FSAC New York Trip, Day One

Walking in between the concrete jungle where we can see iconic and historical buildings, chilly wind blowing on our faces, we are experiencing our first day in New York City.

FSAC students get the chance to come to New York – the main financial center of the world – and network with professionals in the financial services industry.

Our first visit of the trip brought us to Business Wire, the public company information and news disclosure firm that specializes in harnessing social media and public relations to disclose company news. The president of Business Wire, Gregg Castano, gave us a clear picture of the history of the company as well as its expanding global footprint. We were also given a tour of the newsroom to see how people work to make sure information and company news are disclosed simultaneously correctly online. BW builds the network system with most of the world’s press and utilizes social media to meet various customers’ needs. Before visiting BW, we were unaware that a public company is not allowed to disclose firm news on its own website. It must do so through a certified information disclosure firm, such as Business Wire. While we went into this meeting with little understanding of exactly how BW worked, I must say that we were quite impressed by their interesting and unique business model.

The next visit on our list was with Neuberger Berman, an investment management firm that provides financial services for individuals as well as institutional investors. We were able to meet the senior vice president, Ian Haas, who was a Duck, graduating ten years ago with a bachelors degree in finance from the University of Oregon. Ian talked about the different investment teams and service sectors in the company. Ian himself works on an alternative investment team managing a fund to hedge fund. He also told us how Neuberger Berman went private and survived after Lehmann Brothers filed bankruptcy in 2008. (NB was acquired by Lehman brothers in 2003. After the collapse of Lehmann, NB was able to respond to the crisis quickly and conducted a management buyout to spin itself off from the parent.) Nowadays, with $200 billion in assets under management, it is the largest private employee-held asset management firm.

After a great meeting with Mr. Haas at NB, we moved on to FTV Capital, which is an asset management company focusing on high-growth companies in four specialized areas: business services, financial services, payment/transaction processing services, and technology. We met the head of New York office – Brad Bernstein – and went over the business model of FTV Capital. FTV specializes in investing in private equities and utilizes its investment partnership to maximize the growth potential of the investing firm. Brad also showed us some successful cases studies of highly successful investments. I was astonished by the dynamic and potential of the private equity investment firm. Most of the time we do research and valuation on publicly-traded companies (with more available information and public disclosures). Nevertheless, investing in private equities remains significantly important in the financial industry because it is more difficult to understand or look into the earnings models of privately held firms.

We had great time talking to those professionals and experiencing the dynamic of different financial services in New York. Our fist day was great, and all the students appreciated the insights from the different companies and the conversations with professionals. More exciting stories to come later!

Mavis Yu, MBA 2013, Finance and Securities Analysis Center

Written by Mavis Yu

MBA Candidate 2013 University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business Finance and Securities Analysis Center Graduate Teaching Fellow – FSAC Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UoFinanceSecuritiesAnalysisCenter 503-860-0726