Fall 2019 Finance Night Overview
This last Thursday (09/12) over 200 students attended Fall Finance Night. Throughout the course of the evening attendees had the opportunity to listen to presentations and network with 13 employers. One of the key takeaways from the event was the importance of finding the right fit within a company based on both its culture and investment strategy.
Firm Presentation Highlights:
Houlihan Lokey is a boutique investment bank that focuses on middle-market deals, meaning they invest in companies with a market cap between 50-500 million dollars. During their presentation Houlihan's representative Andrew, a UVA alumni, spoke about why he enjoyed working at the firm. He mentioned having meaningful work and gaining a wide range of skills that are easily transferable to any future position. One skill that Andrew stressed is important for potential applicants to develop is a careful attention to detail.
Raymond James is a financial services company that was founded in 1962 and has over 3,000 offices globally, the firm was also recognized in 2019 as Forbes America's Best Employers for Diversity. During their presentation Raymond James mentioned their companies flat organizational structure, which makes it easy for interns to interact with higher-level associates and management. The presenters also provided details explaining their business's industry-specific internship, which allows applicants to be placed on a particular team based on their prior knowledge/experience.
Clearsight Advisors is a boutique firm that is focused on sellside advisory and capital raising for companies. During the company's presentation, McIntire Graduate and current Clearsight Director, Jim McCabe spoke about the firm's specific focus on data and technology services as well as an exceptional company culture which includes employee retreats and offsite events. His advice for potential applicants was to be able to articulate specific interests and to research the company, including its culture, location of office, and recent deals.
Earnest Research is a data company founded in 2011 and based in NYC with about 100 employees. Their presentation included an explanation of their business' unique strategy which includes collecting raw credit and debit card transaction data and then analyzing buyer activity to predict stock performance. Upcoming opportunities with Earnest Research include an 8-week internship where interns are tasked with identifying trends in data and presenting their final findings to company executives.
University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO)
The University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO) is responsible for managing UVA's $9.5 billion endowment fund. During their presentation UVIMCO discussed many of the differentiating factors between investing on behalf of an endowment versus for a typical firm. Some of these differences include a longer investment horizon (+10 years), as well as a focus on identifying capable managers with a proven track record rather than a single investment opportunity. UVIMCO also emphasized their great company culture that focuses on helping interns and analysts launch their future careers.
Dimensional Fund Advisors
Dimensional Fund Advisors is a private investment management company that manages almost half a trillion dollars in assets. During their presentation the firm discussed their unique investment philosophy which emphasizes academia rather than fundamental financial analysis. When describing their ideal candidate the presenters said they were looking for someone who is smart, competitive, and hardworking.
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Level Equity is a growth equity firm that manages about $1.7 billion. During their presentation Level Equity explained their investment strategy which involves identifying and partnering with best-selling businesses. For applicants looking to apply to Level Equity, they are looking for analysts with both soft and hard skills who will take part in sector research, sourcing, and deal execution.