Rutgers MBA Graduate, Class of 2011
Associate at UBS– Financial Institutions Group, Investment Banking Division
Joseph Gasparro is an Associate at UBS in the Financial Institutions Group within the Investment Banking Division. He is also Head of Business Development for the book Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers & Acquisitions, which is currently the #1 best-selling corporate finance book in the United States.
Prior to joining UBS, Joseph was a Research Assistant at Harvard Business School for Professor Lynda Applegate, Chair of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit, where he focused on technology, media & telecommunications companies. Previously, Joseph was an Analyst at Clear Rock in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group within the Investment Banking Division.
Joseph, an Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar, graduated with Honors from Gettysburg College with a BA in History. At Gettysburg, he was a member of the Varsity Football Team and was also selected to have his Senior Thesis published in the Gettysburg Historical Journal. Joseph received his MBA with Honors from Rutgers Business School, where he was a Ford Scholar, George Esterly Scholar, Robert E. Campbell Endowed Fellow, member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, and recipient of both the Ben Sopranzetti Award and the Dr. Rosa Oppenheim Leadership Award. While at Rutgers, Joseph was Founder & Chairman of the Rutgers Investment Banking Group, Vice President of the Student Government, and delivered the Commencement Address to his class.
Q&A with Joseph:
What will you miss most about Rutgers?
My professors and classmates.
I was fortunate to have incredible finance professors, in particular Ivan Brick, Farrokh Langdana, John Longo & Ben Sopranzetti. In addition to being internationally renowned and giving memorable lectures, they took the time to get to know me and my aspirations.
Additionally, I will miss my classmates. During my time at RBS I had the opportunity to work with both MBA and Undergraduate students, and was able to form lasting relationships. I interacted constantly with the last two LIBOR Executive Boards, and I will miss the late nights we spent together and the comradery we shared.
Why did you choose to pursue investment banking?
I was always interested in the stock market from an early age. I grew up during the dot-com bubble and witnessed huge M&A deals such as Vodafone; Mannesmann and AOL; Time Warner. I attended Gettysburg College, a top liberal arts school, with the intention of becoming a corporate lawyer. After interning for a judge, and speaking with bankers and lawyers at the time, I became more interested in finance than law.
What do you feel about the growth prospects of opportunities in investment banking?
The growth prospects are very promising. IPO, M&A, and Leveraged Finance activity are all increasing.
Q1 2011 IPOs reached over $12B, the highest first quarter value since 2008. With the exception of Visa’s IPO in 2008, Q1 2011 produced the highest first quarter proceeds since 2000.
On the M&A front, U.S. M&A for Q1 2011 was approximately $270B, an increase of over 80% from Q1 2010.Global M&A for Q1 2011 was approximately $600B, up 30% from Q1 2010.
Refinancings is also a very active area. Between now and 2014, around $400B worth of leveraged loans and roughly $500B of high-yield bonds will mature. The refinancing market will likely continue to be robust and strong in the near-term.
When you completed your undergraduate degree, you began working at a small boutique bank. Can you please talk about your experience there and how it differs from working at a bulge bracket?
Working for a boutique bank was trial by fire. My firm had very active deal flow and I was expected to hit the ground running on Day 1. During my first week on the job I was staffed on a live deal and had to fly up to Canada with my team to meet with the company’s executives. All of my training was done on the job. Although the senior bankers at the firm were willing to help me, they were constantly traveling to meet with clients.
At a Bulge Bracket, however, they have the resources to not only give each incoming junior banker a formal and structured training program, but also several mentors. The formal training and mentorship program was extremely helpful since the learning curve was so steep. The work I completed was not much different than what I did at the boutique, but at a Bulge Bracket I had several more resources at my fingertips.
What one piece of advice would you give to current Rutgers students seeking a career in investment banking?
I have three:
1) Call or email me.
2) Buy the book Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers & Acquisitions.
3) If you are an Undergraduate join LIBOR, and if you are an MBA join my club, the Rutgers Investment Banking Group. These clubs are the preeminent organizations at Rutgers. Earlier this year LIBOR and I organized the 3rd Annual LIBOR Summit. The Summit had over 230 people in attendance, including students, deans, professors, and alumni. It was one of the largest student-run events Rutgers has held in several years.