Pandemic-Related Financial Disruption Discussed at Dean's Executive Forum

Pandemic-Related Financial Disruption Discussed at Dean's Executive Forum

Beauty drone shot of the exterior of the Charles F Dolan School of Business

In the first of three Dolan Dean’s Executive Forum webinars, Tim Gately ’93, managing director and head of Europe, Middle East, and Africa Cash Equities for Citigroup, discussed the upheaval in the financial industry due to the pandemic.

The September 22 webinar “Financial Industries of Post Pandemic: Investment and Careers” was hosted by Charles F. Dolan School of Business Dean Zhan Li, DBA and moderated by John McDermott, PhD, associate professor and chair of the Department of Finance. The Dean’s Executive Forum series is focused on bringing leaders and distinguished executives together to discuss issues that impact business and/or society.

According to Gately, one of the lasting effects of the disruption caused by the pandemic is that “the stigma associated with working from home, of trying to balance work and life, has disappeared. Companies are realizing we can all be just as productive” as in an office setting. And while it’s definitely difficult for new employees to integrate to the culture of the company when they’re doing so remotely, he believes this generation’s comfort with technology will be enormously helpful as they transition.

“Technology has been one of the biggest disrupters in the industry,” he said. As an example, he noted that companies like his used to have a team of 100 or so analysts doing research. Now, that work is done very efficiently by computer.

For that reason, Gately stressed the marriage of computer science and business in preparing students for employment. “I truly believe that computer science will give students a lead in any job going forward,” he said, adding that the ability to corral data and organize it efficiently, and having a comfort level with programs like Python and C++, is essential.

The move toward ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investments is another disrupter, and the industry is looking at ways to build models that show better long-term returns. “Europe is further ahead in ESG than the U.S. as far as innovation in this space,” said Gately.

Gately, who graduated with a degree in history, acknowledged that his path into financial markets was atypical. “But the foundation I had and the breadth of the curriculum at Fairfield shaped me for a career in any direction,” he said, speaking from his home office in London. “And if you think about it, modeling risk and developing progression models is all about looking back, comparing and predicting based on historical models.”

He advised recent graduates to be proactive about diving into projects, offering to help other teams by doing research or building spreadsheets, for example, and asking questions freely.  Make yourself of service, he said, and you’ll not only show your interest in the job, you’ll gain essential knowledge about different areas of the industry.

There are two more webinars in the Executive Forum series, both open to students, faculty and alumni. On Tuesday, October 20, Larry Mattera, P’23, formerly of Warner Brothers Records, will speak on “The Dynamics of Music Industries: Business Models and Innovation.” On Tuesday, November 10, John Kinney ’93 of The Hartford and Kia Javanmardian and Elixabete Larrea Tamayo of McKinsey & Co. will speak on “Defining Talent for Tomorrow: A Leading Perspective.” Both webinars begin at noon.

For registration information, contact

Tags:  Dolan School,  Top Stories


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