Kellogg News

Senior associate dean to lead business school as search for permanent dean continues

Summit brings together more than 800 alumnae, faculty and students for robust discussion on challenges women face.

Dean Sally Blount ’92 honored Roslyn M. Brock ’99, Ann M. Drake ’84 and Richard H. Lenny ’77

Experiential courses and individualized co-curricular programming provide the launch pad students need to tackle big issues

Kellogg supports marketers at every stage of their career

News & Events

Amber light in financial markets

Experts see caution amid global uncertainty

By Deborah Leigh Wood

10/1/2004 - The theme of the 2004 Kellogg School Finance Conference invited guest speakers to ponder the lessons learned in the marketplace, given the corporate scandals, volatility and global uncertainty of the past several years.

Their consensus? Businesses act with more caution these days and are proactive in upholding the highest professional standards.

“We’re not yet out of the woods,” said James Dollive, executive vice president and CFO of Kraft Foods, and one of two keynote speakers at the conference, which was held Oct. 27 at the James L. Allen Center. “CEO compensation is a big issue, and we’re hearing increasingly more discussion about more regulation.”

To restore public confidence, he said, corporate and financial institutions need to implement in-house review programs that go above and beyond what is required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Dollive said Kraft has spent $10 billion in compliance fees.

Fisher Scientific, a much smaller company that sells specialized measurement and flow control equipment for laboratories and industrial markets, spent the same amount on compliance, said Frank Harter, the firm’s vice president of finance. Even with the regulatory restrictions imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley, he predicted that “25 percent of companies still won’t have clean financial statements,” because of the time involved in bookkeeping. Harter said 40 percent of his time is now spent managing compliance issues.

In discussing some of the ramifications of the volatile market on consumers, Peter Jankovskis, director of research for Oakbrook Investments, said he has been focusing on risk control. “We keep the same mechanics, but talk more to clients about their needs,” he said. He foresees a strong market within one year’s time.

In uncertain times, fixed-income returns traditionally do well, said John Didrickson ’01, vice president, Morgan Stanley Fixed Income, who predicted baby boomers will pursue that investment route. Hedge funds already are a fast-growing sector, said Joseph Nicholas, founder and chairman of Hedge Fund Research, and a graduate of Northwestern’s School of Law.

To attract even more clients, the hedge fund industry must provide a broader base of investments and do a better job of educating the public. “Many consumers don’t realize that the return is in the marketplace, not in the manager,” said Nicholas, providing one example of a common misconception. “But you do need a talented manager to tap into the marketplace."

Mitchell A. Petersen
, the Glen Vasel Associate Professor of Finance at Kellogg, said the conference was an opportunity to highlight the finance knowledge of the school’s current students and alumni.


“The panelists stressed the importance of building a strong foundation in finance before leaving Kellogg,” said Petersen. “Knowledge of analytic finance skills, such as portfolio theory, option pricing and security analysis, provides our alumni with the skills to confront an uncertain world.”

In addition to the Kellogg School, the conference was sponsored by Banc of America Securities, Baird, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Target and Union Pacific.

Fisher Scientific, a much smaller company that sells specialized measurement and flow control equipment for laboratories and industrial markets, spent the same amount on compliance, said Frank Harter, the firm’s vice president of finance. Even with the regulatory restrictions imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley, he predicted that “25 percent of companies still won’t have clean financial statements,” because of the time involved in bookkeeping. Harter said 40 percent of his time is now spent managing compliance issues.

In discussing some of the ramifications of the volatile market on consumers, Peter Jankovskis, director of research for Oakbrook Investments, said he has been focusing on risk control. “We keep the same mechanics, but talk more to clients about their needs,” he said. He foresees a strong market within one year’s time.

In uncertain times, fixed-income returns traditionally do well, said John Didrickson ’01, vice president, Morgan Stanley Fixed Income, who predicted baby boomers will pursue that investment route. Hedge funds already are a fast-growing sector, said Joseph Nicholas, founder and chairman of Hedge Fund Research, and a graduate of Northwestern’s School of Law.

To attract even more clients, the hedge fund industry must provide a broader base of investments and do a better job of educating the public. “Many consumers don’t realize that the return is in the marketplace, not in the manager,” said Nicholas, providing one example of a common misconception. “But you do need a talented manager to tap into the marketplace."

Mitchell A. Petersen
, the Glen Vasel Associate Professor of Finance at Kellogg, said the conference was an opportunity to highlight the finance knowledge of the school’s current students and alumni.

“The panelists stressed the importance of building a strong foundation in finance before leaving Kellogg,” said Petersen. “Knowledge of analytic finance skills, such as portfolio theory, option pricing and security analysis, provides our alumni with the skills to confront an uncertain world.”

In addition to the Kellogg School, the conference was sponsored by Banc of America Securities, Baird, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Target and Union Pacific.