UTSA College of Business Newsletter
December 15, 2016
College of Business 2016 Annual Report

Richard Peretz
Accounting Alumnus Richard Peretz is CFO at UPS

Trading in a brown delivery uniform for a three-piece suit, Richard Peretz,'85 has had an illustrious 35-year career working for UPS. Joining the company in 1981 while a student at UTSA, Peretz has risen through the ranks to become chief financial officer of the $58 billion company headquartered in Atlanta. As CFO Peretz is responsible for accounting, finance, financial planning, taxes, audit and compliance activities. He also serves as the company's senior liaison to the investor, finance and analyst communities. “I've had great opportunities with UPS,” said Peretz, a native of San Antonio. “I've been in front of the European Union, opened up UPS operations in China and have been invited to the White House.” His list of career highlights includes being part of the team that led the IPO to take UPS public in 1999; managing acquisitions and expanding international small package operations in Costa Rica, Romania, South Korea, Turkey and Vietnam; launching UPS' operations in Mexico; and serving as the international CFO during which time he grew profits while opening operations in China and expanding in Japan, Poland and the United Kingdom.

Elyas Mercado
Actuarial Science Graduate Completes Degree in Record Time

Graduating in record time, Elyas Mercado will receive his bachelor’s degree in actuarial science this Saturday at UTSA’s commencement.  Completing his UTSA course work in 2½ years, Mercado followed his passion for statistics and turned it into a successful college career. “I took a high school course in statistics, and it was one of my favorites,” said Mercado, a graduate of O’Connor High School.  “I enjoyed the formulas in math, but I also like pursuing things that are not always black and white, like philosophy.  Actuarial science allowed me to combine my passions and use decision making skills to solve problems.” While at UTSA Mercado was a member of the Business Scholars Program (BSP), named a Distinguished Business Student and formed the first student chapter of the American Statistical Association in the state of Texas at UTSA.  Utilizing a networking connection that he made at a professional workshop, Mercado landed an interview at Travelers that resulted in two internship offers for both their winter and summer sessions. Following his graduation, he will travel to Hartford, Connecticut, the insurance capital of the world. 

Level Up
College of Business is Leveling Up Its Graduate Programs

With an already successful track record of producing CEOs, CFOs and entrepreneurs, the UTSA College of Business is making both small shifts as well as bold leaps to enhance and expand the college's graduate business offerings. Focused on providing students with skillsets that are in high demand within the business industry, Dean Wm. Gerard Sanders has outlined a plan to increase graduate enrollments by adding new graduate programs and reformatting current degree programs to meet employer needs. “Today's dynamic workplace needs an educational partner who can be agile and respond to the ever-changing market,” said Sanders. “We can deliver unparalleled values by focusing on providing educational programs that supply students with both technical skills that can be implemented immediately in the workplace and professional skills in areas of high-workforce demand.” With 701 graduate students, the College of Business offers 10 graduate programs including our signature MBA program as well as master's degrees in business, cyber security, data analytics and our executive MBA which have been recently restructured.

Political Influence of CEOs
Management Professor Studies CEOs Political Influence

A new study by Bruce Rudy, assistant professor of management in the UTSA College of Business, examines the influence corporate CEOs have on their firm's political activity. Rudy's research focuses on corporate lobbying investment, finding that individual characteristics of the firm's leader influence such decisions. Rudy and his co-author examined 100 large companies over a 27-year period to assess the impact their CEOs have on the firm's investment lobbying. “Strategy research talks a lot about the role of the leader in making critical decisions within the firm, yet most of this research focuses on market-related activities like mergers and acquisitions. We wanted to know whether CEOs' influence also impacted how firm's engage in politics,” he said. Rudy and his co-author found that CEOs that were younger, had shorter tenure, held undergraduate degrees in business and law or were promoted to CEO via backgrounds in accounting, finance and law were more likely to invest internally to build lobbying capabilities within the firm. Older and longer tenured CEOs were more likely to contract with Washington, D.C. lobbyists that were external to the organization.

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