Chico Economics Graduate Careers - Banking
Adam Bialosky graduated from Chico State with a B.A . in economics with honors in 1983 and he graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with a J.D. in 1987. He has been a lawyer for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for more than 5 years. Prior to that, he was a lawyer with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for 21 years. His duties in both jobs are very similar.
Adam brings enforcement actions against banks and bankers that violate federal laws and regulations or that engage in unsafe or unsound banking practices. He also provides legal advice to the FDIC, and legal interpretations to the banking industry, concerning federal laws and regulations governing banking. In addition, he provides legal review of corporate applications filed with the FDIC concerning expansion of banking activities, bank mergers and acquisitions, the addition of officers and/or directors at problem banks, expansion of banking locations, change in bank control, and other areas.
In a recent email, Adam stated that "My economics degree from Chico State prepared me for law school at Georgetown University and a subsequent legal career in bank regulation by providing me with a solid foundation in economics and finance, and enabling me to develop strong critical thinking skills through rigorous coursework."
Jeff Finck graduated from CSU Chico with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics in 1982. Since 2008, he has served as President and CEO for Cornerstone Community Bank in Red Bluff, California. Jeff is a past president of Chico State’s Alumni Board of Directors and served on the President’s Advisory Board under both President Esteban and President Zing. Jeff was the commencement speaker for CSUC’s Baccalaureate Graduates in 1999.
Jeff handles the day to day functions of running a community bank. He believes the economic education/training he received at Chico State has served him well in running a banking franchise, especially during the challenging times of the last several years. Jeff stated “I took the reins of a bank at the cusp of a great recession and realized we had no playbook for what my bank, or the banking industry was facing. A fascinating amount of what I learned at Chico’s Econ Department has been applied to my career in banking. My ability to tackle complex problems such as interest rate risk analysis, loan portfolio stress testing, investment duration risk (in a zero interest rate environment), and a myriad of other complexities has been greatly enhanced due to the study of economics. I remember Dr. Shockley saying the country needs more micro economists. The older I get, the more I believe this to be true.”
Simon Hermann, who graduated in 2012, works as a Financial Institution Specialist (FIS) for the FDIC. He often travels around Northern California as an examiner working with teams that analyze banks’ Capital, Assets, Management, Earnings, Liquidity, and Sensitivity to market risk (CAMELS). The job requires considerable flexibility, since he needs to constantly change roles and responsibilities from bank to bank either weekly or monthly, depending on assignments.
In a recent email, Simon said, “My economics major has helped me in two ways in this job:
First, the most direct way my econ major helped me is in the review of banks' sensitivity to market risk. This review includes reviewing the assumptions and outputs of statistical models and simulations. How non-maturity deposit accounts react to changing interest rates is a large part of most model assumptions and is often measured through some form of regression analysis. Professor Sargsyan and Eckalbar spent a lot of time helping me understand this topic! Second, I also need to understand the economy that our banks operate in. My econ degree has also given me some additional insight into this as well.”
Jessica Koppel graduated with honors in economics major in 2007. After graduation she began working for U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management as a client sales and service officer in Chicago. In this position she assists the U.S. Trust client team in servicing clients and in building businesses.
Next year she plans to enroll in graduate school so that she can become a teacher. In a recent email Jessica said, "My dream is to teach one day. I want to inspire kids and help them overcome challenges. I know it's a drastic change from banking to teaching. I have been thinking about this for about four years and it isn't easy changing careers. I have my paraprofessional certificate which would allow me the chance to be a TA."
Emily Kruger, who graduated with a BA in economics in 2010, is a commercial loan underwriter for a community bank, the Bank of San Francisco. As a loan underwriter she analyzes financial statements, tax returns, and credit reports to determine if a loan applicant's historic cash flow is adequate to cover payments on the proposed loan, as well as existing debt obligations.
" I utilize my background in economics within my job on a daily basis. I forecast what will likely happen to a company's financial performance in the future based on historic events. I analyze both micro and macro economic factors pertaining to the industry in which a loan applicant operates its business. I utilize skills acquired from Professor Shockley's Economic Literature class when I write loan presentations which summarize important financial data, explain trends, discuss a business' background, and compare the business' performance to similar businesses in its industry."
David Quirk received his BA in Economics in 1982. He is employed at Bank of America in their mortgage lending division. David works as a senior loan underwriter and had assisted with training new hires within their department. Mortgage underwriters are responsible for rendering residential loan credit decisions according to all relevant information within adherence lender and regulatory guidelines. He has over twenty-five years is this field as an employee and contractor.
"My degree and the Economic classes from Chico have been vital in this occupation. The theory of efficiency and effectiveness is a cornerstone for analysis and used every day. My coursework provided a strategic method to make decisions and consider the “macro” implications working toward process improvements. I was fortunate to have a variety of great professors where each was able to provide designed solution skills and real-world knowledge which is necessary in today’s dynamic business environment."
Kevin Wolfe, who graduated in 1984, is a bank examiner in the Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Their mission is to promote safety and soundness of the banking system. In a recent email Kevin stated, "As we are taught in our economics courses, the banking system during the great depression saw many banks fail and great financial instability in the industry. In order to re-establish trust in banks, the federal government began insuring deposits in banks in 1934 through the FDIC. By receiving the government guarantee on deposits, bankers are incentivized to take greater risks. If a bank takes higher risks, the higher reward goes to the bank; while the losses go to the government, if the bank is unsuccessful. This is one of the primary justifications for regulation of banks."
"My small part of trying to protect the deposit insurance fund and maintaining stability in the financial system involves performing various regulatory tasks during examinations of banks. Assignments can be to look at the bank’s capital adequacy, evaluate asset quality, assess management ability and risk management practices, analyze earnings performance, measure the bank’s liquidity and sensitivity to market risk, and several other areas related to banking. Much emphasis is put on evaluating the bank’s asset quality. The loan portfolio is the most often the greatest risk in the bank. If a bank fails, the usual reason is because the bank made bad loans. Thus, a great deal of my work relates to some form of asset quality analysis."
"My economics degree has given me an understanding of our banking system that I use every working day. More importantly, economics gave me a foundation to work in any area of business or finance. Further, studying economics is rigorous, and cultivates critical thinking."
Supervision and Regulation explained -- http://www.federalreserve.gov/pf/pdf/pf_5.pdf