Alumni Explore the New School of Business at Latest Alumni in Finance Networking Event
Since its inception in 2010, the Saint Peter’s University Alumni in Finance (AIF) Network has met regularly in the heart of New York’s financial district. AIF provides attendees the opportunity to network with fellow alumni and current Saint Peter’s students. The most recent celebration though was held for the first time in the new Saint Peter’s School of Business.
The new School of Business, which opened for students in August 2014, is the result of a $4 million transformation of Dinneen Hall. The centerpiece of the renovated facility is the Business Laboratory, which includes a simulated financial floor that offers a hands-on learning environment equipped with Bloomberg terminals, a LED ticker, video-conferencing and other capabilities that deliver business intelligence to students in real time. The exterior of the building features interactive digital displays with current financial market information, as well as an open learning forum with stepped seating. The state-of-the-art space provided the perfect setting for alumni to gather and learn about the ever-changing world of finance.
The keynote speaker for the event was Bryan Harkins, executive vice president, head of U.S. Markets at BATS Global Markets. The theme of the discussion was “Market Structure: How It’s Changing and Where It’s Going” and Harkins discussed the modern stock market and how technology is leading trading to become an online experience. Harkins provided the group with a brief history of some of the most influential changes in the market, as well as real life examples of how trade has evolved. Most importantly, he explained how the modern stock market and traders are changing.
“The modern trader today is not as much focused on finance, but more on computer science,” said Harkins. “The best high frequency traders not only manage risk and understand the trends within the market, they also have an understanding of technology.”
Following his presentation, Harkins fielded questions from the alumni, who were eager to hear Harkins’ opinion on several topics including government regulation and the overall current state of the market.
Harkins previously served as the chief operating officer of Direct Edge, which was acquired by BATS in January 2014. His industry knowledge and effective leadership skills were instrumental to the company growing into one of the largest players in the U.S. equity market. In addition to his success and achievement with BATS, Harkins is also an accomplished executive who has received numerous accolades including selection to the 2014 Crain’s New York Business 40 Under Forty and the 2013 NJBIZ magazine Forty Under 40. He also received the 2013 Silver Best in Biz award for Best Executive and the 2013 Business Intelligence Group award for Executive of the Year.
The event proved to be a success for students such as Nicholas Brown ’18, a business management major at the University. Brown was able to converse with some of the alumni in attendance who shared their personal insight on the industry.
“This is the first event I have attended where I met alumni and I was really excited to interact with leaders in the field,” said Brown. “I spoke with David Chiang ’90, who offered me advice on distinguishing myself in the business and finance world, which is helpful since I am planning on joining the finance club here on campus.”
The Alumni in Finance Network was designed to provide individuals with the opportunity to participate, learn, exchange ideas and explore professional relationships while connecting and engaging with the University. The host committee includes Noreen D. Beaman, CPA ’86, chief executive officer, Brinker Capital; Andres Cifuentes ’04, vice president, fixed income & commodities, Morgan Stanley; Robert A. Cutro ’75, managing director (retired), Barclays Capital; Thomas J. Jordan ’63, president and CEO, Jordan & Jordan; Justin McKeon CPA ’97, director, corporate audit, Pfizer Inc.; and James G. Rizzo ’81, managing director (retired), Dahlman, Rose & Co. To learn about upcoming events for the network, please visit alumni.saintpeters.edu.