After 16 years of providing valuable resources and state-of-the-art technology to thousands of Baruch students and faculty members, the Subotnick Financial Services Center received a major upgrade through the contribution of the office of the Manhattan Borough President. The generous donation by Gale Brewer, Manhattan’s borough president, helped make substantial upgrades including LED tickers, LED wall boards and CRT flat screens that display 55 real-time market data feeds and financial analysis tools.
While the Center is mainly utilized by Baruch students and faculty members, some notable financial institutions that have previously conducted workshops and training sessions at the Center include the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. In 2001, when the city was recovering from the tragic events of Sept. 11, two financial firms that were displaced by the terrorist attacks used the facility to continue trading.
The Center contains four main areas: the Development Classroom, the Research Facility, the Seminar Room and the iconic Wasserman Trading Floor. With over 74 high-end operating workstations and cutting-edge technology that could simulate a real-life trading environment, the Trading Floor is one of the few instructional facilities of its kind.
On Thursday, Sept. 15, Baruch College commemorated the modernization of the Wasserman Trading Floor at the Subotnick Financial Services Center with a grandiose ribbon cutting ceremony. Daniel Dornbaum, president of Baruch’s Undergraduate Student Government, and Brewer were invited to speak at the momentous event.
“The technology provided in this upgrade will last for years to come,” said Dornbaum. “Right now on Wall Street, everything is being done more virtually and the ability to simulate that here will help Baruch students make the transition later into the real world.”
Baruch President Mitchel B. Wallerstein also gave his own remarks, thanking Brewer for her donation as well as the facility’s main benefactors, Stuart Subotnick and Sandra Wasserman.
“Given that the Center was established 16 years ago, this funding was incredibly important because it allowed us to modernize and update the technology,” Wallerstein shared. “The technology that was originally put in here was state-of-the-art at the time, but now has become obsolete and so this contribution from the Borough President has made an enormous difference. It gives our students a real leg up because when they go out to the real world they already have exposure to the Bloomberg terminal and a whole range of activities.”
Current members of the Investment Management Group, Wall Street Club and the Financial Engineering team, which won this year’s Rotman International Trading Competition, were also invited to attend the spectacle. Baruch’s master’s of financial engineering program took down the ranks of Ivy League giants MIT, Harvard and Princeton, en route to their first place finish.
“The fact that the Center is here and that students can use it to compete nationally is what should happen and what makes me so proud that it is happening,” said Brewer. “Whether you are pursuing an economics, finance, journalism or technology degree, you are getting a hands on experience with professional market systems, analytical software and opportunities that will give you a chance to compete everywhere.”
Investment Management Group, a club led by students who manage a real-money fund of $250,000, also attended the event. The group currently utilizes the Center to do research in industry groups that range from Consumer Goods & Retail to Technology Media & Telecommunications. Zouhare Al-Baroudi, an economics student at Baruch and the chief investment officer for IMG, shared how the new upgrades will benefit the group’s efforts in the future.
“We conduct all of our research and manage our portfolio systems right from here. The trading floor is the bread and butter for what it is that we do at IMG.,” Al-Baroudi said. “Going forward we are going to continue using it the way we have done before and this time we are going to add some mandatory training for our incoming analysts to really learn how to use Bloomberg inside and out.”
Following the remarks, guests and attendees were invited for a tour of the Wasserman Trading Floor. Stuart Subotnick, who has seen the development of the Center over the years, has been a key contributor to its success since its inception. He hopes that the Center will continue to grow and enhance the learning experience for students for years to come.
“Seeing the government pay attention to one of the best institutions is positive for both them and the school,” said Subotnick. “It is our job to make sure that the Center keeps going and at a very high level.”
Wasserman, also a Baruch graduate, shared that the reason why she continues to give back to her alma mater is because she wants students to have the opportunities to pursue their dreams, and most importantly, enjoy their time at Baruch like she did.
“We feel very strongly about educating the populace. The fact that we had the opportunity to go to college here, gave us the education that matched us against any student,” Wasserman said. “This school afforded us a wonderful life and gave us the tools to move forward, and that’s what we’re hoping to do for the future generations at Baruch.”