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Investment manager to visit Wooster

Sanjana Kumbhani
Features Editor

As college students who often struggle handling even a couple hundred dollars of flex, it is close to impossible to imagine someone who has been successful in handling more than nine billion dollars. This year, Managing Member of Gardner, Russo and Gardner Thomas Russo will present a lecture on “Global Value Equity Investing” as part of the Economics department’s James R. Wilson lecture series. This is the first time an investment manager will speak at the College as part of the series.

A graduate of Dartmouth College (B.A. 1977) and Stanford Business and Law School (J.D./M.B.A. 1984), Russo joined Gardner, Russo and Gardner LLC as a partner in 1989 and became Managing Member in 2014. He has also been one of the most successful endowment managers of the College’s investments since August 2005, and the part of the College’s endowment fund that he manages beat the market average calculated by S&P 500 by 2.5 percent and almost doubled the MSCI World’s Index.

His lecture will focus on his investment strategies, highlighting what he believes makes a company a good candidate for a potential investment. Forbes Magazine referred to Russo as a renowned value investor who “loves high quality companies with family-oriented management.” Russo has also previously expressed that he “likes companies that have the capacity to suffer.”

Associate Professor of Economics Charalambos (Harry) Michael said, “The lecture will give students, especially those part of the Jenny Investment Club, a chance to compare and contrast investing strategies.”

James R. Wilson Professor of Business Economics John Sell emphasized that one of the most important aims of this particular lecture is to present a remarkable example of a liberal arts education and to show Wooster students how the knowledge they acquire through their major is applicable in the real world. Another objective of the lecture is for Wooster students to learn the importance of an endowment fund. A higher endowment fund reduces the burden of tuition and other fees, so the success of a college’s endowment directly benefits its students. Furthermore, everyone will have to manage their finances someday, which is why this lecture is targeted toward everyone, not just economics and business economics majors.

“In previous years, we have brought in CEOs of various companies like Intel Corporation, Southwest Airlines, The Timken Company, BB&T Corporation and even a retired Federal Reserve vice chair. It is unique in the sense that it brings speakers from the business field who are actually doing things in the world today and are not just analysts.”

The series in general also gives students the unique opportunity to interact with the speaker personally during a reception that is held immediately after the lecture.

The lecture will be held in the Wilson Governance room in the lower level of the Scot Center on Wed. Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

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