Hedge Fund Analyst
BBA 2007 (Finance)
Q: Describe your work as well as the previous positions you’ve held.
A: I am a senior analyst on a healthcare sector long/short equity portfolio. I do fundamental analysis on specialty pharmaceutical companies, meet with their CEOs and CFOs, assess various valuation metrics, and ultimately determine an investment recommendation. My current role really utilizes a lot of what Todd Houge teaches in Applied Equity Valuation—a class, in my opinion, that puts Hawkinson Scholars at a competitive advantage in interviews against students from other universities which don’t offer as in-depth, live (via the Krause Fund) investment course work. While in college, through the help of the Hawkinson Institute, I had the opportunity to intern at Lehman Brothers in investment banking. Upon graduating, I knew my interests were more geared toward the “buy-side” and analyzing companies and picking stocks rather than facilitating transactions/advisory services for the companies. In the summer of 2007, I joined the Lehman Equity Strategies group, the firm’s proprietary hedge fund, in a more junior role, but similar to what I do now.
Q: How has the Hawkinson Institute has benefited you?
The Hawkinson Institute was a necessity in providing industry contacts, résumé consultation, and interview opportunities during my junior year of college in order to secure an internship with a major firm—a necessity for full-time placement after graduation. Without the institute facilitating the relationship between its scholars and competitive recruiting firms, it would be very difficult for students from the University of Iowa to gain traction in this process. Regardless of whether it’s right or fair, Iowa’s “brand” as an undergraduate business program doesn’t carry much weight against Ivy League competitors. The Hawkinson Institute, through its intense relationship management with top firms in the industry and placement of high-performing Iowa students, fights to change this perception.
Q: As a Hawkinson alumnus, what role do you play in assisting current Hawkinson Scholars?
I feel really lucky to have had this opportunity and I want to ensure future Iowa students can also benefit. For this reason, I maintain an active role in the institute by assisting with its active mentorship program as well as helping to redesign the alumni fundraising initiative. The latter is a crucial component of bolstering the current endowment to ensure longevity and success of the program. Given Hawkinson has a growing and very successful alumni base, Tim Larsen (BBA 2004) and I worked together to build the fundraising effort via a graduating class competitive giving program. The initiative resulted in a four-fold increase in alumni giving—40% of alumni contributed to our recently-completed second campaign—and an eight-fold increase in dollars raised from alumni. We are also looking forward to starting an Advisory Committee, which can focus on various specific program initiatives – one of which will be a year-round effort to drive alumni networking, mentorship, and giving back. These elements are key to the ongoing success and sustained benefits of such a unique and valuable resource.
Q: You’re originally from Iowa. How have you adapted to the East Coast?
For my senior year spring break, instead of going to the beach like most of my friends, I ventured out to New York for the first time and from that moment I knew I had to live there. I love that the city offers an endless amount of fun and new things to do or see, and that I can meet people from so many different backgrounds.
Q: Do you miss the Midwest?
Living in the city has given me a lot of perspective—part of which is an appreciation for “home.” Besides missing family and friends, I really miss chain restaurants. You can’t find bottomless chips and salsa at Chili’s in the city, which is a real tragedy. I also miss the football games in Iowa City. However, Iowa alumni in the city do their best to “represent” at the area Iowa bar, The Irish Exit. We affectionately refer to it as “Kinnick East.”