Baylor University – Southwest Securities Financial Markets Center

Baylor University officially dedicated the Southwest Securities Financial Markets Center, a world-class investment facility in the Hankamer School of Business, during a ceremony January 12 on the Baylor campus. Baylor’s newest classroom is a remodeled space in the Hankamer School of Business building. The Center is the brainchild of Dr. Terry Maness, dean of the Business School.

The Center will allow graduate students and senior finance majors hands-on learning in the truest sense of the word as they manage one of the largest student-run portfolios in the nation – currently worth $6 million – from the new facility.

The opening of the Southwest Securities Financial Markets Center marks the beginning of a new era in the finance program at the Baylor business school. The Portfolio Practicum class, which started in 2001, will be elevated to a new level with this state-of-the-art financial center. The center is equipped with leading edge technology replicating the equipment found in the nation’s top investment firms and financial institutions.

“We now have one of the top facilities of this kind in the country,” said Brian Bruce, the main instructor of the Portfolio Practicum class that manages the fund. Bruce is also director and Head of Equity Investments for PanAgora Asset Management.

“Now the students have access to real time financial data that they wouldn’t have otherwise. With access to sophisticated tools, the students can function like any institutional investment manager,” Bruce said. “That means these students will be completely ready to step into a portfolio management position upon graduation.”

Thorburn Associates’ involvement with the project began in meeting with Dean Maness and other faculty members to define the goals of the project. We really had a blank slate to work with. One objective was to create a room that felt like a cross between a financial boardroom and a trading room. Another goal was to create a grand entrance to the space, which was accomplished by removing a non-load baring CMU wall and extending the entrance into an existing storeroom.

Once Thorburn Associates developed the basic design of the space, we worked with the campus architect to refine and execute the project. This was a great example of the AV function driving the form of the room.

We were pleased to be a part of this fantastic project!