University at Albany School of Business Investment Group (UASBIG)

UASBIG is a student-run investment fund whose activities are sponsored by the Center for Institution Investment Management. Students manage a portion of the University at Albany Foundation Endowment Fund.

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UASBIG provides an environment conducive to the education of undergraduate students who have a genuine interest in and passion for the field of finance. The group affords students the opportunity to learn proper research techniques for successful portfolio and investment management and to manage a portfolio of live assets.

The goal of the UASBIG common stock portfolio is to outperform the returns of the S&P 1500 Index by maximizing the value of assets under management with adherence to a sound long-term investment policy.

Approximately 30 students serve as security analysts. After careful analysis,  students pitch the stocks to the UASBIG advisory board during weekly conference calls. Officers prepare regular performance reports and make annual presentations to the Foundation Board.

The Center for Institutional Investment Management is the prime sponsor of UASBIG, using the opportunity to train students in security analysis and portfolio management. CIIM funds the UASBIG subscription to Bloomberg.

Founded and Run by Students

The founding of UASBIG created an unprecedented and unique learning experience for students interested in security analysis and portfolio management. Business majors enrolled in the Financial Analyst Program, class of 2008, Matthew Alfieri, Vincent Cisternino and Michael Reynolds, drafted the initial business plan for the group. Their dedication and unbridled ambition to make the idea come to fruition with the support of then Massry School of Business Dean Paul Leonard and alumnus Gary Jacobson ‘82, the group received a $100,000 endowment from the University at Albany Foundation.

The founders set the bar high: the first UASBIG analyst class selected was made up of nine of the thirty candidates who applied for membership. The group has grown enormously and now consists of more than thirty members from many different age groups, backgrounds and academic concentrations. What they have in common is a passion for the field of finance, a strong academic track record, the desire to learn about equity markets, security analysis and the broader economy, and a strong desire to succeed.


UASBIG founder with students
Two UASBIG founders, Mike Reynolds '08 (third from left) and Matt Alfieri '08 (fifth from left), meet with current members.
Student Leadership

Co-Presidents and Portfolio Managers 

  • Nohl Schwandtner
  • Michael Tallarino

Executive Board

Chief Financial Officer

  • Sophia Hofer

Chief Operating Officer

  • Kanyinsola Gafari

Chief Risk Officer

  • Alex Pica

Director of Public Relations

  • David Sanchez

Meeting Chair

  • Zachary Gibs
Students sitting at a table

The group admits students with a solid academic record and excellent critical thinking and time management skills. Interested candidates are also encouraged to speak with current members to gain insight about the group, as well as the level of commitment that is required. Recruiting is done during the fall semester.


Benefits of UASBIG membership

  • Bridge the gap between what is learned in the classroom and what’s actually done on “the street” by managing a “live” portfolio of assets in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment with peers who share similar interests and who are motivated to succeed.
  • Become fluent in the language of financial analysis, specifically, knowing how to make sense of financial statements and company reports and learn how fundamental equity research is done, and how to value an equity security.
  • Rise above other job candidates in a competitive job field and network with and learn from alumni and advisory board members.

With these benefits come big responsibilities. UASBIG manages a live portfolio therefore active management of securities and industries will be required. Each member is also required to create and update extensive Excel models, a process that is both challenging and rewarding for analysts.

Questions? Email [email protected].

Advisory Board

An advisory board of faculty and alumni combines academic and “street” insight to be used in evaluating the group’s investment proposals, as well as to help guide the direction of the overall group. The advisory board is comprised of the following distinguished alumni and Massry School of Business faculty.

Richard Bleser, BS ’04
Rick is vice president at St. Germain Investment Management, in Springfield, Massachusetts. Rick was previously Chief Investment Officer and Director of Research at Berkshire Bank in Lenox, Massachusetts. Prior to that, he was at Meridian Capital Partners, Inc., where he was responsible for macroeconomic, S&P 500 and hedge fund analysis. He has also been an equity analyst with Paradigm Capital Management, Inc., where his responsibilities included the generation of long and short investment ideas in the small-cap specialty retail, leisure and technology distribution sectors. He began his career as a client analyst with The Ayco Co., a Goldman Sachs Co. Rick holds a B.S. in Economics and Business Administration (Financial Analyst Program) from the State University of New York at Albany.

Michael Borys, BS '78, MBA '79
Michael recently retired from a 40+ year career in investment banking/municipal finance, mostly at Goldman Sachs & Co LLC in NYC. Michael primarily worked as a quantitative and tax specialist overseeing the structuring of a broad variety of debt financings and refinancings. Michael also serves on the board of the Albany Foundation and is an advisory board member for the Center for Institutional Investment Management.

Evan Coffey, BS, ’15, CFA
Evan is a credit analyst at Man GLG, a UK-based firm. Prior to this, he worked as an analyst on the High Yield Desk at RW Pressprich & Co. In that role, he developed trading ideas, and produced industry research and valuation reports for debt and equity securities. Evan is a graduate of the UAlbany Financial Analyst Honors Program. While he was a student he served UASBIG as the financial sector head.

Joe Esposito, BS ’13
Joe is a product manager for Northwestern Mutual, where works on building an in-house financial planning software used by the firm’s financial representatives and staff across the U.S. Prior to that, he was a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, focusing primarily on investment analysis and financial planning for an ensemble’s high-net-worth client base. Joe is a graduate of the UAlbany Financial Analyst Honors Program and served as the chief risk officer of UASBIG in 2012-2013.

DeForest Hinman, BS ’05, MBA ’16
Enrolled in the Financial Analyst Program during its early stages, DeForest graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Massry School of Business at the University at Albany. After interning at Paradigm Capital Management in 2005, he went back to work full-time as a research analyst. In 2007, DeForest left Paradigm to become a partner in Walthausen & Co., a small-cap value investment management company. He currently is a research analyst for both the small-cap value fund and small-mid cap value fund. He regularly teaches seminars in security analysis, research, and financial modeling to members of UASBIG.

Dan Hurley, BS ’12
Dan is an equity trader at Apex Capital Holdings, LLC, in New York. He manages event-driven long/short equity strategies in a proprietary trading book. Dan completed the Financial Analyst Honors Program at the University at Albany, and served as co-president of UASBIG from 2011-12.

Ryan Kennedy, BS ’13, MBA
Ryan works as a private equity investment manager for Rothschild & Co. in London, UK. Prior to earning his MBA at Judge Business School at Cambridge University, he worked for Point72 and Goldman Sachs in analyst roles. Ryan graduated from the University at Albany with triple majors in Business Administration, Mathematics, and Economics. He was co-president of UASBIG in 2011-12.

Jon Nardi, BS ’10, MBA, CFA
Jon started his career at Pride Global as a business analyst, and he recently rejoined the firm as a reporting & analytics manager. In the interim, he earned an MBA at NYU, and was an equity research analyst at Paradigm Capital Management and a senior associate at Morgan Stanley. Jon was a member of UASBIG in its early years, and a graduate of UAlbany’s Financial Analyst Program with a second major in Economics.

George Philip, BA ’69, MA ’73
Mr. Philip was the 18th president of the University at Albany, serving from 2009-2013. President Philip serves on the UASBIG Advisory Board as the representative of the UAlbany Foundation Board. The student-analysts are honored that even after his retirement from UAlbany, President Philip’s loyalty to our institution is evidenced in his strong support for our student-managed investment fund. Prior to this appointment as UAlbany’s president, Mr. Philip served as executive director of the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System since 1995 and as a chief investment officer for the system since 1992. In addition to his UAlbany degrees, President Philip earned a J.D. degree from Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Ryan Ranado, BS ’13, CFA
Ryan is an investment officer at New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS). Prior to that, he was an equity research analyst at Paradigm Capital Management. Ryan is a graduate of the UAlbany Financial Analyst Honors Program, as well as a former student analyst with UASBIG. He has been a frequent presence on campus in mentoring UASBIG analysts.

Matt Reiner, MBA ’93, CFA
Matt started his investment career in 1994 as a sell-side research associate with CL King & Associates. He served as senior analyst, vice president and portfolio manager for CL King’s Investment Advisory business, Paradigm Capital Management from 1998-2004. In February 2005, Matt joined Adirondack Funds, where he is currently a portfolio manager. He co-manages the Adirondack Small-Cap Fund (ADKSX), which has received numerous Morningstar national awards.

Etton Soriano, BS, ’14
Etton is a research analyst at Rothschild & Co., in Los Angeles. Prior to that, he was an investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs. Etton completed the UAlbany Financial Analyst Honors Program. As a student, he was 2013-14 co-president of UASBIG, and also healthcare sector head.

Hany A. Shawky, Ph.D.
Professor Shawky is a finance faculty member at the University at Albany

David M. Smith, Ph.D., CFA, CMA
Professor Smith is a finance faculty member at the University at Albany

Mary Wladkowski, Ph.D., CFA, FRM, CAIA  
Professor Wladkowski is a finance faculty member at the University at Albany, and a former bond trader and portfolio manager.

Xiao Li, Ph.D.
Professor Li is a finance faculty member at the University at Albany.