Two students at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business have started the school’s first private equity club to strengthen the relationship between students interested in the industry and professionals.
The group, called Michigan Ross Private Equity, was formed by founder and co-president Greg Sanker. He is joined by co-president Ann Brophy, both MBA students at the school. The group is advised by Professor David Brophy, who serves as the director of the school’s Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance and is Ann Brophy’s father.
Michigan Ross Private Equity has attracted close to 100 members so far, each of whom pays about $100 to join. The money will be used primarily to run the club’s upcoming events. “We’re one of the more expensive clubs on campus, [so] it’s great to see so many people sign up,” Sanker says.
The club has organized several events and plans a full-blown private equity conference, akin to those held at Wharton School and Harvard Business School, in 2016. Other events include a panel during the Michigan Private Equity Conference on Oct. 17.
The club’s conference will be “for students, put on by students, for everyone’s benefit,” Sanker says, describing the difference between the group’s event and the existing private equity conference.
Also, Michigan Ross Private Equity will run a “Private Equity Advisory” program for students to work directly with private equity firms.
The club is working to grow its alumni members and build awareness outside the university. Michigan Ross Private Equity wants to bring on more advisory board members who are private equity professionals and University of Michigan alumni. Also, the group also wants to find private equity firms looking for students to work with them during the school year, Sanker says.
Both Sanker and Brophy have private equity experience. Sanker worked for about two years prior to business school at River Cities Capital Funds focusing primarily on control equity investments in healthcare service companies. Brophy worked this summer at Huron Capital Partners.
“Working in middle market private equity was a great learning experience. It’s a profession that combines disciplines from entrepreneurship and finance, two fields I’m very passionate about,” Sanker says. “Michigan Ross is one of the best business schools in the world without a private equity club. I want to help students discover what I did at River Cities and build the school’s presence in the industry.”