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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.

Annual Review By Year

The 2016-2017 academic year was most productive. You can download the annual review below:
CFS Annual Review 2017.pdf

10th Anniversary

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. 

CFIC Conference: 

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.

Public Event: 

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 Management
The 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 Foundations
The 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 Investing
The 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 Sustainability
In 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 Finance
On 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 Visit
The 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.

  • Panels on interest rate risk and current regulatory developments provided the perspective of both bankers and supervisors on how this issue is being addressed. In a keynote address, Ed Wehmer, CEO of Wintrust, gave us a very clear, forthright analysis of how his institution is adapting to the new regulatory and economic environments.
  • For the second straight year, there was a keynote address and a panel on cyber security — a reflection of how serious this issue is for every financial institution, large or small.
  • The second day was devoted to a topic that is a constant in this conference: Perspective on Risk. In addition to the perennial View from the Corner Office keynote (John Thain, CEO of CIT Group) and the Chief Risk Office panel, this year we added a panel on the perspective from the board of directors moderated by Bob Yohanan, CEO of Center member First Evanston Bancorp.

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.

  • In place of the annual LPL Wealth Management conference, on November 12, 2013, we held an LPL sponsored dinner for a group of senior wealth managers from a wide representation of Chicago wealth management firms. The purpose was to bring together industry leaders to provide the Center with input on the MSWM program and create a forum where participants could network with peers. This event achieved both objectives and was an unqualified success.
  • As a result of the LPL dinner and with the encouragement of those present, in early 2014 the Center formed and launched a Wealth Management Advisory Board comprised of 20 members from a variety of advisors ranging from large institutions (including many Center members) to registered investment advisers to family offices. This board held its first meeting on March 13 of this year and will meet every six months going forward. It is worth noting that the board is a rich source of professionals to participate in classes as speakers, panelists, commentators, judges and evaluators.
  • As a supplement to the regular classroom work of the MSWM cohort of students, we have instituted a series of Dedicated Seminars to address topics that may not necessarily be covered in formal course material. In the past academic year the seminars have been (1) Maximizing Year-End Charitable Planning Strategies; (2) Women & Wealth; (3) Portfolio Design and Risk Management; and (4) Financial Education for the Next Generation. These seminars are given by experts from our Advisory Board as well as by our faculty. They are open to the wealth management community. Attendance has been robust and feedback very positive. We will continue these seminars in the coming year and may increase their frequency.

Other events during the year that engaged students, faculty and the broader financial community included:

  • A public program in collaboration with Truth in Accounting on October 22, 2013 entitled Who's Afraid of Good Governance? State Fiscal Crises, Public Pension Underfunding, and the Resistance to Government Reform. An excellent panel comprised of: Tom Fitzpatrick, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland; Bridget Gainer, Cook County Commissioner; Robert Reed, Better Government Association and Chris Tobe, author of Kentucky Fried Pensions carried on a very lively discussion for an engaged audience on the problems of governance created by the myriad of pension funds that often lack the professional oversight needed to ensure best practices are followed.
  • On April 17, We heard from Anat Admati, Professor of Finance at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and author of the The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It. Professor Admati has been active in the policy debate on financial regulation, particularly capital regulation.
  • 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:

  • The Scholar-in-Residence program had a solid debut in May when Sheila Bair, former Chairman of the FDIC, spent three days on campus. Chairman Bair was the perfect choice for the inaugural of this program. In addition to her deep knowledge of the issues and challenges facing financial institutions, she is highly respected for the role she played during the financial crisis. Now with the Pew Research Center, she continues to be a prominent voice in the ongoing discussions surrounding the structure of the financial services industry.

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.

  • The Master of Science in Wealth Management received formal university approval and was added to the degree programs of the Driehaus College of Business. This is a two-year, part-time program for working professionals who have identified wealth management as their career choice. The first cohort of students will begin classes in September, 2013. Over the past six months we have introduced the program through formal presentations to almost all of the wealth management firms in Chicago. In addition we have been promoting the program through open houses, emails and on-line marketing.

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.

  • The sixth annual Risk conference was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on April 9-10. This year's theme, Business Model Risk: Navigating the New Playing Field, was directed at the challenges facing financial institutions in an environment characterized by new regulatory regimes, low interest rates and higher capital requirements. New this year was a panel on cyber security preceded by a keynote address by Andrew Hoog, CEO of viaForensics. He captured the audience's attention with his real-time demonstration of methods for intercepting and monitoring all forms of communication. Among the keynote speakers was Jim Rohr, Chairman and CEO of PNC who very effectively engaged the audience in a discussion of risk from the CEO’s perspective.
  • On May 1 Sheila Bair was our guest at our Annual Dinner for members and friends of the Center. Chairman Bair was characteristically forthright about the failings of the financial and regulatory systems during the crisis and equally forthright about what the new playing field should look like.
  • In connection with Dr. Ali Fatemi's Sustainable Value Creation course, the Center participated in the Third Annual Sustainable Business Conference on January 18 and organized the closing conference on March 22. For the closing conference, each student in the course presented an investment idea and defended its financial and social viability to a panel of practitioners moderated by the Executive Director of the Center. This year two winners of the competition were selected. Each winner was awarded a scholarship.
  • The Center continued its collaboration with Truth in Accounting, an Illinois not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to bringing transparency to government accounting at all levels. On October 22, 2013 we co-sponsored a public program, The Public Sector Bankruptcy Crisis. Bridget Gainer, Cook County Commissioner (Truth in Numbers: Cook County Pension Fund Report), joined a panel moderated by Sheila Weinberg, Founder and CEO of Truth in Accounting. Commissioner Gainer has been leading the effort to reform the Cook County pension system.
  • The Center's partnership with the Association of Merger and Acquisition Advisers (AM&AA) broadened in the last year with the increase from two to four in the number of five-day certification programs hosted by the Center.

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:

  • The Master of Science in Wealth Management is on track for introduction during the 2013-14 academic year. In January and March we convened two focus groups with 12 wealth management professionals for the purpose of soliciting refinements to the curriculum and defining the profiles of the potential candidates for this degree. Feedback from both groups was highly positive. University approval is in the final stages. Dan Deli, Associate Professor of Finance, will be the program's academic director.
  • We are still looking for the perfect candidate to kick off the visiting scholar program. Our thinking on this position has been expanded to include the option of a resident fellow who, over a specified period (a month, a term), would engage as a resource with students and faculty (in class and out) to explore industry issues and practices. Ideally this person would come from one of our member institutions but could be from the broader financial community. Either way, academician or practitioner, the objective is to incorporate this concept into the Center's range of programs.

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.

2011-2012 Programs

  • On October 17, 2011 David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States and CEO and Founder of the Comeback America Initiative chose the Center for Financial Services and the Institute for Truth in Accounting to host the Midwest stop of his tour to discuss the fiscal issues facing the United States. Following an address to students and businessman, the Center hosted a dinner for Mr. Walker and a select group of faculty and members/friends of the Center where the discussion continued.
  • Re-Designing the Delivery of Financial Services was the theme of the fourth annual Wealth Management conference on November 3. As baby boomers confront the realities of weak economic growth, volatile markets, threats to benefits and entitlements, and an unstable employment environment, the demand for comprehensive personal financial planning has never been greater. The conference examined the evolving models for delivery of financial advice and investment products. Keynote addresses by Chip Roame of Tiburon Strategic Advisors and Don Coxe, Strategy Advisor to BMO Financial anchored two panels, "The Future Face of the Wealth Management Industry" and "From Product Supermarket to Boutique: Customizing the Client Solution."
  • Axel Weber, former president of the Deutsche Bundesbank, was our guest for breakfast on December 15. He spoke to our members and faculty about the unfolding crisis in the Eurozone.
  • On January 25, 2012 The Center for Financial Services joined with McDermott Will & Emory and Mesirow Financial for the second year to present The Dynamic State of Retirement Plans.
  • In connection with Dr. Ali Fatemi's Sustainable Value Creation course in the winter term, the Center organized the closing conference. Each student in the course presented and defended the sustainability of an investment idea to a panel of business executives recruited and moderated by the Executive Director of the Center. A winner of the competition was selected and awarded a scholarship underwritten by Robert Render, one of the panelists and an adviser on the structure of the course.
  • The fifth annual Risk Management conference was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on April 10-11, 2012. New Horizons for Risk Management: Shifting Rules, Shifting Strategies was an appropriate theme for this year's conference in light of the substantial changes in legislation and regulations that have and will have a major impact on the operational and financial structure of financial institutions. Co-sponsored by the Center for Financial Services, this year's conference included panels on the Dodd Frank Act (a repeat from last year), Stress Testing and Capital Planning, Systemic and Liquidity Risk and Housing Risk. The Chief Risk Officer panel, a feature of the conference every year, is always an interesting look at how risk is managed in a small, medium and large institution. Our keynoters this year were Daniel Tarullo, Federal Reserve Board of Governors; Tom Hoenig, former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; and Richard Davis, Chairman, President and CEO of U.S. Bancorp.
  • In early May, the Center submitted a training proposal to one of the four largest Vietnamese banks to lead its top thirty executives through a transition from a state owned institution to a leading Southeast Asia customer-focused, service-oriented commercial bank. The designated IFC (World Bank) director of the Vietnamese bank, a DePaul graduate, approached Ali Fatemi and solicited our interest in structuring a program. In response we pulled together a team of banking professionals and faculty, adjunct and full-time, who very quickly developed a framework to address change management, risk management, strategic management and the challenge of creating a service mentality. We are awaiting further discussion.
  • On May 30, Mark Angelson, Deputy Mayor of Chicago and former CEO of R.R. Donnelley, was our guest speaker at our annual dinner where we hear from prominent Chicagoans. This is an intimate event for 30-35 of our Center members, faculty and special friends of the Center. Mark gave us a fascinating view of the initiatives Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his team are taking to solidify Chicago's position as a world-class city.
  • 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.