Monday, May 13, 2024

Twenty-five years ago, the Tippie College of Business was having a moment.

Henry B. Tippie had just pledged millions of dollars of support, and the college was named after him in recognition. Our alumni were killing it with the dot-com era booming, and new programs were sprouting up left and right. Two of those offerings were in the finance department and are celebrating a quarter century this academic year. Let’s take a look at their impact.


The Hawkinson Institute Grows Up

Tippie’s undergraduate investment banking program, and a pipeline to Wall Street.

Historically, entry-level analyst positions were hired from a pool of Ivy League students. Iowa was one of the first public universities to establish its own pipeline and level the playing field.

Students apply by the end of their freshman year, and those accepted get career support in three ways.
1) A weekly class that exposes them to advanced themes in finance, speakers from investment banking, private equity, and related industries, and 1:1 mentorship from upperclassmen and Program Director Brian Richman.
2) Hard and soft interview skills—students learn how to tell their story to stand out and how to work through technical finance questions.
3) Access to the Hawkinson Institute’s network of established relationships and alumni. “Hawkinson alums are great about mentoring students and pulling them into their firms. They are the whole reason the program works,” says Richman.

Dean Emeritus Gary Fethke recognized that getting students into high-profile jobs would reflect well upon the college, while while offering more challenging, satisfying opportunities for top students.

Who was Hawkinson?
The Institute was named in honor of H. John Hawkinson (BSC36), former president of Kemper Financial Services.

Hawkinson scholars have a 100% placement rate, and the program is growing! From three students its inaugural year, the program now supports 25-30 undergraduates per class. Richman reports he even has high school and transfer students reach out to him because they are looking forward to applying.

“I tell people I have the best job in the college. All my students are bright, motivated, and ambitious. We get them on these paths, and they go out and make a name for themselves. It’s definitely part of the job that I love,” says Richman.

But the real testament to how it’s going are the alumni of the program. The students who moved from Tippie right into high-responsibility, high-visibility, and high-earning potential roles.

“Some of the students’ parents work in finance, but many others are first-generation college students or come from rural backgrounds—people who might never have imagined getting onto this career path and finding success. Tapping into this opportunity sets them on steeper career trajectories, opens up a wide range of downstream career paths, and enables them to potentially create generational wealth for their families. Those are some of the great things this program does,” Richman said.


Tim Larsen

“The Hawkinson Institute made me aware of career paths and opportunities that I otherwise never would have known about.Hawkinson also helped me with the preparation and credibility to pursue these paths. My career journey to date almost certainly would have been much different without the Hawkinson Institute.”
Managing Director & Global
Co-Head of Consumer, Food, & Retail Group, Houlihan Lokey


We also now have several alumni who are in senior management positions at important investment banks. “It’s great seeing the program come to maturity in this way,” Richman said.

There are even more alumni who went from the great foundational job of analyst and parlayed that into success outside of investment banking.


Jessica Thorsheim

"Looking back and now running a $15B real estate organization, joining Hawkinson was likely one of the best decisions of my life.”
Head of SFR Real Estate Management
Amherst Group


The Hawkinson Institute will celebrate 25 years with events in New York and Chicago in the coming year. Stay tuned for more information!

People laughing and drinking at a Hawkinson alumni gathering


The Krause Fund: 25 years of hands-on experience

An undergraduate student-managed investment fund at Tippie.

It’s also an experiential learning opportunity. “Our students learn to apply industry-level valuation and financial modeling techniques to live companies in real time, which leads to actual investment decisions at the end of the semester,” said Program Director Todd Houge.

“Many schools have student-managed investment funds, but some are run as clubs, where students just get together, talk about markets, and make portfolio decisions. Our program is a for-credit course with in-depth analysis required. Our students work hard, and we have high expectations for the quality of research output,” said Houge. “We focus on making sure that students emerge with analytical skill sets that employers want. That’s the biggest difference.”

It’s also an open book. Holdings and student research reports are posted on the Krause Fund website, marketing both the program at the college as well as the students to prospective employers.

Students in Applied Equity Valuation work in teams of four or five and are assigned to monitor a holding in the Krause Fund. The team spends the semester researching the company, along with potential replacement investments from the same economic sector.

At the end of the course, they make a recommendation to the Krause Fund Advisory Board to keep, sell, or replace the fund holding.

“We try to simulate the role of an actual research analyst. We replicate that environment, but in a more controlled, academic setting—with exams and checkpoints along the way,” Houge said.


Kayla Kremer

“Because there’s more on the line than just a grade, it taught me how to have an opinion and influence others. I used all the skills I developed in my first job and every subsequent job thereafter!”
Senior Client Portfolio Manager
Aegon Asset Management & 
Krause Fund Advisory Board Member


Bill Krause (BA57), of Kum & Go fame, approached the University of Iowa in the fall of 1998, along with three other universities in the state, donating $100,000 each to start an investment fund. Iowa already had a course teaching these concepts, Securities Analysis, and created its portfolio right away.

The fund has grown from $100,000 to $800,000, but the 700+% return is not the primary focus for Houge. It’s the experience provided to hundreds of students along the way.

“The primary goal is that we want students to walk away from the class with an understanding of how to analyze a company, identify core value drivers, forecast financial statements, and develop an integrated economic and industry outlook. The final step in the process requires teams to deliver a professional presentation and effectively communicate their investment thesis,” Houge said.

“Recruiters are consistently impressed by Krause Fund students’ research reports,” said Houge. “Students tell me they say ‘I’ve never seen an undergraduate student produce this level of work.’ And that’s the kind of outcome we are aiming for.”


This article appeared in the 2024 issue of Exchange magazine