Fall 2017 Finance Newsletter

Fall 2017 Finance Newsletter

In this Issue:

Welcome

Dr. Jessica Zhao, Finance Department Chair

Dr. Jessica Zhao, Finance Department Chair

Image: Penn State

Hope you are enjoy your semester so far! We are off to another exciting year as our Finance major continues to soar! There is much exciting news to share; here are a few highlights:

  • Penn State World Campus enrollment for the B.S. in Finance has grown 26 percent compared with this time last year. We started to offer FIN 362 Intrieri Family Student Management Fund-Associate Analyst Practicum, and FIN 462 Intrieri Family Student Managed Fund-Fund Officer/Lead Analyst Practicum to World Campus students, which have attracted a lot of interest in the program. 
  • Our student managed fund surpassed $600,000.
  • The Behrend Financial Management Association (FMA) chapter earned the FMA Superior Chapter Award for the 2016-17 academic year. This highly coveted designation is awarded to less than 10 percent of FMA chapters.
  • Our Investment Research Challenge (IRC) Behrend team is back to compete at the 2018 CFA Institute Research Challenge.
  • It is my pleasure to welcome our new faculty member, Dr. Harry Feng, assistant professor of finance, to our team. Feng earned his Ph.D. in finance from Oklahoma State University. He is teaching FIN 301 Corporate Finance and FIN 451 Intermediate Financial Management through World Campus.

Please read more about the great things occurring within our program in this newsletter!

Dr. Jessica Zhao, Program Chair for Economics and Finance

Intrieri Family Student Managed Fund Surpasses $600,000 Milestone

Thanks to the generous donations of the Intrieri family and Samuel P. “Pat” Black III, the Intrieri Family Student Managed Fund now manages a portfolio of approximately $663,000. Since its inception in 2012, the Intrieri Family Student Managed Fund has provided students with the opportunity to act as portfolio managers and equity analysts, helping many students to pursue successful careers in the investment industry. Having the opportunity to manage real assets, especially a significant amount, helps students apply their knowledge in a way that potential employers value. Each year the fund has grown in student members and asset value, which is a testament to the hard work of the members and their passion for the fund.The fund has made significant strides to continually improve investment processes each year and now regularly attracts fifty members to weekly investment strategy meetings. Success requires continuous growth and improvement, both of which are fundamental aspects of the Intrieri Family Student Managed Fund. We are excited to be a part of an incredible journey.

Thank you to Vince and Joanne Intrieri and Samuel P. “Pat” Black III for providing members of the fund with incredible opportunities by way of their thoughtful donations!

​Jason Pettner, Fund president

Fund Officers:

Student Managed Fund Officers: From left, Matthew Colpoys, Andrew Hoverson, Nicholas Findley, Jason Pettner (president), Vilyamir Kolesnichenko, and Max Morrow.

Student Managed Fund Officers

Student Managed Fund Officers: From left, Matthew Colpoys, Andrew Hoverson, Nicholas Findley, Jason Pettner (president), Vilyamir Kolesnichenko, and Max Morrow.

From left, Matthew Colpoys, Andrew Hoverson, Nicholas Findley, Jason Pettner (president), Vilyamir Kolesnichenko, and Max Morrow.

Finance Majors Participate in the CFA Society Pittsburgh Career Fair

Twelve area universities sent a maximum of five students each to participate in the third annual CFA Society Pittsburgh Career Fair on September 11, 2017, at the University of Pittsburgh. Students from Penn State Behrend participating were Vily Kolesnichenko, Nick Findley, Max Morrow, Ethan Moody, and Nolan Pike. Each year, Behrend students receiving CFA scholarships and members of the Research Challenge team are given preference for participation.

The fair opened with a discussion of the CFA charter by Dr. Greg Filbeck, director of the Black School of Business and president of CFA Society Pittsburgh. He provided an overview of the CFA program and was joined by a panel of two CFA Charterholders who candidly answered any questions presented about the CFA Charter, CFA Program, or CFA Society Pittsburgh. The panel included Lisa Brignoni, director of business strategy at Clearnomics and program chair at CFA Society Pittsburgh; Todd Douds, director of research and operations at Fort Pitt Capital Group; George Emanuele, senior director at BNY Mellon Wealth Management and vice president of CFA Society Pittsburgh; and Shane Nickolich, marketing manager at C.S. McKee.

The next session was titled “Building Your Network – Networking and Making Connections for Career Success” and presented by Courtney Steding from Penn State Behrend’s Academic and Career Planning Center. Steding stressed the importance of networking to get that first job out of school, while offering several examples of how to successfully do so at a corporate/professional event. 

Networking took place with recruiters from BNY Mellon, PNC, Federated, Fort Pitt Capital, C.S. McKee, Stonebridge, Wilshire, Waldron, and Ayco before and after the final session, “Job Search Strategy Uncensored,” led by moderator George Emanuele, senior director at BNY Mellon Wealth Management and vice pesident of CFA Society Pittsburgh. Panelists were Reed Natali, financial adviser at Shorebridge Wealth Management; Ben Greenfeld, CIO at Waldron; and Antonio Morello, CFA at PNC Wealth Management.

From left, Ethan Moody, Max Morrow, Nolan Pike, Greg Filbeck, faculty adviser, Vily Kolesnichenko, and Nick Findley

Investment Research Challenge

IRC Challenge, From left, Ashley Pettit, Nick Findley, Cameron Feather, Vily Kolesnichenko, Matthew Colpoys, and Greg Filbeck, faculty adviser.

IRC Challenge

IRC Challenge, From left, Ashley Pettit, Nick Findley, Cameron Feather, Vily Kolesnichenko, Matthew Colpoys, and Greg Filbeck, faculty adviser.

Image: Penn State Behrend

From left, Ashley Pettit, Nick Findley, Cameron Feather, Vily Kolesnichenko, Matthew Colpoys, and Greg Filbeck, faculty adviser.

Following another great performance by Penn State Behrend’s CFA Institute Research Challenge team last year, the Black School of Business is back to compete in 2018.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge (IRC) is an annual global competition in which students work in teams to analyze a publicly traded company. The competition has grown to involve over 1,000 universities in more than fifty-five countries. The CFA IRC is considered the “Investment Olympics” for university students, who develop detailed financial reports and one-year stock valuations for a company selected for case study.

The local IRC will be held in Pittsburgh and teams will be analyzing WESCO International. After winning the local competition in 2016 and 2017, the Behrend IRC team will strive to defend its title in the local round and move on to the regional events again this year.

This year's Behrend team is Nicholas Findley, Ashley Pettit, Vilyamir Kolesnichenko, Matthew Colpoys, and Cameron Feather. The team is looking forward to working hard together and learning more about investment analysis through researching WESCO International, Inc. They are hoping to continue the success of last year’s Behrend team by making it to the international competition, which will be held in Seoul, South Korea.

Financial Management Association Honor Society

As an official chapter of the Financial Management Association, Behrend finance students have the opportunity to be accepted into the FMA National Honor Society. Behrend is happy to recognize eight students who were accepted into the FMA National Honor Society this year!

Financial Management Association Honor Society, From left, Dr. Jeff Coy, assistant professor of finance and faculty adviser, Nicholas Findley, Andrew Hoverson, Jason Pettner, Max Morrow, Ethan Moody, Catherine Brooks, Nolan Pike, and Phil Stuczynski, lecturer in business and faculty adviser

Financial Management Association Honor Society

Financial Management Association Honor Society, From left, Dr. Jeff Coy, assistant professor of finance and faculty adviser, Nicholas Findley, Andrew Hoverson, Jason Pettner, Max Morrow, Ethan Moody, Catherine Brooks, Nolan Pike, and Phil Stuczynski, lecturer in business and faculty adviser

From left, Dr. Jeff Coy, assistant professor of finance and faculty adviser, Nicholas Findley, Andrew Hoverson, Jason Pettner, Max Morrow, Ethan Moody, Catherine Brooks, Nolan Pike, and Phil Stuczynski, lecturer in business and faculty adviser

 Dominic Susino, World Campus student participating in FMA Honors

Dominic Susino

 Dominic Susino, World Campus student participating in FMA Honors

Dominic Susino, World Campus student participating in FMA Honors

Financial Planning Association

Are you interested in the financial services industry, or simply just want to learn more about one of the many options a Finance major provides? The Financial Planning Association chapter on campus is the perfect place to learn what a career in financial planning looks like. Come for valuable life and career lessons from industry professionals, as well as to build a strong career network! If you have any questions about the FPA, please contact Jason Pettner at jtp5256@psu.edu.

Financial Planning Officers

Financial Planning Officers  From left, Tim Hess, Kristopher Knorr, Jason Pettner, Vilyamir Kolesnichenko, and Brady Maximovich

Financial Planning Association

Financial Planning Officers. From left, Tim Hess, Kristopher Knorr, Jason Pettner, Vilyamir Kolesnichenko, and Brady Maximovich

Image: Penn State Behrend

From left, Tim Hess, Kristopher Knorr, Jason Pettner, Vilyamir Kolesnichenko, and Brady Maximovich

How to Join the FPA

To be a part of our local Financial Planning Association chapter here on campus, all it takes is for you to pay your local dues of $10 to the RUB desk and attend the meetings. Make sure you save your receipt and give it to our treasurer, Brady Maximovich, at the meetings. After that, you are all set to enjoy the many benefits that come along with being in the FPA, including our networking trips to our FPA chapter in Pittsburgh!

To join the national FPA, go onto the FPA webpage and sign up to pay the annual rate of $39 for national dues. This grants you access to all of the resources on the website, a welcoming package, Journal of Financial Planning Monthly magazine, Money magazine, certificate of membership and much more.

Go to the FPA website and scroll down to the full-time student option.

Financial Management Association

Are you looking to get more involved in extracurricular activities as a Finance or other business major? Then FMA may be for you! The Financial Management Association is the premier club on campus for students looking to be involved in financial management and analysis. The FMA chapter has earned the FMA Superior Chapter Award for the 2016-17 academic year. This highly coveted designation is awarded to less than 10 percent of FMA chapters. The club holds meetings once a month, bringing in speakers from the field to share their experiences and journeys through finance. The club also organizes various workshops and finance speaker series events with the Financial Planning Association. Club members even have the opportunity once a semester to take trips to various financial firms, seeing for themselves the operations that go on daily.

Interested in joining FMA?

Reach out to Vily Kolesnichenko at vxk5114@psu.edu or join on BehrendSync!

FMA Leadership:

FMA Leadership: Kris Knorr, Vily Kolesnichenko, Nick Findley, Becker Nezballa, Ethan Moody. Not Pictured: Philip Stuczynski, lecturer in business and faculty adviser, Matt Colpoys

FMA Leadership

FMA Leadership: Kris Knorr, Vily Kolesnichenko, Nick Findley, Becker Nezballa, Ethan Moody. Not Pictured: Philip Stuczynski, lecturer in business and faculty adviser, Matt Colpoys

Image: Penn State Behrend

From left, Dr. Jeff Coy, assistant professor of finance and faculty adviser, Jared Orr, Brad Lucas, Kris Knorr, Vily Kolesnichenko, Nick Findley, Becker Nezballa, Ethan Moody. Not Pictured: Philip Stuczynski, lecturer in business and faculty adviser, Matt Colpoys

Business Analytics Team (BAT)

This club meets biweekly on Wednesdays from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in 236 Burke. We focus on discussing real-world topics, such as Uber’s financial model and bankruptcy, with our alumni! We have alumni joining our calls from financial services such as Bank of America, PNC, BNY Mellon, and more! Join us for our next meeting on October 11. Please email Nicole Overby at nmo5050@psu.edu to be added to the email list.

Harry Feng

Harry Feng

Image: Penn State

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Hongrui “Harry” Feng

The Black School of Business would like to offer a very warm welcome to our newest finance faculty member, Dr. Hongrui Feng, assistant professor of finance!

Feng earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Zhejiang University in China. Following undergrad, Feng earned his master’s degree in quantitative and computational finance from Georgia Tech and his Ph.D. in finance from Oklahoma State University.

Feng has been featured as a speaker at the annual meeting for the Financial Management Association (FMA), a club that is integral to the finance program at Behrend. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Feng worked as a valuation analyst for Habif Arogeti & Wynne, a business advisory firm located in Atlanta. 

Feng is passionate about research, with several working papers currently in progress. His research interests include executive compensation, corporate governance, payout policy, empirical asset pricing, and return momentum. In addition, Feng’s research piece “Payout Flexibility and Capital Expenditure” was published in the Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting. Feng’s passion for research has earned him various awards and honors from the FMA, SWFA, and Oklahoma State University.

Aside from scholarly achievements, Feng places a high priority on positively impacting the lives of students. When asked about what he would like students to know, Feng responded, “I am a professor in the classroom; however, I am also a friend after class.”

Why did you choose finance?

I have been interested in the capital markets since I was a kid. I am curious about the stock market and how to make money with my brain, rather than my hands.

How are you liking Behrend so far?

I like Behrend a lot! Faculty and staff members are very nice and helpful. Also, students are actively involved in class. I am very happy with the interactions I have had so far with my students in class. For example, I assigned a trading simulation game and they were actively involved, asking questions about investing and portfolios. I am extremely excited to have these interactions on a daily basis!

Welcome to Behrend and the Black School of Business, Dr. Feng!

Student Spotlights

Dominic Susino ’17

Dominic Susino

Dominic Susino, Fall 2017 Finance Newsletter

Image: Penn State

What is your major?

I will be graduating in December with a B.S. in Finance.

What has been your favorite course?

I have two favorite courses: FIN 418 Introduction to Energy Finance and FIN 419 Advanced Energy Finance

What do you like most about attending Behrend?

I enjoy the challenges offered by the courses and the dedication of the professors to their students. I have been very fortunate to have professors who were willing to spend time in direct communication through Zoom web conferences. Being a World Campus student, I always felt connected to the school. The professors made it very clear that they would spend as much time as needed to ensure that I understood the material.

How will a Behrend degree help you in your field?

I own my own business, and one of the reasons I enrolled in courses in finance was to gain an understanding of how to effectively grow my business. Having the ability to create forecasts, identify projects with a positive net present value, and calculate real options gives me the confidence to grow my business in a way that I would not have been able to otherwise.

If you could do it all again, would you have chosen Behrend?

Without a doubt, I would choose Behrend again. The courses were engaging, challenging, flexible, and well taught. I found the educational experience at Behrend to be second to none. I have had a great time engaging with my fellow students and the professors. I was looking for a challenge when I enrolled. I truly wanted to learn the material, not just take courses. I feel that the experience at Behrend has prepared me for anything I decide to take on.

Vilyamir Kolesnichenko ’19

Vily Kolesnichenko

Vily Kolesnichenko

Image: Penn State

What is your major?

I am currently a junior pursuing a B.S. in Finance, with goals of getting the Risk Management and the Financial Planning certificates. I also plan on sitting for the CFP and the CFA exams.

What has been your favorite course?

I’d have to say that I have two favorite classes. These would be FIN 420 Investment and Portfolio Analysis with Eric Robbins, lecturer in finance, and FIN 301 Corporation Finance with Rick Hedderick, assistant teaching professor of finance. These two classes were foundational in the pursuit of my finance degree and I would not know what I know today without these two courses.

What do you like most about attending Behrend?

The thing that I really love most about attending Behrend is the kind of connections and network that you make through all the opportunities offered here. From my first year to today, I have gotten closer to the professors and to my fellow students in ways that are often not offered at other campuses. From going to CFA events with Dr. Filbeck and Eric Robbins to being involved with the Intrieri Family Student Managed Fund with Dr. Tim Krause, assistant professor of finance, I have developed an intimate professional network capable of creating many career opportunities. Not many professors take time out of their days to connect and mentor their students, but at Behrend it is a common theme within every major and discipline.

How will a Behrend degree help you in your field?

A Behrend degree is a Penn State degree. Simply put, it’s something to be proud of. The Penn State alumni network is the largest in the world, and people who are Penn Staters will always try to help fellow Penn Staters. I feel that the Behrend degree well prepares me for the finance industry better than the vast majority of other colleges. We are one of the only schools in Pennsylvania to teach a curriculum that prepares you to sit for both the CFA Level I exam and CFP exam straight out of college. Behrend provides me the best preparation to be successful in my future career endeavors.

If you could do it all again, would you have chosen Behrend?

Yes, 100 percent yes! Behrend was the only college that I applied to, and now that I’ve gone through the majority of the program, I will say that Behrend was the best choice for me.

Alumni Spotlight

Cory Phillips ’16

Cory Phillips

Cory Phillips 

Image: Penn State Behrend

Financial Advisor at Edward Jones

What steps did you take while at Behrend to help prepare for your job?

When I transitioned from Mechanical Engineering to Finance, it wasn’t about the course load difference or engineering being too tough, it was about being passionate about something else. So a step I took when I began Finance my junior year was to take my classes seriously, to not just get an A or a B in a course and dump all knowledge out of the window at the end. I wanted to learn the course information and hope that would make me a better person in the future. So take courses seriously!

Career fairs, school activities, and building relationships with professors also helped me develop my business acumen. Building relationships is most important. This helped me take a step towards the real world. Professors who impacted me the most are Dr. Greg Filbeck, Samuel P. Black III Professor of Finance and Risk Management; Eric Robbins, lecturer in finance; Linda Hajec, assistant teaching professor of accounting; Adam Hollinger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; and Rick Hedderick, assistant teaching professor of accounting. They all were helpful in answering questions, showing empathy, and guiding me down the right path for what was best for me. If it wasn’t for Dr. Filbeck taking a liking to me in my early college days and caring about my future, I’d likely be unhappy in a different field now.

What made you choose Edward Jones?

They seemed to be the best fit for someone like me. After speaking to a number of financial advisors at Edward Jones, as well as other firms, I felt that at Jones there was a genuine, good nature to the people working here. If you ask them a question, they’ll really try to help you out. If you need to chat in one of their offices, they’ll take the time for an hour or two and lead you down the right path. Adam Nelson, financial advisor, helped tremendously here. They do what’s right for people, which aligns with who I am.

The most appealing part of Edward Jones is the autonomy. I’ve always been a very independent worker and like to do things on my own schedule. At Edward Jones, I can do that and build my business the way that I see fit. There is not a boss in the office, so success is in my hands. If I want to start at 9:30 a.m., I can. If I want to work a twelve-hour day to get ahead, I can. If I’m not feeling great and sharp on a certain day, I can do what I need to do to recharge and get prepared. This job is a lot of hard work and there are growing pains, but I love being able to help people and the potential for an incredible future. I wouldn’t want to be with any other firm.

If you could go back and change anything about your time at Behrend, what would it be?

I think there’s a unique path for everyone in life and it often times doesn’t go smoothly. My time at Behrend and in college was rocky at times in trying to figure out who I was and worrying about how things would work out. It was also a blast at other moments, and I have memories I’ll never forget with people who are very special to me. I wouldn’t change much about my time here.

I am someone who has always wanted to be very successful, which is a blessing and a curse. So for a person like me, if I had to change something, I’d change the amount of stress I placed on myself to find a great job and in trying to figure everything out while at school.

What advice do you have for current students majoring in Finance, especially those wanting to get into financial services?

Thinking forward by seeing yourself in a job and picturing what it would be like is important in getting what you want. Also being willing to do things that make you uncomfortable, and working hard on bettering yourself each day will go a long way.

Financial advising and financial analysis are both incredibly promising career paths. You can’t go wrong. In trying to decide what you’d like to do, be sure to ask a number of professors and professionals in the field questions. After asking questions, make a decision based upon what you believe will be a better fit. If you are incorrect in your first decision and find that you don’t like your job, there is good news. You can change your position in life at any time, and redirect into something else.