Thursday April 4, 2013

Invested in the Future

Two Federal Reserve presidents joined a record crowd of 2,400 at RISE 13. Welcome to the world's largest student investment forum.

The University of Dayton's 13th annual RISE student investment forum April 4-6 reached new heights and celebrated a number of firsts.

RISE, the world's largest and longest-running student investment forum, drew a record crowd, connected to students around the world and hosted some of the most influential leaders in the finance industry.

"This year's success has taken RISE to a new level and solidified its standing as the pre-eminent student investment forum in the world," said David Kudla, RISE 13 executive director and CEO and CIO of Mainstay Capital Management LLC. "By attracting leaders and policymakers from the financial industry as well as A-list journalists, RISE offers students an unparalleled, interactive experience.

"It was most gratifying to hear from Federal Reserve Bank presidents and some of the best economists in the world say they were impressed not only with the size and scope of the forum, but with the sophisticated and insightful questions from students."

Opening day attendees heard two Federal Reserve presidents express confidence in the recovering economy during a free-flowing conversation with Bloomberg Radio's economics reporter Kathleen Hays and students from around the world at the University of Dayton Arena.

Dennis P. Lockhart, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and Charles L. Evans, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, appeared together in a kick-off panel discussion before a record 2,400 finance students, professors, professionals and high school students.

In a taped message, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who keynoted the RISE forum in 2005, talked to students about the importance of financial literacy. "Among the lessons of the recent financial crisis is the need for virtually everyone — both young and old — to acquire a basic knowledge of finance and economics," he said.

Later, Hays interviewed University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran, Kudla and Davis Center student manager A.J. Ziegler during her three-hour Bloomberg Radio weekday program, "The Hays Advantage," which aired from the University of Dayton Arena. She also interviewed Tim O'Connell, assistant vice president for athletics and executive director for the arena, about the arena's storied history.

This year's forum attracted the attention of the national press corps. In addition to moderating a panel, CNBC's Steve Liesman covered the Fed's asset purchase policy and the outlook on employment during a live morning interview with Lockhart on "Squawk Box." It was one of five, live CNBC broadcasts throughout the day.

Liesman followed up with another live afternoon appearance on "Street Signs" with Kudla. And he talked to Ziegler and Michael Hermes, two finance majors who are part of a team managing $16 million of the University's endowment, about their investment strategy and even asked for their stock picks. The Flyer Investments portfolio is up 8.5 percent this year.

FOX Business News and CBS News also were represented on panels, and Reuters, Dow Jones, Bloomberg News and Market News International sent correspondents to cover the opening day.

The morning's session with two Federal Reserve presidents captured the most attention.

"The economy is making progress. The mood seems to be improving," Atlanta Fed President Lockhart told students in his upbeat outlook.

Chicago Fed President Evans said he expects a 2.5 percent economic growth this year. "While I'm optimistic, I don't think we should be complacent," he said. Later, he added, "The watchword here is patience."

For the first time, students in China participated in RISE via a satellite hook-up from the University of Dayton China Institute in Suzhou Industrial Park.

"How does the U.S. economy affect China and the world economy?" asked Sijia Hao, a senior finance major from Nanjing University, one of the University's partner schools.

"The Chinese and U.S. economies are very interconnected," responded Lockhart. "The U.S. is an importer of consumption goods, many made in China. The People's Bank of China is a major holder of U.S. securities.

"China," he said, "has a big stake in the success of our economy and our policies."

Qui Yuqing, a finance major from Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, was one of 29 finance and MBA students from five Chinese universities who watched the forum's proceedings from a classroom in the University of Dayton China Institute. Afterwards, she called the forum "thought-provoking and stimulating."

"Apart from the fact that the RISE 13 forum is the largest and most famous financial forum in the world, it provides us a platform to communicate with each other and exchange our views — as well as get to know the world economy more clearly," Yuqing said.

For more information, contact Teri Rizvi at 937-229-3255 or