Cornell University Johnson at Cornell University

Business Roundtable

The Parker Series: Designed to educate, stimulate, and broaden perspectives

Jeffrey P. Parker '65, MEng '66, MBA '70, managing director of the Parker Family Limited Partnership, founder of FirstCall and cofounder of both CCBN and StreetEvents, does not do things by halves. After moderating a panel discussion in Boston last year, "Asset Management Revisited: Strategies in a Newly Competitive Era," Parker decided to sponsor a number of similar events in cities around the world. The new Parker Series brings authoritative business experts to locations around the United States, as well as London and Hong Kong. Jeff's goal is to make these "networking events designed to educate, stimulate, and broaden your perspective on timely business issues, as well as what is going on at the Johnson School."

Similar in format to the school's "Business of . . ." series – an ongoing, periodic program of panel discussions launched in 2005 that draws on Johnson School intellectual capital to examine timely business issues – the Parker Series goes a step further, focusing exclusively on alumni audiences and expanding the school's reach and impact.

Dean Joe Thomas, Associate Dean Becky Mitchell, and Jeffrey P. Parker '65, MEng '66, MBA '70, with Cornell and Johnson School participants, including faculty, alumni, and prospective students, at the Parker Series event in London, March 13, 2008 Dean Joe Thomas, Associate Dean Becky Mitchell, and Jeffrey P. Parker '65, MEng '66, MBA '70, with Cornell and Johnson School participants, including faculty, alumni, and prospective students, at the Parker Series event in London, March 13, 2008.

Parker has long been actively involved in the Johnson School, and currently serves as chair of both the Johnson School Advisory Council and the Parker Center Advisory Board, as well as a member of the Cayuga MBA Fund's Board of Directors. He decided to fund the Parker Series because he wanted to offer fellow alumni inspiring and informative networking opportunities that would appeal to a cross section of age groups.

The Parker Series discussion topics tend to focus on financial matters that showcase the school's strength in asset management, cultivated by the Parker Center for Investment Research, for which Parker provided the primary initial funding. Other topics so far include sustainability and entrepreneurship.

Dean Joe Thomas with panelists at the Hong Kong Parker Series event Dean Joe Thomas with panelists at the Hong Kong Parker Series event on March 20, 2008. (left to right) Dean Thomas, Warren Allderige '78, managing partner, Asia Pacific Harbor Holdings, Nell Cady-Kruse '84, MBA '85, managing director and Head of Risk, Credit Suisse Asia Pacific, and Jonathan Zia Zhu, JD '92, managing director, Bain Capital Asia, LLC.

Parker, the founder and CEO of several successful financial service companies, moderates most of the events. He also works in advance with the speakers to determine the topics they will address, and some of the questions that might be asked. "We try to keep these meetings moving along, sometimes controversial, so that people go home saying, 'I took away something interesting, and I'm really glad I went,'" Parker says.

– Irene Kim

The Parker Series 2007-08 Events


BOSTON Sept. 19, 2007: "Clean Energy: Myths, Realities, and Opportunities"
CHICAGO Feb. 28, 2008: "Expected Investment Returns Going Forward: Are You Being Realistic?"
LONDON March 13, 2008: "Is Overdiversification Impacting Returns?"
HONG KONG March 20, 2008: "Asian Decoupling: Is It True This Time Around?"
LOS ANGELES April 22, 2008: "Entrepreneurship: Idea or Execution – What Matters Most?"
SAN FRANCISCO April 24, 2008: "Steering Your Own Ship: Investment Opportunities and Pitfalls?"

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