When Robert Doll ’76 was a college student, he dated a girl whose father invested in the stock market. Though the relationship eventually ended, it sparked in him a lifelong passion.
“I didn’t fall in love with the girl,” he said, “but I fell in love with the stock market.”
Doll, who received a B.S. degree in accounting and a B.A. degree in economics from Lehigh, is now the chief equity strategist at Nuveen Investments. He has held similar roles at other large asset management firms, serving as chief equity strategist for fundamental equities at BlackRock, president and chief investment officer of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, and chief investment officer of Oppenheimer Funds, Inc. The engaged alumnus is very active in the university’s Wall Street Council (WSC) and was the featured speaker at the spring 2012 WSC reception in New York City, as well as the 2008 WSC Financial Services Forum in the Rauch Business Center.
On October 3, Doll returned to his alma mater and, throughout the day, met with President John Simon ’19P and Georgette Phillips, Kevin L. Clayton ’84 ’13P and Lisa A. Clayton ’13P Dean of the College of Business and Economics. He also met with faculty and students and toured the Financial Services Lab in Rauch Business Center. He spoke to students in Professor Paul Brockman’s Global Finance 333 class and shared his thoughts on the market, politics, economy, and climate. Doll provided predictions for industries that he thinks will thrive in the near future — including US energy, smart manufacturing and 3D printing, big data and cloud computing, robotics, and advances in healthcare. He also discussed the positives and negatives for the current U.S. equity market.
“Emerging markets and emerging market consumers are the key in global growth,” Doll said. He encouraged students not to shy away from investing in these markets.
Doll encouraged students to find what they are good at and passionate about and to pursue that as a career.
“If you don’t know yet what you’re good at,” he said, “ask your friends and family to tell you.”
Doll told the finance students that the keys to success are “putting your nose to the grindstone,” practicing effective communication, and embracing teamwork. He said it is important to know when to press and when to back off and know who is the leader and who is the de facto leader.
He also added, “It’s better to be lucky than smart. The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
When addressing the finance class, Doll lauded Lehigh’s business school and commended the Center for Career and Professional Development.
“The breadth of the program, the caliber of the professors, the mix of teaching and research, the active job placement services offered are all reasons why you are getting a great business education at Lehigh,” he said.
Later that day, Doll spoke to a dinner gathering of student members of the Dreyfus and Thomson Portfolio Investment Clubs and the Management Student Club. Doll took questions regarding his career and the markets.
“It is invigorating to meet with and hear from these students. They ask excellent, perceptive questions,” said Doll.
Referencing Doll’s visit, Brockman, senior associate dean for faculty and academic affairs and the Joseph R. Perella and Amy M. Perella Chair, said that Lehigh’s greatest asset is its alumni.
“The opportunity to directly interact with such highly-successful finance professionals as Bob Doll is an invaluable experience for Lehigh students and professors,” said Brockman.
--Photos by Dawn Thren