In this latest edition of our Intern Spotlight Q&A series, we're pleased to highlight Verger's summer 2023 investment interns.
Meet The Interns
Pirmin is a rising senior student-athlete at Wake Forest University studying Finance and playing baseball. He is originally from Dallas, TX, but grew up in Atlanta. Besides baseball, he enjoys hiking, wakeboarding, and fly fishing. A fun fact: he is a dual citizen of the US and Switzerland.
"After reading up on the industry and doing some research, I was intrigued with the concepts of investing, markets, and compound interest. This interest grew and by my freshman summer I was interning at Morgan Stanley, in their Private Wealth Management arm. During my time at Morgan Stanley, I learned quite a bit about what asset management looks like for individuals; however, it sparked an interest in learning how asset management looks for larger corporations. That interest led me to Verger for the summer."
Massie is from Charlotte and is a rising junior at Wake Forest. He is an Economics major, minoring in computer science. Apart from school, he participates in the College Fed Challenge where each year he joins a team of other undergraduates to analyze economic and financial conditions. In addition to the Fed Challenge, he is a tour guide on campus and serves as an executive member of fundraising for one of Wake Forest's biggest fundraisers, Wake ’N Shake. He is very passionate about the outdoors and especially loves backpacking during the summer.
"Before coming to Wake Forest, I had not had many connections or exposure to the finance and asset management industry. Within undergrad I was able to find peers with similar interests and have conversations that further sparked my interest in the finance world. My peers at Wake Forest helped my interests outside of personal finance and into the idea of asset management."
Ethan is from Darien, CT and is a rising senior at Wake Forest with a Finance major in the business school. Ethan plays club lacrosse and is set to be the president for his senior season. For fun he enjoys playing golf and supporting his favorite New York sports teams.
"During my junior year in my intermediate finance class, we were introduced to portfolio theory and risk management. This led me to quickly become very interested in the market. I began to track the performance of different stocks and monitor market indicators. With this interest, I knew I wanted to an introduction to investing in the real world. Verger provided me an opportunity to do so while being right in Winston-Salem."
What Was Your Favorite Project This Summer?
All three interns noted that their favorite project was The Verger Intern Capstone Project. As Pirmin explained, "The Capstone Project essentially began the first day we were at Verger and from then on, we were all in. The project began with the Investment Team giving us screening criteria for a specific type of investment. After doing the initial screening, we began with just under 500 potential investments. From then on it was up to us to run quantitative analysis, do our due diligence, and continue narrowing down our list. Once we got our list down to four potential investments, it was time to meet with the firms in person. This was a learning experience for all of us which was very valuable because we got to run our own meetings with professionals in the industry."
Massie added, "This project helped me understand the lengthy and detail oriented investment process Verger goes through in order to find a successful investment."
Ethan agreed. "I was so fond of the project as it truly encapsulated so much of our experience as interns. The qualitative metrics Taylor Jackson and Craig Thomas taught us in the asset class overviews were ones we could directly employ when screening the funds. The experience of sitting in with Jim Dunn on manager meetings helped us prepare to meet with our own selected managers. Even conversations with the client relations team allowed us to understand exactly which type of funds met the Verger strategy. The Capstone Project allowed us to take a step forward as interns, going from listeners and observers to independently pitching our own manager to the investment team."
How Has Your View of Asset Management Changed?
Massie noted, "My view of asset management has changed in the aspect of just how many people it takes to successfully run a firm. Learning how the investments and operations team works together has given me great insight into how there is more to raising capital than meets the eye. I have also learned how much teamwork institutional investment takes. The Investment Team has displayed how to properly communicate and perform in order to be successful."
Pirmin added, "Before starting my internship at Verger, I viewed investing through a purely qualitative lens. I assumed that investment decisions were made based on track record, risk and return analysis, and all the other metrics taught in your typical Finance 101 class. Upon starting at Verger, however, I quickly learned the importance of the qualitative side of the job. I was shocked to see how much of manager selection comes down to relationships and connections. It has shown me just how personable of a field asset management really is."
Thank you to our summer interns for their contributions! For more information about Verger's Internship Program, please visit our Careers page.