Steve Huntzinger always knew the day would come that he would start his own value investment company, but who knew it would be so soon in his career that it would become a reality.
Growing up, Huntzinger knew he wanted to pursue a career in investment management, specifically in personal and value investing. With Warren Buffet as his role model, he studied about him a great deal, leading him to pursue a degree in Finance at Virginia Tech and graduating in 2008.
While at Tech, Huntzinger was a student-athlete competing on the track and field team as a thrower. Despite the large commitment to athletics, Huntzinger was highly involved with the group SEED, which contributed to his knowledge and prepared him to manage large sums of money in his post-college career.
Right out of college, Huntzinger went to Citigroup and made his way up to Vice President of Institutional Sales in as little as eight years. After making it to the top, Huntzinger is now developing his own value investment fund; Dunham Lane Capital Partners is set to be fully operational by April 2016.
As a member of the initiatives committee of the RAB, Huntzinger’s main goal is to help continually improve the culture of the business school. Below are some thoughts from this weeks’ Recent Alumni Board Spotlight.
What are you most looking forward to on the RAB?
I’m really excited to help improve the culture of the business school. I believe the top 10% of Pamplin can compete anywhere, at any time, without a doubt. But I want to help increase the depth of talent throughout Pamplin. I think that engaging students while they’re younger and bringing real awareness about relevant business topics will enhance their interests in studying both in and out of the classroom.
What was your favorite part of the job at Citigroup?
I would have to say the learning experience that came from dealing with very intense, and very sticky situations. You really feel the culture of Wall Street when it comes to institutional finance. You’re dealing with very intelligent people, with very strong personalities all of the time, so eight years of being surrounded by that has helped with my negotiating skills tremendously and has created this path for me to start my own business.
Do you have a favorite book?
I recently read a book that hit home with me called “The Education of a Value Investor” by Guy Spier. It’s really about Guy’s journey to start his own value investment fund, which is exactly what I am doing now. I really connected with this book because I started along the same career path as him so it’s really relevant for me in this transition.
Was there a specific class you took while at Tech that helped you most with your career?
The one class I can remember preparing me the most was Finance Concepts and Skills [now known as Financial Analytics] with Derek Klock. To describe, it basically was a rigorous, quantitative finance class. It was tough but it did a really good job at teaching people the time value of money and the value of cash flows which is pretty much everything you do in Finance.
Do you have a piece of advice you’d like to tell current students?
Absolutely, I recently heard a quote that stated, “Much of what you become in life comes from who you choose to admire and copy”. So my biggest piece of advice would be to follow that, and at an early age find someone you really admire and study what made that person successful. Whether it’s their personality, or work ethic, take that and clone it, and start sooner rather than later and it will really pay off in the future.
By Ashley Battle