CFP Advisory Board Member Eric Billings meets with Smith Finance Fellows
February 8, 2012
Over 55 undergraduate Finance Fellows gathered at the Robert H. Smith School
of Business to hear CFP Advisory Board Member Eric Billings talk about his experiences
as an entrepreneur and finance professional. Billings is the Chairman and CEO of
Arlington Asset Investment Corporation, a publicly-traded investment firm specializing
in the residential mortgage-backed securities market.
Billings encouraged the students to be optimistic about their job prospects in
the financial sector. He told the group that regulation was not in place to control
securitization and the non-depository financial system during the 2007-2009 financial
crises. However, he expressed positive signs for an economic recovery, particularly
through new, sound regulation such as the Basel International Standards.
Billings co-found FBR/Arlington Asset during another dismal economic period in
1989. A combination of knowledge, logic and emotion enabled him to be a successful
entrepreneur despite the many challenges he faced. “Emotionalism can trump logic
every day,” said Billings, encouraging the students not to be afraid to act on emotion
when building a business. He gave a few pieces of advice to the ambitious undergrads:
know what you don’t know; learn how to survive change; and have the ability to understand
a company’s capital structure.
After his prepared remarks, Billings and the Finance Fellows engaged in conversations
about the US government debt, systemically important institutions, the European
sovereign debt crisis and executive pay structures.
About the Undergraduate Finance Fellows Programs
There are six Finance Fellows programs at the Smith School: Emerging CFOs Fellows;
Financial Services Fellows; Lemma Senbet Fund; Quantitative Finance Fellows; Accelerated
Finance Fellows; and Private Equity and Venture Capital Clinic Fellows. Students
enrolled in these programs are interested in various aspects of the financial industry
including corporate finance, investment banking, quantitative tools, financial series,
and private equity. In addition to their academic coursework, Finance Fellows also
participate in various related co-curricular activities.
For more information on the Finance Fellows Programs,
visit their website.
About the Center for Financial Policy (CFP)
The Center for Financial Policy leverages the Smith School’s world renowned faculty
to lead research in a collaborative exchange of ideas and solutions on critical
policy issues between business, government, and academia, while working to enhance
and broaden the exposure of the next generation of business and government leaders
to leading academics and practitioners in financial policy. For more on the center,
please visit the CFP website.