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Kellogg’s Asset Management Practicum took 21 students to New York City last month to get personalized advice and candid insights from investment experts.

Kellogg’s Asset Management Practicum took 21 students to New York City last month to get personalized advice and candid insights from investment experts.

Traveling to the investment epicenter

Kellogg students head to New York City to “pitch” plans to leading investment managers

By Daniel P. Smith

12/11/2012 - Students in Bob Korajczyk’s Asset Management Practicum (AMP) class enjoyed a welcome detour from the yearlong course’s traditional routine when the veteran Kellogg professor led a group 21 students to New York City on Nov. 14 for direct interaction with prominent investment managers.

While Korajczyk, Kellogg’s Harry G. Guthmann Professor of Finance, conducts a similar AMP program in Evanston each year with Chicago area investment managers — as do fellow AMP faculty Phillip Braun, a clinical professor of finance, and Linda Vincent, an associate professor of accounting information and management — Korajczyk thinks it’s important for students have access to practitioners in New York City, the nation’s investment epicenter.

“It’s such a valuable experience for students to learn how these successful managers think and the questions they ask portfolio managers,” says Korajczyk.

Expert perspectives
The afternoon event’s expert panel included:

  • Event host John Goetz ’82, managing principal and co-chief investment officer at Pzena Investment Management
  • Goldman Sachs technology hardware analyst Bill Shope
  • Lone Pine Capital founder Stephen Mandel Jr.
  • Mutual Series chairman, president and CEO Peter Langerman

In the nearly five-hour session, four different Kellogg students “pitched” a stock
idea to the expert panel and gained immediate feedback. After the initial 20-minute focus on the stock pitch, each of the managers then shared perspectives on the investment industry and its career opportunities.

One of the 21 attendees, Gajendra Sidana ’13, says the event afforded him a “high-level overview of the challenges and opportunities in the [investment] space,” while also helping him understand how seasoned professionals quickly vet an idea.

Sidana’s classmate and fellow attendee, Paulo Lemes ’13, similarly enjoyed the opportunity to learn firsthand the key concerns high-profile investors have when reviewing an investment thesis.

“Focusing on the capabilities of the current management team seemed to be more important than most of us acknowledged before going to New York,” Lemes says.

A rich experience
Following the event, Korajczyk hoped the experts’ insights would jumpstart the students’ professional endeavors.

“Understanding the thought processes of those who have found success in the investment space is critical knowledge students can take into their own professional lives,” says Korajczyk, adding that three AMP advisory board members — Avi Nash ’81, Stuart Goode ’66 and Malcolm Jones ’83 – also attended the event.

Indeed, many of the students relished the sincere and rich insights the successful practitioners offered.

“There is only so much you can learn from a book,” Lemes says. “The [investors’] passion, wit and mind were very candidly exposed in that room and I think each of us could relate to the goals and experiences discussed in a very intimate way.”

Further Reading

Learning from the Legend

Taking stock in the real world

Practice meets theory in Kellogg asset management class