Meet Alum Nick Elward ’95, SVP and Head of Institutional Product and ETFs

Name:  Nick Elward

Class Year:  1995

Title:  SVP and Head of Institutional Product and ETFs

Organization Name:  Natixis Investment Managers


1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?  

I research potential investment products to bring to market, help drive business strategy and lead the exchange traded fund business.


2. How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?

I always enjoyed following financial markets and started investing at a very early age.  After deciding law school and accountancy weren’t for me, I came to the realization that my love for investing could become a career!  After 25 years in the industry, I wouldn’t want to have it any other way!


3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?  

Intramural sports of all types. I know it seems boring, but the teamwork and work ethic required in sports was a key formative activity that has helped me succeed in my career.


4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

Political Science.  I enjoyed the study of government and thought law school was for me in my first few years.  I later realized my love of investments and business strategy was my calling.   My major forced me to become a very good writer and speaker.  That helps in business.


5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?  

Besides my writing and public speaking skills, the extremely strong work ethic that I developed while at Holy Cross has been a difference maker.  A great employee needs intelligence, plus drive.


6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?  

Study what you love.  Find a job that allows you to do what you love.  Be the best at whatever you do.  Be happy.

Meet Alum, Michael Wright ’12, Associate, Equity Capital Markets at Canaccord Genuity Inc

Alum Michael Wright ’12 – Associate, Equity Capital Markets at Canaccord Genuity Inc


Name: Michael Wright

Class Year: 2012

Organization Name: Canaccord Genuity (Equity Capital Markets)


In one sentence, what does your job entail?

Advise and execute equity financings for growth focused companies.


What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?

3 months into my first job out of HC, an HC alumni reached out asking if I would be interested in an analyst position on the Canaccord Equity Capital Markets desk. Despite feeling hesitant given my short time at my first employer, I felt the opportunity to join a small, dynamic team would be too hard to pass up.


What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Football, SGA, Big Brother Big Sister


What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

History major. Despite not being a finance related major, it provided me with the ability to analyze multiple pieces of information into narrower concepts/ themes . The skills of reading, analyzing, writing, etc. are crucial skills in any professional setting.


What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?


Information analysis


What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Choose a major that is interesting to you – Holy Cross has a great reputation across all industries, and employers recognize they a hiring hard-working, smart candidates. Unless an industry requires specific credentials, do not force a major to fit a job application.

Make classroom performance #1, but also spend time utilizing the Holy Cross alumni network in your targeted profession(s). While it can be intimidating at first, the majority of alumni are extremely engaging and happy to provide career advice.

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day, Crusaders! In the spirit of environmental sustainability, we decided to feature the top 5 environmental jobs in the current marketplace, some green trends in business and a couple of at home tips to show your Earth some love.


[via Investopedia, Updated Salary Stats from]

1.) Physicist: Work to improve green technology—especially solar panels. (Median Annual Wage: $106K)

2.) Engineer: This position can factor into a number of disciplines including civil, materials, chemical, industrial, electrical, mechanical and other engineers and revolves around green technology and the creation of green architectural structures. (Median Wage: $79-92K)

3.) Construction Manager: With the popularity of constructing green buildings, this position has the potential to rake in a greater income than some engineers. (Median Wage: $84K)

4.) Biochemist (or Biophysicist): As a broad field, this job can relate to many environmental agendas. As an example, a biochemist might look at the effects of environmental toxins and pollutants on human health. (Median Wage: $74K for Biochemist, $167K for Biophysicist)

5.) Geoscientist: As masters of the physical Earth, Geoscientists are key in locating natural resources and figuring out the most environmentally friendly ways to extract them. (Median Wage: $91K)

6.) Environmental Lawyer: As a growing field within the legal realm, environmental lawyers can work with a number of different clientele—including construction firm or businesses looking to adopt greener methods. (Median Wage: $93K)

LEED CERTIFICATION: Changing the Place of Business

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has been providing third-party certification to buildings shaped around green design, construction and everyday operation since its creation in 1993 by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

The Benefits of Businesses aiming for LEED Standards:  [via USGBC]

1.) It’s Economically Savvy: Decreases in operating costs & increases in occupancy and rent… Music to business’ ears!

Operating costs Building value ROI Occupancy Rent
New construction drop 13.6% rises 10.9% improves 9.9% rises 6.4% rises 6.1%
Existing building projects drop 8.5% rises 6.8% improves 2.5% rises 1% rises 19.2%

2.) It reduces Risk: Certification requires standards above the minimum building code requirements, which may help decrease the chance of building quality problems and subsequent lawsuits in the long term.

3.) LEED attracts Customers: Going Green is trendy. It may sound like a lesser point for argument’s sake, but clients or tenants care about sustainability.

4.) It’s Cost Effective: “On average, an upfront investment of 2 percent in green building design results in life cycle savings of 20 percent of the total construction costs — more than 10 times the initial investment.”

The Empire State Building, a US cultural icon, is currently the largest LEED Gold certified building in the United States & Western Hemisphere!


10 Easy Ways to Be Green [via Our Earth]

As college students running on college budgets, I think it’s safe to say most don’t have the economic capital to construct a LEED skyscraper…at least right now. Although it’s important for us to see the movement of the corporate world towards more sustainable practice, some of you might ask “What can I do now to be more Green?” Your wish is my command….

1.) Reduce – Turn off the lights when you leave the room, Take shorter showers, Print Double-sided, Walk when you can, Drink more Tap water and less bottled etc.

2.) Unplug Unused Electronics – 25% of electricity used to power home electronics is consumed when the device is turned off

3.) Recycle – As of today, Holy Cross uses Single Stream Recycling … so now you don’t even have to sort!

4.) Look for the ENERGY STAR Label – If it has the label, the product has a few baseline energy efficiency standards.

5.) Used Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) – They use 75% less energy!

6.) Fix Leaks – A leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water every day.

7.) Buy Recycled – Even some new school supply products derive from recycled materials

8.) Computer Power Management – Turn on Sleep Mode or turn off computers over night

9.) Properly Dispose Hazardous Waste – Don’t send old light bulbs, batteries etc. to the landfills… properly dispose of them at a local free collection box

10.) Fresh, Local, Organic – Support the local economy & eat healthier while helping the environment!

Lastly, here is this… just because it’s Earth Day:

Happy Earth Day, Crusaders!

…. Now go hug a tree!