On November 16, 2020, Michael Williamson gave a Zoom presentation to Professor Daniel Lawson’s Finance Seminar (FIN422) class, which included several members of the Student Managed Investment Portfolio. Lawson’s class provides senior finance
students with a cumulative learning experience to start their finance career. This is done through a blend of case-based classes, lectures, speakers, and networking.
Williamson has an undergraduate degree in finance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and graduated in 2015. During his time at IUP, he was involved in the Student Managed Investment Portfolio and competed in the ACG Cup. After graduating from IUP,
Williamson went directly into private equity. He began as an analyst for Tecum Capital and eventually worked his way up to a senior associate. He was at Tecum Capital for about five years and is now a partner at Forest Lane Capital out of Pittsburgh.
During this seminar, Williamson began by explaining private equity to students and some of the investment differences that come when investing in a private company rather than a public company. Rather than being able to purchase stock at any time like
a public company, a private equity investment is more discrete, which makes it a less accessible investment. Both private equities and public have many other differences that Williamson went over with the students and helped to explain. He reviewed
different investments in private business, which included venture funds, buyout funds, private debt funds, and more. Williamson also explained the available financial information for private equities. He first mentioned how, if you are looking for
an income sheet or things of that nature for a public equity, you can find that for any company at any time; whereas, for a private company, you cannot get that information for your competitors, which makes it difficult if you are trying to conduct
competitive analysis. What is nice, though, is when you do get access to those private company financials, you can access just about any of the information you may need or could think of.
In the later half of the seminar Zoom conference, Williamson answered questions from students and talked about his experience after graduating from IUP. He talked about how he got his job after graduating and how networking with others really played a
key into getting himself in front of the right people for an interview. Williamson gave advice for the group of students as they look to graduate as well.
The Eberly College of Business and Information
Technology appreciates the time that Williamson took to share his expertise and to assist in preparing students for internships and permanent positions.