Chico Economics Graduate Careers - Finance
Nick Billeci graduated with honors in Spring 2013 with with a BA in International Economics and a BS in Business Administration with an option in Finance. After graduation he accepted a job as a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments. They invited Nick to participate in their Financial Advisor Career Development program, which is designed to prepare recent college graduates for careers as financial advisors. After accepting this offer Nick studied for three months for the Series 7 and Series 66 exams and after completing these exams he moved to Arizona for seven months for the training program. Upon completion, he assumed responsibility for his own branch of Edward Jones Investments located in San Ramon, California. In a recent email, Nick stated that "I was fortunate enough to be able to apply the skills I learned studying international markets, statistics, and economics while at CSU Chico to build my own business in the area I was born and raised in."
Kyle Benner moved to San Francisco after his graduation in 2013 and found a job with Abbot Downing, a boutique Ultra-High Net Worth (UHNW) investment management firm within Wells Fargo. His initial title was Client Service Associate with job responsibilities “only tangentially connected to economic principles and focused more on the operations sides of things” he stated in a recent email. “However, managers realized that I was proficient in numbers and they tapped me for help. I heavily attribute my skills with math and statistics to Econometrics with Professor Eckalbar and Money and Credit with Professor Sargsyan. Recently I've been performing due diligence on hedge fund managers as well as an assortment of other odd roles and responsibilities.”
“Economics has without a doubt helped my career in several ways and I'm only a few years into it!. While yes, I did have exposure to economic theories which has helped, more recently on studying for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program, but I've found that the principles I picked up from my time at Chico State have helped me the most. Principles of economics gave me an interest in causation, a healthy skepticism, and again, to reiterate, numeracy.”
Justin Bryant, who graduated in 2006, started with Merrill Lynch in the Wealth Management and Financial Services division, managing the wealth of high net worth individuals, families, and institutions. He developed and managed investment portfolios and provided a comprehensive financial planning strategy for them. He is a regional wholesaler within a life insurance and annuity company called Protective Life where he works as a financial consultant to the financial advisors and insurance executives. He partners with them, trains them, and helps them reach their goals by using the appropriate products to meet their client's objective to grow territorial sales each year.
In a recent email, Justin said that “Just like programming languages are the basis to computer programs, economics is the fundamental language of the entire business and financial community both in the private and public sector. My advice to students is to choose a skill in your studies because it's a competitive world out there. Economics will give you the analytical and quantitative skills that employers are looking for. When you think about some of the greatest minds, like Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett, all of them have used economic analysis to make decisions and those decisions changed the world.”
Michael Ciocca graduated in 2013. He is an operations specialist for Financial Telesis Inc. (Benjamin W. Wong and Associates). He is learning more about the securities industry, working with his firm's Investment Service Team to assist clients with any questions they may have as well as providing them with financial advice. He is currently working toward acquiring his Series 7 Licensing in order to advance his career in financial planning.
"I use economic thought and problem solving regularly in my position. I am constantly using techniques that I learned in economics to perform everyday tasks. I look at pricing statistics, financial growth models and many other things that all relate to what we are taught as economics majors."
"I would say the most important thing that I learned in Economics came from Michael Perelman and Anita Chaundry who taught us how to think on our own. They always taught us that the most important way to learn is to question everything. Do not settle for what someone tells you even if it is someone who you believe is smarter than you. Do your research and produce your own answer. For the 2014 grads I want to let you know that if you work hard and stay open minded you will find a job. I remember being very afraid coming out of school last year as a fresh grad. But if you follow your intuition and face your fears you will guide yourself to a career that you will enjoy. Give yourself a pat on the back this is a great time in your life, enjoy it!"
Sam Dreyfuss, who graduated in 2010, took a client services position with a small wealth management firm specializing in high net worth individuals located within San Francisco. After working in wealth management for a year, Sam received a Fixed Income Analyst job offer with PFM Asset Management, who specialized fixed income portfolio management for government and institutional clients. His jobs included structuring fixed income portfolios, explaining trading strategies, credit analysis, investment performance analysis, cash flow modeling, and economic research and reporting. After two years with PFM Asset Management, Sam moved to BlackRock as an Analyst within the Securities Lending division. He works alongside fixed income traders on the U.S. Treasuries and Federal Agencies desk and is responsible for monitoring loan collateral exposure levels within the U.S. markets. He is currently developing and engineering the reporting and analytics platform for the Securities Lending division. He would eventually like to manage emerging market portfolios.
In a recent email Sam said that “Studying Economics at Chico State has helped me to think in a more creative and abstract way, which is a crucial problem solving skill."
Thomas Logan graduated in 2012 with majors in economics (honors) and finance and minors in mathematics and accounting. Since February 2013 he has been working in San Francisco, California, as an analyst on the institutional sales team that supports J.P. Morgan’s business development and capital raising efforts. His team works with clients, corporations, unions, and state and local governments, to raise capital for a variety public and private investments across equity, fixed income, and real estate markets around the world. More specifically, he is responsible for answering client inquiries and developing customized presentations based on client concerns, investment outlook and financial market conditions. Client responses and presentations cover a range of portfolio management topics, but broadly focus on asset allocation, investment strategies, macroeconomics and financial economics.
David PanganDavid Pangan, who graduated in 2013, is a business development manager for Citco, a financial administration company with 80 offices in 41 countries. He travels around the Asia Pacific (APAC) region to acquire new clients, create business networks for clients, and to expand Citco’s business partner network of law, consulting and accounting firms. David also is in charge of Citco’s sales and marketing strategy in the Philippines, and he sourced and originate deals for Citco clients who are interested in the APAC region but do not have a presence there.
“The CSU Chico School of Economics gave me both a macro and micro perspective of the market place that allows me to understand global, regional and country specific trends,” David stated in a recent email. “This is especially helpful in the deal sourcing aspect of my work but also, in understanding hot money and FDI flows. I think more than anything, being proud to be educated in the CSU Chico and being instructed by professors like Perelman and the rest of the faculty, it has given me the confidence to work in the US, Africa and now APAC, being confident in my academic foundation and my capacity to learn and understand.”
Tom Tracy, who graduated in 1983, is the Chief Operating Officer at Aspiriant in charge of client service, offering and maintaining the highest level of innovation and expertise possible. Tom was the first, post-founding professional employee of Kochis Fitz, the predecessor firm to Aspiriant, in 1992 and he became a principal of the firm in 1995. He has provided comprehensive personal financial and investment planning services to hundreds of professionals, senior corporate executives, business owners and other high net worth individuals. Tom has been recognized as one of the country's best financial advisors byWorth Magazine and in 2009 was ranked as one of the top 100 Independent Advisors in the nation by Barron’s.
Tom began his financial planning career in 1989 as a member of the Executive Financial Counseling group at Deloitte & Touche, where he actively assisted in the development and delivery of comprehensive financial plans for clients. At Deloitte, he also worked in the tax department, acquiring broad experience and expertise with individual income tax issues and planning. He is an active member of the Financial Planning Association, currently serving on the San Francisco chapter's program committee. In past years, he taught investments and other classes in the Personal Financial Planning Program at University of California-Berkeley. Tom has spoken to numerous professional organizations about investment and tax topics and has coauthored material published by CCH, including the book, Wealth Management, A Concise Guide to Financial Planning and Investment Management for Wealthy Client. He has also served as a guest columnist for ABCNews.com.
Tom earned a BS degree in Economics from Chico State and an MBA (Distinguished Student Award) in Finance from San Francisco State University. He successfully completed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination in 1993 and received his Chartered Financial Analyst credential in 1995.
“Economics was a big help to my career because it provided a framework for making financial decisions that I use every day,” Tom stated in a recent email. “It also helps me speak confidently on economic issues that pertain to investments and financial planning and that has made a big difference in my one-on-one interactions with clients.”
Sean Wever graduated in 2006 with Honors in economics and moved on to the University of Wyoming to study for dual masters in Economics and Finance. After finishing he moved to the Virgin Islands where he tended bar for one year before beginning his career in finance. In 2011 he began working for a proprietary trading firm that specializes in high frequency algorithmic trading. In February of 2013 he was offered a job as Director of Sales for Green Key Markets (GKM). He accepted the offer and currently splits his time between offices in Chicago and Puerto Rico where he works as the Principal for GKM, an Introducing Broker (IB) of cleared swaps and blocks in the over-the-counter (OTC) commodities space. GKM is involved in the biofuels space with the primary focus being the Chicago (Platts settled) ethanol contract. Sean also writes a weekly ethanol newsletter for his customers.