April 29th, 2015
From Forbes.com, April 28, 2015:
Dr. Iris Mack, a lecturer, market consultant and author of the book Energy Trading and Risk Management, opines that should natural gas be considered as a primary energy source, its pricing is affected by quantifiable exogenous variables including but not limited to weather, storage, transmission and seasonality.
“Electric energy is a secondary energy source. It has to be generated from the conversion of other primary energy products – such as, oil, natural gas, coal, wind, nuclear, solar, hydro, etc. Hence, the price of electric power is affected by the prices and availability of these primary energy sources,” she adds.
Factoring in the supply chain, we’d be looking at numerous market participants including brokers, power exchanges, system operators, dealers, traders, transmission operators, distribution operators, power producers and more – highlighting the challenges a carte blanche price freeze would face.
“The only way I think Miliband can fulfill his campaign promise is via government subsidies. However, that means the taxpayers will end up paying in the end,” Mack says.
To read the article in its entirety, visit Forbes.com:
April 28th, 2015
Emily Rosenzweig’s paper “When Knowledge Knows No Bounds: Self-perceived Expertise Predicts Claims of Impossible Knowledge” has been accepted for publication in Psychological Science. The paper was co-authored with Stav Atir, PhD candidate at Cornell University, and David A. Dunning, professor of psychology at Cornell. Rosenzweig is an assistant professor of marketing at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business.
April 28th, 2015
Two students at the A. B. Freeman School of Business have been named Tulane University’s 2015 Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
Brandon Schmidt, left, and Jackie Wegner received Tulane’s 2015 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards. (Photo courtesy Tulane Athletics.)
Jackie Wegner, a junior finance major from Clearwater, Florida, received the female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award and Brandon Schmidt, a senior finance major from Lafayette, Louisiana, was named male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The university bestows the awards each year to honor the male and female student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average after a minimum of five semesters. The awards were presented Sunday night (April 26) at Tulane’s annual All-Sports Athletics Banquet in the Lavin-Bernick Center.
Wegner, a member of the sand volleyball team, has a GPA of 3.987 and has been a member of the Tulane Scholar Athlete Program since 2012. This season, Wegner and teammate Tea Juric posted a 27-6 record and became the first sand volleyball team in Tulane history to qualify for back-to-back trips to the national championships.
Schmidt, a linebacker on the football team, earned his second consecutive Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award with a perfect 4.0 GPA. He played in six games for the Green Wave in 2014, seeing action primarily on special teams and logging one tackle.
The ceremony also honored Tulane’s American Athletic Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Schmidt earned the male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award while swimming and diving’s Claire Schelske, a senior finance major from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, earned the female award. Schelske earned a 3.979 GPA while serving as president of the Tulane Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She participated in 10 meets in 2015, competing in the 100 free, the 100 breast, the 200 breast and the 500 free events as well as being part of three relay teams.
“Participating in intercollegiate athletics requires extraordinary dedication and hard work, but to achieve the level of academic success that these student-athletes have achieved is nothing short of remarkable,” said Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon. “They represent the best of student athletics, and I couldn’t be more proud to have them as students here at the Freeman School.”
April 21st, 2015
MBA teams Washington University in St. Louis, the University of North Carolina and Tulane University took home the top prizes at the A. B. Freeman School of Business’ 19th annual Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Finance Case Competition.
An MBA team from the Freeman School earned third-place honors in this year’s competition. Pictured with sponsors Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence, center, are, left to right, Nguyen Hai Ho, Sophia Brown, David Dowty and Rodolfo San Martin.
The competition, which took place at the Freeman School on Friday (April 17), tests the valuation and financial analysis skills of students in a challenging, time-sensitive environment. Student teams are tasked with analyzing a real-world finance case and then presenting their recommendations to a panel of finance professional charged with selecting the top presentations.
Washington University took home this year’s grand prize of $7,000, University of North Carolina earned second place and a prize of $5,000, and host Tulane University took home the third-place prize of $3,000. Also participating in this year’s competition were Rice University, University of South Carolina, University of Texas – Dallas and Vanderbilt University.
“I’m more impressed every year by the caliber, consistency and excellence of the presentations,” said competition judge Casey Herman (BSM ’86). “As a partner at PwC, I hope a few of you are coming to work for us, because we need you. You guys were great.”
“It’s tough to judge because you all are so talented and frequently the margins are very close,” added competition judge Joe Agular (A&S ’81, MBA ’88), partner with Johnson Rice & Co. in New Orleans. “Hopefully, you all learned something valuable and take something away from the experience.”
Also serving as a judge this year was Chris Conoscenti (MBA/JD ’01), managing director with Credit Suisse in Houston.
The Finance Case Competition began in 1997 and has been sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence since 1998. Berdon Lawrence (BBA ’64, MBA ’65) is the founder of Hollywood Marine and former chairman of Kirby Corp., an operator of inland tank barges headquartered in Houston. Kirby purchased Hollywood Marine in 1999. Lawrence is also a former member of the Business School Council and a former member of the Board of Tulane.
“I owe a lot to my Tulane education,” Lawrence told attendees at the awards presentation. “I don’t think I could have built my company over the years had I not had a good business education here at the Freeman School, so this is a way for me to give something back.”
Lawrence left this year’s participants with some words of advice.
“Two things: Work real hard and be honest,” he said. “If you do that, you’re going to be successful.”
April 17th, 2015
Disease Diagnostic Group, a startup company with technology to dramatically improve the diagnosis of malaria, won first place and a $25,000 grand prize at the 15th annual Tulane Business Model Competition.
DDG’s John Lewandowski, right, receives this year’s grand prize from Sherif A. Ebrahim at the Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala on Thursday (April 16).
The final round of the competition, an annual presentation of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, took place at the A. B. Freeman School of Business on Thursday (April 16) with the winners announced later that evening at the Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala at the Audubon Tea Room.
In earning this year’s top prize, Massachusetts Institute of Technology-based DDG edged out runner-up D&P Bioinnovations from Tulane University, which earned the $10,000 second prize, and REEcycle from the University of Houston, which won the third-place prize of $2,500.
DDG’s flagship product is a medical device that uses magnets and lasers to accurately and inexpensively detect the presence of malaria parasites, which produce a magnetic byproduct.
“Current diagnostics are slow, expensive, and require medical expertise and refrigeration,” said DDG co-founder John Lewandowski. “We’ve created a reusable and portable device that leverages those magnetic biomarkers and can be used to diagnose malaria with one drop of blood from a fingertip for one-tenth the cost and 100 times the sensitivity of current techniques.”
Competition judge Srin Vishwanath (PHTM ’97) said he was impressed with both DDG’s technology and business model.
“The three finalists were all very smart and very viable businesses, but Disease Diagnostic Group was furthest ahead in terms of really developing a business model and getting closer to market,” said Vishwanath, CFO of GreenWave Healthcare Technologies. “It was close, but I think all the judges were in agreement that their business plan stood out.”
The 2015 Tulane Business Model Competition drew applications from more than 50 high-potential ventures across the country. Sherif A. Ebrahim, director of entrepreneurship and innovation education at the Freeman School, said this year’s entrants were among the strongest in the competition’s history.
“We received some very well considered business models this year that showed the capacity to pivot based on market feedback, but our three finalists truly represented the best of an impressive group of contenders throughout the competition,” said Ebrahim. “They each applied business model dynamics to create fundable businesses with sustainable value, and all three have the potential to become highly successful companies.”
April 17th, 2015
Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business honored real estate executive James E. Maurin (MBA ’72) as Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year and restaurateur John Besh as Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2015 Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Award Gala. The ceremony took place on Thursday, April 16, at the Audubon Tea Room.
The Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship presents the awards each year to highlight outstanding entrepreneurs in the community. The Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of Year Award honors individuals who combine a history of entrepreneurial success with philanthropic generosity and service to the community. The Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes individuals who are solving social problems and meeting community needs through the use of entrepreneurial principles. Tulane President Michael A. Fitts and Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon presented the awards.
James E. Maurin (MBA ’72)
Maurin is co-founder and retired chairman and CEO of Stirling Properties, one of the Gulf South’s leading commercial real estate companies. Founded in 1975, the company’s business areas include brokerage services, development and redevelopment, acquisitions and investments, and property and asset management over a wide array of property types. Maurin is a member of Tulane University’s Business School Council, and his professional and civic activities include serving on the boards of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Ochsner Health System, Blueprint Louisiana, the LSU Foundation, the LSU College of Business Dean’s Advisory Committee, the Northshore Community Foundation, the Urban Land Institute and the World President’s Organization. He earned his undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from LSU in 1970 and an MBA from Tulane’s A. B. Freeman School of Business in 1972. Maurin began his career as a CPA with Ernst and Ernst and has been active in the shopping center industry for over 37 years.
Besh is a chef, businessman and entrepreneur dedicated to the culinary riches of southern Louisiana. In his 11 restaurants, entrepreneurial pursuits and public activities, he aims to preserve and promote ingredients, techniques and heritage. Besh is the author of three award-winning cookbooks, and he hosts two national public television cooking shows. His non-profit organization, the John Besh Foundation, works to protect and preserve the culinary heritage and foodways of New Orland and the Gulf Coast area. In 2011, the foundation established the Chefs Move! scholarship program to send a minority recipient to the International Culinary Center in New York City. The scholar pledges to return to New Orleans and work in the restaurant industry for five years, promoting and supporting diversity in the kitchen. To date, seven Chefs Move scholarships have been awarded. The foundation also started a microloan program in partnership with the A. B. Freeman School of Business to financially assist and advise farmers and artisanal producers within 200 miles of New Orleans to grow their businesses.
“Jimmy Maurin has devoted his career to developing commercial real estate properties that anchor communities, promote further development and spread economic prosperity,” said Dean Solomon. “John Besh, through his philanthropic foundation, is working to help provide the region’s farmers and culinary professionals with the training and business support they need to become sustainable. I am delighted to be able to recognize these two outstanding business people with our 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year awards.”
April 17th, 2015
The Albert Lepage Foundation has committed $12.5 million to the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University to establish a new center dedicated to the study, teaching and practice of entrepreneurship.
Albert Lepage (MBA ’71), retired chairman of Lepage Bakeries Inc., has committed $12.5 million to the Freeman School to establish the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
The Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will oversee the Freeman School’s offerings in entrepreneurship, including coursework, academic research and student programing. The center will also have a significant focus on community outreach, developing new programs to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem and address unmet business needs in New Orleans and the Gulf South.
“There is a real need for research in the best practices of entrepreneurship and growing a business,” said Lepage Foundation President Albert Lepage, the retired co-chairman of Lepage Bakeries Inc and a 1971 MBA graduate of the Freeman School. “But it is also important to bring that expertise back into the wider community — both the under-served and well-served — to help entrepreneurs and innovators in New Orleans and Gulf South achieve their goals and thrive.”
“Business leaders who are successful recognize that economic and social advancements come from tackling issues with an entrepreneurial outlook and embracing innovation of all kinds,” said Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon. “We are so grateful for Albert’s generosity and vision in helping create what will become an even more vibrant hub for this philosophy at Freeman and the city of New Orleans.”
The Freeman School’s existing Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship and the Tulane Family Business Center will continue their important work as segments within the Albert Lepage Center.
Albert Lepage joined the family baking company shortly after graduating from Tulane. He became president in 1978 and chairman in 1983. In 2012, Lepage Bakeries merged with Flowers Foods and Lepage became co-chairman. He served until his retirement in 2014 as chairman of Quality Bakers of America Co-operative, the national licensor of Sunbeam Bread, and as treasurer of the American Bakers Association, the baking industry’s leading national organization.
April 2nd, 2015
Megan E. Baumgartner (BSM/MACCT ’14) has been named a 2014 recipient of the American Institute of CPAs’ Elijah Watt Sells Award.
Alumna Megan Baumgartner (BSM/MACCT ’14) earned the AICPA’s prestigious Elijah Watt Sells Awards, which recognizes the year’s top performances on the Uniform CPA Examination.
The AICPA bestows the prestigious award upon candidates who obtain a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination and pass all four sections of the examination on their first attempt. As a 2014 award winner, Baumgartner is one of just 60 individuals out of the more than 90,000 who sat for the exam to achieve the criteria.
“It is a huge honor to receive this award, and my experiences at the Freeman School definitely contributed to my success,” said Baumgartner, who serves on the financial services assurance staff with EY in McLean, Virginia. “I would not be where I am today without my accounting professors. Their passion encouraged me to pursue accounting and provided me with a fundamental understanding of the field.”
“I had the privilege of knowing Megan as a student, as an advisee in the BSM/Master of Accounting program, and as my teaching and graduate assistant, all roles in which she excelled,” said Christine Smith, assistant director of the joint BSM/MACCT program. “She is truly exceptional, and there’s no doubt in my mind that she has some very exciting days ahead of her.”
The Elijah Watt Sells Award program was established by the AICPA in 1923 to recognize outstanding performance on the CPA examination. Sells, one of the first CPAs in the United States, was active in the establishment of the AICPA and played a key role in advancing professional education within the profession.
“To place in the top .1 percent of CPA candidates in a given year is a remarkable achievement, and one that speaks volumes about Megan’s hard work, perseverance and dedication to excellence,” said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “I couldn’t be more proud of her for earning this extraordinary honor.”
March 31st, 2015
A team of Freeman School Master of Finance students traveled to Baton Rouge on Saturday (March 28) and came away with first-place honors in the 2015 ACG Cup, the Association for Corporate Growth’s annual M&A case-study competition.
A team of Freeman School MFIN student earned first place in ACG Louisiana’s 2015 ACG Cup.
Presented locally by ACG Louisiana, the competition challenges students to analyze a complex mergers and acquisitions case and offer their finance recommendations. ACG members who are experienced M&A professionals serve as judges. The competition took place at LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business.
This was the first year that the competition was open to Master of Finance students as well as MBAs, and the Freeman School’s MFIN team made the most of the opportunity. The students — Yutiancheng “Tian” Hu, Yinuo “Perfeeno” Wang, Qian “Ann” Wu, Yulu “Evelyn” Zhang and Yuan Zheng — beat out MBA students from LSU and University of Louisiana – Lafayette to win the top prize of $2,500.
“It was a great opportunity for us to put what we’ve learned from the MFIN program into practice,” said Hu. “We treated the case like a real M&A deal, so it was exciting to be able to pitch our investment ideas to the judges. It was just an amazing teamwork experience. I wish our team could work a real LBO deal together in the future.”
Each year, the ACG Cup gives hundreds of MBA students from leading business schools across the nation the opportunity to apply classroom studies to real-world experience and gain invaluable insight into the field of mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advising and private equity. Founded in 1954, ACG is a global organization with 56 chapters. ACG’s 14,000 members include professionals from private equity firms, corporations and lenders that invest in middle-market companies, as well as from law, accounting, investment banking and other firms that provide advisory services.