At the University Club on March 15, the Gabelli School of Business officially launched the O’Shea Center for Credit Analysis and Investment. On hand to celebrate were the center’s co-founders: Bob O’Shea, GABELLI ’87, and Michael Gatto, as well as Gabelli School Dean Donna Rapaccioli and over 170 alumni, supporters, and friends.
The center will be dedicated to educating students, supporting alumni, and collaborating with industry leaders across the global credit markets. It was founded with $2 million in gifts—$1 million from O’Shea and his wife, Michele, FCRH ’88, and $1 million from Gatto.
Rapaccioli said the center will enable the Gabelli School to “integrate credit analysis into the curriculum and to impact the credit industry by serving as a center of excellence.”
“Like all innovations at the Gabelli School—the center is industry-relevant and student-centered,” said Rapaccioli. “In terms of dollar value, credit markets are larger than equity markets, and it’s crucial for our students to learn how to become decision-makers in this field and to understand the important role that credit markets play in the overall economy.”
O’Shea—who became one of the youngest partners in Goldman Sachs history before establishing his own firm—told guests that the idea for the O’Shea Center dates back to his days at Fordham.
“During those years, Fordham had a big impact on my life in so many ways. But one thing that always stood out to me was the Jesuit philosophy of living in service to others. During those four years, I thought deeply about what I wanted to pursue in terms of my career. I became fascinated by the field of finance and tried very hard to land in one of two jobs—my first choice, investment banking, or my second choice, to enter a credit training program at a bank,” O’Shea said in his remarks.
He ended up starting in a credit training program that put him on a path to investment banking. It also left him thinking that there was an “opportunity there for undergraduate business schools,” he said.
O’Shea went on to introduce Gatto, an adjunct at the Gabelli School, as “a legend at Fordham University.” Gatto is an extremely popular professor, Rapaccioli said, having taught the Credit and Special Situation Investing course for the last seven years. Many of the Fordham alumni present at the launch party were former students of Gatto’s.
Gatto, who will serve as the center’s director, said the vision of the center is threefold: to develop a secondary concentration in credit, to provide continued education and networking opportunities for alumni, and to link academic professors with “the street,” leading to cutting-edge published research that is meaningful to practitioners.
“I feel very blessed to be named director of the center,” said Gatto, a partner at Silver Point Capital, a Connecticut-based investment firm co-founded by O’Shea. “I’m going to work incredibly hard to assist in building something that is genuinely differentiating and something that we all are proud of.”