P. Kenney '67
on Kellogg MBA figures big in Kenney giving
evident that numbers factor heavily into the thinking of seasoned
Wall Street professional and finance expert Jerome P. Kenney
'67 when you hear him quantify his relationship with his B-school
of a Kellogg School education is much more than the cost,"
Kenney says during a phone interview from his New York office
at Merrill Lynch & Co., where he is vice chairman focused
on advising major clients. "And I didn't even pay the cost,
let alone the value."
is referring to the fact that an investment in education gives
its beneficiary a lifetime of benefits — not only greater
earning potential, but also the skills and knowledge that
can translate into greater career satisfaction over time,
and the feeling that one is making a genuine professional
contribution. He also believes that the tuition students pay
at many institutions, including the Kellogg School, doesn't
actually cover the present-day cost of their education and
ignores the remarkable future value of the education.
this complex equation adds up to a mandate to give back to
the institutions that have helped him build a satisfying career
on Wall Street over nearly four decades. His service to the
Kellogg School includes a seat on the Dean's Advisory Board,
which challenges him to "help determine how a top graduate
school maintains its pre-eminence." Kenney is also a recruiter
of students to Merrill Lynch, a frequent host to Dean Dipak
C. Jain and Dean Emeritus Donald P. Jacobs at New York gatherings,
and a panelist speaker at the annual Day at Kellogg event
to introduce prospective students to the school.
had never even owned stocks and I knew very little about Wall
Street before business school," Kenney says, adding that it
was during his time at Kellogg that the idea for a finance
career took shape. "I came to Wall Street competing against
the top graduates of all the best schools. And I was just
as well-prepared — or better prepared —to succeed
as everyone else."
feel very strongly about giving back to the community.
Our family has always placed a high priority on service,
whether measured in time or financial commitment. I have
great hope for my generation as we demonstrate our gratitude
to those who came before us, and show our support for
those who follow." Mark
Fuller '83, Principal, William Blair & Co., Chicago
began his career in New York as a research analyst at White,
Weld & Co. and within four years was managing the firm's entire
research department. Not long after, he was entrusted with
overseeing the firm's institutional business worldwide.
found his biggest career challenge after White, Weld & Co.
merged with Merrill Lynch in 1978: to create an institutional
business for Merrill Lynch and help the firm go head-to-head
with the top competitors in this arena.
time, Merrill Lynch was a big retail firm but not an institutional
player," Kenney says. "We were the only retail firm ultimately
able to transform itself into a leading institutional firm.
People asked why I stayed after the merger. It was because
I liked the challenge."
for taking on challenges ultimately earned him the position
as CEO of Merrill's worldwide investment banking and institutional
business and a spot on the company's board of directors.
approaches the 40th anniversary of his business school graduation
in a couple of years, he's zeroing in on yet another goal:
His cumulative gifts to the school, including a generous donation
to Campaign Northwestern on behalf of the Kellogg School,
will reach the significant dollar amount he has set as his
giving goal, creating the Jerome P. Kenney Endowed Fund.
days, Kenney best sums up his relationship with the Kellogg
School as a "virtuous circle" — he gives back freely
to the institution that helped shape his career, but also
benefits from the school in his role as recruiter by snapping
up his company's share of promising Kellogg graduates to work
at Merrill Lynch.
the mathematical terms he favors, it's evident that both sides
of Kenney's life equation borrow from each other to balance
you graduate," he says, "learning is not over. It is critical
to society and to one's personal well-being to maintain an
interest in education."
to Betsy Holden '82
to Why alumni give back