Financial Services Club Officially a Student Organization
On Thursday, Jan. 19, The King’s College Financial Services Club will hold its first meeting as an official organization of the school at 12 pm in the Founder’s Room. Jason Craig (’15) and Andrew Aran (’14) cofounded the Financial Services Club at the beginning of the fall '11 semester. Aran received a call from Craig during the summer, inquiring whether King’s had an investment banking club. The two talked about the possibility, and at the start of the semester, formed an unofficial club. Its members have been meeting together Saturdays at 11 am.
Last semester, the club simulated trading and investments through Updown.com. Updown allows people to create accounts and use invisible to money to practice real life scenarios. The website tracks real-time market prices and other variables affecting the market. The Financial Services Club opened two accounts—one dedicated to trading and one dedicated to the other investments. During the semester, members collaborated together to research and discuss how to best invest. Their long-term investment gained 30 percent.
“This is all about experience and adding value to the school,” Trevor Baier (’14), Vice President of Financial Services Club, said.
During the spring '12 semester, the club will be running another simulation for The King’s College. According to Baier, the club exists to provide "intellectual stimulation and monetary value" to King's.
“We are not only now an organization, but we also plan to propose the formation of a fund called The King’s College Market Neutral Fund,” Aran, President of the Financial Services Club, said.
If their simulation is successful, members of the Financial Services Club will pitch the idea on May 5 to President Dinesh D’Souza and other leaders of the school. This fund will allow for donors to give to the club (instead of the Business school) who will invest it in the market for the school. The Financial Services Club hopes for a 10-15 percent return (all of the money, including returns, will continue to belong to King's).
“We hope to run five figures in the future,” Aran said.
The club seeks to prepare their members for the financial industry, by educating and teaching them about the market. However, their education transcends dollars and graphs. The club integrates their mission and philosophy into their values: stewardship, integrity, discipline and respect.
“There are very few Christians in the financial world," Craig said. "Many have debaucheries ties. I’d love to be somebody that brings light to the workplace."
The members of the Financial Services Club seek to incorporate these values into their everyday lives. Through their excellence and focus, the club hopes to draw the attention of Wall Street to their members. Baier is working to one day run a Fortune500 company, and Craig is training to become an investment banker.
“We’re interested in what Wall Street does, and these values are a large part of that," Aran said. "A lot of fraud has been revealed. It’s wrong to stereotype everyone on Wall Street as crooks. There’s room for Christians and strong leadership."
“We’re trying to influence our members to become people of moral fortitude who practice values,” Baier said, “What if Fortune500 was filled with Christian leaders?”
The Financial Services Club will host two meetings each week. On Wednesdays, meetings will be held in the Founder’s Room at 8 am for members only. On Thursdays, meetings will be held at 12 pm for all non-members to attend.
The club currently has five official members, and the club will extend membership at the end of every semester. In order to become a member, applicants must be interviewed, maintain a 3.0 GPA, attend 75 percent of the meetings and participate in financial research. At Thursday meetings, members will lecture on topics concerning business. Through speakers like the Vice President of Morgan Stanley and the CEO of Affinity Trading Group, members receive the opportunity to network with elite members in their respective field.
“We’re all about taking small resources and making it grow," Baier said. "We hope to make the Financial Services Club into a larger and more impactful group."