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Michigan Finance Scholars 2020-2021 Annual Update 1

Max Dolinsky

Starting a New Adventure In June, Max Dolinsky, co-founder of the Michigan Finance Scholars decided to continue his career at the University of Delaware. Max was instrumental in the development and growth of the MFS program during his time at CMU. His passion to help students prepare for successful careers in finance is contagious. There is no question whether Max influenced the CMU community during his time here. Just seven months after Max joined CMU, his colleagues described him as the following: “Rarely in my 35 year working career have I come across a person who could enter an organization and have such a positive influence. Max, however, is such a person. Max inspires me to do a better job at teaching and mentoring our students. So rarely does a person have that profound of an impact.” We will miss Max, but we remain committed to continuing and building the MFS program. We all wish Max the best of success in the future.


Michigan Finance at a Glance Founded in 2017, the Michigan Finance Scholars program prepares ambitious undergraduate students for top careers in finance. Comprised of an elite group of students, the goal of the program is two-fold. First, we prepare scholars to become well-qualified candidates to get top internships and positions in the finance industry. Second, we equip them with the hard and soft skills to ensure continued success and growth in their careers. The past year was even more noteworthy than the previous year for CMU Finance. We have seen unprecedented success in job and internship placements, competition results, student energy, and alumni involvement. This stratum of success is impressive because these internships vary across investment banks, hedge funds, elite private capital management firms, and some of the Fortune 100 companies. With such momentum, CMU is rising to the level of top finance programs across the country.

Dr. Brad Taylor Magnusson Director, Michigan Finance Scholars

Student competitions have been another area of considerable accomplishment. CMU students have competed in several finance competitions. This includes the National Investment Banking Competition, Chartered Financial Analyst Research Challenge, Michigan State University Corporate Finance Competition and the Association for Corporate Growth Cup. We performed well in all events and are especially proud of our first win at an international finance competition where Jake Aymen and Eric Scott won the National Investment Banking Competition in March 2020. We invite our alumni and friends to get involved with the program. Over the last year, we had countless contributors engage with students speaking virtually in class or during special events such as Dialogue Days as well as extending access to internships. Additionally, we welcome speakers at the student-led Central Finance Club and at the Wall Street Journal Club where students currently meet virtually to discuss the latest news in financial markets at 8 am on Mondays and Wednesdays. We thank those who are already mentoring our students and inspiring them to pursue their career aspirations. We are incredibly grateful for the time, talent, and treasure you have gifted our program. The Wall Street Journal Club moved online resulting in more alumni participation. The club has been even more successful in the virtual environment with participation from over 50 alumni. Moving forward, we plan to work together to prepare students for and place them in top positions nationwide. We will continue training students with virtual business case studies on Saturday mornings and providing opportunities to compete in competitions, which are open to every student of any major. This year, we were fortunate to have FCA (Stellantis) provide a Saturday morning case study for twenty-one of our students. Three students received and accepted full-time offers from FCA while two students received and accepted internships. This year, students have begun trading the Celani Endowment Fund. The team of fifteen students meets each week to clean up the fund and present trades to the investment committee for consideration. In addition, we were fortunate to virtually meet Mr. Tom Celani who attended one of the fund’s meetings. Finally, I want to thank all of you that have supported the MFS program. I want to especially thank Tim and Sherri Magnusson for their generous donation to fund the Director of Michigan Finance Scholars and for the continued support of Jon and Terri Voigtman who have consistently supported the MFS activities. Fire up for finance,

Brad Taylor

Saturday Morning Case Studies Michigan Finance Scholars hosts regular case studies. These workshops augment student understanding of finance in areas of capital budgeting, mergers & acquisitions, critical thinking, loan extension, and corporate finance. Meetings this year commenced with 45 students including many non-MFS members, happily joining us on Saturdays at eight o’clock in the morning to hone their skills during these case studies. We were fortunate to have FCA (Stellantis) run our very first employer Saturday morning case study. With the help of six FCA mentors, the students practiced and improved their finance skills as they worked on an actual case study used internally with FCA. The FCA mentors were able to work directly with some of the most enthusiastic and talented CMU finance students. As a result, three students received full-time offers and two students received internships.

The Magnusson Directorship Tim and Sherry Magnusson, both 1994 graduates of CMU, have provided a generous gift of $100,000 to the Michigan Finance Scholars Program. This gift will provide support for programming and student travel to competitions, to visit companies and to meet alumni and other finance leaders throughout the U.S. Tim is the co-founder of Garda Capital Partners, which has offices in Minneapolis, New York, Geneva, Copenhagen, and Singapore. True champions of the MFS Program, Tim and Sherry have hosted students, faculty and alumni in Minneapolis at Garda Capital. They have provided mentoring, internships and employment to finance alumni, in addition to other financial support for the MFS Program. “Sherry and I have been supporters of the Michigan Finance Scholars program virtually since its inception. Having both graduated from the CBA many years ago, we recognize the importance in giving the CBA’s best and brightest students the opportunity to strive for excellence, particularly in the field of Finance where I’ve made my career. We choose to support the CBA through charitable giving because we believe in giving back to the institution that gave us so much. We want to see students at CMU thrive, and hopefully they too will pay it back some day by helping another student.” Tim and Sherry have given generously across CMU’s campus, including athletics, study abroad, internships and scholarships. Tim is a member of the CBA Dean’s Roundtable advisory board. Together, they were honored with the 2020 CBA Alumni Commitment Award.

Challenges and Competitions Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Cup

National Investment Banking Competition (NIBC)

The ACG Cup is the largest finance competition with upwards of 30 teams competing. ACG represents the valuation, taxation and finance community in the Grand Rapids region. The competition involved analyzing several opportunities for a company and recommending the most appropriate course of action. Students are required to value companies using the DCF model and by transaction and trading comparables. CMU had 4 teams of 4 students compete in 2020. Consistent with 2019, CMU placed second in the competition with the team of Sam Reina, Connor McCarthy, Jake Aymen and Eric Scott.

Seniors Jake Aymen and Eric Scott prevailed over more than 10,000 participants from more than 200 schools –– including world-class universities such as Cambridge, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, National University of Singapore, HEC Paris and more — to win the $6,000 grand prize in the 2019-2020 National Investment Banking Competition of Canada.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Research Challenge

Another round of presentations whittled finalists to eight teams. A Goldman Sachs technology group from San Francisco, California, chose three teams, including Jake Aymen and Eric Scott, to advance and present to the whole conference.

Every year, more than 6,100 university students compete in the CFA Research Challenge. The competition consists of three levels—regional, national, and international. In teams, students intensively analyze a publicly traded company based in their region. This process includes speaking with management, using CFA Institute Resources, and delving into SEC archives. The competition requires a full equity research report and presentation in front of CFA Charterholders. While the benefit from gaining technical experience is substantial, the networking opportunities with other universities, CFA Charterholders, and employers is of immense value. In 2020, two CMU teams competed in the regional CFA competition where the students prepared a research report on Dominos. The team of Colin Roelofs, Preston Gee, Stewart Zondlak, Sam Reina and Andrew Gawryk finished third in the competition. In February, 2021, the team of Adam Schihl, Craig Schneider, Sebastian Schisel, Sam Grimaldi and Ben Feldpausch won the Michigan CFA Challenge. They will now move on to the Mid-Western Finals. Their CFA Research Challenge win marks the second time in three years that CMU has won this competition.

Teams apply and develop skills in financial modeling and pitching based on a simulation of an investment banking transaction. They value companies and present recommendations to a board composed of senior management of real-world banks.

Judges, including the head of capital markets for all of British Columbia at TD Bank, selected Aymen and Scott to win the grand prize, the first team of only two people to win the NIBC.

Michigan State University Corporate Finance Competition This October was the first time the MSU Corporate Finance Competition was held. CMU had four teams in the competition who competed against other leading finance institutions in Michigan. The team consisting of Sam Grimaldi, Morgan Colby, Jacob Chase and John-Anthony Stepp placed second while the team of William Bonnee, Sloan Felton, Connor Drake and Lacey Ives placed third. This competition allows students to improve their corporate finance skills through a complex case study. Students assess each alternative as well as recommend and defend the path that they chose. By presenting to industry experts and answering difficult questions, the students were able to improve their presentation skills.

Wall Street Journal Club Inspired by the 2018 NYC trip, Professor Max Dolinsky and Graduate Sam Bodman started a club that has traditionally met at Ponder Coffee at 7:30 am Monday through Friday to read a print copy of the Wall Street Journal and discuss markets, careers, and life. Alumni, recruiters, and even CMU President Bob Davies have dropped by. The WSJ Club switched to a virtual format during the COVID-19 lockdown, which led to greater success and alumni involvement. During that time, the WSJ club hosted external speakers every day including several Saturdays. The virtual format has provided access to alumni and others who could not make it back to campus to speak.

Join the WSJ Club We welcome all alumni to join and share their expertise! Please join us on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8 am via WebEx. For more information visit our website.

Are you interested in speaking at the WSJ Club? Contact Andrew Gawryk at to get connected.

Central Finance Club and the Martha R. Seger Endowment

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Study Sessions

The 2020-2021 term has been a resounding success. The Central Finance Club is meeting every other Wednesday and it is in the process of lining up speakers to discuss hedge funds, commercial banking, corporate finance, investment banking and personal financial planning. An investment committee also manages the student-run Martha R. Seger Endowment Fund.

Each Tuesday and Thursday morning, up to 15 students meet to study for the CFA Level I exams in in-class and virtual settings. This year we were granted eight scholarships from the CFA Institute reducing the cost to students for taking the exams. Some students attend to improve their skills even though they are not currently planning to take the exams.

Celani Endowment Fund This year we are introducing the Celani Endowment Fund, a $2.4 million plus student-managed fund. We have appointed 15 students to manage the fund. Students have organized themselves to follow different industry sectors and they have also been appointed to manage portfolio risk. Through this experiential learning opportunity, students will trade shares and learn concepts of valuation, value at risk and portfolio management tools. The students are also expected to make presentations to the Advisory Committee including the Dean of the College of Business Administration and Alumni. The fund has proven very successful. The students have “cleaned up” the fund and reduced the number of stocks to a more manageable level. A student or a team of students make a stock pitch every week to either acquire or divest of a position. The debates are quite intense with numerous questions being asked and debated. The files being presented by the students are of high quality and so are the debates. Students also calculate risk adjusted returns in order to ensure that the risk undertaken is commensurate with the rewards.

Alumni & Friends Giving With the help of our active alumni and friends contributing toward transformational student experiences, our finance students won competitions, most seniors got excellent full-time jobs, and some passed level 1 CFA. These accomplishments set up our students for long-lasting, perpetual success.

Thank you for supporting our program!

Employer Partners Partnerships with employers are paramount to the success of any academic program. This year employers engaged with MFS by hosting a panel discussion, presenting employment opportunities, hiring students, and inspiring them to aim higher and achieve more. Such interactions give an array of perspectives on career choices, paths to dream jobs, and mentorship. Several companies extended internships and full-time job offers to our students after these networking events.


Michigan Finance Scholars Sophomores


Kelsey McElroy

Avery Beland

Actuarial Science Major Finance Minor

Juniors Katherine Anderson Finance Major

Samantha Lalonde Finance Major

Jaclyn Mannino Finance Major

Adam Schihl

Finance Major Accounting & Professional Sales Minor

Accounting Major

Matthew Block

Finance & Accounting Major

William Bonnee

Andrew Gawryk Finance Major Economics Minor

Jacob Chase

Finance Major Accounting Minor

Finance & Accounting Major

Jacob Chase

Finance Major Accounting Minor

Preston Gee

Finance & Personal Financial Planning Major

Connor Drake

Sam Grimaldi

Sloan Felton

Lacey Ives

Finance Major

Finance Major

Jacob Fox

Adam Klaus

Finance Major

Finance Major

Annie Noch Finance Major

Sebastian Schisel

Finance & Accounting Major

Craig Schneider Finance Major

Lisa West

Finance Major Information Systems Minor

Finance & Accounting Major

Finance Major

Danielle Smith Finance Major

2019 - 2020 Graduates Riley Alexander

Mitchell Brussel

Jack Poslajko

Damon Thompson

Ryan Andrews

Brady Buell

Thomas Lucas

Stewart Zondlak

Jake Aymen

Erick Charen

Eric Scott

Sam Bodman

Sawyer Forton

Benjamin Smyth

Deanna Brouwer

Hannah Hartenburg

Stone Smith

General Motors

Comerica Bank

Merrill Lynch

Garda Capital Partners


State of Michigan Treasury

Houston Baptist - MBA Program

Dow Treasury

Charlevoix State Bank


General Motors

RBC Capital Markets

Whirlpool Corporation

Tyson Foods

General Motors

Sun Communities & Sun RV Resorts

Greenstone Financial


Alumni & Friends: How Can You Get Involved?

The CMU Finance program is eager to increase our network. Many alumni and employers may wish to engage students. Please reach out to get involved in any of the following ways: » Student Mentor — Become a mentor and coach » Alumni Speaker — Share your career experience » Internship Sponsor — Help place a Michigan Finance Scholar » Alumni Networking — Attend an alumni reception in your area » Financial Support — Fund transformational experiences

To get involved, please contact Brad Taylor at If you would like to learn more about financial giving opportunities, please contact Senior Director of Development Melodie Boling at

Visit for more info.

Michigan Finance Scholars Annual Report: Spring 2021  

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