Students cash in on Nasdaq chief’s tips

Nasdaq, the first electronic stock market, reinvented how markets are run.

Bryce Haugen

A sea of business attire traversing the color spectrum descended upon the McNamara Alumni Center’s Great Room on Tuesday.

The people wearing them came to hear Robert Greifeld, president and chief executive of Nasdaq stock market, analyze global stock market trends and explain how his business competes.

More than 400 Carlson School of Management students, faculty members and alumni attended the noon event, which Carlson School’s Corporate and Alumni Services and US Bancorp sponsored.

Greifeld, a New Yorker, began his short lecture with an ice-breaking game of Minnesota trivia, asking the crowd what Kevin McHale and Bob Dylan have in common. The crowd unanimously responded with a lackadaisical “they’re from Hibbing.”

Then Greifeld turned to more serious topics, explaining how Nasdaq, through an innovative product, has revolutionized stock markets.

He said the company cannot guarantee market outcomes.

“What we can do,” he said, “is ensure that investors can trade as efficiently as possible.”

Nasdaq, founded in 1971, doesn’t have a traditional trading floor. Instead, it conducts business electronically. Greifeld said most other stock exchanges throughout the world have followed suit.

“It doesn’t do anybody any good to stick to a business model that was developed 213 years ago (by the New York Stock Exchange),” he said.

After he spoke, the leader of the world’s first and largest electronic stock market answered audience members’ queries.

Investment banker Chuck Shannon, a Carlson School alumnus, asked how Federal Reserve policy would change under chairman-nominee Ben Bernanke’s leadership.

Humbly offering an “uneducated” guess, Greifeld said “the Fed will act as it has acted in the past few years.”

High-profile speakers such as Greifeld help increase the Carlson School’s already prominent national reputation, said Associate Dean for Programs Bob Ruekert.

“We want to make sure that the boundaries of the Carlson School are limitless,” he said. “It’s not just Minneapolis; it’s national and international in scope.”

The nearly two-hour event offered networking opportunities for aspiring businesspeople, including second-year Carlson School master of business administration student Christine Lin, who said she hopes to work in the health care industry.

Lin, a native of Taiwan, said attending events such as these help her to learn American business norms and culture.

“It will be very beneficial for me,” she said between bites of rice and chicken breast with herb champagne sauce, which was included in the event’s $23 ticket price.

Alyssa Christianson, finance sophomore and vice president of the recently founded Stock Trader’s Club, said she attended the event to “hear how other people have become successful.”

But, she said, there’s no way she’s going to head to Wall Street.

“I’m a small-town girl,” the Preston native said.

Since 1992, Carlson School’s Corporate and Alumni Services has sponsored guest lectures on the first Tuesday of each month. The speakers donate their time.

On Dec. 6, it will host Richard Pettingill, the president and chief executive of Allina Hospitals and Clinics.