Craig R. McMahen ’89 helped found the Aggies on Wall Street program, and now he has provided a way to expand the program with sponsorships for students.
He has committed $50,000 to establish the Craig R. McMahen ’89 Aggies on Wall Street Endowment Fund, which will be used to support students participating in the program and helpf und other programmatic needs. McMahen also donated $50,000 to the previously established Craig R. McMahen ’89 Fund for Excellence in Teaching and Research in Finance.
Aggies on Wall Street is a program designed for top students that want to compete at the highest levels in finance. A committee hand selects 20 students every year to travel to New York City for two weeks and meet with approximately 20-30 different financial companies, usually hosted by Aggie alumni. This experience introduces students to individual companies and different industries including investment banking, private equity, trading, hedge funds and equity research. Additionally, it gives young Aggies a network on Wall Street, historically reserved for Ivy League schools.
“Finance Professor and Department Head Sorin Sorescu and former Mays Dean Jerry Strawser got behind several of us and had the vision and persistence to grow the program into what it is today,” McMahen said. “As a result of the continued success of Aggies on Wall Street, many students are working in New York or other cities in these highly competitive fields. It is also great visibility for Mays, as these jobs are some of the highest paying coming out of undergraduate programs.
Since New York is still the financial hub of the world, McMahen said he and the others “want Mays students to get out of Texas and give them exposure to that world where you can work with and compete against the top financial minds from schools including Harvard, Stanford and NYU, amongst others.”
“It’s great visibility for the university and a benefit for the companies, because these are the top students,” he said. “It’s also a great first step for the students because they have connections for job interviews and summer internships.”
Interim Dean Ricky Griffin said McMahen’s gift is beneficial to Mays students. “Given the central role that New York plays in both our domestic and global financial markets it is critical that students have the opportunity to spend time there and begin to form professional networks,” he said. “Aggies on Wall Street plays a major role for us and we are sincerely thankful that Craig McMahen supports this program and is so dedicated to helping our students.”
McMahen is a long-time partner with Mays and was recognized in 2012 with a Mays Outstanding Alumni Award. He became attracted to Wall Street during a summer internship in New York in 1988 where he worked in an equity research department of Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, an investment bank, and on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. After graduation, he joined KBW’s investment banking department where he worked for 23 years. In 2012, he opened a satellite office in Austin where he is a Managing Director of Investment Banking and Head of the Southwestern U.S. for the commercial banking industry.
He said his goal in providing the Mays fund for excellence is to aid the department head of finance in recruiting and rewarding faculty members. “In my business, the top performers are rewarded with bonuses and I wanted to give Dr. Sorescu a tool to reward the top instructors so they can continue high-level teaching and research,” McMahen said.
McMahen said he wants the paths for current students to be more smooth than when he went to New York City in 1989 to begin his career. “There was only myself and some other young bankers there who were Aggies,” he said. “We have tried to grow the number of Aggies intentionally. We want to help Aggies learn firsthand of the opportunities there are in New York.
ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.