SHU Hosts Public Forum on Global Financial Crisis

News Story: October 5, 2008

From left are Professor John Gerlach, Dr. Lucjan Orlowski,Wright Investors President Peter Donovan and WICC radio host Brian Smith.

A standing room only crowd listened as a panel of economic experts addressed the current global financial crisis during a special forum at University Commons.

Sacred Heart University hosted a timely panel discussion on the current global financial crisis on Wednesday, October 22, in University Commons. "The Financial Crisis: How Did We Get Here, How Do We Get Out of Here, and What Does It Mean for Investors?” was sponsored by the University’s John F. Welch College of Business and WICC Radio of Bridgeport It drew an audience of more than 250 including students and members of the community.

Panelists included John Gerlach, senior business executive in residence and associate professor, and Dr. Lucjan Orlowski, a full professor, both from the College of Business Department of Economics and Finance. They were joined by Peter Donovan, president of Wright Investors. The forum was moderated by WICC radio host Brian Smith.

Each panelist addressed one aspect of the crisis— Mr. Gerlach analyzing the rescue plan, Dr. Orlowski addressing the factors behind the crisis, and Mr. Donovan discussing what the current crisis means for investors. Following the discussion, members of the audience eagerly shared their comments and questions with the panel.

Mr. Gerlach received his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His career has taken him from the consulting firm of Booz, Allen and Hamilton to Bear Stearns. As vice president of Corporate Development at General Mills, he was responsible for the acquisition of 43 companies in the U.S. and 12 foreign countries. He served as president and COO of Horn & Hardart Company, a restaurant and direct marketing company listed on the American Stock Exchange, and he started a venture capital firm that made investments in 19 companies, the most successful of which was American Woodmark, with a market value over $500 million.

Dr. Orlowski's research concentrates on monetary policy regimes and their impact on macroeconomic and financial stability in transition and emerging market economies. He has been actively involved with the European Union's eastern enlargement process and the design of monetary and financial integration strategies. He has been an advisor to the National Bank of Poland and was an advisor to the Finance Minister of Poland. An author of books and numerous articles, he serves on the editorial board of Comparative Economic Studies, is an associate editor of Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, a regional editor of Journal of Emerging Markets and a guest editor of Open Economies Review and Economic Systems.

Mr. Donovan serves on the advisory board of the John F. Welch College of Business. With 42 years of investment experience, he joined Wright Investors in 1966. He has been chief executive officer since 1996 and chief investment officer since 2001. He is co-author of Worldscope Industrial Company Profiles and Worldscope Financial Company Profiles. He is also president of the Wright Managed Income Trust and the Wright Managed Equity Trust. He is chairman of the board of trustees of the School for Ethical Education and is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the Hartford Society of Financial Analysts.