Cliff Gisemba, MS-Finance '11, Capstone Project
Our project for Professor [Scott] Fine involved researching Dunkin' Brands, the parent company for Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, which was preparing to do an initial public offering.
To begin the project, we read a bunch of equity research reports. During the second week of the project, the entire class went downtown to Key Tower for a series of meetings with members of KeyBank's equity research team. We were then let loose on our own to conduct research, meeting occasionally with Professor Fine, Professor [Bonnie] Richley, and a KeyBank equity research coach who was assigned to our particular group. At the end of the project, all groups completed and turned in their own reports with their own independent valuations.
Professor [Peter] Ritchken's capstone was different. All of the different groups had their own projects for professional clients. Our group developed a series of structured CDs for KeyBank Capital Markets that yielded higher interest rates depending on the performance of an underlying asset like a stock index, a currency index, futures, etc. We also created a break-even pricing model in Excel using Visual Basic. At the end of this project, we did not turn in a final report, but rather presented our products and our model to the clients. All of the groups presented their different projects to one another in class as well.
The biggest thing that I took away from this summer was a better idea of how to function in a group. While I have worked in groups before, I have never participated on something as comprehensive and intense as these two projects. I also learned a great deal about conducting equity research, which will be helpful later in this semester when I have to conduct a similar analysis for my Mergers and Acquisitions course.
Cliff Gisemba, MS-Finance ’11