Skip to main content


UW-Madison Professor Frank Graner generated the initial idea for the Applied Security Analysis Program two decades before the creation of the ASAP in 1970. Graner’s passion for investments spawned generations of great money managers (the “Graner era”) and a way of teaching investments that ultimately became the Applied Security Analysis Program. The program was founded in 1970 through a $100,000 grant from the Brittingham Foundation. The gift was used to create a student-managed equity fund in which students make all investment decisions.

The past success of the program owes much to two individuals: Professors Stephen Hawk and Mark Fedenia. Professor Hawk started the program in 1970 with a group of 12 students, and he directed the program for 15 years. Professor Fedenia directed the program for 20 years, from 1987 through 2007. The current Director is Greg Edwards.

The equity portfolio has grown through the fund’s earnings and additional gifts, including the endowment of the Hawk Center in 1999.  In 1998, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents allocated $10 million of the UW System’s Intermediate Term Fund to the ASAP students. The additional assets dramatically increased both the size and complexity of the fixed-income fund. Currently, the students manage portfolios totaling $25 million.

Our Mission

Our mission is to deliver an investment program that follows the University’s mission of teaching, research and outreach in both substance and spirit. Our role within the School of Business is to be the preeminent academic institution for applied investment education and, as such, help the school achieve top business school recognition.

Our objective is to offer talented and motivated students a unique opportunity to participate in a curriculum that emphasizes the application of modern investment theory to the management of real assets. Students, immersed in a rich, real-world investment environment, are expected to develop skills in teamwork, communication, research methods, analytical thinking, and portfolio management. By definition, this environment is dynamic. Teaching, mentoring, placement, admissions and the provision of financial support require the synergistic interaction of academicians and professionals. By the time students complete the investment program, they should be fully prepared for their first investment research position.

Undergraduate Investment Opportunities

Is a Career in Investing Right for You?

Are you interested in pursuing a career in investment analysis and asset management? Discover opportunities for you to pursue this goal by applying for enrollment in specialized classes taught by investment professionals.

Please contact Lisa White at if you have any questions about our programs.

FIN 535 – Applied Equity Market Research Class

This class is targeted at Juniors and Seniors interested in a career in investment management. The class is taught by 2-3 successful institutional investors and includes access to many data services to improve the research you produce.

Class focus: business model analysis, valuation approaches, and preparing a professional quality stock pitch.

Timeline: You must apply for instructor permission to take this class during the application window of your Sophomore or Junior year.

MS in Finance, Investment and Banking

The Wisconsin MS in Finance, Investment and Banking is designed to prepare students for a career in investment research and portfolio management. This graduate degree is a two-year program beginning your Senior year and is offered to any UW–Madison undergraduate.

Timeline: You must apply for instructor permission to take this class during the application window of your Junior year.

Applying to these Programs

Interested students should apply during their Sophomore and Junior years. The same application is used for both FIN535 and the MS in Finance.

Please direct all questions about either of these opportunities or the application process to Cara Scadden (

CFA Program Partner

The Applied Security Analysis program (ASAP) is a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) Program Partner and we actively support our students in obtaining their CFA Charter. The CFA partnership indicates that the ASAP degree program incorporates more than 70 percent of the CFA Curriculum, the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Professional Standards, and adheres to other requirements. Our CFA Program Partner status gives our instructors access to enhanced curriculum aids and case studies prepared by the CFA Institute.

Moreover, it ensures that our curriculum is closely tied to professional practice and is well suited to preparing students to sit for the CFA exams, which have become a key measure of competency in our industry.

The ASAP is not a CFA exam preparatory class; however, The Hawk Center has identified the CFA curriculum as possessing a significant amount of industry knowledge and is used to strengthen program content. The Hawk Center also provides ASAP students with a free review course prior to the June exams, and ongoing free access to the monthly programming provided by the Madison CFA Society.

About Stephen L. Hawk

Founder of Student Investment Program – Stephen L. Hawk

On October 15, 1999, over 165 alumni and friends of the Applied Security Analysis Program gathered at the biennial ASAP reunion and conference in Madison to pay tribute to former Professor Stephen L. Hawk. Following through on a pledge made at the 1997 ASAP reunion, alumni donated $3.6 million out of a total $6 million goal to endow the ASAP. An interim goal of $3 million had been set as the amount needed to name the Center for Hawk, the program’s founder. Fundraising will continue until the $6 million goal is reached.

In remarks at the dedication ceremony, Professor Howard Thompson, chair of the Finance Department, told the alumni and friends gathered, “Your gift helps assure that Steve’s legacy will be passed to students in generations to come. Your gift helps to keep the Finance Department strong. But you must realize that your gift is more than money. Your interest and participation with the ASAP and the Finance Department at the University of Wisconsin – Madison are important parts of the gift you give. It has, it can, and it will have a profound influence on the quality of education we provide at Wisconsin.”

Hawk is chairman and CEO of Northern Capital Management in Madison. He served as the ASAP faculty advisor for the first 13 years of the program and continues to be involved as a member of the ASAP advisory board.

Established in 1970 with a gift of $100,000 from the Brittingham Trust, the ASAP is a prototype for applied programs at many other universities. The program offers students the opportunity to develop as investment analysts and portfolio managers through hands-on management of real funds. Students currently manage over $20 million in equities and fixed income assets.

The conference and reunion also featured a tribute to the late Professor Frank Graner. Graner was on the UW faculty for 21 years, beginning in 1948, and is credited for having the original vision of a program that would teach students about investment by managing real money. Hawk is among Graner’s many students who went on to become major successes in the investment world. Irwin Smith, Ted Kellner and Albert O. (Ab) Nicholas are other former Graner students who spoke at the tribute.