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Respected Wall Street Leader Pays Tribute to Lehigh

At the Wall Street Council (WSC) spring reception in Manhattan on April 29, guest speaker Sarat Sethi ’92, managing director of Douglas C. Lane & Associates, told members and guests how Lehigh University helped him get where he is today. Crediting the excellent education he received and recognizing his mentors on- and off-campus, Sethi said, “The connections that Lehigh provided me were so fortunate.”

One of those early connections was with Dr. Richard Aronson, retiring director of Lehigh’s Martindale Center. A Martindale Scholar as an undergraduate, Sethi acknowledged that Aronson “always kind of guided me” even after he left Lehigh.

“I was very fortunate to become a Martindale Scholar and got to know Rich Aronson and the whole Martindale team very well,” said Sethi, who graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in accounting and a minor in philosophy.
Sethi recounted his career steps that included his first job at Coopers & Lybrand where Stephen Smith ’81 “took me under his wing.” He returned to school to earn his M.B.A. degree in 1997 from the Harvard Business School and then joined J.P. Morgan’s mergers and acquisition and corporate finance division. In 1999, he joined Douglas C. Lane & Associates–a career move that was introduced to him by Aronson. Since being with the firm, Sethi said one of the many things he has learned from Doug Lane ’67 is to surround yourself with people who are different so you can open up your mind.

“If we all thought the same, we’re not going to come out with something new or innovative,” said Sethi.

A long-time involved Lehigh alumnus, Sethi is a university Board of Trustee member, is president of the Martindale Society, and serves on the Endowment Investment Subcommittee. He also served as president of the Lehigh University Alumni Association. In addition, he is a chartered financial analyst, a chartered investment counselor, and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts. He appears regularly on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and CNN as a market strategist and equity analyst. He also serves on the Children’s Hope advisory board.

“I will say that I have never known anyone who has given so much of himself to our alma mater,” said Michael Connor ’80 ’14P, retired CEO of Market News International, who introduced Sethi. “I really, really appreciate his friendship and his dedication to Lehigh.”

The reception also included remarks by Georgette Chapman Phillips, Clayton Dean of the College of Business and Economics (CBE), who spoke about college initiatives. She introduced Lehigh’s new 10-month master’s of management degree program designed to build core business knowledge into a liberal arts or scientific degree for non-business students. She also discussed how CBE is working closely with the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science in the university-wide data analytics initiative, also known as Data X.

Phillips thanked the WSC members for their continued involvement and said, “I needn’t tell you how important the support of the alumni are in the educational programs that we run at the university. You really give us a lot, and you should know that we truly do appreciate it, so thank you.”

WSC President Andrew Fife ’85 reminded the audience that the 2014 WSC Spring Reception was the first Lehigh event Phillips attended even before becoming dean and said that she “recognizes how vital it is to incorporate Lehigh’s incredibly tight-knit alumni community in building what her vision of a world-class program is.”

- Dawn Thren