Speaker Series attracts award-winning authors and leading executives

Image: Cornell Hall

This fall, the Trulaske College of Business hosted a series of guest lecturers in Cornell Hall including a New York Times best seller, an executive from a Fortune 500 company, and a speaker whose entrepreneurial edge led to becoming a pioneer in his field. As part of the college’s mission of connecting industry leaders with students, speakers provide insights into real world experiences and help students prepare for their careers ahead. These speakers bring insight, advice and lessons they have learned after a number of years in the business. This semester, the college hosted:

Mike Davidson, former Vice Chairman and Chief Marketing Officer of State Farm Davidson built a successful career at State Farm from his start as an agent in 1978 to his leadership role as vice chairman and chief agency and marketing officer. Throughout his time at the company, he was able to maintain organizational and personal relevance to keep current and stay effective. In the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture, Davidson talked about how he built his career at State Farm, a company ranked No. 43 on the Forbes 500 with more than 81 million accounts.

Cliff Asness, Managing and Founding Principal at AQR Capital Management As the Vaughan Executive in Residence, Asness talked about what it means to be a “quant” investor. His talk explored the history, conceptions, and misconceptions of what it means. He also touched upon the evolution of “alpha” to “beta” – systematic styles that have generated positive long-term returns and the construction of portfolios with higher risk-adjusted returns.

Don Steen, Chairman of United Surgical Partners International The Trulaske College of Business hosted Don Steen in Cornell Hall as a Distinguished Alumni Lecturer. As the chairman of United Surgical Partners International, Steen founded two successful companies and led the turnaround of another. He talked about how it takes more than guts to start a business and that it takes motivation, strategy, financing and good management. Steen spoke about how he built his career on knowing when to move on big opportunities.

Dr. Mohamed A. El-Erian, CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO As the Finance Advisory Board Speaker, El-Erian presented on investing in a fluid world. El-Erian is the CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO, the global investment management firm with around $2 trillion of assets under management. He has published widely on international economic and finance topics. His 2008 book “When Markets Collide” was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. He was named to Foreign Policy’s list of “Top 100 Global Thinkers” for 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.