On Thursday, November 6th, the Global Equity Fund made their annual trip to New York City. The Global Equity Fund is a student-run investment fund made up of 20 PT MBA and MFin students. For school credit, students manage $500,000 from the university’s endowment, investing in Global Equity ADR’s. We research companies, build valuation models and pitch investment opportunities to the team. The objective of the New York City trip was to meet with Asset Managers and other practitioners in the field of investments. It was a great learning experience that all members benefited from.
Taking an early train from Union Station, our first meeting was at BlackRock, the world’s largest investment firm. Students met with the Global Head of Event Driven Equity Strategies, Mark McKenna. This new division of BlackRock focuses on global events including M&A arbitrage, divestitures and management changes to lock in a profit. Mr. McKenna shared a presentation highlighting the investment strategy, historical returns and examples in practice that was very educational. We also discussed his professional career, starting as a Nuclear Engineer, and how his path led him to where he is today.
The next day, students woke up early and went to the New York Stock Exchange for the opening bell. We first met with John Tuttle, NYSE Head of Corporate Affairs, and learned about the history of the exchange. I was amazed to learn about how operations, the building and surrounding area had evolved since their inception in 1817. After the opening bell, students had the opportunity to speak with different market makers on the floor of the exchange. The market maker we spoke to explained her functioning role in the NYSE, how she carries out her tasks, and different challenges in her position. Having been on the floor for 20 years, she witnessed a lot – the rise of technology, multiple crashes, and a work force that went from 5,000 on the floor to less than 500.
After leaving the NYSE, students went to Annaly Capital Management, the largest Mortgage Real Estate Investment Trust firm in the world. We first received a presentation on this specific type of investment firm, learned about the mortgage securitization process and other aspects of the industry. We then met with multiple employees, including their Capital Markets Manager, Portfolio Manager, Head of MBS Trading and Chief Technology Officer. It was very interesting to get such a broad perspective on their operations. We were also able to ask questions and received great tips on how to advance our professional careers in investments.
Overall, it was a very educational weekend. I met with top practitioners in the field, built a stronger relationship with my fellow Global Equity Fund members and enjoyed a wonderful weekend in New York City. It was great to see the knowledge from my coursework applied at such high levels of strategy and investments, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this experiential learning opportunity.
Rahul Shah is a third year Part-Time MBA/MFin dual degree candidate at the Smith School of Business. Rahul currently works in Finance at Aetna Healthcare, but is fully committed to a career in the non-profit sector after finishing the program. After graduating from undergrad, Rahul worked for an NGO in the urban slums of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Since returning to the US, he has been active in community engagement efforts and a wide variety of DC area non-profits. Rahul currently serves as VP of Community Development with the Part-Time MBA Association and as Community Service Chair for NetSAP-DC.