From the Chair

A finance professor teaches a class

Cyrus Ramezani is the chair of the Finance area. (Photo/Jahan Ramezani)

Dear Alumni and Friends of the Finance Area,

I am delighted to report that I have completed my first year as the new finance chair. In this newsletter, we will update you on our progress and our future plans. Over the last academic year, we have enjoyed a full return to in-person classes. Enrollment in finance concentration has continued to grow, particularly since we launched our Real Estate Finance concentration a couple of years ago. In fact, finance has been the top concentrations at the Orfalea College of Business during the most recent years, graduating over 120 students per year. Our graduates continue to enjoy strong employment prospects.

Benjamin Roe discusses his team's analysis with alumni and Finance chair Cyrus Ramezani.

Benjamin Roe discusses his team’s analysis with visiting alumni and Finance chair Cyrus Ramezani, left. To his right is team member Jivitesh Kamboj. (Photo/Pat Pemberton)

Last year, we again fielded a stellar CFA Investment Research Challenge team, taking the Americas’ title and representing the Americas Region at the global competitions in Washington, DC (see this article and this video clip). Our prior teams had also done extremely well but had not reached the global competition. (See this article.) We have also continued to promote the CFA exam as a valuable senior project option to our students. Last year, over 20 seniors took L1 and 70% passed. Of these, 5 students also took L2 in November and are awaiting the results.

Our Student Managed Portfolio Project (SMPP) class delivered a successful year of managing the Cal Poly endowment fund. This year our students are implementing a more complex investment strategy. This was made possible thanks to a securities gift from alumnus Ryan Curtis (2008), whom you can read about in this newsletter.

Speaking of alumni, five finance graduates recently visited campus and offered presentations to two classes — one of mine and one of Mahdi Rastad’s classes. You can see some photos from that visit in the gallery below.

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GALLERY: Finance alumni spoke to students in two different classes recently. (Photos/Pat Pemberton, Jahan Ramezani)

The Finance faculty continue to teach exciting and rigorous classes and actively pursue important research projects. A number of full-time and adjunct faculty, most notably Dr. Larry Gorman, retired from Cal Poly last year. Fortunately, we have approval to hire new faculty and continue to expand our programs and serve our students. Looking to the future, the finance faculty will continue to build a culture of achievement, excellence, and success among our students. Our aim continues to be the enhancement of our program’s reputation and enabling our graduates to become industry leaders. Our efforts can of course benefit from your support, in particular tax-deductible contribution by you and your organizations to fund scholarships and other academic activities, such as taking students to visit financial centers, including NYC. Please consider making an online tax deductible donation.

Paul Orfalea and Cyrus RSamezani pose for a photo

Paul Orfalea, a major supporter of the Orfalea College of Business, stops for a photo with Finance Chair Cyrus Ramezani. (Photo: Jahan Ramezani)

Speaking of supporters, in January, Paul Orfalea visited the campus and shared his outlook on the world and his insights and wisdom on life with the next generation of college graduates. Speaking to a packed auditorium, Orfalea discussed his outlook on the economy and his refreshing views of what students should get out of a college education. The talk was very well received, and students were elated to have the opportunity to hear from Mr. Orfalea.

Thank you for your continued support.

Cyrus Ramezani, PhD
Professor and Chair – Finance
Orfalea College of Business
California Polytechnic-SLO Ph: 805-756-1168


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