Tag: Faculty



Performance-based pay plans for corporate executives are becoming more popular as stockholder activists and board members demand more accountability. Gopalan, tells Nicklaus,”that’s a big step forward from the days when insider-dominated boards often handed out discretionary bonuses based on little more than a desire to keep the big boss happy.” Gopalan also notes that the executive labor market has become more competitive.

Link to article: “It was a good year for St. Louis CEOs, but not for all of them”

In another column, Nicklaus predicts executive pay could become a hot political issue in 2018. A new rule under the Dodd-Frank Act goes into effect next year that requires “companies to compare their chief executive’s pay to that of an average worker.”

Professor Gopalan says the ratio doesn’t have much merit. “It will give political fodder to politicians who don’t like corporations, but I don’t think it’s an economically meaningful number to focus on,” he says.

Link to article: “Pay ratio will be hot political issue next year”




Contrary to the size of the crowd at Olin’s Centennial Gala in April, not everyone in the Olin community could be in St. Louis for the celebration. So, Professor Kurt Dirks decided to take the celebration to his Executive MBA students in Mumbai.

Dirks, the Bank of America Professor of Leadership, packed a few extra centennial t-shirts in his bag when he traveled to India last week to teach Batch (class) 2 in the joint program with IIT-Bombay. “They are extremely proud of being Olin students,” Dirks reported. “They all showed up to class the next day wearing their Olin t-shirts! Very cool to experience.”

So, of course, they had to take a photo and share it on social media. Thanks, Batch 2 EMBAs for wearing your Olin pride on your sleeves, literally!!

Where have you been wearing your Olin100 t-shirt recently? Tweet us or share on Instagram or Facebook with #Olin100

 




Jackson Nickerson, Frahm Family Professor of Organization & Strategy, has developed a series of training seminars to help business school faculty develop leadership skills. Developed in conjunction with the AACSB International, Leading in the Academic Enterprise® (LAE) is providing training that many business school deans say is needed for faculty who are asked to take on leadership roles.

Jackson Nickerson

Nickerson who is also a Brookings Non-resident Senior Scholar in Government Studies and Associate Dean and Director of Brookings Executive Education, developed the training series after extensive interviews with business school deans and administrators, and a survey of more than 400 experienced and new deans.

In an article in the current issue of BizEd, Nickerson outlines the areas identified in the survey where faculty require training before taking on leadership roles:

  • ability to lead organizational change
  • ability to think strategically and solve problems creatively
  • ability to develop new leaders and communicate effectively

“These themes appeared whether their schools were public or private; large or small; in Europe, the U.S., or anywhere in the world,” according to Nickerson.

Too often faculty are thrown into the deep end of the pool and expected to swim or sink in the turbulent waters of leadership—an expensive way to develop new leaders. — Survey Response

Leading in the Academic Enterprise® (LAE), the three-part series developed by Nickerson and offered by AACSB International, was launched in the summer of 2014. Nickerson says the need for effective leaders within academia is crucial at this time and attainable.

“Perhaps the most important lesson we learned from our research is that while many academics do not have the skills to lead successfully in challenging environments, this does not mean they cannot develop them. Our interviewees agreed that schools that invest in training, mentoring, and development are likely to see great returns, both for their leaders and the larger academic enterprise.”

Link to article.




With pension payouts skyrocketing, tax credits expiring and the inability to pay operating expenses, Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy protection May 3. The U.S. territory owes an estimated $73 billion to assorted creditors, including Wall Street firms. This makes the bankruptcy the largest-ever American municipal debt restructuring in history.

A senior lecturer in finance at Washington University in St. Louis’s Olin Business School says the situation should serve as a dire wake-up call to the municipal bond market.

Ryffel

“Earlier this year, when the bankruptcy of the fictitious town of Sanidcott became the subject of the hit Showtime series ‘Billions’, I knew we had reached a new low point in the municipal bond market,” said Rich Ryffel, who advised governments, corporations and more about financing and capital structure in his 30-year career in investment banking and asset management. “So common had the once-unheard of notion of municipal bankruptcy become, that it would now be understandable to the television audience and fodder worthy of acting out on the small screen. Well, now the folks in Puerto Rico have given us an even better subject.  Reminiscent of CSI Las Vegas, CSI Miami, CSI Whatever, we now have – Municipal Bankruptcy: Puerto Rico.

“Puerto Rico has become the U.S. municipal bond market’s own little Greece, seeking from the courts what it could not find the will nor the way to do on its own; change its profligate ways and pay its creditors.  Its move to the courts lowers the recovery floor in its negotiations with creditors and gives it remedies heretofore unavailable… . Years of preferential tax and trade treatment failed to create an island economic paradise, so after seeking new assistance from Congress last year, Puerto Rico is now adding itself to the list of those expecting others to suffer the hangover after they they enjoy the bender; think Greece, Argentina, Wall Street.  Where does this end?”

Ryffel says the long-held assumption that governments could repay their debt has eroded, and that’s changed the playing field for lenders.

“Not that long ago, the municipal bond market used two standards when considering whether to open the lending tap to borrowers — one’s ability to pay and one’s willingness to pay,” Ryffel said. “The first threshold was fairly easy to assess. The second was always more difficult to gauge — being more qualitative in nature — but it was assumed that governments would only borrow what was needed to provide essential public services and would take all necessary means to repay its obligations. Default, let alone bankruptcy, was a remote thought.

“Now, however, we see with growing and concerning frequency borrowers treating repayment as optional, as the redemption provision in their bonds themselves. The problem is that the markets depend on this second lending standard and as it erodes, the availability of municipal credit will both shrink and become more expensive for all market participants.”

The Puerto Rico bankruptcy dwarves that of Detroit, which was previously the U.S.’s largest municipal bankruptcy. The city filed for Chapter 9 protection in 2013, with $18 billion in debt. While studies are underway to assess the impact of Detroit’s financial woes, Ryffel says the Puerto Rico situation could send even more shockwaves, not just because of the amount owed, but also for the way it could change laws allowing massive debt forgiveness.

“Puerto Rico may have even larger impacts on the market because they have not only moved to the Doomsday scenario, they successfully had law changed to allow them to do so,” Ryffel said. “In essence, they not only started the markets down the slippery slope, they had a slippery slope built for them.

“To be fair, Puerto Rico is only doing what they need to do to protect their citizens, and they have used every tool available to them. One can’t blame their leadership for that.  While there may not be enough money to go around, there is plenty of blame to go around.  Healthy portions of it go to prior administrations which borrowed without a plan to repay and which borrowed to pay operating expenses rather than invest in the future. Still too, blame must also go to the municipal bond markets, which for years knew of Puerto Rico’s increasing lack of ability to pay, yet still lent it money.”

Guest blogger: Erika Ebsworth-Goold, WashU’s The Source

CATEGORY: News



The Olin Veterans Association (OVA) hosted their 4th Annual Dining Out Ceremony at the prestigious St. Louis Racquet Club. The crowd included thirty current MBA Veterans from all five branches of service, representation from thirty-six St. Louis companies including sixty prominent executives. The guests of honor were Jack Senneff, the President of the Mess, an Army Ranger Regiment Officer and current Managing Director at Thompson Street Capital Partners; the Keynote Speaker Jason Frei, a Marine Officer and current Director at Boeing Defense; and Mark Taylor, Dean of Olin Business School.

The Olin Veterans Association Military Dining Out Ceremony is an annual event to celebrate the partnership between the OVA and St. Louis business leaders who support Veterans with their time, expertise, and mentorship. Danny Henry, the OVA President and McKinsey Consultant, along with Joe Piganelli, the incoming OVA president, spent countless hours leading student and faculty teams to orchestrate the event and successfully doubled the headcount from the 2016 event.

Dean Mark Taylor was impressed with his first dining out experience, “I was deeply honored to host this event with the Olin Veterans Association…this momentous occasion celebrated the service of our military veterans and the tremendous support of our business community.”

The evening incorporated time honored military traditions such as Washington University’s ROTC Color Guard posting the American flag, a Washington University a capella group singing the National Anthem, and attendees raising their water glasses for a silent toast to remember our fallen comrades.

A crowd-favorite tradition was chastising guests who violated the Rules of the Mess. For example, one rule states, “Thou shalt not murder the Queen’s English.” If found guilty of murdering the Queen’s English, a penalty could include a monetary fine that supported Veteran scholarships and a trip to the “Grog Bowl”. The grog bowl was a combination of symbolic liquids and solids mixed together to represent the sacrifices of the Veterans both in combat and the MBA program. The crowd enjoyed the good-natured revelry as guests cited each other for violations.

Several current student OVA members to were able to enjoy the evening with their employers. Joe Rieser dined with his future supervisor Chip Hiemenz, the Director of Business Development at Hunter Engineering, and Dan Vitale sat with his former boss Rob Godlewski, Vice President of Commercial and Residential Solutions at Emerson. Dan enjoyed connecting with Rob again, “From the first day Rob ensured me that Emerson and the St. Louis Business community were committed to helping Olin Veteran Association members transition.”

The highlight of the night, was the guest speaker, Jason Frei. Jason, Director of Ethics and Business Conduct at Boeing Defense, a Purple Heart recipient, and an Eisenhower Fellow, centered his speech around his tenure as a Marine Artillery Officer. Jason was a natural born leader and the Marine Corps discipline and desire to bring the fight to the enemy was one of the main reasons he joined the Corps. He emphasized that his success was a result of his desire to lead Marines and he took every measure possible to keep them alive.

Unfortunately, Jason’s convoy was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), an event that physically and mentally changed his life and altered his career. After losing part of his arm, he decided to leave the Marine Corps and find a different path to lead and make an impact. He immediately enrolled in the MBA program at Notre Dame to launch him on his new career. Jason may have stopped serving in the Marine Corps however he took the lessons and leadership and brought them to Boeing Defense.

The OVA would like to thank the many guests that attended and to express our appreciation of the ongoing support of our faculty, staff, alumni, and honored guests. We look forward to the continued impact our veteran students make to our program and our community. Thank you to all our active duty service men and women for their continued sacrifice. We are grateful for those veterans who have served, many who are no longer with us today, and honor them with this event.

Guest Blogger: James Jacobs
VP of Communications, Olin Veteran’s Association
MBA ’17

CATEGORY: Career, Student Life