Archive for October, 2009

Freeman to host first energy trading competition

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

The Freeman School has earned a national reputation in recent years for its use of cutting-edge technology to teach energy trading. Next month, Freeman takes another step toward establishing itself as one of the nation’s leading institutions for the study of energy with the first Tulane Energy Trading Competition.

The Tulane Energy Trading Competition will take place on Nov. 13 and 14 in the Freeman School’s trading center. Twenty-eight students from five top business schools will travel to New Orleans to put their skills to the test in a unique competition with highly coveted internships at top trading firms on the line.

Trading Center

Twenty-eight students from five top business schools will visit the Freeman School's trading floor in November to participate in the first Tulane Energy Trading Competition.

What makes the Tulane competition unique is that participants will be judged not solely on profit but on risk-adjusted returns and the ability to articulate and execute a logical trading strategy, a crucial distinction according to Joe LeBlanc, assistant director of the Tulane Energy Institute and organizer of the event.

“The idea was to create a trading competition that is more aligned with what employers want in the marketplace,” says LeBlanc. “We think that by adjusting for risk, combining several different performance measures and using the best trading software from Trading Technologies and Thomson Reuters, we’re creating a competition that rewards responsible trading and more accurately reflects the way trading is truly practiced in today’s energy firms.”

The competition began on Oct. 12 with a two-week remote phase for 21 teams from 13 business schools. Each team was given a mock $100,000 to trade and was required to execute at least five trades per day. While most trading competitions reward the team or individuals who generate the highest profit, the Tulane Energy Trading Competition uses a method for measuring investment risk known as the Ulcer Performance Index to penalize teams that take on too much risk.

At the end of the two weeks, the members of the top seven teams qualified to participate as individuals in the final round in New Orleans.

Another innovation of the competition is the prize structure. Rather than cash prizes, the Tulane Energy Trading Competition will offer internships with Webster Capital on the CME/NYMEX, Luminant Energy and Mirant Energy to the top three participants. While most trading competitions award cash prizes to students, LeBlanc says that sends the wrong message to the public at a time when many people blame high energy prices on speculation.

“We think awarding internships is the right thing to do because students want jobs and internships more than anything,” says LeBlanc. “It also supports the mission of the Freeman School by providing an opportunity for students to further their education through an opportunity with a top energy trading firm.”

The Tulane Energy Trading Competition is presented by the Tulane Energy Institute and the Tulane Energy Club and sponsored by CME Group, Trading Technologies and Thomson Reuters. For more information about the competition, visit http://trading.tulane.edu or contact Joe LeBlanc at 504-314-2662 or jleblan@tulane.edu.


Business Forum looks at corporate consciousness

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey drew the wrath of many longtime customers in August with a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that proposed free-market alternatives to healthcare reform, but the article was vintage Mackey, combining the iconoclastic executive’s strong beliefs in the power of capitalism and the importance of social responsibility in business.

Whole Foods Market CEO and co-founder John Mackey will deliver the luncheon keynote presentation at this year's Tulane Business Forum.

Whole Foods Market CEO and co-founder John Mackey will deliver the luncheon keynote presentation at this year's Tulane Business Forum.

On Friday, Oct. 16, Mackey will be in New Orleans to deliver the luncheon keynote presentation at the 2009 Tulane Business Forum, which this year focuses on the theme of corporate consciousness.

“The whole idea of corporate consciousness goes back to the basic business fundamentals of doing things in an ethical manner and being responsible and purposeful in how you gear your business,” says Tom Spiers (MBA ’01), board member of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA), which organizes the annual event. “We thought this would be a good way to focus on how to return to core values and how certain large organizations are doing it and succeeding at it.”

In addition to Mackey, other speakers addressing corporate consciousness, ethics and social responsibility include Mark Quartermain, president of Shell Energy North America; Alan R. Yuspeh, senior vice president and chief ethics and compliance officer of HCA; and Gary Jay Saulson, director of corporate real estate with PNC Financial Services Group.

The forum will also feature a panel discussion on alternative energy and financing featuring Jon Guidroz, director of project development with Free Flow Power Corp.; D’Juan Hernandez, president and CEO of Sun Energy Group; and Eldon Klaassen, CEO of Allegro. The discussion will be moderated by Michael L. LeBourgeois, principal of NGP Energy Technology Partners in New Orleans.

The 2009 Tulane Business Forum will take place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Registration and continental breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. and the forum will begin at 8:30 a.m. For more information about this year’s program, visit tulanebusinessforum.com.


Diversity expert to speak on women and ambition

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Jennifer W. Allyn, a managing director in the Office of Diversity for PricewaterhouseCoopers, will discuss women and ambition in a special interactive lecture co-sponsored by the Louisiana Chapter of the International Women’s Forum.

“A Candid Conversation About Women and Ambition” will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 12 noon in Room 131 of Goldring/Woldenberg Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public, and a reception with food and refreshments will follow.

Jennifer Allyn, managing director, Office of Diversity, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Jennifer Allyn, managing director, Office of Diversity, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Allyn’s presentation will cover topics including leadership, retaining and advancing women, differences between men and women regarding ambition, and factors that can promote–or undermine–ambition in executives. The lecture is designed to make women think about ambition and institutions think about opportunities and roadblocks.

As an executive and thought leader promoting diversity initiatives, Allyn is responsible for designing programs to retain, develop and advance women and GLBT professionals. Allyn has been recognized as a subject matter expert on gender and work/life challenges. She is a frequent public speaker and has been quoted in over 30 publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CFO, and U.S. News & World Report. Among her many accomplishments, Allyn spearheaded the effort to enhance PwC’s parental leave policy and launched Full Circle, a program designed to assist parents who want to “on-ramp” after taking an extended period of time off from work. PricewaterhouseCoopers has been recognized as a best-in-class employer by Catalyst, Working Mother, Diversity Inc., Out & Equal and Fortune.

Prior to joining PwC, Allyn was a senior consultant at Catalyst, where she advised a diverse group of Fortune 500 clients, among them PricewaterhouseCoopers. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Women’s Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Corporate Council of The White House Project, and the Advisory Board of the National Council for Research on Women. In 2008, she received the Crossing Borders Award from the Feminist Press. Allyn is a graduate of Brown University and earned her master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

“A Candid Conversation About Women & Ambition” is presented by the Louisiana Chapter of the International Women’s Forum and is co-sponsored by the A. B. Freeman School of Business, the Newcomb College Institute, the Tulane Chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs, and the Tulane Office of Institutional Equity.

For more information about the presentation, please contact Peggy Babin, associate dean of the Freeman School, at 504-865-5412 or pbabin@tulane.edu.



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