Keene State College students recently founded the Keene State Investment Group in the 2013-2014 academic year. 

The mission of KSIG is to gain a better understanding of financial markets and the investment processes. The group will also work towards sustaining an equity portfolio.

The newfound Board of Directors consists of Chairman  John Snider, Vice-Chairman Zachary Koehler, Chief Financial Officer Ryan Scrivano, Portfolio Manager Anthony Diorio, Chief Administrative Officer Forrest Oberst, and Chief Operations Officer Stephen J. Humer. The group expressed a shared goal to develop and eventually put to use­—the goal of obtaining new investment skills.

Oberst, who claimed to be at the top of his class in Keene’s State College’s School of Economics, talked about his unexpected fulfillment from being a part of the club. “Snider said it would be a good learning experience, and after going to the first meeting I was hooked,” Oberst said. “Right now, we’re working on understanding the basic workings of the financial market,” he said.

Cassidy Hunkins / Equinox Staff

Cassidy Hunkins / Equinox Staff

Member Mariah Crisp is a sophomore at KSC and is majoring in economics. She said she became interested in the group when her professor told her class about the student interest in starting KSIG. “I took a class in high school where we played a stock market game. I’ve always thought it was interesting,” Crisp said as she explained her initial interest in the group.

The group is broken down into different sectors: commodities, finance, health services, industrial, retail trade, technology and telecommunications. These sectors allow for each member to research and understand the different verticals that go into the investment processes.

Crisp, for one, found interest in the retail sector. “I research which stocks would be good to invest in, for example, PetSmart,” Crisp said.

Crisp elaborated more on the sectors and said, “Sometimes it’s hard to explain because I’m still learning.”

Junior Pete Vallerie, who is also an economics major at KSC, specializes in the industrial sector.

“In finance, you look for trends and read annual reports, which tell you everything you need to know about the company—who’s leading the company, what their future plans are, what has worked out in the past,” Vallerie said.

According to the Keene State College Investment group’s website,  1984 alumnus Brian McMahon has become the advisor of KSIG. McMahon is the CEO of Orion Holdings, a unit of IPG Mediabrands-Interpublic; which is traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

At press time, the group held five meetings, and there is plenty of development to be made. “The first meeting was kind of a scramble,” Vallerie said. He mentioned the group was asked to leave their initial meeting place and had to search for a new one.

The group hopes that if they are not able to gain funding this semester, they will be able to by next academic year.

“We’re going to build a faux portfolio. If it works out well, then we’re hoping next semester to actually get some real money,” Vallerie said.

Other  hopeful plans for the KSIG include trips to various financial firms and meetings with different investment groups.

Group members said they hope to tour the Federal Reserve Bank of both Boston and New York and visit each city’s Financial District. Their potential meetings include companies like Fidelity Investments, Prudential Financial, Ameritrade and Scottrade.

Although group members mentioned it is important for the group to remain close for the time being, members of KSIG expressed their hopes to expand. “We want to get more people, while also keeping it close-knit. We want to make sure everyone’s voices are heard,” Crisp said.

If students at KSC are interested in joining KSIG, they must maintain a minimum semester-by-semester GPA of 3.0 and contribute written reports.


Chairman John Snider is the Business Manager for The Equinox.

Vice-Chairman Zachary Koehler is the Web Master for The Equinox.


Kaitlyn Kelly can be contacted at

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