Nicholas Gift Endows Directorship of Investment Program

Milwaukee businessman David O. Nicholas has given the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Lubar School of Business $1.4 million to endow the directorship of its investment management program, ensuring support for the program’s leadership for years to come. Each director of the program will now carry the title of David O. Nicholas Director, beginning with current director G. Kevin Spellman.

Nicholas, a 1987 MS-Finance graduate, is CEO, president, chief investment officer and portfolio manager of Nicholas Company, a Milwaukee investment firm. A longtime, generous supporter of the Lubar School, Nicholas was the founding supporter of the investment management program, donating $2.5 million in 2007 to name the David O. Nicholas Applied Finance Laboratory.  He, along with other contributors, also helped establish the investment program’s “real money” investment portfolio.

“We are incredibly grateful to David for his continuing commitment to investment studies at the Lubar School of Business,” Dean Kanti Prasad said. “This endowed directorship, coupled with David’s prior generous gifts to establish and enhance the program, serves as a terrific endorsement of our high quality investment program. David has devoted his career to managing investments and knows firsthand how important having real investment experience is to students as they prepare for their careers. His gift will ensure that this vitally important program will continue to be led by an outstanding director.

Kevin Spellman, who holds a doctorate in finance and is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) charterholder, has served as director of UWM’s Investment Management Program since 2009. It is one of the premier investment programs in the United States and is part of the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program. His students gain experience as investment analysts, fund managers, and investment bankers over a 21-month period.

Spellman, who is called “Coach” by his students, explained, “The students engage in rigorous securities research, have access to top-flight analytical tools, meet with many dozens of investment professionals each year, travel to major financial centers here and abroad, and manage real portfolios. I am honored to lead this program and to continue to have an impact on the lives of these amazing students as the first David O. Nicholas Director of Investment Management.”

“Kevin Spellman’s devotion to UWM’s investment management program and his ability to make it one of the best in the country is exemplary,” Nicholas said. “I am proud to support this great program so that the Lubar School can continue to develop future generations of top-notch professionals as a source of talent for investment management firms in Wisconsin.”