Road-tested advice for women contemplating financial careers and networking opportunities with their peers and Boston area employers were highlights at Isenberg’s first Women in Finance Luncheon. Presented by State Street and coordinated by Isenberg’s MBA program and the school’s (undergraduate) Women in Business student group, the event at the UMass Club in downtown Boston attracted 51 students from Isenberg and five other area universities: Boston College, Brandeis, Northeastern, Suffolk, and Worcester Polytech.
Since the 1970s, innovation—conceptual and technological—has transformed the practice of finance. But “innovation itself doesn’t create growth” it must be “translated into the general economy,” insisted MIT finance professor Robert C. Merton in his keynote presentation at Isenberg’s Center for International Securities and Derivatives Markets’ (CISDM) annual research conference on October 6. Professor Merton—a 1997 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics—headlined an ambitious program devoted to diverse aspects of digitally enabled financial innovation, including cryptocurrencies, algorithmic trading, and other advances on the financial landscape. Attended by a packed house of 125 academics and practitioners, the daylong event took place at Boston’s Aloft Boston Seaport Hotel.
In February, 350 students, alumni, faculty, and staff attended the fourth annual Women of Isenberg conference, which brings together women from all career levels to talk about their unique experiences and challenges as women in business.
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At this year's Center for International Securities and Derivatives Markets’ (CISDM) Annual Research Conference, one of many insights featured was how risk management and other analytical strategies in the finance profession’s tool kit can make a positive difference in the battle against climate change.
This year's 4th annual Isenberg Business Leadership Awards, held at the Colonnade Hotel and Boston and attracting 330 members of the Isenberg community, honored Chuck and Karen Peters of New England Wire Products and Recent Alumni awardee Brian Tino, account executive at InVision.
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“No matter where we go, no matter what we do, we carry the Isenberg brand with us,” Senior Class Speaker Stephanie Berenson ’16 told an audience of over 4000—graduating seniors, their families, and Isenberg faculty and staff—at Isenberg’s Senior Celebration at the Mullins Center on May 7. “We are part of each other. We are each other’s network, and one day, as graduates, we will be a resource for Isenberg students just as alumni have been for us,” emphasized the dual marketing/journalism major.
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Isenberg is the highest ranking public undergraduate business school in the Northeast, according to Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2016 Undergraduate Business School Rankings. Climbing three places since the 2014 ranking, Isenberg now ranks 11th among public undergraduate business school programs in the United States. The new rankings clearly illustrate Isenberg’s growing national stature, with the school moving up 45 spots among private and public business schools since 2010.
The third annual Women of Isenberg Conference took place on February 28th in the UMass Amherst Campus Center. Put on by student organization Isenberg Women in Business, the event attracted 310 attendees and offered a full day of speakers, panel discussions, and networking
Four Isenberg finance professors who recently attended a showing of “The Big Short” applauded the movie for its accurate portrayal of the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis and for its clear explanation of complex financial concepts. In a discussion following the movie, several of the professors expressed approval for regulations that focus on interrelationships among different segments of the financial system.
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The campus-wide Innovation Challenge business plan competition's new seed pitch component is propelling student teams, through mentoring, workshops, and targeted financial seeding. “We introduced the new phase to elevate and accelerate the larger event’s already high level of competition," notes Isenberg professor William Wooldridge, executive director of Isenberg's Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, which coordinates the Challenge.
Recently retired director of USD swaps at J.P. Morgan Gary Cameron '89 explored financial cycles, trading tactics, and financial bubbles in a talk with Isenberg students. A derivatives trader throughout his career, he also examined the psychology and skill sets of successful traders.
Nassim Taleb and other financial pundits headlined the Center for International Securities and Derivatives Markets (CISDM)’s annual Research Day. The speakers explored financial fragility, bubbles, and credit markets, including the current crisis in Greece.
In a guest lecture in the Isenberg course, Real Estate Principles, Tom Nolan '79 described milestones in a career of financial innovation in real estate. A veteran of diverse commercial and residential ventures, Nolan is CEO of Spirit Realty Capital, which includes over 2500 properties, with commercial tenants like Applebee's, Shopko, and car dealerships.
In a visit to Isenberg, Pat Whelan '80, described an innovative career in big-picture real estate, including 25+ years of executive management with investments and operations in large public and private and companies. Whelan's current market involves preowned rental homes. He's also been a top executive with an apartment REIT, a real estate media and technology firm, and a company with extensive recreational, residential, and golf community assets.
Finance grad John McMullen '81 has placed retirement on hold to serve as CFO of one of America's iconic companies, Eastman Kodak. McMullen is working with the the company's technology developer to leverage its still robust technology prowess. He is also responsible for corporate development, controlling costs, procurement, and Kodak's substantial real estate portfolio.
For a senior-year honors project, three students in finance explained retirement options to hundreds of UMass faculty and staff members. To help their audience make their far-reaching choices, the students created a user-friendly online decision tool.
Manhattan-based entrepreneur, realtor, and developer David Gaunt '70 MBA recalled the early years of his real estate career in New York City. The Isenberg graduate explained how he combined creative problem solving and persistence to gain traction in the market.
Two days of Isenberg graduation events celebrated the achievements and grit of 1,230 graduating seniors, master’s, and Ph.D. recipients. Addresses by keynote speakers recounted students’ accomplishments at Isenberg and looked ahead to their promising careers and continued engagement with the school.
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