Quad-C Supports McIntire’s Finance Academy with $100,000 Gift

Quad-C support will expand student access to McIntire's Finance Academy and assist with its development.

Left to right: David C. Smith, Michael Hamod, Matt Sorensen, Ansley White, Dale Harris, Mike Gallmeyer

Left to right: David C. Smith, Michael Hamod, Matt Sorensen, Ansley White, Dale Harris, Mike Gallmeyer

Leading middle market private equity firm Quad-C recently announced a gift of $100,000 in support of the Finance Academy, a program at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce designed for second-year students interested in finance career paths.

“As a private equity firm with deep roots in the Charlottesville community, we are thrilled to strengthen our partnership with McIntire,” says Quad-C Partner Jack Walker (A&S ’08). “This collaboration presents an exciting opportunity to join forces with one of the nation’s top undergraduate business programs and improve the opportunities available to its students.”

Now in its second year, Finance Academy, taught by McIntire Professors Michael Gallmeyer and David C. Smith, is an extracurricular program open to UVA second-years interested in finance, with a special focus on inviting students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to participate in the program.

“The Finance Academy’s emphasis on preparing students—particularly those from communities that have been historically underrepresented in our profession—with the basic skills needed to be better prepared for a career in finance is a goal that is very much in line with the mentorship program Quad-C has been offering over the past several years,” says Quad-C Vice President Michael Hamod (McIntire ’14). “Our hope is that the program should allow for students to develop a greater appreciation for the various opportunities available in finance after graduation, while also getting a more in-depth introduction to a career in private equity through our involvement.”

The program begins in the fall semester with Commerce School faculty Gallmeyer and Smith co-teaching the students a seven-week course on finance basics. Students completing the fall segment of the course, which included roughly 100 students from fall 2023, are eligible in January to learn more technical interview-prep skills through an intensive three-day course with a finance training professional. The students then embark on a January New York Trek to visit financial institutions. Throughout the fall and spring semesters, Finance Academy students are also supported by third- and fourth-year finance mentors, including previous graduates of the Finance Academy, who aid the students with interview prep and career advice.

Both McIntire faculty members envision the program growing.

Gallmeyer says that the Quad-C support will expand student access to the program and assist with its development: “One of the great things about this gift is it helps us provide opportunities to a broad set of students who are interested in pursuing careers in finance. Finance Academy has so many moving parts to it, as we have the classroom instruction, the Careers in Finance program, where firms come talk about different careers paths in finance, as well as the trek that we take to New York. Quad-C’s support is crucial for bringing in students who might be financially disadvantaged and otherwise can’t make this opportunity work for them. Their support really helps ensure that UVA has a strong foothold in the financial services community for years to come.”

Smith notes that the support from Quad-C will not only allow all Finance Academy graduates to absorb any expenses related to attending the trek to New York but that it will also help fund the various costs associated with running the program.

But the firm has also demonstrated a desire to do more than simply offer funding for the program.

“They have been fantastic because they’ve also really wanted to become engaged. Quad-C has not only made a financial commitment, they’re also interested in becoming part of the curriculum,” Smith says, explaining that he envisions Finance Academy growing to extend from the fall of students’ second year into the spring and potentially beyond.

“Quad-C is helping to make that happen in three different ways. First, they’ll come in during the fall and join us in enhancing some parts of the course by, for example, talking about LBO valuations. Second, they plan to host their own program in the spring where the students delve deeper into private equity and private equity careers to learn various aspects of that field. Third, Quad-C has committed to use the Finance Academy to expand their program for selecting students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to join them in a project-based learning internship taking place throughout the semester.”

Smith says that the relationship has already “worked out really well,” as Quad-C, a leading private equity firm headquartered locally in Charlottesville, allows the company to easily participate in the curriculum. He sees their essential contribution to the program as an important step to provide more finance industry knowledge to students across the University—and to expand further in the years to come.

“Finance Academy will be something that we’ll build off of,” says Smith. “We’re really in this for the long run.”

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