The Professional Program in Accounting has announced two of its former students as recipients of the Rising Star Award and Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna Award. Phil Graves ’04 and Christy Baumann ’95 will be recognized at a dinner in College Station on May 9.

Rising Star

This year’s Rising Star award goes to Phil Graves ’04, senior director of corporate development for Patagonia and managing director of Tin Shed Ventures. He is in charge of the company’s investments and merger and acquisition activities. Graves also serves as a Senior Advisory Board Member of the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business’s Center for Responsible Business.

He has been recognized on Global Corporate Venturing’s Powerlist 100, and by Texas A&M’s Association of Former Students’ “12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight.” Graves was previously a senior manager in the Business Valuation practice at Deloitte, and he began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He models selfless service in the community as well through his work with the homeless and as a long-time Big Brother mentor. …Read more

Categories: Accounting, Alumni, Featured Stories, Finance, Mays Business, News, PPA, Programs, Texas A&M

Robert Kaplan, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, told a group of Mays Business School students the best things they can be doing to prepare for a career are to pay attention to world events and invest in and watch the stock market daily. He suggested the Wall Street Journal and business magazines as good sources of that information.

Kaplan met on March 27 with students in the Commercial Banking Program at Mays ranging from juniors to graduate students, as well as other students and faculty members from Mays. That evening, Kaplan discussed economic conditions and the role of monetary policy as part of the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University’s “Conversation in Public Policy.”

“If I were interviewing you for a job, the first question would be ‘What is the market doing now?’”  he said. “The second question would be, ‘What do you think it’s going to do? And why?’ If you can’t answer those questions, you’re not going to get very far with a lot of business people.”

…Read more

Categories: Departments, Featured Stories, Finance, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

Kris Chester ’87 was there during one of the most successful banking mergers in history. In fact she oversaw the entire treasury management integration when Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia in 2008.

In a conversation with Business Honors students at Mays Business School, Chester, executive vice president of treasury management implementation and delivery at Wells Fargo, said it was one of the most fun and challenging jobs she has ever held in her 27-year-long career at the international banking and financial services company.

“I had the opportunity to be on the forefront of deciding what the new bank would look like, including what treasury products it would offer, how its operating model would be structured, which people were needed,” she said. Chester studied accounting and finance at Texas A&M University as an undergraduate student.

At Wells Fargo, she manages a team of 800, overseeing the implementation of domestic and international treasury management solutions, designed to help customers manage their treasury operations and succeed financially. 

She said implementing solutions for customers can be tricky because customers expect the process to be intuitive and “as easy as setting up an iPhone.” However, she said a true customer-centric approach often requires painstaking care to ensure the implementation goes well. “If you implement well, it makes it easier for customers to continue doing business with you,” she said.

Likewise, she said the secret to the merger’s success was that the decisions kept the customer at the center. She advised students to “always put the customer first when developing products and services; the financial results will follow,” no matter the type of business.

She offered this parting career advice:

    1. Looks matter – match your appearance to the expectations of the job.
    2. Take company culture into account.
    3. Choose your boss wisely. Seek someone you can learn from.
    4. Don’t stop learning.
    5. Don’t be afraid to take risks.
    6. Always have a mentor.

Categories: Accounting, Alumni, Business Honors, Entrepreneurship, Executive Speakers, Featured Stories, Finance, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School has named three of its most distinguished former students as 2017 Outstanding Alumni. The honorees are Gregory M. Cokinos ’79, Cydney Collier Donnell ’81 and Carri Baker ’84. They will be honored at the 25th-Year Outstanding Alumni Awards Dinner on April 6.

Mays Business School honors graduates who have led lives of distinction and who embody the Aggie core values – loyalty, integrity, excellence, leadership, selfless service and respect – with the Mays Outstanding Alumni Award. Recipients come from all industries, have been active in their communities and continue to serve their alma mater. The recipients learned of their honor when surprised in their places of business and other locations by a group of Mays Business School representatives, including Dean Eli Jones.

“Mays Business School’s 2017 Outstanding Alumni are great examples of Mays Transformational Leaders: Responsible, ethical leaders with entrepreneurial mindsets and vision, who have strong business competencies and personify selfless service,” Jones said. “Here at Mays, we have no shortage of leaders who have excelled beyond their college careers and who help advance the world’s prosperity. We are pleased to recognize and celebrate them at our annual awards dinner.”

To date, the school has honored 79 former students who have made outstanding contributions in their chosen fields with significant impact, innovation and influence at the school, in their community and beyond.

Gregory M. Cokinos ’79 is co-founder of Houston-based Cokinos, Bosien & Young, the largest law firm in Texas focusing on construction and engineering law. He has been named as one of The Top 100 Super Lawyers in the State of Texas by Texas Monthly every year since 2007. He was instrumental in the creation of the Construction Law Journal and has been the Journal’s editor since its inception. He is also an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. He is a graduate of the Department of Management.

Cydney Collier Donnell ’81 is the Julio S. LaGuarta Professor in Real Estate, executive professor and associate department head of finance at Mays where she teaches graduate level classes in real estate capital markets. She is also the present Director of Real Estate Programs overseeing the Master of Real Estate Program and undergraduate real estate finance classes. Prior to this, she was the Managing Director for European Investors, Inc. in New York City, where she managed more than $3 billion in real estate securities on behalf of U.S. pension funds, foundations, endowments and high-net-worth clients. She is a graduate of the Department of Finance.

Carri Baker ’84 has served for 32 years as a key executive and chief operations officer for San Antonio-based Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, a nationally recognized law firm representing governments and school districts throughout the U.S. Her civic leadership has made a significant impact in the education, health and economic development of San Antonio. She currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for Mays, and the Chancellor’s Century Council and the President’s Advisory Board for Texas A&M San Antonio. She is a graduate of the Department of Marketing.

Categories: Alumni, Dean Eli Jones, Finance, Management, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Mays Business School’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance program was ranked fourth in College Choice‘s 2016 ranking of Best Bachelor’s in Finance Degree Programs. The ranking was based on cost of attendance and salary upon graduation.

Data was gathered from individual school websites, other rankings sites, and the U.S. News and World Report site.

Categories: Finance, Mays Business, News, Programs, Rankings, Texas A&M

scholarship-recipientsBy Allison Hayes

The MS Finance Program held the inaugural scholarship ceremony for the Theodoric C. Bland Jr. Family Scholarship on Nov. 8. Ted Bland awarded the scholarships to three promising students: Mengyan Cheng ’17, Alyson Miranda ’18 and Shelby Johnson ’19.

The scholarships are funded through a $50,000 endowment from Bland, who has served on the board for the Department of Finance since 1995 and is the longest tenured member of the board. He is also on the Steering Committee for the MS Finance Program. When asked what the thought was behind giving this scholarship, Bland responded, “Both of our children are Aggies and their spouses are Aggies. I have a very strong allegiance to Texas A&M, and Mary Lou and I thought we were fortunate and we wanted to give back. People gave to me to get to where I got, and I think it’s important to give back so that other people can have that opportunity as well.”

When asked what the thought was behind giving this scholarship, Bland responded, “Both of our children are Aggies and their spouses are Aggies. I have a very strong allegiance to Texas A&M, and Mary Lou and I thought we were fortunate and we wanted to give back. People gave to me to get to where I got, and I think it’s important to give back so that other people can have that opportunity as well.”

Bland said he wanted to encourage more women to pursue STEM majors and the area of finance, so he funded the scholarship to help more female students pursue a master’s degree in finance. “I do believe in giving back, and A&M is where I’m going to give back,” he said. “Whether it’s in time or money, I’m going to give back.”

Categories: Donors Corner, Faculty, Finance, Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

30003351720_4583b600c2_oFew professionals can say they’ve been with the same company their entire career. But Gina Luna ’95, chairman of JPMorgan Chase in the Houston region, is an exception.

Luna has been with JPMorgan Chase since she graduated from Texas A&M in 1995. On her visit to Mays Business School, she had lunch with Business Honors students and shared how she has navigated such a large corporation for so many years. For more than 20 years, her willingness to plunge into new challenges and optimism about new relationships has guided her through positions in finance, recruiting, operations and marketing.

Luna leads the Middle Market Banking business and is active in recruiting, mentoring and leadership development within the organization. “I’ve held many challenging but rewarding roles at JPMorgan Chase,” Luna said, “Each one has taught me something new and has been a wonderful opportunity to build relationships.”

She believes the challenge is always worth it because of her coworkers. “Every day I get to work with such high-caliber, intelligent individuals.” …Read more

Categories: Alumni, Business Honors, Departments, Executive Speakers, Featured Stories, Finance, Management, Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M

preview-upload_card-16186_088Keeping the focus on the patients is the best strategy for succeeding in the healthcare industry, and person-to-person interaction is a powerful tool in any industry, Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard ’84 said recently at Mays Business School. Broussard shared life stories and advice with more than 400 students and community members on Sept. 29. [Watch the full video of his presentation.]

“At the end of the day, people are motivated by people, not by technology,” he said. “Someone who has walked that path before is more influential than either or a nurse or a doctor.” Also, those working in health care are more motivated when they are working with patients than when they are removed from interacting with them, he said.

Broussard, a Texas A&M University graduate in finance and accounting, has a wide range of executive leadership experience in publicly traded and private organizations. He started his career as a consultant at Arthur Anderson, then was treasurer and CFO of various public companies and CEO of U.S. Oncology before joining Humana. …Read more

Categories: Alumni, Dean Eli Jones, Featured Stories, Finance, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Each fall for the last four years, the “Dealmakers in Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)” course has provided high-performing Mays Business School students a unique opportunity to be immersed in the world of mergers and acquisitions.

In this highly competitive and innovative program, select MBA, Professional Program in Accounting and undergraduate students learn the real-world dynamics of corporate and financial mergers and acquisitions from experienced M&A professionals in a fast paced environment. M&A leaders from around the country serve as guest lecturers, leading students in dynamic role plays, class discussions, case studies and team competitions on actual deals.

The course uses actual completed transactions to address a variety of topics, including finding the right deal, applying valuation methods and techniques, determining deal pricing, financing and capital structure, developing negotiation skills, evaluating contracts and deal memoranda and identifying diligence issues.

The program was founded by Mays alumni and M&A professional Drew Koecher ’88 who envisioned a professionally led case study program to give Texas A&M students exposure to, and a competitive edge in, the M&A disciplines of investment banking, transaction advisory, private equity and corporate deal making. Working closely with Mays Accounting Professor and Department Head James Benjamin, Koecher developed the course, which was launched in the fall of 2013.

drew-koecher-profile-photosean_murphy_profile-photoheadshot_tim_web

(pictured: Drew Koecher, Sean Murphy, Tim Torno and Larry Gies)

After the inaugural year, Sean Murphy ’94, also a Mays alumni and M&A professional, assumed leadership of the class, and along with Koecher, strengthened the course by welcoming Tim Torno as executive professor, and introducing a new group of M&A leaders as guest lecturers at Mays. Torno has more than 35 years of successful executive-level business experience, including 25 M&A transactions while he was a chief financial officer.

“This is the type of high impact, hands-on opportunity that we try to provide for our high-achieving students in Mays,” Benjamin said. “The innovative style of team role play with actual case studies led by practicing M&A leaders, together with the academic stewardship of Tim Torno, is truly unique at Mays and among most business programs. I am confident that this course will continue to meaningfully impact the lives and professional careers of our students.”

Koecher and Murphy continue to be intimately involved in the program, leading classes and hosting M&A professionals from around the country as case presenters. Selected presenters have included:

Larry Gies, founder and CEO of Madison Capital Partners;

Kent Wallace, partner of The Sterling Group;

 Tom Keene, founder of Southlake Equity;

– Mark Miller, CFO of Sabre and ActiveNetworks;

Doug Aaron, CFO of HollyFrontier;

Jeff Hull, managing partner of Highlander Capital;

Mark Dufilho, managing director of corporate finance, Houlihan & Lokey;

 Francis Carr, managing director of The Sterling Group;

– P. Scott Ozanus, deputy chairman of KPMG;

Joe Colonnetta, partner, HBC Investments;

Carolyn Burke, chief integration officer of Dynegy

Gies had this to say about his experience with Mays’ Dealmakers program: “Imagine working on a real deal in an auction environment with teams valuing, strategizing and bidding to try to win the prize. This was the environment in our classroom at Texas A&M. The students I encountered in this class during my two years were so incredibly impressive and resourceful; I would hire any one of them to help me build a business.”

Students interested in investment banking, corporate M&A, private equity, transaction consulting or other investment and/or transaction professional services roles are encouraged to apply. Standout qualities for applicants include strong academic performance, leadership skills, meaningful classroom involvements and a commitment to move outside one’s comfort zone in a challenging, fast-pace team environment.

For more information about the program, visit http://mays.tamu.edu/department-of-accounting/dealmakers-in-mergers-and-acquisitions/

Categories: Finance, Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

The Petroleum Ventures Program has kicked off its inaugural semester with 25 petroleum engineering students, several finance students and a 23-member advisory board.

The interdisciplinary partnership between the business and engineering schools at Texas A&M University started with a $12 million gift from Anthony Bahr ’91 and Jay Graham ’92, who gave $6 million each to the finance (FINC) and petroleum engineering (PETE) departments. The petroleum engineering graduates own WildHorse Resources in Houston. Their goal is to teach finance skills to PETE students and petroleum engineering skills to FINC students.

Anthony Bahr

Anthony Bahr

“I’d say we are off to a good start, and the advisory board members are excited at what is to come,” said Detlef Hallermann, a Mays Business School clinical professor who oversees the program. “What I am hearing from the board is that it’s been a long time coming. We’ve made the first step.  Now the board is going to help us look at what we are doing and provide direction for where we wish to go next.”

Students wrote multiple analytical analyses, reviewed by advisory board members prior to being  accepted into the program. Approximately 100 students attended the informational sessions and more than 60 students applied.

Princewill Imouokhome, a sophomore pursuing a bachelor’s in finance, said he was “immediately both interested and curious” about the program and the current state of the oil and gas industry’s impact on it. He applied because he wants to be involved in the energy industry.

“I saw an opportunity to gain both a competitive edge and to leave my comfort zone,” he said. “In my time in the program I have already seen a change in the way I see many things that a contingent upon the energy industry. I hope to gain knowledge, new perspectives on problem solving, and exposure to situations that force me to grow as an individual and a professional.”

Bahr said he is happy to hear about the popularity of the program. “I’m thrilled to welcome the inaugural class of business and engineering students into the Petroleum Ventures Program, and excited these students have made a significant commitment to their future careers in the energy business,” he said.

When fully implemented, the program will offer a Certificate in Petroleum Ventures for both PETE and FINC students. Hallermann is also director of the Trading, Risk & Investments Program (TRIP) and the Reliant Trading Center.

The program will have a profound impact on Mays at many levels, Hallermann said. It provides :

  • Increased visibility of Mays programs
  • Integration of engineering students in Mays undergraduate classes – mostly in finance, but also in other disciplines
  • Strategic importance
  • Groundwork for other programs

The advisory board’s first meeting is Oct. 6-7.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Donors Corner, Faculty, Featured Stories, Finance, Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M