When it comes to finance, the Lundquist College has much to quack about of late. Here are some activities and achievements from the Cameron Center for Finance and Securities Analysis and the Department of Finance in recent months.
Knowledge Creation and Dissemination
Associate professors of finance Youchang Wu and Brandon Julio organized the UO Summer Finance Conference held August 6-8. The conference featured nine papers and discussions with researchers from, among others, Yale, University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern University, MIT, and USC. The conference built on our finance faculty's reputation for top quality research while attendees also enjoyed Oregon's bountiful culinary opportunities. This conference regularly attracts the upper echelon of research faculty from around the nation and provides an opportunity to network within the robust financial research community.
Rankings and Publications
The Lundquist College's finance faculty were 46th among all finance departments in the U.S. according to the University of Texas-Dallas rankings of faculty productivity, based on the number of publications in the most prestigious finance journals from 2012 to 2016.
Our faculty published 17 academic papers in top journals in 2016-2017, presented at many of the most prestigious conferences, published books, and wrote columns to continue our mission to create and disseminate knowledge in finance.
In just one example, assistant professor of finance Albert Sheen, a private equity expert, was invited to serve on a panel at Harvard Business School in September 2017. Sheen published, “The Operational Consequences of Private Equity Buyouts: Evidence from the Restaurant Industry," in a top academic journal. He has another promising paper, “Is Private Equity Good for Consumers?" that he is presenting at two very prestigious academic conferences.
New Program Up and Running: Master of Science in Finance
Master career consultant Deb Chereck, senior instructor of finance Ali Emami, senior lecturer II of accounting Michele Henney, and Sheen all finished the summer teaching our inaugural master of science in finance (MSF) cohort. Courses included quantitative methods in finance, financial accounting, corporate finance and valuation, and a professional development seminar.
The MSF was launched with a great deal of passion and energy to fulfill unmet demand. Avamere Professor of Practice Michael Crooke, associate professor of finance Jay Wang, Gerry and Marilyn Cameron Professor of Finance Diane Del Guercio, associate dean for graduate programs Monica Bray, director of admissions and recruiting Paul Allen, and the entire finance department all worked together to provide students with an exceptional experience. Lundquist College board of advisors member Bob Poletti lent his support and made the leadership gift necessary to jump-start the program.
The MSF cohort includes 25 students—exceeding the projected goal of 20. Chereck is leading their professional development and placement.
The Cameron Center for Finance and Securities Analysis
In the Cameron Center, program manager Michele Henney has been busy this past year supporting experiential opportunities for our students with visits to companies like Microsoft, Blackrock, and Bank of America in Portland, Seattle, New York City, and San Francisco. Our MBA placement rate for 2017 was 85 percent, with our graduates finding jobs at places like US Bank, Hawes Group, Wells Fargo, and Kaiser Dental.
Housed in the Cameron Center, the University of Oregon Investment Group (UOIG) continued its legacy of providing hands-on, practical investment experience to students. Not only has the UOIG's investment performance been impressive (about 250 percent in returns since inception vs. 200 percent for the benchmark), our students build relationships with lifelong friends and colleagues that sustain them through amazing careers. In fact, UOIG students enjoy 100 percent placement upon graduation, securing some of the most sought-after positions. As a testimony to the influence that the UOIG has had at the Lundquist College, the Alumni and Friends Fund was founded and funded ($109,000) by many UOIG alumni, who along with matching donor Howard Svigals, were eager to give back to an area that continues to pay dividends in their careers.
The center's Emerging Markets Fund (EMF)—also established through the generosity of donors—provides master-level students with investment management and analyst experience in emerging markets. As of July 31, 2017, EMF has $234,676 in assets under management, up from $200,239 one year earlier and after 4 percent in annual distributions that support Cameron Center activities. EMF is an important part of component of the offerings made to MSF students as well.
Student Banking Opportunities
Senior instructor Jonathan Moulton has continued to develop a premier banking presence at the college. We offer a banking simulation course similar to the training senior employees receive at the Pacific Coast Banking School or the Graduate School of Banking at UW-Madison. We offer credit analysis curricula that provide students with the skills to step directly into credit officer positions upon graduation. Successful placements include institutions such as Key Bank, US Bank, and Washington Trust, among others. Cameron Center alumni are experiencing accelerated career trajectories, with many individuals moving two and three years beyond their peers hired at the same time into senior credit and lending officer positions.
Two Faculty Earn Tenure, Win Multiple Teaching Awards
Brandon Julio and Steve McKeon were both promoted to associate professors with tenure. In addition to their outstanding research accomplishments, both continue to garner prestigious teaching awards, with McKeon winning the UO-wide Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2016 and the James E. Reinmuth MBA Teaching Excellence Award (voted by first-year MBAs), and Julio winning—for the second year in a row—the James E. Reinmuth Teaching Excellence Award (voted by second-year MBAs).
McKeon has also been appointed as the Cameron Center's Academic Director, which includes advising students, managing the Emerging Markets Fund, and building more connections for our MSF students to transition to successful careers.
A Great Hire: Rob Ready
We are exceptionally pleased to welcome Rob Ready as an associate professor. Ready earned his PhD from The Wharton School and spent the past several years as an assistant professor at the University of Rochester. Ready's research seeks to better understand the role that energy plays on the macro economy. For example, he is using stock returns to quantify the impact of North American energy discoveries—both their contribution to the economy and their effect on investment in alternative “clean" energy technologies. His most recent work attempts to quantify how low oil prices crowd out alternative energy investment, and what potential impact that has on carbon emissions. Ready has three forthcoming papers in top journals and is the recipient of the 2015 AQR Insight Prize, which came with a share of $100,000. When Ready is not publishing or presenting at conferences, you might see him surfing on the Oregon Coast.
Other News of Note
Diane Del Guercio, Cameron Professor of Finance, has been appointed senior associate dean, joining Dean Sarah Nutter's leadership team. This spring, associate professor of finance Ro Gutierrez served as head of the Department of Finance. Abbott Keller Professor of Finance John Chalmers returned this summer from a sabbatical at the Toulouse Business School in Toulouse, France, where he focused on his research and gave talks at German, Swiss, French, and Austrian universities. He is now serving as finance department head. Peter and Molly Powell Distinguished Senior Instructor II of Finance Deb Bauer was selected by Dean Nutter to lead the college's online initiatives.