Frank J. Guarini School of Business Celebrates Successful Outcomes from Lord Abbett Partnership

There are many reasons why students choose to pursue a college education – to obtain a good job, to be successful in a respective field, to create professional connections and many others. Ahmed Shehata ’21 achieved all of these things and more through his experience with the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) at Saint Peter’s University.

L-R: Jeffrey Herzog, Svetlana Grutman, Taina Cutler, Patricia Ricco, Ahmed Shehata, Leah Traub, Mary Kate Naatus, Catherine Tantillo, Nicole Tully and Nickolas Prala.

In the fall 2020 semester, the Frank J. Guarini School of Business celebrated the launch of Saint Peter’s first SMIF with the support of the investment management company, Lord Abbett. Students involved in the program had the opportunity to take stock market simulations to the next level by investing $50,000 in funding, which was generously provided by Lord Abbett. The success of the investments was measured regularly against performance benchmarks. In addition, Lord Abbett provided training, mentoring and career engagement opportunities for Saint Peter’s students.

Shehata served as the SMIF program president. He led a team of 15 students who applied and were selected to participate in the program. As president he worked with the team and faculty mentors to develop an investment policy statement, research models, stock selections and benchmarking processes.

Throughout the semester, the students in the program had access to Lord Abbett professionals during bi-weekly meetings and they were also invited to regularly attend events for the Lord Abbett Virtual Speakers Series. Shehata credits this regular networking as what helped him to land his current position as an advisor consultant with Lord Abbett, a position which he began in July after graduation.

More than 150 people applied for the role and Shehata believes he wouldn’t have landed the job if it wasn’t for the Lord Abbett partnership with Saint Peter’s. “My experience with the SMIF program gave me access to some of the top leaders from Lord Abbett, including the CEO and firm partners. The program also exposed me to the culture of the company. I was able to see how the professionals behaved and I learned how to emulate that. I gained a vision of where I wanted to be in the future,” explained Shehata.

While networking and career opportunities were major benefits of the SMIF program, students also had the opportunity to learn valuable financial lessons.

“I learned new strategies beyond my coursework on how to really find great investments and I couldn’t have done that without the program,” said Garrett Angulo ’21.

The Lord Abbett Virtual Speakers Series included presentations from various Lord Abbett professionals including Andrew D’Souza, partner and co-head of international investor services; Kristen Maple, chief impact officer; Tom Malone, partner and co-head of client services; Steven L. Raimer, J.D., partner of product strategy; Steve Rocco, partner & co-head of taxable fixed income; and Mila Skulkina, portfolio manager. Students gained career insights, learned about retail and international business, leadership philosophies, client relationships, wealth and asset management, the taxable fixed income market and more.

Catherine Tantillo, head of community relations at Lord Abbett, said, “We are thrilled about our partnership with Saint Peter’s. The SMIF Class of 2020 could not have been more engaged. You could see their investment knowledge expanding with every interaction with our Investment Professionals. We look forward to working with the new SMIF Class of 2021.”When it comes to Shehata’s new role with Lord Abbett, he couldn’t be more grateful. The company is investing in him to take the Securities Industry Essentials Exam, the Series 7 and the Series 66. He appreciates all of the knowledge he gained during his time at Saint Peter’s and shares that now he “isn’t just talking about making the food, but he is actually making it and eating it.”

Learn more about the Saint Peter’s University and Lord Abbett partnership in this highlight video on the 2020-21 SMIF program.