Wall Street headliners share market-shaping insights at Quinnipiac GAME Forum

More than 1,500 attendees representing 130 colleges and universities descended on Manhattan this week for GAME Forum XIII, Quinnipiac's annual student-run gathering of Wall Street luminaries and rising stars at the epicenter of the financial world.

Dressed for success and eager to scrawl market-shaping insights into their leather-bound padfolios, the students took their seats in the Metropolitan Ballroom of the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel on Thursday morning as the two-day conference kicked off with a series of keynote speeches.

As the world’s largest student-run financial conference, the Global Asset Management Education Forum offers students the opportunity to learn in a setting unique in higher education.

Quinnipiac Provost Debra Liebowitz delivered the welcome address.

She lauded event organizers for cultivating such a professional atmosphere and underscored the importance of applied knowledge and market-relevant, interdisciplinary learning — the hallmarks of a Quinnipiac education.

“GAME Forum is really emblematic of what is best about a Quinnipiac education,” Liebowitz said. “It’s a microcosm of the Quinnipiac experience that’s hyper-condensed into two days. ... Last year was my first GAME Forum in person, and afterward I told the student leaders that it was bar none the most impressive student-run event I have ever experienced in my many years in higher ed.”

Acknowledging a fraught geopolitical climate whose implications on global markets have not yet materialized, Liebowitz stressed the need for critical thinkers in the financial world and beyond. She noted that “more than half of the planet will head to the polls this year,” raising the stakes on issues such as environmental sustainability, tech policy, AI governance and the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza. 

“We see the intensifying trade war between the U.S. and China, and now the escalating debate and policy development on Capitol Hill over national security and TikTok,” she said. “There’s a long and very significant list of political and humanitarian concerns that will shape and will be shaped by financial markets.”

Liebowitz introduced School of Business Dean Holly Raider, who expressed her gratitude for the 48 student volunteers responsible for organizing and running the event under the steady stewardship of GAME’s executive director and faculty adviser Osman Kilic. She also recognized the many faculty, staff and advisors in attendance for their efforts in bringing their students to New York and enriching the GAME experience.

“Speaking to students and faculty at last year’s event, I was so moved by the conversations I had,” Dean Raider said. “Many of them had come to New York City for the first time, and they highlighted what’s important about convening this network, this group of passionate finance professionals.”

No student played a larger role this year than oversight chairman Aidan Greene ’23, MBA ’24. The Hamden native took the stage first and spoke about his experiences as student co-chair for last year’s event — which marked a reboot after the previous two editions were held virtually — and how they prepared him for this all-important role.

Greene’s team helped formulate an agenda, book guests and send invitations to the participating schools. He concluded his remarks with some parting advice for the attendees.

“In order to maximize your GAME experience, I want to challenge you to do three things,” Greene said. “Number one, talk to someone new. Whether it be a student or a faculty member from another university, or one of our distinguished speakers, everyone in this room is a potential new member of your network and could be a lifelong colleague.

“Number two, listen deeply. In the financial markets, there is so much noise that we try to filter through in order to get at the root of what is actually happening. Take what you hear here, and don’t just write it down. Think about how it shapes and changes your strategies moving forward. And number three, share what you have learned. GAME will continue to grow, so take advantage of the information that you learn here and share it with your peers.”

Dean Raider moderated the first in a series of four keynote panels on the Day 1 agenda: a fireside chat featuring Robert W. Sharps, CFA, CEO and president of T. Rowe Price, and Zach Buchwald, chairman and CEO of Russell Investments. Echoing the themes of the day, Buchwald urged the audience to be “humble” and “intellectually curious” while Sharps advised the students to tap into their creativity and their individuality as they enter the job market.

The morning session continued with a panel discussion entitled “Outlook for Markets and Investment Strategies,” which was hosted by Bloomberg Surveillance co-anchor Lisa Abramowicz. Additional programming from Day 1 included “Global Asset Allocation and Portfolio Risk,” a panel discussion moderated by Brett Amendola ’91, partner and wealth manager at Wooster Square Advisors and a member of Quinnipiac’s Board of Trustees.

The expansive roster of participating schools included Yale University, the University of Miami, New York University, Temple University, Columbia University, Pace University, the University of South Florida and Pepperdine University. The University of Saskatchewan and American University of Beirut gave the event an international flavor. 

Gold sponsors M&T Bank, MarketWatch and The Dunn-Dunne-Wall Group headed an impressive assortment of participating firms and exhibitors from which students received invaluable guidance at the career networking session in the Central Park Ballroom on Thursday afternoon.

Still on tap for Friday are over 25 breakout sessions on topics such as AI, career readiness, wealth management strategies, real estate investing and fintech, along with the global portfolio competition.

The interdisciplinary nature of a Quinnipiac education was personified in student emcees Reinett Chefu ’24 and Ryan Keaveney ’23, MBA ’24. In a first for GAME, Chefu, a film, TV and media arts major with a minor in journalism, and Keaveney, who helped organize the event as a student volunteer, revved up the crowd between sessions with giveaways and promotion for the QU Game Forum app and the new photo booth.

Before the final panel of the day, Dean Raider hosted admitted Quinnipiac students for coffee and an informational meet and greet. She was joined by Greene, a selection of faculty members and a handful of student volunteers, including first-year student Tyler Delgrande.

Delgrande, a finance major who was assigned to the logistics team for GAME, said it’s been inspiring to watch Greene and others perform such important duties. He hopes to follow a similar trajectory as Greene, who climbed the leadership ladder over the past few years.

“So much hard work goes into setting the whole event up,” Delgrande said. “There’s a hierarchy to how our roles are assigned, and I hope to take on more responsibility next year and beyond.”

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