University receives nearly $1 million from global investment firm

James Vaughn

SS&C Technologies announced it will contribute nearly $1 million to USI’s Romain College of Business in cash and in-kind donations, which will benefit the university’s accounting program.

“This is a great opportunity to sort of celebrate that gift and what’s going to be an ongoing partnership,” President Linda Bennett said during a press conference Friday.

The college unveiled an investment accounting track in the fall, in which 11 students are enrolled. Dean Mohammed Khayum said his goal is to have 20 students enrolled by the end of the semester.

The university will receive $200,000 in cash donations, which will directly benefit the investment accounting program. The in-kind donations include the installment, maintenance and training of advanced specialized software and technologies via the SS&C Investment Accounting Accelerator – access no other undergraduate program in the nation has, Khayum said.

“Our group here in Evansville is already using the technology that we are gifting to the university,” said Bill Stone, SS&C chairman and chief executive officer. “This will give us the opportunity to grow faster and hire more people, and enhance both their (student’s) learning experience and their business experience when they come out of the university.”

Stone said it also gives faculty a leg up.

“There (aren’t) really investment accounting textbooks,” he said. “The people here at the University of Southern Indiana are going to be some of the first people exposed to this range of assets.”

Stone said investment accounting, investment reporting and investment systems are fungible.

“You can teach those anywhere in the world, but you have to have compassion and commitment, and you have to have bright people,” he said.

Stone said both Khayum and Bennett have embraced what SS&C is trying to accomplish.

“We want to give our students experiential learning so that when they come into the workforce, they have some experience and they have hit the ground at least jogging rather than crawling,” Stone said. “We have an opportunity to really build on that and that’s something we think over the next 10 or 20 years is really going to benefit not only the local Evansville economy, but greater Indiana and the greater Midwest. We really believe this will be a national and international center of excellence.”

Students will help SS&C manage $26 trillion in client assets. They will learn sophisticated tax strategies, performance attribution and the different types of financial risks people need to know about.

Kyle Fields, director of the Indiana office of SS&C and USI alumnus, said the partnership will make the accounting program much more exciting than it was when he attended USI.

“Something like this obviously didn’t exist when I graduated in 2006,” Fields said. “It opens up a lot more doors for students, and not just in Evansville – we’re not biased – we’ve got 47 offices around the world.”

He said the most attractive thing about the partnership is the opportunities beyond the classroom, including internships at the local branch.

“Knowledge is power,” Fields said. “Now they’ll learn more.”