Written by Members of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Financial Management Association
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Financial Management Association (FMA) takes time out of their regular class schedule to go on an annual trip to visit finance professionals in the Twin Cities. This trip gives FMA members an opportunity to see a wide variety of careers within the finance industry. This year FMA partnered with CFA Society Minnesota (CFAMN) to line-up firms for the students to visit in Minneapolis and St. Paul. CFAMN put together an outstanding day filled with real-life experiences. Students attended five incredible presentations from: Wells Fargo/Wells Capital Management, Nuveen Asset Management, Royal Bank of Canada, Mairs & Power and Northwest Area Foundation. We can’t thank CFAMN enough for giving our members this experience!
Nuveen Asset Management brought the group up to their executive conference room. Below is a list of the professionals FMA had the opportunity to learn from:
Andrew Rem, CFA – Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Senior Research Analyst
Sarah Wade – Senior Vice President, Co-Portfolio Manager
Laura Starr, CFA – Senior Vice President, Senior Research Analyst
Derek Sadowsky, CFA – Vice President, Portfolio Manager
Julie Lenarz – Assistant Vice President, Operational Manager, NAM Legal and Risk
Benjamin Duininck, CFA – Vice President, Senior Research Analyst
Hearing from each one of these individuals provided our group with key insights not readily available within the classroom setting. Some of these insights included:
- How a research analyst’s day is never the same. Some days you are diving into spreadsheets and creating models or other days you are flying around the country visiting corporate executives.
- The role of psychology in finance and understanding the emotions of the market.
- The retail industry and how to think about companies when researching them.
- The importance of tools such as FactSet and Bloomberg and selling within this industry.
- How risk management and compliance are crucial in daily activities of the industry.
- How much larger the fixed income market is than the public equity market, which was a shock to a lot of people.
We were able to hear from professionals that are in positions we hope to be in someday. It was exciting to hear about how their day-to-day activities correlate with topics we are learning in school and gave our group a lot to look forward to!
At the Royal Bank of Canada, we had a phenomenal opportunity to have breakout sessions and discussions with different parts of the firm. We heard from these professionals:
Marcia Morgan – Vice President, Business Technology
Christy Bipes – Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications
Josh Schettle, CFA – Sr. Investment Risk Analyst
Carol Kuha, CFA – Chief Operating Officer
Tiffany Mlsna – Analyst, Portfolio Administration
Kelly Foley – Junior Credit Analyst
Mindy Frye – Associate Portfolio Manager – Impact Investing
Nick Walstrom – Director, Product Management
Craig Bishop – Vice President, Lead Strategist U.S. Fixed Income Strategies Group
Sam Renikoff – Fixed Income Portfolio Associate
Bob Dickey – Technical Analyst
Peter Kolar, CFA – Wealth Management Consultant
The breakout sessions were an extremely valuable opportunity with departments including business technology services, portfolio management, fixed income, investment risk and performance department. During this session, we broke into small groups of four to six, and had the opportunity to meet with multiple professionals from these departments for 10 minutes. Many people enjoyed the opportunity, mainly because we had the chance to get to personally know everyone in each of the departments, walk through their day-to-day lives and ask them questions. They provided career advice, what RBC has to offer and possible careers with the firm.
The next session we had was a discussion with the wealth management group. We talked with a technical analyst, a research analyst and a financial advisor consultant. Many students took advantage of the opportunity as a way to see aspects of research and advising, which led to a very positive, interactive and educational session. We talked about aspects such as understanding risk, what technical analysis is and what it is like to be an advisor. Overall, the students really enjoyed the opportunity to go to RBC. The firm was very engaging and interesting, and we would thoroughly enjoy visiting them again.
Our speakers at Wells Fargo/Wells Capital Management gave us an overview of several different jobs within the company.
Matt Grimes, CFA – Managing Director
Jeanine Sundt – Investor Relations Manager
Jake Seltz, CFA – Portfolio Manager, LT Large Cap Growth Equity
Kashi Yoshikawa, CFA – Senior VP, Regional Investment Manager
They talked about the company’s mission, principles, and goals for their clients. We learned about short duration fixed income, investor relations, large cap growth equities, building portfolios for clients, and maintaining client relationships. They also provided us information on the CFA Charter and the importance of having that designation in the industry.
Mairs & Power provided a unique opportunity to see a firm that doesn’t operate as the traditional investment firm. Seeing the unique hands-on and interactive investment strategy that they have incorporated for the past several decades offered insight that many students would not have had the opportunity to ever experience if it was not for the visit. This opportunity showed us that there are creative ways to create profitable investments year over year, and I know many of the members of our organization walked out with a more creative insight on investing. At Mairs & Power, we had the opportunity to meet with:
Ron Kaliebe, CFA, CIC – Senior Vice President and Director of Fixed Income
Allen Steinkopf, CFA – Co-Manager of the Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund
Kelly Trevenna – Equity Trader/Assistant Portfolio Manager
Heidi Lynch – Fixed Income Trader
Each member walked us through what they do daily and provided insight into the firm. The Q & A session was filled with great questions that provided a lot of knowledge to all our members. We are thankful for the opportunity to experience such an amazing company such as Mairs & Power.
At Northwest Area Foundation, we learned about what an investment director does on a day-to-day basis. Our speaker, Amy Jensen, CFA – Investment Director, is responsible for investing the foundation’s assets to make sure they can provide grant-making in the future. We also talked about the importance of behavioral finance and how to build an institutional investment portfolio. After the presentation, we were able to compare two potential investments and decided which one would be better for the company. Amy also touched on what the CFA Charter has done for her and what it is like to be a woman in the finance industry.