Archive for October, 2012

New lab gives students the power of Bloomberg Professional

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Bloomberg is the world’s leading provider of news, data and analytics for finance professionals. Now, thanks to a new agreement, the Freeman School is making the company’s flagship desktop product — the Bloomberg Professional service — fully available to students.

Bloomberg Lab

In August, the Freeman School unveiled a new lab dedicated exclusively to the Bloomberg Professional service, the world’s leading financial news, data and analytics platform.

This summer, the Freeman School acquired 12 new subscriptions to the service, enabling the creation of a new computer lab dedicated exclusively to Bloomberg. The lab, located on the first floor of Goldring/Woldenberg Hall I, provides students with 24-hour access to real-time and historical data on commodities, derivatives, equities, fixed income and foreign exchange securities.

“Bloomberg offers users a staggering array of financial tools and information,” says Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School, who worked closely with faculty, staff and representatives from Bloomberg to make the lab a reality. “By making those tools and information available to students, we hope to enhance their understanding of key concepts and reinforce the theories they’re learning in the classroom.”

While the Freeman School’s Turchin Library has offered students limited access to the Bloomberg Professional service for a number of years, the new lab allows faculty members to fully leverage the power of Bloomberg in the classroom, enabling projects that let students apply conceptual knowledge to real-world examples.

Sheri Tice, for example, who teaches the Freeman School’s Darwin Fenner Fund course, is having her students use Bloomberg to run a host of sophisticated analyses on the fund, a $2.6 million stock portfolio managed entirely by the students.

“There are a bunch of portfolio analysis tools that are only available on Bloomberg,” says Tice, the A. B. Freeman Endowed Chair in Finance. “I can ask the students to determine if portfolio outperformance comes from taking on risk or represents abnormal performance, or I can ask them if outperformance comes from superior company-selection ability or industry-selection ability. The tools they need to answer those questions are only available on Bloomberg.”

David Lesmond, associate professor of finance, is having his Master of Finance students conduct a financial analysis of a firm, including forecasting what the company’s earnings are likely to be at the end of the semester.

“They’re using Bloomberg for almost everything,” says Lesmond. “As opposed to simply doing a problem at the back of a textbook, they’re using actual data to determine characteristics that we’d otherwise just talk about. It makes the lessons learned a lot more real.”

With the opening of the new lab, Freeman students now have access to the two leading financial data products on the market: the Bloomberg Professional service and Thomson Reuters Eikon, which is installed on work stations in the Freeman School’s Trading Center. According to Lesmond, that gives students a tremendous advantage.

“Every desk that does financial analysis is either going to have a Reuters terminal or a Bloomberg application,” Lesmond says. “By giving our students that experience while they’re still in school, they’re going to be able to step into those environments seamlessly and start contributing from day one.”

 

 


Madoff attorney Ira Sorkin visits Freeman

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Attorney Ira Sorkin (A&S ’65), best known for representing notorious Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, took some time from his busy schedule to speak to Prof. Mike Hogg’s undergraduate business law class on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Ira Sorkin

Attorney Ira Sorkin (A&S ’65), left, best known for representing Bernie Madoff, spoke about his career and representing Madoff as a special guest lecturer in Prof. Mike Hogg’s business law class.

Sorkin attended Tulane on a track and field scholarship and majored in English, but it was a Newcomb College political science course on the Supreme Court that inspired him to pursue a legal career. After serving as a summer intern with U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan, Sorkin spent three years as a trial attorney with the Securities & Exchange Commission in New York and five years with the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York, serving as Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, where he prosecuted federal violations from organized crime to securities fraud. Today, Sorkin is a member of Lowenstein Sandler, a New Jersey-based law firm, where he specializes in white collar defense.

As for representing clients such as Madoff, Sorkin told students that his role as a defense attorney isn’t to pass judgement, prove his client’s innocence or even to determine the truth. Rather, he said, it’s to uphold the Constitution by forcing the U.S. government to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Sorkin was on campus to speak as part of the John J. Witmeyer III Dean’s Colloquium series, which invites distinguished alumni of Newcomb-Tulane College back to campus to discuss their careers and professions.  Sorkin’s presentation took place on Tuesday, Oct. 16, in the Woldenberg Art Center’s Freeman Auditorium.


Join the Freeman School for Homecoming 2012

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Tulane University celebrates Homecoming 2012 next month, and as part of that celebration, the Freeman School is sponsoring a number of special events for business alumni.

Chef Brian Landry of Borgne will be on hand to serve his acclaimed Louisiana cuisine at the Freeman School’s tailgating party on Saturday, Nov. 3.

On Friday, Nov. 2, Freeman will host an Open House, Tour and Q&A with Dean Ira Solomon from 4 – 5 p.m. in Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II. If you haven’t been to campus lately, it’s a great chance to catch up with Freeman, see our facilities and learn about some of the exciting things going on.

Then, on Saturday, Nov. 3, join us for tailgating at the Freeman School tent in Champions Square at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome prior to the Tulane-Rice football game. This year’s tailgating party honors the BBA/BSM classes of ’62, ’67, ’72, ’77, ’82, ’87, ’92, ’97, ’02, and ’07, but all alumni of the Freeman School are invited.

In the last few years, it’s become a Freeman tradition to invite some of the top chefs in New Orleans to provide food for our tailgating party, and this year is no exception. Joining us will be Brian Landry, executive chef of Borgne, the newest member of the John Besh Restaurant Group, who will be serving his acclaimed Louisiana cuisine in the Freeman School tent from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Those activities are in addition to Tulane’s long list of university-wide events, including a Town Hall with President Scott Cowen, the Helluva Hullabaloo Auction and Party, and the Wave ’12 All-Alumni Reunion Party and Concert featuring the Rebirth Brass Band.

For more information and to register for events, visit http://tulane.edu/homecoming or contact Rhonda Brown at rhondab@tulane.edu or (504) 862-8470


Register now for PitchNOLA 2012

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Got an idea to solve a social or environmental problem in New Orleans? Register for PitchNOLA, Propeller’s annual social innovation “elevator pitch” competition, and you could win up to $6,000 to make that idea a reality.

PitchNOLA

PitchNOLA contestant Tamara Prosper delivers her pitch for Sheaux Fresh Sustainable Foods at last year’s competition.

This year, PitchNOLA features two different tracks dedicated to addressing two different community challenges. PitchNOLA 2012: Community Solutions is designed to identify sustainable ventures that solve pressing social or environmental problems in New Orleans. PitchNOLA 2012: Lots of Progress is intended to develop creative ideas to utilize the city’s abundant vacant lots in ways that benefit the community.

The 10 best proposals received in each track will earn their submitters the right to pitch their ideas to a panel of celebrity judges in front of a live audience on Nov. 14 and 15. The best pitch in the Community Solutions track can win up to $6,000 to develop the idea, while the top three pitches in  the Lots of Progress track will receive vacant lots on which to demonstrate their ideas.

If you think you might have an idea, don’t delay. The application deadline for Community Solutions is Monday, Oct. 15, and the application deadline for Lots of Progress is Monday, Oct. 22.

PitchNOLA is an annual presentation of Propeller, formerly SENO (Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans), and is co-sponsored by Tulane University’s Social Entrepreneurship Initiatives, the A. B. Freeman School of Business and the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship.

For more information about PitchNOLA 2012 and to register online, visit http://www.seno-nola.org/pitchnola2012.


Sports takes the spotlight at Tulane Business Forum

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

From the NBA All-Star Game and the BCS College Football Championship to the NCAA Men’s Final Four and the Super Bowl, New Orleans has in the last four years reemerged as one of the nation’s leading destinations for major sporting events.

Tulane Business Forum

A panel of local sports officials said greater collaboration has helped New Orleans reemerge as one of the nation’s leading destinations for major sporting events. From left, Mark Romig, Jay Cicero, Rick Dickson, Dennis Lauscha and Doug Thornton.

At the 33rd annual Tulane Business Forum, which took place on Friday (Sept. 28) at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, a panel of local sports officials said that impressive post-Katrina run isn’t an accident.

“I can think back five or six years ago to conversations that all of us here had in terms of what can our industry do to impact and contribute to the recovery of our state,” said panelist Rick Dickson, Tulane athletics director. “It’s been very gratifying to help to facilitate these events.”

Joining Dickson for the panel discussion of sports and economic development were Dennis Lauscha, president of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Hornets; Doug Thornton, senior vice president of SMG, the management company for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the New Orleans Arena; and Jay Cicero, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation. Mark Romig, president and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp., moderated the session.

Increased collaboration has been a big factor in attracting major sporting events to the city, but an even bigger factor may be the city itself. According to the panelists, no other city in the nation features world-class venues and abundant hotel rooms within walking distance of a hospitality center like the French Quarter.

That compact footprint enables the city to save millions in hosting expenses. While Super Bowls in Indianapolis and Dallas cost upwards of $35 million, New Orleans is hosting Super Bowl XLVII for about $13.5 million.

“The reason we can do that is because of our footprint and because of everyone working together,” said Lauscha. “It’s really amazing when you think we’re going to have one of the best Super Bowls, and we’re going to do it for about a third of the cost of Dallas.”

With the title “Scoring Big: Building on Business Victories,” this year’s forum had a sports theme. In addition to the panel discussion, Tulane President Scott Cowen delivered a sobering presentation on the state of intercollegiate athletics, an institution facing serious obstacles in the form of  increased commercialism, challenges to amateurism, questions of integrity, a lack of financial sustainability and concerns over player safety.

Carl J. Schramm

Carl J. Schramm, president of Schramm & Co. and former president of the Kauffman Foundation, discussed ways to make American capitalism more entrepreneurial as this year’s keynote luncheon speaker.

“The current system is not sustainable in its current form,” Cowen said. “I want to be proven wrong. I believe very strongly in the value of intercollegiate athletics in the higher education community. I would just like to make sure that it’s sustainable and that it represents the values that we always envisioned for intercollegiate athletics.”

Delivering the keynote addresses this year were Carl J. Chaney, president and CEO of Whitney Bank, who discussed Hancock Holding Co.’s acquisition of the venerable New Orleans bank in 2010, and Carl J. Schramm, president of Schramm  & Co. and former president of the Kauffman Foundation, whose luncheon keynote talk addressed ways to make American capitalism more entrepreneurial.

The program also included presentations by Beth A. Brooke, global vice chair of public policy with Ernst & Young, who discussed the potential impacts of the presidential election on business, and John C. Sheptor, former president and CEO of Imperial Sugar Co., who talked about how he repositioned Imperial for new products and markets.

The Tulane Business Forum is an annual presentation of the A. B. Freeman School of Business and the Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA).

 



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