Student Managed Investment Fund
Vice President, Goldman Sachs
Matthew Casey is a vice president at Goldman Sachs and serves on the Applied Securities Analysis (ASA) Student Managed Invest Fund Advisory Board. On the board, Casey attends pitches throughout the year to give his feedback on the fund’s research. Casey serves as a mentor to current ASA students and provides guidance to students when possible.
He got involved with the advisory board because of the significant impact it had on his own educational experience.
“It was one of the first professional experiences that I had that really pushed me out of my comfort zone,” he said. Casey feels that growth happens when you challenge yourself and that is why the ASA was such a valuable experience to him. During his time at USF, Casey was a finance and accounting major. In addition to the ASA, he was a member of the USF rowing team, a 25 under 25 honoree and he was active in the Corporate Mentor Program.
Casey has grown within Goldman Sachs. He first started as an associate after graduating from the University of Florida in 2018 with both an MBA and a law degree. He completed both degrees in an accelerated format and graduated in just three years. Although he has no immediate plans to practice law, he feels that law school gave him a unique perspective and again, was a chance for him to push himself out of his comfort zone.
He has grown from serving as associate to assuming a management role and now continues to take on responsibility. As vice president, now reporting to the head of Florida and Latin America Private Wealth Management, Casey helps run the operations for the Miami and Palm Beach Offices. His advice to those at the beginning of their careers is to “embrace challenges as they come to you, just because an opportunity is unfamiliar to you doesn’t mean you should back away.”
Casey believes the keys to success and being an effective leader are taking feedback, embracing challenges, remaining optimistic and being an effective communicator. He knows that no one gets to where they are going alone.
“It is important that you work with your team members,” he said, “and look to others as mentors for guidance.”
Private Bank Analyst, J.P. Morgan
Jonathan Ebberhart graduated from USF in May 2020 with a degree in finance, concentrating in asset management, with minors in political science and economics. During his time in school, Ebberhart completed an internship with the J.P. Morgan Private Bank, which led to a full-time job offer. Since then, he has worked with J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Tampa. His role as a wealth management analyst is to create personalized wealth plans for individuals, families, endowments and foundations. Though he has been working remotely since the beginning of June, he truly enjoys the job and being part of his team.
Ebberhart’s first internship (as a freshman) was with a boutique firm, Anchor Wealth Management, in his hometown of Sanford, Florida. It was an opportunity for him to get real-world exposure early in his education and he believes it was an important step in landing the internship with J.P. Morgan as a junior. Ebberhart was an active member of the USF community during his time as a student, participating in the Student Finance Association, The Real Estate Society and the Free Thinkers Club.
While at USF, Ebberhart was a member of the Applied Security Analysis (ASA) Program, which gives students hands-on experience in stock analysis, evaluation and sales presentation, leading to the purchase of securities through the Student Managed Investment Fund. Ebberhart expressed how important this learning experience was to him as a student and how it helped him transition into the professional world.
“As a finance student, if you want to be competitive out of school, it is so important to get into a program like the ASA,” he said. “We learned things that you do not get to experience in the classroom.”
Leo Chen, with the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance who leads the ASA class, was essential to Ebberhart’s education.
“The individual time that you get with Professor Chen is so important,” the former student said. “You learn things listening to him that you will apply when you enter the workforce. My ASA classmates and I are all so grateful to Leo Chen and the relationships that were built during our time together.”
The group remains close, he said, staying in touch and helping one another whenever possible.
Kopernik Global Investors, LLC.
Darin Ostrowski came to USF in 2016 after serving two years in the U.S. Army. He majored in finance with a concentration in asset management and took part in the Applied Security Analysis Program as well as the Student Finance Association.
“The ASA course was by far the most applicable to real-world experience that you can get in any college setting,” Ostrowski said. “The same research I do now in my job, we did in that class.”
Ostrowski credits landing his job to the ASA because he first encountered Kopernik Global Investors after he delivered a Student Managed Investment Fund pitch. He remained in contact with the firm after the pitch and the company later offered him a position.
Ostrowski works as an equity research associate, assisting and supporting sector analysts. Right now, he works with the company’s energy analyst, as well as the real estate and agriculture analysts. The company prioritizes working with multiple analysts and because of that, Ostrowski has been able to explore multiple industries and take on more responsibility.
Another aspect of his role is data analysis and aggregation.
Ostrowski loves the autonomy of his firm.
“We are a very unique investment manager in that we are truly a global manager,” he said. “We have investments in upwards of over 30 countries in the last five years. The company says, ‘If you find something interesting, we want you to look into it, because we want to be able to add it to our portfolio.’ We go places that a lot of firms are uncomfortable with.”
Not only is the firm unique in its long-term investment strategy, it is also unique in its office environment. Kopernik Global Investors holds a summer global immersion program in which analysts go to other countries for a few months to work for the summer. The goal is to give the investors a chance to explore biases that may exist in other countries and why some firms avoid investing there. The firm’s associates have spent summers in places such as Budapest and Montreal, though the most recent plans to visit Russia were canceled due to COVID-19.
Ostrowski encourages students to go after what they want, explore the different areas of finance and constantly reach out to meet people and make connections.
“Take advantage of all that USF and ASA has to offer,” he said.
Senior Associate, RBC Capital Markets
Klenton Perry is an investment banking senior associate on track to become a vice president at RBC Capital Market, one of the largest investment banks in the world, providing a full product suite of investment services to clients.
Perry graduated from USF in 2015. He took part in the Applied Securities Analysis (ASA) Program and was president of the Student Finance Association.
“ASA,” Perry said, “helped catapult me to New York.”
ASA requires students to develop a professional mindset in an education setting.
“When you’re in school it’s easy to have a mess up, but ASA strips that away,” he said. “You have professionals who are going to drill you and expect a quality of work that trains you how to think on your feet. It trains you to be a professional who operates at the highest level.”
What is an average day like?
“There is no normal day, every day is different,” he said. Perry feels that the ASA experience does not develop you for entry-level roles. It prepares you for beyond that, for higher managerial roles.
Perry’s first job in New York was at J.P. Morgan in a corporate banking role with the help of a connection that was made through an alumnus of the ASA program. After working in that role, Perry realized that he wanted to explore an investment/banking route. The first role he took at RBC was in corporate banking, but that eventually led to a transition to the investment side of things.
After reflecting on his experience in the program, Perry offered some advice to current USF students: “Don’t be afraid to fail. You have to drive your own career path. Being where I am is the result of 50 rejections and countless no responses.”
Senior Structured Investments Associate, Raymond James
Michael Schopler graduated from USF in 2014 with a degree in accounting and finance and now works as a Senior Structured Investments Associate at Raymond James. He serves as a liaison between all of the major banks and the financial advisers.
“Seventy-five percent of my day,” he said, “is spent working with the investment bank and advisers to get what they want for their clients.”
At USF, Schopler got involved in the ASA because of fellow student, Matthew Casey. Schopler said that Casey served as a mentor for him during his time at USF and is grateful for his encouragement to pursue the class.
“I gave the program my all,” Schopler said, “I loved that it was real world.”
After completing the ASA program, he continued to work closely with the group in his last semester.
“It was a busy time for me,” he said, “as I was taking my own classes, helping with ASA and interviewing for jobs.” Schopler has served on the ASA advisory board for about five years. He appreciates that the ASA gave him a chance to set himself apart on his applications.
“If you look at the ASA for the experience it is, and not just a grade,” he said, “you will get so much out of it.”
Schopler has grown so much in his six years at Raymond James. He has learned things you cannot get from a textbook. He learned what positions he did not want to be in and the type of roles he enjoys being in. And that helped him grow tremendously in a short amount of time.
Schopler is excited for his future at Raymond James and looks forward to where his experience will take him.