Sean Bauld, President of spxk, Spoke to BHP Students in Lyceum Course

Last week students in the BHP Lyceum course had the opportunity to hear from Sean Bauld.  Bauld describes himself as a transformation leader. His career has taken him to realms beyond what one might expect from a career in marketing research.  However, transformation starts with information, and Bauld is an expert at manipulating information and using it to create profound strategy changes.

Bauld started his college career at UT as a computer science major.  It was not a good fit, and he was invited by the University to leave it.  He briefly pursued a career in marketing in Houston where he stumbled upon the value of empirical marketing research.   Deciding he wanted to go back to college and earn a degree, Bauld gained readmission to UT after seven unsuccessful appeals.  The eighth time was the charm, apparently.  He quickly earned a business degree followed by an MBA from McCombs and a Masters in Public Affairs from the LBJ School.

While earning his masters degrees, he joined Intelliquest, a market research start-up as an intern. He became Intelliquest’s eighth employee after graduation.   During his seven years there, the company grew quite a bit and went through an IPO right after he left.  “Equity matters and it drives a significant portion of your compensation,” said Bauld. He also advised the students to negotiate for what they think they are worth and to always leave a company on good terms.

After Intelliquest, Bauld took a position with IBM as Director of Market Intelligence and Competitive Strategy. “The breakthroughs I had while in the position were driven by fundamentals of company and customer needs. You have to be able to hear what is really being said and see behind those observations,” he said. He spent six years at IBM and was then recruited by Thomson Reuters, where he spent another five years before going on to an emergency services start-up called New York City 24 7, before joining Avid Technology in 2010.

Leadership is a recurring theme of the class and Bauld shared a bit about his leadership philosophy.  As a team leader, he looks to find the right positions to fit the skills of the people working for him, be transparent to his employees, and get to know and support them. “Think about what your aptitudes are and what you are interested in, and let your career follow from there,” he said. Good advice for BHP students who are just starting down their own path to be transformational leaders in their own right.

Alumni Spotlight: Jonathan Morgan – Principle at Brown Bear Capital

Jonathan Morgan


Jonathan Morgan, BHP ’98, had his mind made up while in school to move to New York and work in investment banking. A BHP and Finance major, Morgan is now Principal at Brown Bear Capital in New York City. His path to the Big Apple included stops in Asia, Europe, and Wharton, as well as many valuable lessons along the way. We sat down with him to learn more about his career path.


Talk a little bit about Brown Bear Capital Management and your role there?

Brown Bear Capital Management manages a $100M hedge fund. We are a small shop, with only three people. The company launched in 2008 with 10 investors. I came on in 2009 to serve as lead analyst and trader. I mainly cover industrial companies and invest across the capital structure (credit and equity) looking for cheap or expensive securities. Most large funds have separate research analysts and traders, so my position now is a hybrid where I do both.

What has it been like transitioning to a small shop?

There are positives and negatives. I have more bandwidth in a smaller shop. I have learned a lot and it is easy to get the boss’s attention. What I suggest is done, as opposed to my last position, where everyone was trying to get time in front of the decision makers. As a small fund though, you don’t get as much attention from Wall Street. At a big fund you are invited to more conferences and meetings with bank analysts and company management. We don’t do as many trades, so it is more difficult to get their attention. The resources are a lot less as well. I have to wear more hats and work on the business as well as everything else. At this point in my career though, it is good because it is hands-on experience for how to run my own shop if I want to go down that road in the future.

What was your career path leading up to your current position?

I majored in BHP and Finance. Pretty early on I decided I wanted to go to New York and do investment banking. I had some offers with big companies, but I ended up going directly to a private equity shop in Dallas called Lone Star Funds. A good friend of mine from BHP had gotten me an internship there, and they ended up offering me a job. They were a small fund at the time managing about $400 million. They have grown significantly since then and now manage $33 billion. I was with them for five years. At the time, 80% of their business was in Asia. I mainly worked with real estate investments and company buy-outs. I went to Korea for two years to look at new deals, oversee the due diligence process, and oversee the asset managers. I then went to Europe for a while.

After that, I went to get my MBA at Wharton. Shortly after graduation I moved to New York and went to work for Avenue Capital Group, a large high-yield credit fund. It was a big move to go from private equity to a hedge fund in public markets. I worked for the European fund and spent lots of my time in Europe buying corporate bonds for companies that are likely to default or had already. It was a typical Wall Street experience. I worked there for a couple years and learned a lot about securities trading and got sector experience. I learned how to look at company structure and see what is attractive and what isn’t.

From there I went to One East Partners, a fund launched in 2006. I joined about 6 months after it launched. It was a newer fund and I was only the fifth analyst hired, so it was a bit of a gamble. I was making a bet that they would be able to grow the fund. Unfortunately, they took a hit in 2009 and were down about twenty percent like everyone else. Because they were a newer fund, they had trouble rebounding. I left about that time to join Brown Bear.

What was daily life like in these jobs?

When I was in Korea, we had a lot of strict deadlines, so I was working some all-nighters and at one point worked 45 consecutive days. So in many ways it was similar to the hours a typical I-bank analyst would work. With hedge funds, it isn’t as deadline intense, so I was actually working less hours. Hedge fund hours are pretty much 60 hours a week normally. That said, there are times when it is a high pressure environment and you are working at a fast pace in a very intense environment.

What skills have you found particularly valuable when making trading decisions?

Having a broad understanding of accounting and finance is very important. Intermediate accounting was one of the most useful classes I took. I think students need to go beyond what they learn in the classroom and figure out how they can apply it. When they interview for investment banking, they will be competing with grads from ivy-league schools, which don’t have undergraduate business programs. When companies see that a student went to UT, they are going to ask them accounting and finance questions since they should have that background. They need to be ready to answer those questions. They should be able to look at a company’s financial statements and break them apart.

Many BHP students find Texas jobs easier to come by than NYC positions. As a BHP alum in NYC, what advice do you have for students who really want to work in the Big Apple?

When you are a sophomore or junior, start figuring out where you want to go and how you are going to get there. Ask the people who are recruiting what stands out on a resume so that you can get the interview. Tailor your resume to what the companies are looking for. That goes for applying to MBA programs too. The BHP alumni network really helped me and got me my first job. I kept in touch with my classmates who went into investment banking and networked with them so they could help me. I also think getting an internship in New York will help a lot. Find companies that have UT alums because they will value the UT brand. Also, have a good reason why you want to work in NYC because recruiters may ask that.

Reflecting back on your time at UT, was there anything you would have done differently?

I would have taken advantage of the greater UT community. I would have taken classes in stuff I didn’t maybe have an interest in to expose myself to it. I was very tied to the business school and wish that I would have done more outside of it, like taking on a minor in something else, or joining some other clubs. Anything you can do to broaden your experience outside of business will set you apart from others and enrich your college life. I also wish I had spent more time exploring Austin.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Be willing to take risks. When I joined Lone Star, it was a risk. I turned down some of the bigger banks and took a chance. Working for them gave me the opportunity to live in other places, which was a great experience. Be very comfortable with who you are working for. Working for the right boss, who is invested in helping you grow, is very important. Ask who you will be reporting to, because that is huge.

President of Chevron Energy Technology Company, Paul Siegele, Shared Challenges of Oil Business with BHP Students

Being the President pf the Chevron Energy Technology Company is no easy task, but Paul Siegle loves the challenge. He took a job as a petroleum geologist with Texaco after graduating in 1980. Texaco was later acquired by Chevron and Siegle worked his way up from petroleum geologist to his current role, moving all over the U.S. and world in the process, including five stints in Houston.

The son of a Lutheran preacher who grew up in a small town in North Dakota, Siegle never imagined he would be in the field of oil and energy. A geology professor he had his freshmen year of college sparked his fascination for geology and led him to pursue the field of study. “There is a lot of risk and excitement in the field,” he said.

Heading up Chevron’s strategy involves a long-range outlook and knowledge of an overwhelming amount of variables. The three main components of his job include looking at the financial side of research projects to see what research is actually affecting their bottom line; protecting their intellectual property; and making bets on technology that keep the company profitable in the long-term using the current outlook, or what he describes as “skating to where the puck is.”

Being in the oil business also requires a thick skin and an ability to bounce back from failure. Siegle explained that most of the time in the oil exploration business, you aren’t going to find oil and you are going to spend a lot of money looking for it, but sometimes you find a well that is so big it more than makes up for the time and money spent drilling the ones that came up dry. Siegle was fortunate enough to have been a part of such an occurrence during an assignment in the Gulf region, and said that the string of discoveries was rare and ultimately catapulted his career at Chevron.

It wasn’t just good fortune that led to his climb up the ladder. Siegle shared some words of wisdom with the students on how to be successful. “Do the best you can with the job you are given and the rest will take care of itself,” he said. “Be open to opportunity, and willing to move around if you can. Treat people well. Be accountable for your leadership responsibilities, and work hard.” When asked about his personal leadership style, he said he likes to empower his team, adding that there is a fine line between empowerment and abandonment. “Lead by example and know your team well enough to know if someone needs help.”

Fielding questions from the audience, he addressed ethical issues in the oil business. “We operate at the confidence of the public. We get results the right way. We don’t expect results at any cost.” Siegle said Chevron’s strong ethical standard has been very important to him personally and that he is very proud of the company’s social responsibility program, which invests in the communities where they operate.

Students and Alumni Connect at Annual HBA Alumni Tailgate

This past Saturday BHP students and BHP alumni gathered in the Texas State History museum parking lot for an afternoon of tailgating before the Texas vs. Baylor game. Robert Belanger, BHP junior pictured above, volunteered to be grill-master and whipped up hamburgers, veggie burgers, and hotdogs for the crowd to enjoy.

“It was great seeing so many friends who have graduated over the past few years and catching up with them,” said Belanger. “I enjoyed talking with them about the kind of work they are doing and how they are enjoying the post-college life. I also think it was a great opportunity for the younger students to meet alumni who have experienced the program. All of the alumni were more than willing to give any sort of advice and answer and questions that younger students requested or had. The event was a great example of how the strong the BHP community is.”

BHP students and alumni were able to socialize and catch up for a few hours before heading to DKR stadium to catch the football game. The event was a ton of fun for all involved and we look forward to this annual tailgate tradition in the future!


Annual HBA Company Dinner Brings Together Students and Recruiters

This past Wednesday, October 17th, the Honors Business Association and the Business Honors Program hosted their annual Company Dinner.  The company dinner, held at the AT&T  Conference Center, is a great event for both students and recruiters to network and meet each other.  The dinner included representatives from Sense Corp, Adlucent, Altria, BP, Dell, KPMG, and ConocoPhillips.  Between the mingling over hors d’oeuvres and the great conversations at the tables, the dinner was a very successful recruiting opportunity for all 80 participants.   Thank you to everyone that participated and we look forward to seeing you next year!