Thursday May 15, 2008

Trading for the Future

The School of Business Administration and alumnus George Hanley cut the ribbon on a new $520,000 gift, the Hanley Group Derivatives Trading Center.

In the course of building several Chicago-based derivatives trading firms, Hanley Group President George Hanley directed the design and construction of state-of-the-art trading rooms.

But the latest one — Hanley's $520,000 gift to the University of Dayton's School of Business Administration — may be his most important creation.

It's a state-of-the-art trading room, equipped with the same hardware, software and real-time data used by practicing traders. It's also a classroom, offering a powerful learning experience for the next generation of aspiring traders in one of the hottest specialty areas of finance.

UD graduate Hanley and other University of Dayton officials came together May 15 in Miriam Hall 107 to cut the ribbon on the new Hanley Group Derivatives Trading Center, adding a new experiential learning tool to the business school.

"Building a center at the University of Dayton gives students a chance to have some real world trading experience in one of the fastest growing businesses in the country," said Hanley, a 1977 management graduate. "When students come out of UD with this experience, they're two steps ahead because they've had that real-world, experiential learning.

"It's very important that they know and are familiar with the software and hardware that they'll be using as professional traders," Hanley said, noting that students will be able to make trades on a simulator using real-time, live market data as well as historic, archived data.

University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran said Hanley's gift will build an important new capacity for the business school.

"Mr. Hanley is well-known for his ability to build successful businesses. We are pleased and honored he's helping us increase our capacity for applied learning in such a distinctive and innovative way," Curran said. "He is helping us build our unique brand of business education."

Hanley explained that derivatives encompass a wide variety of trading instruments, including options, futures, commodities and even stock indexes. It's a rapidly growing and exciting field with great opportunities.

Establishing the center — one of just a few in the nation — puts the University of Dayton in the forefront of a new trend in business education, according to Elizabeth Gustafson, interim dean of the School of Business Administration.

UD's center will be distinctive by emphasizing quantitative skills and by affording students hands-on opportunities to work directly with TradeStation, one of the most popular trading platforms, Gustafson said. Another advantage of the program will be the interaction students will have with experienced traders who will be brought in to teach and lecture, she said.

"The center will also operate as an interdisciplinary program, coordinating with the mathematics, computer science and engineering departments to provide learning opportunities for a wide variety of students," Gustafson said.

Matthew Shank, incoming dean of the School of Business Administration, said very few schools are equipped with centers to train students in derivative trading. He said the new center will expand educational opportunities and add a competitive edge.

"The Hanley center will provide new depth and an additional dimension to active learning that will benefit our students and differentiate the school of business from others nationally," Shank said.

The UD School of Business Administration already emphasizes learning by doing: finance students manage a portfolio of more than $8 million of the University's endowment, entrepreneurship students are involved in running real businesses, and MBA students act as consultants to local firms on management studies.

Hanley, who is also chairman of Infinium Capital Management, began his trading career in 1977 as a runner at the Chicago Board of Trade, following in the footsteps of his father who began his brokerage career in 1923 as a runner. Hanley traded derivative products at numerous exchanges worldwide and found his niche at the CBOT Soybean Options pit. He founded Hanley Group in 1986 and developed a training program with an emphasis on sound, disciplined trading and emerging technology.

Hanley's most recent gift brings his total contributions to the University of Dayton to more than $3.5 million. Hanley said these gifts are a way to give back to the University. "My time spent going to school at UD in so many ways shaped my life and who I am today. I owe a great deal of my good fortune and success to the years I spent at UD," Hanley said.

"I've been very successful and I feel blessed to be in a position to give this gift. I want to help teach young people not only how to be successful, but that giving back is part of it."

InternalArticle In the course of building several Chicago-based derivatives trading firms, Hanley Group President George Hanley directed the design and construction of state-of-the-art trading rooms.

But the latest one — Hanley's $520,000 gift to the UD School of Business Administration — may be his most important creation.

It's a state-of-the-art trading room, equipped with the same hardware, software and real-time data used by practicing traders. It's also a classroom, offering a powerful learning experience for the next generation of aspiring traders in one of the hottest specialty areas of finance.

"Building a center at the University of Dayton gives students a chance to have some real-world trading experience in one of the fastest-growing businesses in the country," said Hanley, a 1977 management graduate. "When students come out of UD with this experience, they're two steps ahead because they've had that real-world, experiential learning.

"It's very important that they know and are familiar with the software and hardware that they'll be using as professional traders," Hanley said, noting that students will be able to make trades on a simulator using real-time, live market data as well as historic, archived data.

Daniel J. Curran, UD president, said Hanley's gift will build an important new capacity for the business school.

"Mr. Hanley is well-known for his ability to build successful businesses," Curran said. "We are pleased and honored he's helping us increase our capacity for applied learning in such a distinctive and innovative way. He is helping us build our unique brand of business education."

Hanley explained that derivatives encompass a wide variety of trading instruments, including options, futures, commodities and stock indexes. It's a rapidly growing and exciting field with great opportunities, he said.

The center is one of just a few in the nation. It will emphasize quantitative skills and afford students hands-on opportunities to work directly with TradeStation, one of the most popular trading platforms. Students also will work with experienced traders who will be brought in to teach and lecture.

"The center will also operate as an interdisciplinary program, coordinating with the mathematics, computer science and engineering departments to provide learning opportunities for a wide variety of students," said Elizabeth Gustafson, interim dean.

Matthew Shank, incoming dean of the School of Business Administration, said very few schools are equipped with centers to train students in derivative trading.

"The Hanley center will provide new depth and an additional dimension to active learning that will benefit our students and differentiate the school of business from others nationally," Shank said.

Hanley, who is also chairman of Infinium Capital Management, began his trading career in 1977 as a runner at the Chicago Board of Trade, following in the footsteps of his father who began his brokerage career in 1923 as a runner. Hanley traded derivative products at numerous exchanges worldwide and found his niche at the CBOT Soybean Options pit. He founded Hanley Group in 1986 and developed a training program with an emphasis on sound, disciplined trading and emerging technology.

Hanley's most recent gift brings his total contributions to the University of Dayton to more than $3.5 million. Hanley said these gifts are a way to give back to the University.

"My time spent going to school at UD in so many ways shaped my life and who I am today," he said. "I owe a great deal of my good fortune and success to the years I spent at UD. ... I've been very successful, and I feel blessed to be in a position to give this gift. I want to help teach young people not only how to be successful, but that giving back is part of it."

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.