College of Business > About > Centers & Institutes > John L. Keeley Jr. Center for Financial Services > About > Annual Review
In 2016, the John L. Keeley Jr. Center for Financial Services celebrated its 10th anniversary of providing excellence in education and a forum for the industry to discuss topical issues.
You can find recent annual reviews below that summarize the past five years of building a bridge between students and employers, academia and the industry, and industry partners and government institutions.
The 2016-2017 academic year was most productive. You can download the annual review below:
CFS Annual Review 2017.pdf
The 2015-2016 academic year was a special one for the Center for Financial Services. It marks the tenth anniversary of the Center’s establishment in 2006. The Center celebrated this milestone with a series of events acknowledging achievements to date and positioning the Center for the future. On the evening of April 20, 2016, 300 supporters were on hand for the culminating event as the Center honored Norman R. Bobins, Chairman of The PrivateBank with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Banking.
Additional events leading up to the celebration included:
A Student Case Competition on April 18. From an original seventeen teams, five finalists made presentations to a panel of actuarial and pension experts on the topic of the Illinois Public Pension Crisis. This event was remarkable for the engagement by students in this topic. The three winning teams were awarded cash prizes.
On April 19 a distinguished panel of economists (see attached flyer) presented their take on conducting monetary policy in the post-crisis era. Our sponsor for this event was the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.
In addition to highlighting the accomplishments of the Center for Financial Services over the past ten years, the funds raised on the evening of April 20 established an endowment which will augment our capacity to execute on our mission to meet industry talent requirements, attract and retain talented faculty, create industry relevant research and provide scholarship assistance. These needs are persistent. We are grateful to have a base of funding which we can now use to address these needs while seeking to grow this resource.
Ninth Annual Risk Conference
The Center for Financial Services and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held their ninth annual risk conference on March 29–30. The conference brought together financial industry professionals, academics, and regulators to examine the challenges and opportunities posed by the uncertain outlooks for financial markets and geopolitical landscapes across the globe, as well as by the array of innovations from financial technology, or “fintech,” firms.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Shifting Ground: The Changing Landscape in Financial Markets and Technology”. The title reflects the uncertainty created by the nature of the post-crisis recovery and its implications for financial stability and credit quality. Overlaying the challenges to the financial industry of balancing strategic growth with risk mitigation is the emergence of “fintech” as a disrupter to the process for accessing credit and executing payments.
The first day of the conference included keynote addresses by Carl Tannenbaum, Chief Economist for Northern Trust, and James Paulsen, Chief Investment Strategist for Wells Capital Management. Following their macro assessment of the global economic and investment environments, a series of three panels shifted the focus to the risks in public bond markets as well as commercial real estate and leveraged lending. The reach for yield created by a sustained low interest rate environment has drawn increased scrutiny from financial supervisory agencies. Dave Casper, President and CEO of BMO Harris Bank closed the day with a keynote address that emphasized corporate culture as the key to risk management and cited it as a competitive advantage.
The second day of the conference was devoted to the innovations introduced by fledging firms in the “fintech” world which has drawn substantial investor interest. Two panels, one focused on credit products and one on payment systems, explored the emerging trend to substantially alter the customer experience by delivering cheaper, more efficient processing through automation and access to high quality data. The competition between traditional banking and fintech is real but the opportunity for partnerships to reduce the cost of acquiring and serving customers was also emphasized. Fintech firms are also mindful of the need to manage the risks in their business models to minimize regulatory scrutiny.
On March 28, Lamont Black organized the first Chicago Financial Institutions Conference as a lead-in to the Risk Conference on March 29-30. This conference was international in scope. Twenty-four papers on banking research were presented by academics from across the U.S. and Europe. As some members may recall, the Chicago Federal Reserve recently discontinued the “Bank Structure Conference” after 50 years. The CFIC is building on this tradition of an annual spring banking conference here in Chicago. With over 100 attendees, our inaugural conference was a big success. This coming spring, the CFIC will be on March 30-31 and we encourage our member banks to attend. Our goal is to connect research and practice through these discussions about the banking industry.
Wealth Management Conference
The LPL supported Wealth Management Conference was a reprise of the 2014 program on Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). Perhaps the single factor justifying continued attention to this subject is the estimate that one of every six dollars of U.S. assets under management is now classified as SRI related. This is up from one of every nine dollars at the time of our conference in 2014 and an increase of 76% since 2012. The numbers are even more dramatic in Europe. SRI is clearly becoming a mainstream focus of asset managers, driven by a growing cadre of constituencies with specific areas of interest.
The conference opened with a keynote address by John Goldstein, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs and Co-Founder of Imprint Capital. Imprint was recently acquired by Goldman Sachs Asset Management confirming that SRI is on the mainstream agenda in a major way.
The first panel examined the evolution of SRI from an exclusionary focus (e.g. tobacco, firearms, gambling) to a much more complex scenario involving all asset classes. The second panel explored the extent to which the proliferation of data is enabling asset managers to respond to investor driven interest in identifying company performance and behavior in areas of specific interest to them. Representatives of Blackrock, Northern Trust Asset Management and Trillium Asset Management discussed the opportunities and limitations to implementing clients’ increasingly diverse allocation demands.
Connecting Students and Practitioners
Last year’s Annual Review highlighted the commitment to substantially increase the experiential learning experience in the classroom. Led by Lamont Black and Martin Essenburg, bringing practitioners and employers into the classroom and taking students out into the world of finance has continued as an integral part of the mission to prepare students for the practical realities of the workplace.
In the course of the last academic year Lamont and Martin have engaged fifteen different organizations, including most of our member institutions, to create opportunities to interact with students in and out of the classroom including one five week real world corporate banking experience.
The experiential leaning emphasis also extends to the Master of Science in Wealth Management (MSWM) program. Drawing on our Wealth Management Advisory Board in addition to the wider wealth management community, the MSWM faculty has liberally drawn on industry representatives to give students multiple perspectives on the realities of this growing industry. The second cohort of MSWM students graduated in June and the third cohort began classes in September.
Bank MBA Programs:
DePaul is now running MBA programs for two of our member institutions, MB Financial Bank and Northern Trust. MB’s program began this summer with 34 employees with a second cohort under discussion. Northern’s program launched this fall with 49 employees. Lamont Black, Academic Director of the Center, was instrumental in launching both programs as a result of his compelling presentations at the Information Sessions.
On October 26, 2016, The Center for Financial Services and Truth in Accounting collaborated for the fifth time on a public program, this one titled “Undressing Chicago’s Finances: What’s Behind the Credit Rating?” Panelists from Moody’s, Wells Capital Management and Assured Guaranty shared their expertise on what goes into establishing a credit rating and what’s behind the downgrade of the City of Chicago’s debt.
The 2014-2015 academic year was notable for the substantial increase in the presence of practitioners and potential employers in the classroom. This was a conscious effort to increase the experiential learning element in coursework wherever possible.
In his first full year as Academic Director of the Center, Lamont Black, Assistant Professor of Finance, intensified the use of guest speakers, project mentors and local case studies to give students the opportunity to experience the real world and to give employers an opportunity to share their experience. Marty Essenburg, Adjunct Professor of Finance, joined in this effort.
The Center's member institutions were prominently featured in Commercial Banking, Money and Capital Markets and Investment banking courses. Attached as Appendix A, Connecting Students and Employers, is a recap of the interactions that occurred in and outside the classroom. Having proved popular with both students and practitioners, these connections will feature even more prominently in the coming academic year. Appendix C is an article that explores one of the classroom experiences in greater depth.
Master of Science in Wealth ManagementThe first cohort of students in the Master of Science in Wealth Management graduated in the spring of 2015. The final two courses of the spring term were the case study driven Capstone courses taught by Adjunct Professor of Finance Andy Bateman, former head of a team of wealth managers at J.P. Morgan Chase. Andy drew principally from the Center's 25 member Wealth Management Advisory Board for practitioners to act as guest speakers, panelists, mock clients and presentation evaluators. A class-by-class summary showing the topics and practitioner participants is attached as Appendix B.
The Wealth Management Advisory Board met twice during the year to receive updates on the Master's program, provide advice and feedback on program content and to assist us with ideas and speakers for both wealth management classes and our annual wealth management conference. These meetings are always followed by very popular private dinners where our Advisory Board members can network and share their views on common issues and concerns.
Eighth Annual Risk Conference: Reaffirming Our FoundationsThe eighth annual Risk Conference was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on March 31-April 1, 2015. With an overarching theme of Reaffirming Our Foundations, the conference agenda focused on the sub-themes of Risk & Regulation and Culture & Governance. In the post-crisis environment, these topics remain top-of-mind for the regulatory and financial services communities. Keynote speakers included: Wieke Scholte, Senior Supervisor on Behavior and Culture, De Nederlandsche Bank, N.V; Michael Scudder, President and CEO of First Midwest Bancorp; and Kelly King, Chairman and CEO, BB&T Corporation. Mr. King delivered the Conference's traditional, signature address "A View from the Corner Office."
The conference theme was explored through panels on Macro Risks, Regulatory Policy and Supervision and Risk Management. An added feature this year was a panel, Local Completion and Risk, comprised of bank CEOs who discussed their strategies for growth while managing risk in the highly competitive Chicago Market. Member institutions of the Center for Financial Services were well represented on the panel in the form of Mark Hoppe (MB Financial), Larry Richman (Private Bancorp) and Bob Yohanan (First Evanston Bancorp). Lamont Black, Assistant Professor of Finance at DePaul and Academic Director of the Center, moderated the closing panel which looked at how the growing field of applied research is connecting students and academics with practitioners.
To ensure that the Risk Conference addressed issues relevant to our financial institution constituents, we convened two breakfast roundtables of chief risk officers or their proxies in late 2014 and early 2015. These meetings proved extremely useful in helping us shape the conference agenda. The group found that they valued the networking and experience sharing opportunities these meetings afforded and accordingly agreed to continue them. A third meeting was held in May and we will meet again starting in the fall to begin planning for the 2016 Risk Conference.
Wealth Management Conference: Socially Responsible InvestingThe annual LPL supported Wealth Management Conference held on October 24, 2014 addressed the topic of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). SRI is a vibrant market in the United States and Europe. An estimated $1 in every $9 under professional management in the U.S. is involved in SRI. Socially screened investments are in excess of $3 trillion and growing. The wealth management industry is now reacting to a trend that, while not mainstream, clearly is commanding greater attention from clients, particularly the rising generation. Advisors are now faced with meeting this demand while at the same time being mindful of their fiduciary responsibilities.
In the morning session, David Chen, CEO of Equilibrium Capital, framed the development of SRI in his keynote address. The first of two panels then heard from portfolio managers on their approach to structuring values based portfolios without materially sacrificing investment performance. The second panel, moderated by Marguerite Griffin, SVP and National Director of Philanthropic Strategies for Northern Trust, addressed the challenge of integrating mission-related investing, impact investing and philanthropy. The afternoon session was devoted to the presentation of academic research papers on the SRI topic.
Sustainable Business Conference: Innovation and SustainabilityIn the first quarter 2015, Professor Ali Fatemi once again taught the MBA course, Sustainable Value Creation. In connection with this course, the Center for Financial Services is a regular co-sponsor of the Sustainable Business Conference. This year's theme was Innovation and Sustainability. While open to all, this conference is intended to give the students exposure to the insights and experiences of both early stage and mature companies that are committed to the principles of sustainability as they grow their enterprises. The speakers and panelists addressed innovation in product, process, energy and recycling. Tammie Arnold, Partner, Generation Investment, reviewed the investment principles that have allowed Generation Investment to achieve top tier returns while observing sustainable business practices.
At the end of this course, students present their own projects that must reflect responsible environmental and social practices and show sustained profitability. A panel of professionals evaluates these presentations, selects the top two for recognition and a scholarship. I am pleased to report that one of the two winners, Elisabeth Ames and her company EarlyVention, went on to win the Loyola/Quinlan social enterprise event.
DePaul Conference on Economics and FinanceOn Saturday, May 16, 2015 The Center for Financial Services and Vahap Uysal, Associate Professor of Finance, hosted the DePaul Conference on Economics and Finance.
Nobel Economics Laureate Eugene Fama shared his thoughts on a wide array of topics including efficient capital markets, the future of the U.S. economy and high frequency trading. Six scholars presented their research on a range of topics including the role of soft information in mortgage lending, the effect of corporate conference meetings on institutional holdings and the relationship between future profitability and cross section of stock returns. This was another successful event resulting in positive visibility for DePaul.
Numbers Don't Lie, People Do
On October 24, 2014, The Center for Financial Services and Truth in Accounting once again collaborated on their fourth annual public program, this one titled Numbers Don't Lie, People Do. An all-star panel discussed with each other and with the audience the impact of the lack of transparent, reliable and understandable government financial statements on public and policy makers' understanding of the true financial condition of federal, state and local entities. Bethany McLean author of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Terry Savage, nationally known expert on finance and the economy, Dennis Chooksaazian, former CEO of CNA and former Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council and Sheila Weinberg, CEO of Truth in Accounting engaged in a spirited discussion of this important topic including progress that is being made in raising public awareness.
PNC Executive Forum: Ambassador William J. Burns
This year's PNC Executive Forum, made possible by support from PNC Corporation, took place on April 21, 2015. Ambassador William J. Burns, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and recently retired Deputy Secretary of State, took the audience across the globe in his address "Navigating Today's International Landscape: A Diplomat's Perspective." Ambassador Burns was only the second career diplomat in history to serve as Deputy Secretary of State. He was the initial negotiator in the Iran in the nuclear talks.
Following the public event, Ambassador Burns and Ambassador Ivo Daalder, President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, were our guests at our Annual Members' Dinner. In a single conversation around the table Ambassador Burns shared additional off-the-record insights on the international landscape.
Steve Forbes VisitThe Center co-sponsored a visit by Steve Forbes on May 28. Mr. Forbes spoke to a gathering of almost 300 DePaul students on the Lincoln Park campus. His comments covered a range of topics including the value of free markets and a stable U.S. dollar. Additionally, the amount of student interest was evident in the long line for Q&A. In a follow-up letter Mr. Forbes wrote, "Your students are impressive."
Following the talk, a group including members of the Center and Dean Ray Whittington had dinner with Mr. Forbes. It was an enjoyable and spirited discussion.
The 2013-2014 year marked another another full year of programs and events which brought faculty, students, our member institutions and the broader financial and wealth management communities together to advance our understanding of the issues of the day.
The seventh annual Risk Conference was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on April 8-9. This year's theme, Managing Risk in the Recovery, focused on the risks faced by financial institutions when pursuing long term growth opportunities in a recovering economy still characterized by a low interest rate environment.
Our mission to develop as a center of excellence for wealth management gained momentum with the advent in September, 2013 of the first cohort of students in the Master of Science in Wealth Management (MSWM). The MSWM has become the locus from which many of our wealth management activities originate.
Other events during the year that engaged students, faculty and the broader financial community included:
This year's Executive Forum co-sponsored by PNC Bank and the Center was held on May 8 and featured Katty Kay, lead anchor for BBC World News America and co-author of the recently published book, The Confidence Code. Her topic was America and the Global Century. This is the second year PNC Bank has provided support for this event. Last year Sheila Bair was the speaker as part of her three day visit with the Center as our first scholar-in-Residence.
Finally, we continue to be grateful for the support we receive from our member institutions. We could not continue our existing programs nor constantly explore new avenues of inquiry, discussion and learning without it.
The core of the mission of the Center is creating a center of excellence for engaging students, faculty, members and the broader financial services community on issues of mutual interest. The activities of the academic year 2012-2013 remained focused on this mission. As in previous years, there was a continuation of proven programs as well as new initiatives that responded to the interests of our members and the broader financial services constituency.
As always our member institutions have provided thoughtful advice and guidance, both through the formal mechanism of the Executive Committee as well as through numerous informal conversations. The value of this counsel to ensuring the relevancy of the Center cannot be overstated. Those of us at DePaul connected to the Center are as appreciative of this intellectual support as we are of your financial contributions.
I am pleased to report that Cole Taylor Bank has re-joined the Center following a brief hiatus. Mark Hoppe, CEO, has joined the Executive Committee.
The Department of Finance in the academic year 2012-2013 hired Lamont Black as a member of the faculty and to be the Academic Director of the Center, effective July 1, 2013. Lamont comes to DePaul University from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System where he served as a Financial Economist working in the area of banking and macroeconomics. He received a PhD in finance from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and a PhD in economics from the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University, both in 2007.
The 2012 Annual Review reported on two initiatives that were the focus of much of our attention in the 2013 academic year:
During her three days at DePaul, Chairman Bair held open forums with small groups of faculty and students, lectured to undergraduate and graduate finance classes and engaged with individual faculty members on research projects. In addition she gave a public lecture that was co-sponsored by Center member PNC.
While the roll-out of the Master of Science in Wealth Management (MSWM) degree and the Scholar in Residence program were major commitments in the academic year 2012-2013, the Center remained fully engaged in its ongoing programs. One exception was the annual LPL Wealth Management conference which was deferred due to the time commitment of launching the MSWM program. We will resume this conference in the academic year 2013- 2014 (winter term) and may add a smaller wealth management networking event in the fall of 2013.
As in previous years, the Center's activities were a mix of established programs, new initiatives and one-off opportunities. Engaging students, faculty, members and the broader financial services community on issues of mutual interest while fostering interaction among all of these constituencies remains the guiding mission of the Center.
A recap of the activities and accomplishments of the Center for the 2011-2012 academic year is presented in the below summary. In addition, following is a status report on two initiatives discussed in last year's review:
Finally, I am pleased to report that Mesirow Financial has joined the family of member institutions that support the Center. We are delighted to be associated with this major Chicago financial institution.
The Center's partnership with the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors (AM&AA) continues to function quite smoothly. DePaul hosts AM&AA's five-day certification program two times per year. This year we assisted AM&AA to establish an online learning component to the program to enable pre-work in advance of the on-site work.