Monday, May 13, 2024

Seth Rosenthal (BBA96) is quick to point out the people he works with are heroes.

Rosenthal has served as the chief investment officer for Academy Asset Management in Chicago since 2022. It is the first disabled veteran-owned institutional investment management firm in the country to be established post-9/11. A primary goal: To invest in and support the nation’s veterans.

“We mentor, train, and hire veterans to be successful in their careers on Wall Street at Academy Asset Management and its sister company, Academy Securities,” Rosenthal said.

I work with folks who have received a Purple Heart, or veterans who bear visible signs of their experience,” he said. “They raised their hand to defend our country, risking their lives in the process. Now they are taking the opportunity to give back to their fellow veterans. To me, that’s truly inspiring.”

In addition to employment, another way the company is giving back is through the recently launched Academy Veteran Impact ETF, which is listed with the trading symbol “VETZ” on the New York Stock Exchange. State Farm and Virtu Financial are two of the founding investors. VETZ is the first publicly traded ETF that invests mainly in initiatives that support veterans and active-duty U.S. military service personnel.

Seth Rosenthal at the New York Stock Exchange

“We will take a close look at businesses that are owned and operated by veterans,” says Rosenthal. “We take pride in helping them succeed.”

Further, the company works with the Bob Woodruff Foundation to donate a percentage of its management fees to charities that champion pro-veteran and military causes.

The effort has not gone unnoticed: “We are proud to say we were a finalist in the awards for ‘Best New ESG ETF,’ which means we are recognized for our values-based investing,” said Rosenthal. “Our clients actively pursue investments that directly align with their values and ours—and that means supporting veterans.”

Before joining Academy Asset Management, the St. Charles, Ill. native ran the proprietary investment portfolio at Northern Trust where he managed approximately $100 billion in global assets; prior to that, he worked for the Bank of Montreal in a similar role. “My background is managing large institutional portfolios,” he said. 

“Where I’m at today is a little different because I’m at the point where I’ve had a successful career, and now I have the ability to contribute to the veteran community.”

Rosenthal points out that his father and both his grandfathers were veterans; he was raised in an environment where the love of country and service were paramount. “This mission is really important to me,” he said. “For me, wanting to give back was a later-in-life realization. In my current role, Wall Street veterans like me are paired with younger military veterans to teach them the ropes. It’s deeply satisfying to me. I’ve had success. Now I can help others succeed.”



This article appeared in the 2024 issue of Exchange magazine