers = 1,500
  • World speed reading champion = 4,700
  • Average adult: 300 wpm

Image result for cfa milwaukee societyThe goal of the seminar was to work on improving the AIM students' ability to read quickly and for context --- to master the skill of getting through new information quickly and remembering it. 

The Marquette AIM students understand that to be successful analysts their ability to keep up with new information is an essential skill that will need constant improvement and fine-tuning.

The 90-minute workshop hopefully helped them to learn to read faster, remember more and boost their productivity. This should help with the rest of their college studies, preparing for the CFA exam, and save time when they are reading financial reports, contracts, business books, market research, and other industry news. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Marquette Tribune article about AIM students passing CFA exam

Two Marquette Business Students pass the CFA Level 1 exam

Philip Suess passed the first level of the CFA exam. 

Andrew Plank and Phil Seuss, two Marquette business students, passed the first of the three levels of the The Chartered Financial Analyst Program after taking the exam on Dec. 1, 2018. This is the first of the three steps towards earning a full CFA charter. There are two more levels to complete. 
The CFA Program is a professional credential offered internationally to investment and financial professionals by the American-based CFA Institute. The test can be taken in place of a Masters in Business Administration.
Plank graduated from Marquette in December with degrees in finance and economics. He lives in Milwaukee and plans to start work in investment banking in July. Seuss is a senior with majors in finance and economics, as well as a minor in political science. He will be graduating this June.
On average, it takes candidates four years of studying and training to earn a full CFA charter. A CFA charter is the professional title candidates get after passing all three tests. Only around nine percent of candidates have consecutively passed all three levels in the past decade, Krause said. 
“Passing the CFA Program exams requires strong discipline and an extensive amount of studying,”  said David Krause, director of applied investment management and assistant professor of practice in finance.
The CFA exam is not required for finance and economics majors.
“The certification can really set you apart when looking for jobs in our field. That’s why I took it,” said Seuss.
Plank started studying for the exam at the beginning of the fall semester and Seuss started last summer.
“This isn’t something you can just wake up a couple weeks before the exam and start studying for. You need to commit if you want to do well,” Seuss said.
One of the reasons the exam is so difficult to prepare for is that it covers so much material.
“Each exam typically requires candidates to study in excess of 300 hours,” Krause said.
Krause said the program covers a broad range of topics relating to investment management, financial analysis, quantitative analysis, equities, fixed income and derivatives, and requires a generalist knowledge of other areas of finance.
“I would compare the exam to taking a final exam of your entire undergraduate degree in accounting, finance and economics,” Seuss said.
“You’re pulling stuff from three years ago,” Plank said. “We were exposed to questions about topics that we learned sophomore year.” 
The exam also costs about $1,400 to take. 
“You don’t want to retake (it),” Plank said.
The exam costs so much because the credential can in some cases be used in place of a MBA, Plank said. 
Both Plank and Seuss said it was hard to name an exact number of hours they spent preparing because they prepared for years.
“This is a rough estimate but I would say we probably recognized 75 percent of the material in front of us that we have seen before,” Plank said. “It was just a matter of there’s so much that you have to remember how to re-do it all because some of the stuff I haven’t done for two years.”
Andrew Plank passed the first level of the CFA exam.

Both Plank and Seuss are in the Applied Investment Management program, which is a group of select finance majors that practice hands-on academic and financial analysis experience through managing domestic and international equity and fixed-income portfolios. Both students said the program helped them prepare immensely.
“Without having the AIM curriculum, it would be very difficult for someone to pass,” Plank said.
The overall experience of being an AIM student contributes to the skillsets Seuss and Plank needed for level 1 of the CFA exam, Plank said. 
“Last year, I took the AIM fixed income course taught by Dr. Krause and we used the level 1 CFA fixed income book for that class,” Seuss said.
Krause said Seuss and Plank have stood out in their classes as high-caliber students since he met them their freshman year.
“I have continued to grow in my admiration of their intelligence and moral compass,” Krause said.
Plank and Seuss said they are both grateful for the support and guidance Krause has shown them over the years as a professor and mentor.
Krause always had his door open for us to go and ask questions. He was really supportive,” Plank said.
The students also recognized Jessica Hoerres, a CFA coordinator, as contributing to their success. She helped them sign up and dealt with minor details, Suess said. 

“Without Jess, the program wouldn’t run. She was extremely helpful with signing up and making sure we were utilizing every opportunity,” Seuss said.

A current AIM Small Cap Equity Holding: Natera, Inc. (NTRA, $16.55): “Natera on a Tech on a Tear” By: Chez Daggs, AIM student at Marquette University

Natera, Inc. (NTRA, $16.55): “Natera on a Tear”
By: Chez Daggs, 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.


Natera, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTRA) is a worldwide genetic testing and diagnostics company that’s changing how doctors and patients manage genetic disease. They develop and commercialize non-invasive methods for analyzing DNA, and offer a host of proprietary genetic testing services.

• Appointed a new CEO and COO into management.  

• Announced a new partnership to co-distribute kidney transplant rejection tests.

• Obtained two Z-codes for their Signatera cancer detection technology.

Key points:

In January 2019, Natera appointed Steve Chapman as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Robert Schueren as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Before Chapman stepped into this new role at Natera, he was the company’s COO. Chapman’s is a great fit as Natera’s new CEO considering he has a strong track record of past achievements. He has shown himself to be a great business leader, he has hands-on experience with genetic diagnostic testing, and has given winning growth strategies with the company. Schueren is also an expert executive with 30+ years of experience and a record of achievement with high-growth start up and large companies. Management seems to be in good hands moving forward.

Natera announced an agreement early February to partner with Thermo Fisher Scientific’s One Lambda to co-distribute its kidney transplant rejection test. One Lambda offers human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing, antibody detection products and more. One Lambda’s diagnostic tests are used by transplant centers worldwide. By partnering with One Lambda, Natera now has an accelerated entrance into new markets by leveraging the infrastructure of a global leader. They can offer customers an improved variety of tests that provide better detection performance, ultimately having a greater impact on patients.

Natera has obtained two Z-codes which are used for initial and subsequent testing orders for patients. The Z-codes will be important for the company’s Signatera test. Signatera is a unique technology that offers a successful approach to cancer detection and is planned to be clinically launched in Q2 2019. The codes will cover various cancer types, and the Signatera technology has already shown strong performance across multiple cancer types including lung, breast, and bladder. Natera has a goal to establish Signatera as a new standard technology now that the technology can detect cancer recurrence up to 2 years ahead of other clinical factors. Natera plans on Signatera being a key tool for oncologists in the future.

What has the stock done lately?

The Q4 market turbulence took a hit to Natera’s price, but it seems to be bouncing back well. Natera’s stock has performed very well over the past month rising around 27.80% since the start of January. The stock had a very slight jump in price after the One Lambda announcement. Management has a positive forward outlook moving into 2019 as they keep the focus on changing the management of disease worldwide with their unique genetic testing.

Past Year Performance:

Natera has increased ~78% in value since last year, but the last four months of 2018 was rough for the stock. In August 2018, the stock had reached an all-time high of $29.62/share before tumbling down ~62% to a price as low as $11.34/share in January 2019. Although they had a rough end to 2018, the past year was great for Natera due to research collaboration with several leading global cancer centers and key announcements for new genetic codes for medical testing.

1 Year Stock Chart vs. Benchmark
Source: FactSet

My Takeaway:

Natera’s stock price reaching a new high in 2018 was a positive sign for the company. The current price is trading above the initial purchase price for the AIM domestic small cap fund, and has already surpassed its price target of $13.23/share. Management stated that all the strategic plans they set out to complete in 2018 were in fact completed. With the successful Signatera technology launching clinically in 2019, and a couple of large deals planned, 2019 seems to be another promising year for Natera.  

1 Month Stock Chart
Source: FactSet

A Current AIM Small Cap Equity Holding: San Jose Water Corp. (SJW, $61.20): “Will Regulators Chill the Waters at San Jose Water Group?” By: Daniel Ptacek, AIM Student at Marquette University

San Jose Water Corp. (SJW, $61.20): Will Regulators Chill the Waters at San Jose Water Group?
By: Daniel Ptacek, 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.


·      San Jose Water Corp. (NYSE, SJW) is a public utility holding company operating in two segments: Water Utility Services and Real Estate Services. The Real Estate segment manages property related to the Water Utility segment and investment activities. The Water Utility segment acquires and provides water to customers in California and Texas. The company was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in San Jose, CA.

·     Q3 saw revenue of $124.85M, an increase of $275K over the same period for 2017. Net income for the quarter was $4M lower than 2017 at $15.8M. The decrease was primarily due to increased operating expenses related higher per unit water cost and merger expenses from the deal with Connecticut Water.

·      In August 2018, Connecticut Water and SJW agreed to an all cash merger valued at $843M. After being initially rejected by the Connecticut regulatory board, the companies are still committed to the deal and are currently assessing what steps to take to complete the merger.

·      Following the acquisition of Deer Creek Ranch Water System in July 2018, the Texas segment has seen a year to date customer growth rate of 12%.

·        The board has increased the annual dividend every year for the last 50 years and is expected to do so again for 2018.  Q3 EPS was $1.08, a surprise performance beating consensus EPS estimates of $0.94.

Key Points: 

Headed into 2019, SJW’s revenue increased over the same period of 2017. The increase was primarily driven by scheduled rate increases in California. New customers were responsible for roughly $1M of additional revenue, while seeing healthy organic customer growth in Texas. A shining light in this geographic segment is the Canyon Lake water systems, which were acquired in 2006 and has since doubled its customer connections.

An outstanding concern is management’s mistakes related to the merger proposal with Connecticut Water (CTWS). After beating out bids from another New England based utility company, Evsource Energy, with a cash deal valued at $843 million the local regulatory authority rejected the original plans. SJW withdrew the application, but both CTWS and SJW are committed to reapplying for the merger after meeting PURA’s concerns. Acquiring Connecticut Water has the potential to bring over 140,000 customer connections to their current number of roughly 250,000 customer connections bringing geographic diversity as well as exposure to different regulatory authorities.

SJW is poised to capitalize on the growth it is experiencing in Texas and is expecting to generate in New England by acquiring Municipal Utility Districts and privately held water lines in nearby localities.

The third-quarter earnings for SJW were a surprise beat at $1.08 per share. Furthermore, San Jose Water is expected to increase its annual dividend for the 50th consecutive year by 7% to $1.20 per share.

What has the stock done lately?
On November 27th, 2018 after news broke that the Connecticut Regulatory Board rejected the merger application between SJW and CTWS, the price fell from $65.31 to $53.50 by November 29th. Since the drop, the price has steadily increased to its YTD high of $61.20. SJW’s 2019 H-L is $61.20-$54.74. Consensus estimates put the one-year price target above $65.

Past Year Performance: 

Over the past 52 weeks, SJW has posted returns of 11.6% from a low of $51.26. While the stock saw a large decrease at the end of 2018, SJW has clawed a portion of those losses back with room to run. Q4 earnings for 2018 will be announced on Feb. 20th, 2019. Earnings are expected to be lower due to increased operating costs and additional expenses coming from merger activity. SJW has closely followed the Russell 2000 (Figure 1) especially during the sell off at the end of 2018. During the first two months of 2019, SJW has been performing better than the index.

Source: Factset

My Takeaway:

There is huge potential in SJW’s pending merger with Connecticut Water. If the companies can overcome the regulatory hurdles to close the deal, SJW’s geographic reach will enable it to acquire a vast array of other municipal water systems. While the deal not playing out is a real possibility, it wouldn’t be the end of the world with management even suggesting a share buy back of around $350M that will surely drive the price per share up. The water utility industry is ripe for consolidation, and SJW’s strategic plan allows it to do just that. The firm’s success in Texas proves it has the right process to successfully implement new systems into its existing infrastructure. I recommend that we hold our position in SJW and see how the regulatory battle plays out.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Announcing the June and Herman Loebl Women Business Leaders Speaker Series at Marquette featuring ManpowerGroup's Becky Frankiewicz

 Marquette's College of Business Administrations 2019 June & Herman Loebl Women Business Leaders Speaker Series features Becky Frankiewicz, President of ManpowerGroup North America.  

Image result for Becky Frankiewicz

She will present - Tomorrow’s Talent is Here Today: Seizing Opportunity in the Digital Age. 

Thursday, March 21


June and Herman Loebl Women Business Leaders Speaker Series featuring Becky Frankiewicz
The June and Herman Loebl Women Business Leaders Speaker Series features distinguished women business leaders who have reached the highest levels of achievement and leadership in their professional sphere. In March, we welcome Becky Frankiewicz, President, ManpowerGroup North America. Frankiewicz will present Tomorrow’s Talent is Here Today: Seizing Opportunity in the Digital Age.
Thursday, March 21
4:30 p.m. Registration
5:00 p.m. Program
6:30 p.m. Networking Reception
Alumni Memorial Union, Monaghan Ballroom, Third Floor
1442 W. Wisconsin Ave., Marquette University campus 
Becky Frankiewicz joined ManpowerGroup in 2017 as the President of ManpowerGroup North America, bringing high energy and passion, coupled with strong P&L experience from a large and complex global business. Prior to ManpowerGroup, Becky led one of PepsiCo’s largest subsidiaries, Quaker Foods North America. In that role she was responsible for the $2.6B business, leading all functions, sales and manufacturing. Under her leadership, Quaker Foods delivered impressive growth as she led the transformation of that brand to be known as America’s ‘best start to everyday’. She was also named by Fast Company as one of the most creative people in the industry, anticipating and adapting to fast changing consumer demands.
Limited parking will be available for $10 in the 16th Street Parking Structure located at 749 N. 16th St. or the Wells Street Parking Structure located at 1240 W. Wells St. Guests attending together are encouraged to carpool. Metered and street parking is also available.
Direct any questions or special needs to University Special Events at or (414) 288-7431.