A virtual Wall Street at USF St. Petersburg

Students at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg will learn portfolio and financial management in a mock Wall Street trading room, thanks to a donation from Bank of America.

The $500,000 grant establishes the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Center, a facility within the Kate Tiedemann College of Business where students get
hands-on experience in investment management. The simulated trading environment includes the Bloomberg Professional Services platform and an LED ticker streaming stock market information provided by Intrinio, a local financial technology firm.

“Finance students want to get hands-on experience with investments while in school so they are fully prepared to assist clients when they enter the job market,” said Sridhar Sundaram, Dean of USF St Petersburg’s Kate Tiedemann College of Business. “This investment will allow us to operate a program that will do just that and is a very significant commitment by Bank of America to our current students and future graduates.”

Funding will also support financial literacy initiatives, including a finance academy for high school students, programs on budget management for college students, and Social Security and retirement workshops for the greater St. Petersburg area. The programs will draw from the Bank of America Better Money Habits curriculum.

"When we look at how we make an impact in the community, we want to move the needle in economic mobility, including workforce development, education and basic needs," said Bill Goede, Tampa Bay market president, Bank of America. "The Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Center program at USFSP is a unique opportunity to show what economic mobility looks like in Tampa Bay."

The first class to use the center will begin this fall, with around 20 students. The program is a two-semester finance and investment analysis course.

The grant is part of Bank of America’s ongoing commitment to the Tampa Bay area — the bank provides over $1.5 million in sponsorship and foundation grants annually.


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