Interest in Economics
Alumnus Isaac Eisenhauer knew finance was in his calling when he took his first business class in high school, Intro to Economics. “The very first class I walked into, the teacher handed us all these Wall Street Journals and said we were going to play the stock market game in class and pick some stocks. As I started flipping through the Wall Street Journal, it was like a light bulb went off,” said Isaac.
After high school, Isaac started his Bachelor’s in Finance and Accounting at SEU. There, at a mutual friend’s birthday party, he met English major Cassandra “Cassie” Simanca, who later became his wife.
Isaac found encouragement and support from several business professors, including Dr. Lyle Bowlin. His roommate, Ryan Kirk, helped him get his first job in Fort Worth, Texas, at TD Ameritrade, formerly known as TD Waterhouse.
Professional Experience and Entrepreneurship
Isaac worked as a business development consultant for nearly two and a half years before moving to WTS Securities as an equity options trader in New York. He then returned to TD Ameritrade in Harrisburg, Pa., as an investment consultant until 2015, when he decided to do something new. “Those experiences gave me the idea of going out on our own and seeing what we could do,” said Isaac. “So I decided to partner with a former colleague to start and open up our own investment fund.” That fund, known as IvyLine Capital, has been in operation for over seven years.
IvyLine is an investment firm and macro–driven equity fund. At IvyLine, Isaac and his team manage investor portfolios and offer risk assessment and strategies for investors. Several years into his role as portfolio manager at IvyLine, Isaac was approached by several college students.
“We had some students reaching out from local colleges wanting to know how we started and so I thought maybe I could help, since I had a number of people who helped me along the way,” said Isaac. “They were asking me a lot of the same questions I was asking out of college, but I thought, ‘What can I do?’”
Developing Education from Experience
Isaac took his experience as a student and combined it with his experiences in the finance world. He started by creating a simulation other students could use to practice creating portfolios, along with an outline for how to apply finance theory to the real world. From there, it turned into a full, five to six months education course.
Managed by a team including Isaac and fellow Southeastern alumnus Kevin Zahn, the education program includes a mixture of live and recorded lectures. Students work at their own pace and complete several sections which include assignments, midterms and final exams alongside financial challenges. The program emphasizes networking with other professionals and students.
IvyLine also has partnerships with the Yale-NUS (National University of Singapore) Student Investment Group and Florida International University’s Phoenician Investment Fund (PIF), which are student-led investment clubs.
Upon completing the IvyLine education program, the students earn a certificate and can apply to IvyLine’s student-managed fund, which gives students the opportunity to manage real capital and practice trading.
Isaac remains involved in the education program as a mentor. He believes in helping students make the connection between finance theory and how finance is used in the real world. “In the program, I’m more of a mentor, helping students gain more experience within the field by modeling or learning about derivatives or risk management,” said Isaac. “It’s been pretty fun to be a part of that process for students.”
Since its inception in 2018, the program has had over 1,100 graduates, averaging about 200 students per year. They have had several SEU graduates and students from over 140 different universities nationally and internationally, including Wharton, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon and the Warwick Business School in Coventry, England. Many of the program’s graduates are now employed at large firms like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and BlackRock.
“I really do feel like God’s given some amazing opportunities to us. I think he’s really opened up some doors for helping others,” said Isaac. “I was a student at one point in time. I knew exactly what questions to ask. Now, these students are asking the same questions and I get to answer them. It’s been great to really see opportunities created from this path that we’re on.”
Isaac and Cassie live near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with their dog, Bentley. They attend Victory Church along with several other SEU alumni. Thank you, Isaac, for sharing your story!