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Roxanne Martino, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aurora Investment Management L.L.C.

November 13, 2009

Roxanne Martino, president and chief executive officer of Aurora Investment Management L.L.C., spoke on Nov. 13, 2009, in the Jordan Auditorium at the Mendoza College of Business.

Insight:  “You really have to set yourself up for success, by taking the right training and classes.”

  • It is difficult to change careers. I had been an auditor in public accounting and wanted to go into finance.  I had a hard time convincing people in finance that I was serious, so I went to graduate school at the University of Chicago to get the additional credentials I needed, taking class at night while working full time. Then everyone took me seriously.
  • In the investment business, all you have is your reputation. Any person who is working with you can harm or even destroy your business. The culture you create is very important, and the people you hire must match your culture. 
  • If you want to go into finance, the best training ground at the moment is the smaller institutions. Bigger institutions –  bigger banks specifically – don’t have very robust trading desks right now or don’t have the capital to do it. At a small firm, you can learn many skills, wear many hats, and show what you already know. 
  • Given the economic disruptions that started in 2008, it is an unusual time for business students to start their careers, but it is a time of opportunity. It may be tougher to get your first job, but once you get into the investment field there will be a lot to do, and firms will be quite robust in their returns. It will be a good place to be in the long run. 

 Roxanne M. Martino is the president and chief executive officer of Aurora Investment Management L.L.C. (formerly known as Harris Alternatives L.L.C.). The Chicago-based company manages over $8 billion in funds of hedge funds. She joined the firm in 1990 after working at Coopers & Lybrand as a senior manager focusing on the commodities and securities area. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1977 and an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1988. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and serves on the Investment Subcommittee of the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services. She is the current chairperson of the Business Advisory Council and the Executive Education Advisory Board of the Mendoza College of Business.


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