2013 Galtere Interns: (LtoR) Mohammed Ali, Maria Pecora-Omana, Jazmine Logan, Harshil Patel

2013 Galtere Interns: (LtoR) Mohammed Ali, Maria Pecora-Omana, Jazmine Logan, Harshil Patel

Four UTC Finance students traveled to New York City this summer to intern at Galtere, Ltd, the commodities-focused hedge fund of Renee Haugerud.  In 2009, Ms. Haugerud gave a $1.5 million gift to support the formation of the Galtere Institute: Finance for the Future Initiative at UTC’s College of Business.  The Institute houses a Bloomberg lab and sponsors an annual Behavioral Finance Symposium, with the mission of promoting the art and science of trading and investing as well as attracting and retaining more females to the world of finance.

These weekly blog posts are sent from our interns in New York as they are put to work at a global asset hedge fund and explore the “big apple.”  Come back next week to see what else they are learning!

Jazmine’s Post  — Week One at Galtere, Ltd, NYC

Because of Memorial Day, our internship started on Tuesday May, 28th. Our first day consisted of introductions and explanations of how our days would be spent at Galtere Ltd. From 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the 10 interns are seated with a Galtere team member and conduct research a broad spectrum of information. Each intern has a $100M portfolio to use at our discretion.

The interns were instructed to focus on on Foreign Exchange and Commodity markets. It is very much like a real world setting — we are expected to FIGURE IT OUT.   The first week, the interns collaborated with one another about what resources to look at and learned the following:

  1.  How to create a PNL spreadsheet (a.k.a Trade Blotter) that is uplinked to the Bloomberg system,
  2.  How to keep up with global trends, and overall vocabulary of the finance world.

A lot of what we do day-in and day-out is LEARN. We had a speaker, Amanda S, from Barclay’s come speak to us about Foreign Exchange and her role within the company. At only 26, she travels to London and Singapore to work with clients. I felt smarter and more enlightened within the first few days of this internship than I did reading one of my college textbooks front to back.

On a more personal aspect of the internship, the Galtere team members are extremely helpful. If we are brave enough to ask a question (if we can’t figure it out on our own), they are more than willing to explain it. The location of the building is close to 5th Avenue, one of the most active shopping areas in the United States, and has tons of delicious authentic restaurants nearby. My teammate, Katie, is from Drew University. Thankfully, she is exactly like me (a social butterfly). In between reading articles on Brazil and figuring out which commodities to invest in, we enjoy talking about our future goals, high school days, and which places to see on the weekends. Galtere Ltd. consists of good, fun people who have a passion for finance and the rewards that come with doing it well.

Other than spending countless hours utilizing Bloomberg in the office for 9 hours a day, the other UTC students and I have been on the Staten Island Ferry, perused the Financial Disctrict up and down, spent hours at Central Park, and glared at the bright lights and tall buildings in Times Square. Throughout all this traveling, we have come to know the Subway very well. It has also been a culture shock, hearing a multitude of languages spoken by random strangers while walking down the streets. Honestly, it’s more difficult to find someone whose native tongue is English. The people of New York are also more tolerant of personal expression than the South. Definitely a different world than conservative Chattanooga, Tennessee, and I like it that way.

I’m excited to see how this next week will go. I’m sure it will consist of more learning, more friends, and more opportunities!  I have learned so much after only 4 days and am realizing the tremendous opportunity I am experiencing.

Jazmine Logan, UTC Finance major


Mohammed’s post – Week Two, Galtere Ltd, NYC

It is our second week here in New York and this week we had a guest speaker from J.P. Morgan and her name was Alex Mistretta, she is in Commodities Hedge Fund sales. She told us about her everyday interactions as well as teaching us a few shortcuts in Bloomberg for forecasting. The short cuts were amazing.  They helped us with some of the indications we could not normally find, such as what the demand outlook would be for the next few years.

The weather here has been a little rainy. Tuesday, we had a special assignment for Kurt and we had to research for data on how women manage risk versus men. We began at 11AM and had to have our report turned in to Kurt by 4PM. As we were all in the conference room, we all had the pleasure of having Mrs. Haugerud come up to the conference room to speak to us. After hearing about her and reading about her so much, it was almost an unreal feeling knowing she actually had time out of her busy schedule to come by Galtere to see us before she was airing on live television. She was appearing on CNBC Fast Money.

After she came back from her interview, we all went out to eat along with some of her clients. We all had the pleasure of meeting her husband John Murphy. Mr. Murphy is the definition of Mocs maniac. He has so much spirit for our University, it is inspiring to know and see with our own eyes how he promotes our school going around the world, to helping our students one by one.

Thursday we went to Bloomberg and the place was unreal. We really enjoyed the tour as the tour guides we new college graduates so they told us about how they got there and what they normally do on a daily bases.  We also had a small class on some easy ways to access commodities and foreign exchanges.

Mohammed Ali, UTC Finance major


Maria’s Post — Week Three, Galtere, Ltd., NYC

Let’s see what is new… Well, we are still learning a lot every day! Besides working on our portfolios and research papers, we have started to set up the profit and loss statements for our presentations next week. As always, Kurt is making sure we are constantly learning something new; this week we had three speakers and two surprise research projects.

On Tuesday Carol Burgio and Andy Lebow came to visit us. Ms. Burgio covers futures and options sales for Galtere, Mr. Lebow is an energy trader at Jefferies who thinks, in his words, that “oil is the best commodity in the world.” Ms. Burgio started the meeting by giving us an overview of the futures and forwards markets and the demand and supply factors that drive them, Mr. Lebow followed with a deep look at the energy markets and the recent supply shocks that changed the industry, he focused on Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude markets.

On Friday we had the pleasure to meet with Sami Robbana, who currently works for Edgestream and has invested in hundreds of hedge funds for firms like Edgestream and Credit Suisse Asset Management. Mr. Robbana gave us insights on diversification and short term versus long term trading. He emphasized the importance of paying attention to the culture of firms and the personality of the managers, and not just to their performance.

All speakers were very eager to meet with us and answer our questions, which is a lot of questions when you have eleven interns in the same room; but we are not just asking questions at Galtere, we are also answering them. On Tuesday and Thursday we had surprise research assignments on global financial subjects, each team had to answer a question on a specific subject, which gave us a more in depth perspective on the assigned markets. As you can see, all we do is learn, learn, and then learn some more!

Maria Pecora-Omana, UTC Finance Major


Harshil’s Post — Week Four, Galtere, Ltd., NYC

The last Four weeks in New York have truly been the best memorable and learning experience for all the Galtere Interns. On last Monday, Kurt Spero, the COO, arranged us to visit the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where 25% of total world’s gold is reserved. The estimated value of the total gold reserve was about 300 billion, yes BILLION. On top of that they also have some cash reserve.  It is statistically safe to say that it will be the closest I will ever be surrounded by 300 billion dollars at one place. We even had chance to hold a gold bar (It was heavy). Also, we learned about the history and setup of the Federal Reserve, It is impossible to breach into the security of that place. It was an incredible experience.

On Tuesday, Marianne Fichtel and Kurt explained us on the formats of allocation sheets (P&L) and taught us on the principles of presenting the themes. They gave us insights into how the client could evaluate the presentations and what should we do and what not. Also, they gave us many other valuable advice. They made sure that we kept learning and got the best experience from this internship. Tuesday was also the last day to close down the trades and record profit or loss.

The most important day of this whole internship was Wednesday, as we had to present our trades and the themes, thinking process, and strategy behind it. Kurt and Marianne were the examiners; their questions were mostly regarding our thesis. They gave us great feedback on our presentation and strategies. The teachings were very insightful. Some interns made money and some lost money, but everyone did well. Thursday some interns continued exploring trading and worked on paper as some went their own ways.

Friday was harder, because we had to say goodbyes. Galtere provided us with lunch and we spoke of the struggles and the good times we had during the course of this experience. And we said goodbye. Later, all the interns decided we should go out for one last time and we did. We all went to a roof top near 38th street to discuss the rest of our summer plans and when to hopefully see each other again.

Overall, it was a summer well spent. This was an unforgettable experience. Ms. Renee Haugerud once told me that to work at Galtere, one of the requirements is that you have to be a nice person, and indeed everyone at Galtere is nice. Thank you so much, Galtere!

Harshil Patel – UTC Finance Major

1 Comment » for Galtere Interns Hit the Big Apple
  1. Sue Culpepper says:

    So proud of our Interns! They have returned to Chattanooga energized with a greater perspective of investing, hedge fund management, and life in the Big Apple, thanks to the fantastic team at Galtere, Ltd. This is a life-changing educational experience for finance students and the College of Business at UT- Chattanooga is very fortunate to have the ability to provide this opportunity to our students!

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