Sandy Schenker ’19 pitched Accenture (ACN) to the Student Managed Investment Fund on April 9th, 2019. Accenture is a management consulting and technology services company that helps its clients create and implement strategies that will allow its clients to boost productivity and profits. Accenture derives value for its clients with a deep understanding of both different industries and cutting edge technology, and uses their deep knowledge base to provide great value to its clients. Accenture has had strong growth for the past six quarters as their investments in different acquisitions, partnerships, and growth markets have provided great value to the company, and Sandy sees this trend continuing going forward. The class voted unanimously to purchase 75 shares of Accenture.
Natalie Waterhouse ’19 pitched Cigna (CI) to the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) on April 9, 2019. Founded in 1982, Cigna’s mission is to improve the health, well-being and peace of mind of those it serves. With 86 billion customers worldwide, Cigna has a very large presence in the US as well as in 30 other countries. The company focuses on both commercial and government medical insurance offerings. Numerous internal opportunities for growth as well as industry trends will allow Cigna to continue to grow its market share. In 2018, Cigna merged with Express Scripts to expand its medical offerings into the Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) space. With this merger, the new company expects increased revenue of 171%. With growing customer trends both in the US, as well as abroad, the company foresees the doubling of its earnings per share by 2021. The class voted to buy 100 shares of CI.
Connor Swaim 19 pitched BlackRock to the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) on April 8, 2019. Founded in 1988, BlackRock focuses on risk management systems and passive management. BlackRock’s mission is to create a better financial future for their clients. With $6 trillion in assets under management across 100 countries, BlackRock has formed itself into the largest asset management firm in the world. The company focuses on their clients by creating personalized portfolios based on several different factors. BlackRock has been the largest asset management firm since 2009 when they acquired iShares from Barclays. In the first quarter of 2019, BlackRock reached above $6 trillion in assets under management again with higher than expect EPS and higher revenue than expected. The majority of BlackRock’s revenue is generated from their Investment Advisory, Administration Fees, and Securities Lending. This represents 81% of their total revenue. BlackRock is strongly positioned to continue growing and return value to its shareholders.
Pete Kadens is a dedicated entrepreneur and philanthropist. Pete graduated from Bucknell University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and received the Distinguished Alumnus for Citizenship in 2010. Pete started his career in investment banking when he worked for UBS. However, knowing he did not enjoy working in banking and wanted to be an entrepreneur, he started several business ventures.
His first business venture was as the founder and CEO of Acquirement, a dedicated outsourced sales company that works with clients ranging from small privately held corporations to Fortune 100 companies. Pete also co-founded SoCore Energy in 2008 with Bucknell alum Glen Tullman, which is one of the largest commercial solar companies in the US. In 2015, Pete ultimately founded Green Thumb Industry outside of Illinois with his partner, Ben Kovler. Marijuana Business Magazine called Pete “One of 20 People to Watch in the Cannabis Industry in 2018.” Pete has delivered talks all over the US around issues related to reforming the war on drugs and has delivered a TED Talk on this same issue.
Along with his previous involvement in his businesses, Pete now focuses on philanthropy and his family, which includes his wife and three kids. Pete is the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Streetwise Organization of Chicago, one of the largest homeless aid agencies in the country. He was also a long time board member at The Cara Program, one of the largest non-profit workforce training programs in the Midwest which focuses on preparing individuals on the verge of homelessness for employment. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Cannabis Trade Federation, founder of Helping Our Population Educate (HOPE), and chairman of The Kadens Family Foundation.
We were honored to have Pete with us in class on April 9, 2019. He talked about his progression through his career and the value of philanthropy in his life. Pete focused on the power of having a strong network, especially from Bucknell, which helped take him to where he wanted to be. He emphasized that “whatever you do in life, do what gets you excited to get up in the morning.”
Melissa MacPherson ’19 pitched General Electric (GE) to the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) on April 8, 2019. Founded in 1892 by Thomas Edison, GE transformed from focusing on lighting / electrical appliances to becoming a multinational industrial company in the 1980s with the rise of former CEO, Jack Welch. Although GE’s recent history has highlighted numerous difficulties from poor leadership, bad investments and over extension, the company has faced its nadir leading to the price being currently undervalued. Looking forward, GE is well positioned for upside due to:
- Key changes in management and leadership with the new CEO, Larry Culp;
- Active realignment of company strategies to improve GE’s financial position;
- Ability to build and streamline company focus on strong core business segments, including: Aviation, Power, Renewable Energy, and Healthcare.
Hunter Colby ’19 pitched McCormick (MKC) to the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) on April 1st, 2019. Founded in 1889, McCormick strives to bring quality flavor and spice to kitchens around the world while helping its inhabitants at the same time. Sourcing from over 80 countries and distributing to approximately 150, McCormick has a large global footprint. The company focuses on its employees, sustainability, and responsibility, in order to drive purpose-led performance. With a solid foundation of ESG and the continued pursuit of growing market share, the company is poised well for future growth in the U.S. and globally. The recent push for organic and more high-quality ingredients in spices and seasonings will improve margins while also reducing the overall environmental impact McCormick has on the world. McCormick’s revenue is derived from two areas; consumer business segment and their flavor solutions segment, which partners with well-known restaurants to create their unique flavors. Fresh off the large acquisition of French’s and Frank’s, McCormick has shown it can gain market share successfully and will continue to do so in the future. The class voted to buy 90 shares of MKC.
David Ruf ’19 pitched International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) to the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) on April 1, 2019. Founded in 1958, IFF provides flavor and fragrance products in the form of naturals and synthetic additives and delivery systems & enzymes. Their $7.1 billion dollar acquisition of Frutarom in Oct 2018 created the largest naturals flavor and fragrance company encompassing 75% of the global market and added exposure to natural colors, natural food protection, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals industries. The company focuses on developing products based on consumer market trends and local consumer taste and smell preferences to develop new products on trends like health consciousness and bold and exotic flavor testing. The company has continued its aggressive M&A tactics acquiring the Additive Advantage and Leagel in 2019 alone. IFF continues to grow and take over a large portion of the Flavor and Fragrance market share as the global market is undergoing consolidation. IFF & Frutarom have global combined revenue of $5.3 billion serving over 136,00 customers with over 90,000 products in 163 countries. The class voted to buy 80 shares of IFF.
Alex Libman ’19 pitched PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL) to the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) on February 26, 2019. PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American company operating a worldwide online payments system that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods like checks and money orders. The company operates as a payment processor for online vendors, auction sites, and many other commercial users, for which it charges a fee in exchange for benefits such as one-click transactions and password memory. The company is poised to significant growth with the implementation of Venmo Smart Buttons, increasing active users and continuous M&A activity. The class voted to buy 120 shares of PYPL at $95.18.