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Alumni Advise Students at Inaugural Finance Forum

Alumni Advise Students at Inaugural Finance Forum

Mario Torsiello, CBA '78
Photo by Bruce Gilbert
Mario Torsiello (CBA ’78), president and CEO of Torsiello Capital Advisors, met with a select group of Fordham College of Business Administration (CBA) students in the William D. Walsh Family Library on March 5, during CBA’s first annual Finance Forum.

Torsiello, who serves on the CBA board of advisers and the Fordham University President’s Council, said that from an impending recession to the subprime mortgage crisis, “the securities industry is currently dealing with the most difficult issues in a decade.”

He swiftly covered the statistical history of the financial services industry, specifically the investment banking and securities market, which has experienced strong growth in recent years.

“Private equity firms and hedge funds have taken off in the last two years,” Torsiello said. “Hedge funds have a great advantage, controlling nearly half of the buying power of the $10 trillion market, which creates a lot of volatility.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting summa cum laude from CBA in 1978, Torsiello began his career at KPMG, moving to Salomon Brothers in 1986 and later to INDC Group and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, before creating his own firm, Torsiello Capital Advisors, in 2001. He told students that the keys to success in the financial services industry are networking and developing strong communication skills.

“Every chance you can get to talk before a room, take it,” said Torsiello, who took a moment before his presentation to shake hands with each of the 40 students in attendance. “It’s critical to anything you do in life.”

Following Torsiello’s presentation, students attended a dinner and panel discussion on “Market Volatility and Its Ripple Effect Across Wall Street” in Tognino Hall of Duane Library. The panel featured four alumni: Brendan Marshall (CBA ’05), an investment banker at Perella Weinberg Partners; Stephen McGuinness (CBA ’82, GBA ’91), a member of the Fordham University President’s Council and a managing director at Goldman Sachs; Omar Medina (CBA ’95), a vice president at Goldman Sachs; and James Toes (FCRH ’85), of Merrill Lynch. Carl Majette, a CBA senior, moderated the discussion.

“We wanted our students to get a taste of what a professional encounters on a daily basis, the topics they deal with, the risks they need to be aware of,” said Rosa Romeo (CBA ’98, GBA ’99), director of undergraduate accounting and the dual degree programs at CBA. “So our students begin gaining confidence and an edge that will aid them when they begin their careers.”

The forum was sponsored by CBA, the Fordham Finance Society and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting.

—Rachel Buttner

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