January 23, 2018 – McCormick Investment Symposium, Xavier University, Fifth Third Trading Center, Cincinnati, OH. An Honor to be present and participate.

By Marc Caccavale

The second annual investment symposium, an event that gives tribute to the life and work of Matthew McCormick took place on January 23, 2018 at Xavier University. Matthew’s legacy, embodied at this event to give back, work hard, live and maintain high ethical standards, do what you love, love what you do and share the best you can give to the world that surrounds you. These noble traits, embodied in Matthew McCormick, Xavier alumnus, renowned investment industry professional, humble and charitable at his core, are remembered and encouraged through this event and the foundation that bears his name.

Beginning with a few brief and aspiring remarks from the University President, Fr. Michael Graham, wife,  Susan McCormick and friend, Kyle McLaughlin spoke of Matt. They spoke of his life, character and those he touched during his time with us. They said Matthew would be pleased with the work they are doing in his name, giving back to the University, its students and the Cincinnati community. Attendees and participants included Xavier University students, local financial business leaders as well as industry professionals and academics from diverse geographies throughout the United States.

Keynote Speaker:

Following this heartfelt introduction, the event proceeded with an address from keynote speaker Dr. Jeremy Siegel, Russel E. Palmer Professor of Finance at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Siegel opened by telling the audience of 255 attendees that his greatest passion and gift is working with and mentoring students. His talk concentrated on equity (stock market) returns, the present market, the past, future and outlook. Using multiple charts and statistics, Dr. Siegel illustrated the importance in understand methodologies that are used and who is using them when viewing equity market returns. This he described as definition of earnings. Also noted was the changing landscape from past happenings to current circumstances. It is imperative to consider these when analyzing the bull and bear sentiments in the market. Changes in accounting practices, regulatory requirements, specifically in how valuations are reported were emphasized. Dr. Siegel provided his insights on the recent tax cuts, interest rate considerations, statistical returns of multiple asset classes over extended time periods.  His knowledge and experience were an education and benefit for all attendee’s present.

Panel I: Xavier Student Investment Challenge: Moderated by Scott Colbert, CFA, Commerce Bank.

Multiple students participated in a student challenge asking students to submit theses supporting a long (buy) or short (sell) position pertaining to a specific publicly traded company. A winning thesis was chosen from each of the two pools of students. The two winners were Anthony “Tony” Petretti and Matthew “Matt” Tarka. Tony presented his winning thesis, short company X. Matt presented his thesis, buy company X. Both students provided detailed analysis, each developed through extensive research using the facilities and resources that the University provides. Both winning theses are available at:


Panel II: Global Markets Outlook: Moderated by (Xavier student Kirsten) Featured Scott Colbert, CFA, Commerce Trust Company, Oscar Pulido of BlackRock and Michael Oyster of Fund Evaluation Group.

The panel discussed their outlooks regarding global markets. Well informed outlooks such as constructive activities, transitional considerations and a current positive outlook by many in the financial community stemming from multiple factors. Factors such as low volatility, accelerating global synchronized growth, new tax law and central bank policy changes. Positives as well as concerns such as the rise in populism and geopolitical shifts. Interestingly the panel discussed new current conditions in emerging markets, diminishing negative effects to these markets from interest rate and currency fluctuations due to significant structural advances. Experts in portfolio construction, the panelists emphasized that with proper construction and monitoring, investors should benefit regardless of market conditions. They weighed in on cryptocurrencies and the potential impact of blockchain on the market.

Panel III: Cybersecurity: Moderated by Xavier Student ( Gabriel   ) Featured Marc Caccavale, senior industry executive, Founder, FICD in New Jersey and Silka Gonzales, Founder and President of Enterprise Risk Management in Miami Florida.

This discussion broke away from the previous panel discussions centered on global financial markets and investment perspectives. Both Marc and Silka are deeply embedded in the operational data and technical realities and nuances that are the foundational underbelly of the financial industry. These areas are where business strategies for making money and profit, risk and cybersecurity intersect. They intersect in ways that are beyond the knowledge of most individuals. Panel questions centered on current market fears based on trends and influences of multiple factors. Human negligence, technology, data and regulatory considerations. Topics such as sponsor sources, geographical locations and motivations such as personal, political and financial that comprise the industry of cyber hacking were discussed. Silka, an expert in cyber technology, provided operationally in-depth explanations of the cyber security environment. Including data and technical challenges firms must address, past, present and future. Marc, a data and enterprise risk expert, centered his comments on strategic responsibility and accountability. Describing top down strategic basics which must be addressed in all risk assessments, which includes cyber risks and security. The panel confirmed, hacks are ongoing, will continue, and everyone will be breached. The questions are when, where and how. Firms must aggressively and continually assess risk governance, policies and procedures. Managing cybersecurity and enterprise risk must be handled in ways that are not mainstream in current business cultures.

For details and additional information about this event and how to support the Matthew McCormick Foundations goals, please visit:

About the Author:

Marc Caccavale has been working in the trenches of the financial industry for 18 years and counting. He possesses expertise and professionalism in a broad range of market disciplines. For years Marc has attended and written about industry topics which serve the greater good of industry professionals. His non-partisan event summaries capture the essence of the events, speakers, panelists and attendees. His writings and deep industry knowledge are derived through rigorous note taking discipline followed by many dedicated hours to produce his industry benefitting work. Marc can be reached at: for queries and discussion.