The new A. Umit Taftali Center for Capital Markets and Investing opened for students in August 2010.
The lab simulates a real-world financial environment, which allows business students the opportunity for hands-on training in the workings of financial markets, financial modeling, and valuation. It also allows students to gain familiarity with relevant technology, applications, and functionality and work toward Bloomberg Certified credentials.
The center is named for A. Umit Taftali, who provided the lead gift toward the construction of this cutting-edge learning facility. Taftali, a native of Turkey, came to Muncie, Indiana, to play for Ball State's volleyball team on a scholarship. He earned his bachelor's degree in finance from Ball State in 1985 and went on to complete his MBA at the University of South Carolina in 1987.
He began his investment banking career at Merrill Lynch. He also worked at Balentine & Company (now Wilmington Trust) and Bankers Trust Company in Atlanta, New York, and London. He then moved to Goldman Sachs International as executive director and country head to build and manage the firm's business in Turkey. Between 1999 and 2001, he was a founding partner of Cesmig & Taftali, a private equity investment partnership in London. In 2001, he joined Koc Holding in Istanbul and founded the Suna Kirac (Koc) Family Office, which he is managing.
The state-of-the-art lab has 36 student work stations, data boards, tickertapes, and smart classroom equipment in addition to analytical software. The Taftali Center is located in the Whitinger Business Building, room 147.
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