Columbia Business School and top financial institutions like Citigroup have an obligation to innovate, connect their work to real-world problems, and lead the next generation into the future of their respective fields, Dean Glenn Hubbard told a gathering of about 100 students, faculty, and alumni at a recent event at Citi’s headquarters in Manhattan.
And they can do so together.
“I’m proud to say we’re doing a lot of that at Columbia, and it’s not because we sit around in our offices and have ideas,” said Hubbard, the Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics. “It’s because of the great work we’re doing with practitioners.”
As an example, Hubbard pointed to Professors Paul Glasserman and Harry Mamaysky, who are studying how news stories influence financial markets. Mamaysky previously worked at Citi, including as head of the Systemic Risk Group. Citi is also participating in a research project on fixed income liquidity with Professors Lawrence Glosten and Charles Calomiris.
Hubbard’s remarks at Citigroup were part of a series of corporate gatherings that bring together alumni within a specific company to celebrate the relationship between alma mater and employer. The Citi event was held at the invitation of Francesco Vanni d’Archirafi ’83, CEO of Citi Holdings, who introduced Hubbard.
After noting Hubbard’s distinguished career and government service, Vanni d’Archirafi said he had noticed another Glenn Hubbard — a former Major League Baseball player and base coach — in his Google search of the dean and noted the similarities between the two Hubbards. “Base coaches are a vital part of the offensive effort as they guide runners around the bases. At Columbia, the dean is keenly focused on an offensive effort of his own — one to expand the School’s presence into the business world and beyond the University’s walls. What I would ask you all to do is to think how you can give back your time, your talent, and also your treasure … so that we can continue to deepen this great relationship.”
Hubbard echoed those sentiments, saying alumni serve as invaluable resources to students in the classroom. He noted the Business School’s continual efforts to integrate experiential learning into the curriculum, including through the Program for Financial Studies, which supports research on finance as it relates to climate change, risk management, news, banking, and capital markets regulation. The work of Professors Glasserman and Mamaysky, who were both in attendance at the event along with Professor Urooj Khan, falls under the program.
Hubbard said Citi’s support of initiatives like those was instrumental to the Business School’s success. In particular, he thanked Vanni d’Archirafi for being a Centennial Partner during the yearlong celebration of the Business School’s 100th anniversary, during which the School completed a successful $500 million capital campaign for its new home on the Manhattanville campus.
While celebrating the Business School’s past and future, Hubbard also acknowledged the challenging political times.
“One issue that worries me a little is the general attitude in the United States about non-Americans at the moment,” he said. “Half of my students are non-American. I would like every smart person in the world to want to work in this country. That is unfortunately not a philosophy shared by everyone, including some people in power.”
Among the Citi attendees were Michael Fossaceca ’96, managing director and North America region head, Treasury and Trade Solutions; Dan Goroff ’90, senior vice president, Banking; Daniel Madias ’02, managing director, Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions; Ari Mentzel ’10, managing director, Head of Real Estate Lending and CitiFinancial Servicing; Mary Neumann ’76, managing director and global risk manager; and Andres Recoder ’87, global head of Corporate Sales and Client Solutions, Diversified Financial Services. Attendees also included the Citi recruiting team, including Bill Fisse, co-lead of global campus recruiting and program management strategy; Deborah Bertan, corporate and investment bank recruiting/program management; Sarah Beamish, consumer and finance recruiting/program management, and Aaron Goldberg, university relations.
Citi has had a longstanding relationship with Columbia Business School. In the past five years, the company has generously given to student clubs, centers, and programs. The company is also a top recruiter on campus. Out of nearly 240,000 employees in 140 countries, Citi employs several hundred Columbia Business School alumni worldwide.
Citi and its Business School alumni have also been active on campus. In addition to supporting the research of Glosten and Calomiris, Citi has made important contributions to the W. Edwards Deming Center for Quality, Productivity, and Competitiveness and the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate. In April, Vanni d’Archirafi spoke about ethical decision making at the Bernstein Center’s Paul M. Montrone Seminar Series on Ethics, and about 20 Citi executives plan to participate in the Business School’s Emerging Leader Development Program with professors Robert Bontempo, Stephan Meier, and others.
Alumni at the event said they were grateful for the opportunity to meet other Columbia Business School graduates at Citi, some of whom they hadn’t known before.
Events like these “show how easy it is to connect being in the real world with the School,” said Ruchi Bhambhani ’16.
Perry Le Blanc ’95 said Citi would be doing a “disservice” if it didn’t try to recruit from Columbia Business School.
“The education is a great education; it’s well rounded,” he said, adding that it had prepared him for every position he’s held at Citi over the past 15 years, including his current role as a director and global client manager in the treasury and trade solutions group.
Glasserman agreed such events are important.
“It’s great for Citi employees to take advantage of the network they have through Columbia Business School,” he said, “and, for us as faculty, it’s very useful to make contacts with people in the industry.”