Thanks to Alumni Scholarships, Four Students Attend Two-week CQA Institute Seminar

Alum Ed Keon poses with the four UML students who attended the course Image by courtesy
Alum Ed Keon, left, helped finance students, from left, Jimmy Dunn, Matt Lovely, Shailey Doherty and Kritameth Pongcheewin attend the CQA Institute's two-week advanced investment management course in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

By Ed Brennen

Four finance students from the Manning School of Business kicked off their summers by participating in an intensive, two-week advanced investment management course presented by the Chicago Quantitative Alliance (CQA) Institute.

Rising senior business administration majors Matt Lovely, Jimmy Dunn and Shailey Doherty, plus Kritameth Pongcheewin, who earned his bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in finance this spring, were among 30 students from across the country selected to participate in the CQA Institute’s inaugural seminar, held May 20 to June 1 at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.  

“The program provided highly nuanced and in-depth explanations of financial concepts,” says Lovely, a Foxboro native who is on track to graduate in December with concentrations in finance and management information systems. “I now feel well ahead of my peers at virtually any other school in any discussion concerning quantitative finance or investment management in general.”

All four students received scholarships to cover the course’s $2,950 tuition. Alumnus Ed Keon ’77 provided three scholarships while alumnus Dick Grande ’72 provided a fourth.

Keon, a frequent guest on CNBC and Bloomberg, leads a team managing over $50 billion in multi-asset portfolios as chief investment strategist at Prudential Financial. He was among several investment professionals to teach segments of the course; his lesson was on the topic of business ethics.

“He had the entire classroom of students thinking,” says Dunn, a Dracut native whose concentration is in finance. “He went through situations that we could run into in business and the consequences we’d face in those scenarios.”

“It was my favorite lecture of the course,” adds Lovely, who along with his classmates enjoyed a dinner with Keon after class one night. “After meeting him, I am inspired to give back to the UMass Lowell business community later in my career.”

Keon, a CQA Institute member, was happy to see his alma mater well represented at the inaugural seminar.

“Shailey, Krit, Jimmy and Matt were brilliant,” Keon says. “They displayed great teamwork and developed a bond that I hope will be a lasting one. We’re already looking forward to doing it again next year, and I hope UML will be a big part of CQAI 2.0.”

Course topics included equity and fixed income research, asset allocation, risk management, quantitative research, portfolio management and effective communication. It also focused on developing hard skills in areas like programming, risk models and model development. For a final project, students worked in teams on a case study to develop an investment strategy, which they presented to a panel of judges.

One of those judges was Gus Sauter, who oversaw $1.7 trillion in assets as the former chief investment officer of Vanguard. 

“Pitching an investment strategy to a man who has managed more money than virtually anyone else in the industry was an incredible experience,” says Lovely, who is now working as a Chase Leadership Development Program Summer Analyst with JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Digital Analytics team in New York.

“The program enhanced my knowledge not only in the field of finance, but in the entire realm of business,” says Dunn, who is working as a market research intern this summer at Dixital, a research and development branch of Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU). “The bootcamp-style course was a great way to kick my learning into high gear.”

Lovely also enjoyed learning alongside students from schools such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

“The CQA course was undoubtedly two of the most important weeks of my college career,” he says. “And I credit Ed Keon with making them possible.”