March 11, 2014

Big Ideas: Richard DeFusco

Richard DeFusco
Finance Professor Richard DeFusco blends his expertise in financial markets and investing while he teaches, researches and serves the state. A member of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration faculty since 1985, he was also appointed to his third term on the Nebraska Investment Council by Governor Dave Heineman in January 2013. 
 
“It is an honor to serve the state in this capacity,” he said. “Being appointed to my third term means the governor has confidence in my abilities. It is a pleasure to work with this wonderful group of individuals.”
 
The council manages investments of 30 state entities including defined benefit plans, state and county retirement plans and the state deferred compensation plan, operating investment pool, the Nebraska educational savings plan trust, general and health care endowment funds, university funds and miscellaneous trusts. As of December 2013, assets totaled $20.6 billion.
 
He is also working on research with Thuy Simpson, an assistant professor of finance at Grand Valley State College in Grand Rapids, Mich. Simpson graduated in May 2013 with her Ph.D. in finance from CBA.
 
“Thuy and I have been researching the personal portfolios of investment insiders,” DeFusco said. “Analysis is a huge component to our research which takes time.”
 
Richard DeFusco

DeFusco explains the basics of finance to high school students

DeFusco understands how real-world experiences such as competing in case competitions enhance a student’s education. He encourages his students to step outside the classroom to gain more experience.
 
“A case competition gives students a chance to see the connection between what they are learning in the classroom and how it applies to the real world,” he said. “It also provides an opportunity for students to receive feedback from business professionals which is invaluable. These are the people who will be their supervisors in the positions they aspire to hold.”
 
He is the faculty adviser for two case competition teams at CBA. An undergraduate team of finance majors recently placed second in the CFA Institute Research Challenge in Des Moines, Iowa, on Feb. 7. A team of masters students will participate in the ACG Cup Nebraska competition on April 3 in the Club Level Suites at Memorial Stadium at 5 p.m. and CBA is hosting as the defending champion.
 
“I am very excited to be hosting the ACG Cup and have the support of Dean Donde Plowman,” he said. “We hope to be able to attract several business partners to the competition in order to showcase our talented students.”