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IMG president reports heightened attention from Wall Street banks

IMG+president+reports+heightened+attention+from+Wall+Street+banks
Judah Duke

Bulge bracket banks are scooping up more students as Baruch College garners attention in the news and the public eye, according to Investment Management Group CEO Allen Avrakh. 

The rising cost of a college degree has met rising skepticism over its value, leading national college rankings to accentuate value and subsequently recognize colleges like Baruch, which the Wall Street Journal and College Pulse ranked the best university in the country for value in terms of post-graduation earnings outcomes in September 2023. 

“We’ve been getting a lot more notoriety and so has the school,” Avrakh said. “That only increases the group’s standing within the highest of Wall Street.”

Since he began at IMG in his first year in fall 2020, Avrakh noticed maybe a few students going on to work at major banks over two years to now four or five a year at firms like Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, Morgan Stanley and more. 

Currently at between 57 to 62 members while still recruiting, IMG forwarded the momentum and landed more high-quality guest speakers from top firms to recruit and network with its members.

On Nov. 9, Michael Englander and Nan Xiao from the Greenland Capital hedge fund spoke and gave “some of the best advice the club has ever heard.”

The 14-year-old Baruch club currently has over $1.2 million in assets under management, one of the largest AUMs for an undergraduate investment management group in the country.

The Baruch College Fund gives the club a certain amount of its endowment — which currently hovers near $300 million — to add to its long-only equities portfolio.

“IMG functions as a much smaller arm of this endowment,” Avrakh said. “Our job is to make the money that Baruch gave us grow.”

In addition to four members on the operating committee, the club has six directors for each coverage team. The teams use both bottom-up and top-down methods for a combination of fundamental and technical analyses to look into investments in Consumer Goods & Retail, Energy & Utilities, Industrials & Natural Resources, Healthcare, Technology, Media & Telecommunications and Financial Institutions Group, which includes insurance, credit card and finance companies. 

Avrakh began as a junior analyst on the healthcare team, working up to becoming an analyst, healthcare director and eventually CEO in fall 2023. 

“You definitely have to invest your time into understanding how an industry works,” he told The Ticker.

The IMG workflow mirrors the work environment of professional investment funds, but the club also has a mentorship program, events and mandatory training workshops to prepare new members for their careers, who typically start as junior analysts.  

That process is integral to the club’s success, which shines through the selection process for new members. Avrakh said the club does not just look for students passionate about finance but for students who can demonstrate their willingness to learn.

“I’m a huge basketball fan — you look at Kobe Bryant, or Michael Jordan, their coaches are always able to say ‘this person was very coachable,’ and they’re some of the greatest players of all time,” he said. 

He continued to disclose that applicants may be accepted if they’re “willing to learn from people that have been in your shoes” and who “understand what you’re going through and can help guide you through a step-by-step process.”

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Judah Duke, Business Editor
Judah Duke is the Business Editor of the Ticker.
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