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Conrad Ciccotello, Kurt Hiler, Adam Fiedor and Mac Clouse

Reiman School of Finance hosts Distinguished Alumni event

Professor of Finance Mac Clouse represented the Reiman School of Finance in honoring Adam Fiedor (BSBA 1998) and Kurt Hiler (BSBA 1985) with the School’s Distinguished Alumni award. An audience of students, faculty and alumni gathered Feb. 17 in the Tuscan Ballroom to hear the two honorees share about careers and answer questions from students eager to get into the finance industry.

“I was a lost soul at DU,” Fiedor said. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”

Fiedor, who is now the managing director with GLC Advisors & Co., LLC, shared that it was Professor Clouse who pushed him to get an internship in investment banking. It was that experience that landed him at a boutique firm for three years before moving into venture capital.

Shortly after, 9/11 happened, shaking the economy. This drove Fiedor to seek more education, an MBA from Harvard. Hiler, who also received his MBA from Harvard, ended up working for the Harvard Management Company as the energy equity analyst.

Hiler had experience in energy because of his first job out of college.

“Dr. Clouse and Dr. Rizzuto introduced me to the energy banking firm,” he said. “I learned a lot at that little company and wore a bunch of different hats.”

Hiler and his colleagues at the Harvard Management Company formed Adage Capital in 2001. He’s a founding partner and portfolio manager and his energy portfolio has outperformed the energy portion of the S&P 500 in all but one year of his career.

Fiedor, who has worked in a variety of financial roles throughout his career, also discussed his personal journey. His family, originally from Poland, migrated to the U.S. before Fiedor was born. He was the first in his family to be born in the U.S. and the first to go to college.

Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Fiedor was shot in the neck as a child. Wanting a safer life for his family, his father relocated them to Denver, where they bought and ran a hotel.

Adam Fiedor (BSBA 1998)

“I didn’t want to clean toilets my whole life,” Fiedor said.

The two honorees then answered questions from the audience.

Q: What did you learn from the economic downturns?
Fiedor: “You can reinvest yourself a few times in your career.”
Hiler: “You have to be resilient and flexible.”

Q: How and why do you build a network?
Fiedor: “Be open to having any meeting. You’ll be surprised where the next deal comes from. Be open to working longer hours. My job is to always be courting folks, so be present in the community, volunteer for nonprofits and be at charity events.”
Hiler: “There’s no question it’s important. In addition to technical skills, you need to have social skills and interact with people on a consistent basis.”

Q: What are your recommendations for landing an internship?
Fiedor: “Don’t be afraid of calling people. We get a high volume of resumes, so stay after it and be tenacious.”
Hiler: “Be resilient, keep trying, keep calling. You can’t just send out resumes and assume people will notice. I don’t mind when people call me at all. I may not have anything, I probably won’t, but it’s important to try.”

Master of Science in Applied Quantitative Finance students Casey Brown and Schuyler Jacobs were glad they attended the event.

“I thought it was really interesting,” Brown said. “I want to get into ESG (environmental, social and governance) and so I found it really informational.”

“Nothing is as it seems,” said Jacobs, who was reflecting on the 30-year careers of the honorees. “It’s nice to know you’ll end up fine, but a bit eye-opening to know you might not end up in the career you expected.”