Eric Bannerot and Daniel Greene were among the brightest minds in private equity at the University Private Equity Summit (UPES) that was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, on January 16-18. The School of Business Investment Program students were given the opportunity to attend the 11th annual student-run conference that is well-known as the premier gathering for private equity students and investors.
UVF is the leading student-run venture capital fund with over $18 million under management and more student associates than any other fund in the world. The UVF bridges the gap between the classroom and the real world of private equity investing just as the Investment Program at the College of Charleston hopes to achieve, albeit on a smaller scale.
“It was a great opportunity to experience how the academic world and the world of professional finance can not only coexist,” Daniel Greene stated, “but can each benefit from their relationship with the other. We hope that in the future, the Investment Program in our School can be viewed in the same light.”
This annual summit brings together college students from around the globe to learn from top entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and private equity investors. The UPES provided them an opportunity for professional development and enhanced leadership skills, while also providing an excellent opportunity to network with similarly motivated students across the U.S. 2014 UPES included panels covering technology, entrepreneurship, venture capital, impact investing, and growth-based private equity. Each panel included a moderator with four highly accomplished individuals within their specific tracks of finance. The moderator would directly question the panel in an attempt to stimulate the thought process for all in attendance. This allowed the students to gain a vast amount of valuable insight into each of the respective industries.
had the added opportunity to represent the College of Charleston in a leadership case study directed by a Stanford professor, who notably serves on the board of JetBlue. This helped improve his critical thinking skills and provided insight into how finance professionals deal with problems in the real world.
“It was a great challenge,” Eric said, “but also very much enjoyable. I learned a great deal from the process. It is eye-opening to see all the different angles that have to be examined in the world of private equity before a deal is made.”
The resumes of UPES attendees greatly varied, with both professional and academic backgrounds. Bannerot and Greene were given the chance to network with younger individuals as well as professionals who have already earned their MBA, CPA, and even CFA designations. Throughout the conference both students made multiple acquaintances and connections via LinkedIn and personal networking.
Mark Pyles, Ph.D., and director of the School of Business Investment Program, sees experiences such as this as integral to the development of our students as young professionals.
“There’s only so far we can take them in a classroom on Liberty Street,” Dr. Pyles stated. “Finance is a global business and for our students to be put on a level playing field, they need to experience it firsthand.”
“These networking and real world experiences are exactly the opportunities the College of Charleston students need to be competitive in the financial industry,” Dr. Pyles added. “We very much appreciate all of the time, effort, and support that make things of this nature possible. We hope to make this an annual event.”
Participation in the conference was made possible through the generosity of two friends of the School of Business Investment Program, Caleb King ’94 and program advisory committee member Dr. Katrina Sherrerd.