Major financial firms to participate in UWM economic conference

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Lubar School of Business will present the day-long seminar “2011 Outlook Conference” on Thursday, March 24, at the UWM Union, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd., Milwaukee.

The event will include presentations and panel discussions from well-known names from the financial and business communities in metro Milwaukee. Companies such as Northwestern Mutual, Stark Investments, Robert W. Baird & Co., Mason Wells, J.P. Morgan Chase, Briggs & Stratton, Cleary Gull Inc. and Generac will have key executives presenting that day.

The conference will also feature speakers from outside of the Milwaukee market. Some of the prominent financial services and investment banking firms that do business across the country will be represented. They include:

  • Daniel Ford, head of U.S. equities research with Barclays Capital.
  • Doug Cliggott, U.S. equity strategist with Credit Suisse.
  • Tobias Levkovich, chief U.S. equity strategist with Citigroup.
  • Pat Dorsey, director of equity research, Morningstar.
  • Joel Stern, chairman and chief executive officer of Stern Stewart & Co.
  • David Bleustein, head of U.S. equities research with UBS.

Panelists and presenters at the conference will discuss topics including economics and strategy, mergers and acquisitions and the capital markets, changes in the regulatory environment, investment positioning in volatile markets, creating value for shareholders, and more.

The conference is the brainchild of Dr. G. Kevin Spellman, director of the investment management certificate program at UWM.

“I wanted to have some kind of event where we would bring in top decision makers from the corporate and investment areas where they can discuss the main issues that will shape the economy, business and investments markets,” Spellman said.

Spellman has been teaching at UWM since July of 2009. Before that he taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He previously served as a money manager with the State Teacher’s Retirement System of Ohio and the MEMBERS Capital Advisor division of CUNA Mutual.

When he worked for the State Teacher’s Retirement System of Ohio, Spellman managed two portfolios worth about $7 billion each.

The UWM event is designed for investment managers, corporate officers, business owners, government officials and high net-worth individuals who are looking for a broad outlook on the year ahead and many sectors of the economy.

“This is a strategic conference. It may be good for analysts if they cover a certain (sector),” Spellman said. “It will be good for corporate executives or portfolio managers or financial planners that manages accounts. But it will be good for really anyone who reads financial publications.”

The event costs $149 per person, which includes lunch. Parking will be available in the UWM Student Union. There will be plenty of parking because the event will be held during spring break, Spellman said.

UWM’s conference facilities have enough room for as many as 450 people at the conference.

The conference is sponsored by the Wisconsin chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, the CFA Society of Milwaukee and Bloomberg. BizTimes Milwaukee is the media sponsor.

“Based on the caliber of speakers, we thought this was a good educational opportunity for our members,” said Thomas Rippl, CFA. Rippl is president of the CFA Society of Milwaukee, and is also vice president and investment officer of Schaper, Benz &Wise Investment Council Inc., a Neenah-based investment advisor firm. “I saw Tobias (Levkovich of Citigroup) speak in Las Vegas and thought he was really good. Kevin’s done a really nice job. Some of (the speakers) I read quite a bit and have a lot of respect for. They’ll be talking about some timely topics and discussing long-term views, which should be good.”

Spellman said UWM’s conference will be different than other financial and economic conferences because the university is able to bring together individuals from competing firms, which normally do not appear at such events together.

“We have no issues with competitors so we can bring together whoever we want,” he said. “Most of them said yes when we invited them. We’re a neutral place to have these kinds of discussions. We’re an educational institution and we’re trying to give something back and do something for the community.”

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