(re)Open for Business

Re-Open for Business


BUFFALO, NY ― The Canisius College Richard J. Wehle School of Business unveiled a newly expanded and renovated Nelson D. Civello ’67 Family Financial Markets Lab (FML) on October 22.  The facility supports the college’s business programs, especially finance and economics, by providing students hands-on learning experiences with state-of-the-art tools and information.

“In order for our students to maintain a competitive edge, Canisius must keep its quality programs current with the needs of the industry,” says Antone F. Alber, PhD, dean of the Wehle School of Business.  “This enlarged and enhanced space gives us the opportunity to provide students with real-world applied practice.”

The $400,000 refurbishment project increased the size of the FML to 1,000 square feet, and now has many of the same technological tools-of-the-trade used on Wall Street: a four-color ticker display, which provides news headlines and current stock and index prices; four LCD panels, which connect to live market broadcasts or can be used by faculty to display teaching materials; and Smart Board technology. The expansion also increases the number of student computer stations from 11 to 30. 

The showpiece of the Financial Markets Lab is the Bloomberg terminal.  Used by professionals throughout the financial markets industry, the Bloomberg system is a leading information service for global financial markets.  The terminal provides live market data and news information, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and stores information on virtually every public and private company. Students trained on the Bloomberg system qualify to sit for the Bloomberg Essentials Certification Exam. 

“We’ve essentially tripled the size of the original Financial Markets Lab so that more students are exposed to learning experiences that mimic what is done in practice,” says Alber.  He explains that the FML will now be used as a principal classroom for upper level finance, economics, accounting and management students who require more technology-oriented courses.  “The new space also enables us to increase the size and scope of our successful Golden Griffin Fund (GGF).”    

Established in 2003 by Canisius alumnus Nelson Civello, former president of Dain Rauscher’s Fixed Income Capital Markets Group and past chair of The Bond Market Association, the Golden Griffin Fund is a student-run investment management program that gives the fund managers the opportunity to make real investments using real money.  GGF students select potential companies in which to invest, manage and analyze portfolio holdings (stocks), and evaluate and recommend companies to add to the portfolio.  The fund is currently valued at approximately $200,000. 

“At its core, the Golden Griffin Fund is an experiential learning program,” says Michael Piemonte, assistant professor of finance and director of the GGF.  “Certainly we want the students and the investors to see a return but our objective is to prepare students for the job market in a much more effective way than traditional academics.”

The real-world experiences that students gain through the Golden Griffin Fund and the finance degree program yields many positive returns.  GGF students are able to participate in the WNY Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge.  This prestigious competition requires university-sponsored teams to research a designated publicly-traded company, prepare a written report on that select company and present their findings to a panel of judges.  Canisius finished in first place each of the last two years.   

Virtually every student who participates in the Golden Griffin Fund also secures employment in the financial industry after graduation.  These graduates are employed by such global banking and financial firms as Citigroup, M&T Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Morgan Stanley, Morningstar, Price-Waterhouse, Dopkins & Co. and National Fuel. 

The expansion and renovation of the Financial Markets Lab was made possible by the M&T Charitable Foundation; the Nelson D. Civello ’67 Family Foundation, John P. ’58 and Patricia A. Courtney; Canisius President John J. ’78 Maureen Hurley; Maureen T. Schmitt, in honor of Peter C. ’62 and Daniel P. ’10, MBA ’11 Schmitt; Hodgson Russ LLP; James E. MBA ’95 and Diana Iglewski; and Christopher J. Petherick ’93 and Susanne L. Shunta.

One of 28 Jesuit colleges in the nation, Canisius is the premier private college in Western New York.