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College of Business unveils Ayala Stock Trading Room

Loyola press release - September 28, 2012

The generosity of a Joseph A. Butt, S.J., College of Business alumnus to provide a real-world and state-of-the-art environment for investment students will come to fruition as the Carlos M. Ayala Stock Trading Room opens its doors next month.

Business alumnus Carlos Ayala ‘57, credited his education at Loyola for his remarkable success in life and as an investor. After graduating, Ayala returned home to Cuba, where he was involved in a serious car accident. While in rehab in New York, he began his career as a salesman, eventually relocating to Miami. After retiring in the mid-90s for health reasons, he concentrated his efforts on investing in the stock market. Through rigorous research, Ayala did his homework and took his initial investment of $30,000 and turned it into millions.

Ayala’s accomplishments as a businessman and close relationship with his alma mater resulted in a generous $1.5 million gift to the College of Business in 2011, a portion of which went towards the new stock trading room. Ayala’s gift was also used to support an existing student-managed investment fund, scholarships, funding for more investment classes and a research database system.

“Ayala’s gift towards the stock room will be felt on campus for years to come and will help put us on a level playing field with other business schools in the region,” said College of Business Dean William Locander, Ph.D. “It will also elevate the work being done by our investment studies students by giving them the best tools available to help them succeed.”

Located on the first floor of Miller Hall, the stock trading room will provide a working environment for students enrolled in the Student Managed Investment Program, which successfully manages a $1 million dollar plus portfolio. It will also provide a facility with hands-on training using real financial information and market data. This will aid in investment research and the understanding of financial markets.

The room will feature an external glass wall to allow the campus community to view the state-of-the-art technology, including a ticker board which will display market data for a variety of stocks, indices, bonds, currency and commodity data. Four LCD screens mounted on the back wall of the room will display cable news, such as CNBC financial news, while markets are open. The LCD screens will also be utilized as an instructional tool and a display for financial and news broadcasts.

Twenty workstations with dual monitors will be used to conduct financial research by the Student Managed Investment Fund students and finance faculty. Several of the workstations will be dedicated to host financial data terminals. The remaining workstations will be used to access Reuters/Bridge, Thomson Analytics, Morningstar and other financial data services. These workstations will allow the Student Managed Investment Fund students to conduct analyses utilizing specialized investment research tools.

When not being used by the Student Managed Investment program, the room will be open as a computer lab for the campus community, ensuring that students and faculty from across campus will benefit from the university’s newest lab.

For more information, contact Traci Wolff Lucas at twolff@loyno.edu or 504-861-5453.