Peter Alonso From IVCA Scholar Program Accepts Job at Morgan Stanley

Peter Alonso From IVCA Scholar Program Accepts Job at Morgan Stanley

October 24, 2007

CHICAGO - “ Peter Alonso, who attended the University of Illinois and was part of the IVCA's scholar program, has accepted a job with Morgan Stanley in Chicago to work in its investment banking division. The position starts next summer.

Winners of the newly established IVCA internship scholarship are getting an inside glimpse into some of the most prestigious capital and private equity firms in the country. The IVCA program was created in 2007 to interest minority students in a venture capital or private equity career.

The scholarship is unique in that it is awarded to undergraduate students. This gives them an opportunity to rub elbows with some powerful principals and partners in the industry.

Maura O'Hara, executive director of the IVCA, says the scholarship was created to provide minorities visibility to a career in venture capital and private equity earlier rather than later in their studies.

- œWe realized minorities are underrepresented in our business and we could and should do something about it,-  O'Hara said. - œWe created the scholarship to inform undergraduate students of the opportunities in the industry so we could help influence their career decisions and the courses and education they'll need to pursue if they adopt this career.- 
 
The IVCA scholar program awards scholarships valued at $15,000 per student with $5,000 toward general tuition fees and the option of accepting a 10-week summer internship at a Chicago-area venture capital or private equity firm with $10,000 in compensation.

Scholarship winners include Lesley Winbush, an accounting major entering her junior year in fall 2007, who interned with ARCH Venture Partners; Ashton Clark, a general business student entering his sophomore year in fall 2007, who interned with Baird Private Equity; and Alonso, a 2007 accountancy alumnus, who interned with Thoma Cressey Bravo.

In a recent interview and IVCA article, scholarship winner Alonso said he's discovered that the learning curve coming straight out of school is - œimmense- .

- œBefore I started the internship, I had a broad understanding of what a private equity firm did. I am now learning in greater detail how deals are sourced, transactions are executed and how portfolio companies are monitored. My goal by the end of the summer is to get as far up the curve as I can.- 

Thoma Cressey Bravo principal Merrick Axel says Alonso is an integral part of the support programs for investment teams particularly in a research capacity.

He says the firm has never had an undergraduate intern, but as an active partner with IVCA, Thoma Cressey Bravo was excited to be involved in the first year of the scholarship program.

- œIt's a great opportunity for any young student to be a part of the inner workings of private equity and see the thinking that goes along with being an investor,-  Axel said.

Baird Venture Partners vice president Benedict Rocchio says the firm's close relationship with the IVCA made it a natural to become involved in the scholarship program.

- œThis minority scholarship program supports the goals of our parent company, Robert W. Baird, and we're delighted to be involved,-  Rocchio said.

Rocchio added: - œWe've got Clark busy on projects that will give him exposure to many areas of the business. For starters, he's helping with our ongoing sector research to identify potential competitors and determine marketing size. He's also contributing to charting our portfolio companies' financial performance and is sizing up features in a new CRM software tool we're implementing shortly.- 

John Hedeman, the assistant dean for the College of Business Office of Undergraduate Affairs, screened the initial scholarship applications.

Final applicants were interviewed by the hiring firms and the IVCA's scholar committee, which includes individuals from Thoma Cressey Bravo, Seyen Capital, ARCH Venture Partners and Mesirow Financial along with Golder Center on Private Equity director Dan O'Connell.

An announcement regarding how students can apply for scholarships over the summer semester of 2008 will be issued by the College of Undergraduate Affairs and the IVCA.