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Spotlighted Student: William Reilly '11

Of all the small, liberal arts colleges William Reilly ’11 visited, he liked Haverford the best. Having visited the campus the fall of his senior year in high school, he was awestruck by the campus’ beauty, the community feel and the exceptionally nice people with whom he interacted.

He entered college as a pre-med student however, a general chemistry course and an introduction to macroeconomics course changed his direction. While taking Professor Ghosh’s introductory economics class he read about the financial crisis and became more and more interested in the subject. Therefore, he will graduate with a major in economics and a concentration in Mathematical Economics.

He spent his junior year abroad at the London School of Economics (LSE), where he took economics, finance and statistics classes. The quantitative and underlying theory taught in the courses presented a slightly different approach from what he had been taking at Haverford. Weekly LSE lectures were two hours, fortified with one hour private sessions with a master’s student.

Most memorable, though, was the opportunity to travel to places such as the Canary Islands; Santorini, Greece; Paris; Italy; and The Netherlands; just to name a few. Having come from a small town in Michigan, it was an eye opening and inspiring experience.

As a rising sophomore Will worked for Merrill Lynch’s Global Wealth Management sector in Michigan where he assisted with research in the financial markets. It was great exposure to the business world and he learned a lot about communicating with, and working with, bosses and co-workers.

As a rising junior he procured a Whitehead Scholarship award where he spent the summer working for Vishay Intertechnologies in their finance department. He worked closely with Lior Yahalomi (husband of Haverford College Provost, and Professor of Economics, Linda Bell) on special projects like ratings agency presentations.

Once finished with his academics at LSE, he stayed in London for the summer working for Cantor Fitzgerald Europe. Placed on the commercial mortgage backed securities desk, he maintained a database of high level modeling of various securities and he was exposed to the inner workings of financial markets.

The goal of Will’s thesis is to explore insider trading in Credit Default Swap (CDS) markets based on previous research employing updated data, over the period January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2010. He plans to analyze the flow of information from CDS markets to stock markets throughout the recent financial crisis in order to determine the effect of the financial crisis on the strength of information transmission from the CDS markets to the stock markets.

Following graduation he will begin his career with McKinsey & Company in New York City. As a Corporate Finance Analyst, he will advise client CFO’s on various topics, including mergers, acquisitions, and IPO’s. He’ll also explore deployment of funds.

After two or three years of work experience he plans on going to graduate school to earn an MBA.

Will is a member of the Rugby Club Team, and is a Teaching Assistant for Professor Banerjee.

The Strawbridge Observatory at Haverford College houses 12-inch and 16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes which are actively used by students in Haverford astronomy classes.

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