Tag: New York

If anybody has any qualms about making a trek to visit firms, be assured that it’s worth it! I left New York after day two with a better understanding of the financial industry, investment best practices, what employers are looking for, and most importantly, what we could offer with the skills we’re learning in the Master of Science in Quantitative Finance (MSFQ) program.

This year’s annual MSFQ Trek to Boston and New York involved visits to Man Numeric, Wellington, Fidelity, DE Shaw, Point72, and PIMCO. These firms represent some of the top names in the mutual fund and hedge fund industry, and are the result of the Weston Career Center’s work in cultivating industry relationships—to the benefit of those in the MSFQ program.

It was a busy two-day trip. Each morning we started at 9 a.m., going full throttle until 4 p.m. When we were not learning about the different asset management firms and their investment strategies, we enjoyed connecting with our classmates. As we shuffled from meeting to meeting, we talked to directors, recruiters, portfolio managers, analysts, and WashU alumni. Each of the firms was gracious with their time and answered questions generously. DE Shaw even surprised us with hoodies!

Since our programs ended on Friday, we got part of the weekend to tour New York as well!

Special thanks again go to the Weston Career Center, especially to Molly Sonderman for handling logistics, and to Greg Hutchings for accompanying the 17 students who went!

Guest Blogger: Stefan Yu, MSFQ candidate and President of the Specialized Masters Program Council

Find the latest information on Weston Career Center events and career treks by visiting the Olin Careers website.

We reported on Brian Leventhal, BSBA’05, several years ago in OlinBusiness Magazine when he opened a winery in Brooklyn, NY. So, we weren’t surprised to see a story on the
Gothamist website that the winery is doing very well and has opened a restaurant.

Brooklyn-Winery-WinemakingThe BKW Restaurant in Crown Heights “aims to serve dishes that pair well with their wines, naturally, some of which will be produced steps away from the dinner table at an on-site new micro-winery designed to try out new techniques,” according to Gothamist.

Brian Leventhal is co-owner with John Stires; executive chef is Michael Gordon. Warning the photos on the BKW website will make your mouth water and want to book the next flight to New York. Congratulations, Brian!

The chef, Michael Gordon, who worked at Bouley, Asiate and Savory, is producing wine-friendly fare like a chilled shiitake soup, crisp brussels sprouts with pastrami, roasted chicken breast with leg and thigh potpie alongside, hanger steak with red wine sauce, and pan-roasted skate. The restaurant has a library of the winery’s older vintages. It serves only its own wines, but that’s quite an extensive portfolio: 747 Franklin Avenue (Sterling Place), Crown Heights, Brooklyn, 718-399-1700, bkwnyc.com.  – The New York Times

Alumni in the news

Branding yourself can be a useful tool for getting a first job. Olin alumna Casey Hochberg tells the Huffington Post blog how her self-branding helped her land a job at a New York-based creative agency that specializes in national and global brand development.

“It’s tough enough to be a 24-year old woman at a high-power boutique NYC branding agency, but BrandFire is even tougher, since the personalities are very alpha. The culture here is sink or swim so it was really about jumping into the deep end and swimming with these sharks. Apparently, according to them I have teeth of my own, so I think I’m doing okay (smile), but in all seriousness you really have to connect with your coworkers and learn their culture.”

Casey majored in Marketing and Communication Design at Olin, Class of 2014.

Link to Huffington Post blog.


Many St. Louis startups launched by students at WashU put down roots here, others move away to flourish elsewhere. Dave Nicklaus reports in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on alumni who have decamped to opposite coasts but retain an appreciation for the affordable and supportive startup community in St. Louis.

fresh prints

Examples of Fresh Prints t-shirt designs

Jolijt Tamanaha, A&S 2015, Jacob M. Goodman, BSBA 2015, and Joshua E. Arbit, BSBA 2013 (pictured above) of Fresh Prints are featured in the article. Sasha G. Sherman, BSBA 2011, was one of the original founders of the company that makes customized t-shirts for university organizations.

“It was Washington U. and St. Louis that really enabled us to get our business off the ground,” Goodman says. “In New York, we would have been just another tiny fish in an enormous pond. In St. Louis, getting access to people and resources was easier.”

Link to Post-Dispatch article

A recent story in Philly.com also featured Fresh Prints.

Related blog post

On the morning of May 18, our Global Masters of Finance class traveled to Neuberger Berman, one of largest private investment management firms. We were eager to learn. Dan Smith, Bill Arnold, Randy Gross, and Jeff Bolton, a group of highly reputable professionals with years of enriched industry experience, gave us a very informative and inspiring presentation.

Day 3 - Neuberger Berman

To begin, Bill Arnold, CFO of Neuberger Berman, talked about Neuberger’s history
from its inception in 1939, through struggling and spinning off from Lehman Brothers during the Global Financial Crisis.  Today, Neuberger has Assets Under Management (AUM) over $250 billion.

Bill also explained the overall investment strategy and philosophy of Neuberger, their unique view of risk, trying to be cautious and long-term, and how they excelled at re-positioning portfolios.

Mr. Gross, from the fixed income department, shared his insights about the impact of negative interest rates and the growing popularity of municipal bonds, while Mr. Smith, an expert in equity, provided his insights regarding recent trends in utilities and other sectors. At the end, Mr. Bolton not only spoke about how to be successful in investing, but also provided advice and guidance about work balance.

We walked back to the conference room after the tour while looking at amazing architecture along the way.

Day 3 - Architecture


“How many of you guys are in debt?”

The first afternoon speaker was Steve Wood from Jefferies. He started with an interesting question: “How many of you guys are in debt?” The question helped us understand the debt concept better and think it through more clearly. Through his speech, we learned a lot about public finance and municipal bonds. Specifically, most of us in the masters of finance class were amazed by the fact that there are over 70,000 different municipal bond issuers. We actively participated throughout his lecture, and some of us even continued the discussion about the default of governments like Puerto Rico in his speech. He explained in detail how a government facing a credit crisis could possibly turn things around, such as cutting expenses, increasing revenue, reconstructing their debt, and so on.

Endowment Funds

After learning about bonds, Michael Garvey’s talk kept us engaged after lunch. As a J.P. Morgan Investment Specialist, he spoke briefly about the endowments and foundation groups in an interactive and informative way. He informed us that the interest rate change is shifting the proportion of debt in traditional portfolios to 40%.

After one of our masters of finance classmates raised an insightful question, Mr. Garvey explained that the proportion of cash and domestic equity in asset allocations go down with an increase in the size of endowment funds. So in that case, the size of alternative investments, such as hedge funds and private equity, also increases, since alternative investments have longer time horizons and hence provide a liquidity premium. He also mentioned that during times of stress, the movements of different markets converge. For example, equity of emerging and developed markets become correlated, when they are intended to be diversified. He concluded that no single measure of risk can fully characterize a portfolio.

The day was nicely wrapped up by Mitchell Moss, an Olin grad, BSBA & Master of Finance & Accounting’00, from Lord, Abbett & Co.  Mr. Moss spoke with us about his work experience in the finance industry, especially in the power and utilities sectors.

He also gave us some tips about how to get a job in financial institutions and what it would be like in different positions within the industry.

After the presentation, Mr. Moss left about 30 minutes for Q&A, and we raised a lot of interesting questions, such as “What are the fundamental factors that an equity researcher and a credit rater would take into account for a company?” and “What is your daily life like at work when you are in different companies in finance industry, ranging from consulting, credit rating, buy-side, to sell-side companies?” Mitchell answered all of our questions adequately and left us satisfied and motivated.

Guest Bloggers: Kaibo Xue, Zihao (Zach) Gong, Mallika Mital, Lin (Angie) Wu, Xiaoqi (Kay) Wu (GMF 2016)

This is part of a series of blogs chronicling the experiences of 41 Global Master of Finance (GMF) dual degree students during their two week immersion course in New York and Washington, DC. Each blog will be written by a small subset of students during their experience.