Haas NewsWire

Haas NewsWire, October 2, 2000

Advent Software Founder Stephanie DiMarco Named Haas School Business Leader of the    Year
Zettelmeyer Finds that Car Shoppers Save Money Buying on the Internet
Meet the Haas School Faculty: Catherine Wolfram
New Faces at Haas
Haas in the News
Happening at Haas

Haas NewsWire Archive
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A relaxed golden retriever that greets passersby in the modern South of Market offices of Advent Software, Inc., is among the reasons why Stephanie DiMarco, BS 79, chairman of Advent, has been named the Haas School's 2000 Business Leader of the Year.

As founder and chairman of Advent Software, DiMarco has engineered the growth of the company from a startup in 1983 to a more than 650 person company today. Advent Software is the leading developer of software solutions for the investment management community.

Permitting dogs at work is one of many ways that DiMarco tries to give her employees balance in their lives. When she was getting Advent off the ground, and again later when she was taking the company public, she brought both of her infant children to the office, and she encourages her staff to bring in their children (or their dogs) if that is what they want or need to do. This sort of policy contributes to Advent having high employee morale and a very low rate of turnover, something that is often hard to achieve in the Bay Area.

The Business Leader of the Year Award is awarded annually by the dean of the Haas School to a business innovator who has had both great success in business and has shown a deep and abiding commitment to UC Berkeley and the Haas School.

"Stephanie has been actively involved and a great supporter of the Haas School," says Melinda Carmack, assistant dean for development and alumni affairs, "She is a successful entrepreneur with a growing international business, as well as an extraordinary role model for women in business." DiMarco is a member of the Board of Trustees of the UC Berkeley Foundation and a member of the advisory board of the Haas School of Business.

Prior to founding Advent Software, DiMarco worked in the investment industry as a financial analyst and portfolio manager at Bank of America, Summit Investments, and Cole Financial Group. Like many entrepreneurs, the idea to establish Advent grew out of her own frustration with the paperwork that was necessary in the investment industry. While working at Cole Financial Group, she and a co-worker wrote a program to automate the record-keeping of the firm. When Cole decided not to expand on the program, she and her partner founded Advent.

With revenue topping $100 million and 16 consecutive years of growth, the company is going strong. Over 5,600 organizations use Advent Software's portfolio management solutions, including investment advisors, brokerage firms, corporations, banks, pension plan sponsors, universities, and accounting firms worldwide. Advent is publicly traded on NASDAQ.

DiMarco will be honored with a gala dinner at the Haas School on October 12. The 2000 Raymond E. Miles Alumni Service Award Winners, Joann Dunaway, MBA 92, and Rick Holmstrom, MBA 88, will also be honored along with the Tokyo Chapter of HAN, which has been named the Chapter of the Year. There will be a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Room. The cost is $65 per person and $50 per person for recent graduates (classes of 1995 to 2000.) Current students are also invited to attend. For more information contact Terry Yokoyama at 510-642-1426 or yokoyama@haas.berkeley.edu.

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Do consumers really save money buying a car online? In the first academic study to analyze Internet car pricing, Florian Zettelmeyer, assistant professor in the Marketing Group at the Haas School, and Fiona M. Scott Morton, associate professor of economics at Yale's School of Management, found that consumers get a 2 percent price reduction if they buy their car on the Internet instead of at traditional dealerships.

The study, "Internet Car Retailing," part of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) E-Commerce Project, examined how Internet referral services affected dealer pricing of automobiles in California during 1999. The professors worked with Jorge Silva Risso from J.D. Powers and Associates to analyze purchase data from Autobytel.com, one of the largest Internet auto referral services, in combination with transaction data from J.D. Powers and Associates, one of the nation's leading consumer satisfaction indexers.

The researchers found that customers are able to shave 2 percent off their car purchases online for two reasons. On average, customers save 1.6 percent because car dealers are willing to lower their prices for Autobytel.com, which refers to them many highly qualified sales leads. Customers save an additional 0.4 percent because Autobytel.com contracts with dealers that offer lower prices to begin with. On a car purchase of $23,696, the average price of cars purchased online, a consumer can expect to save $450.

Based on their findings, the researchers estimate that dealer gross margins on an Autobyte.com-referred sale are $304 lower than the average $1700 earned by selling the same vehicle offline. However, because it takes less time and labor to serve online customers than in-store customers, it is likely that the average dealer benefits from participating in an Internet referral service. Women on average pay 0.5 percent more than men at traditional car dealerships. When women purchase online, this bias disappears. Online consumers who say they are ready to buy within the next two days save an additional 0.3 percent (or $71). Online consumers are less likely to receive inflated trade-in vehicle prices from dealers; for offline consumers dealers commonly compensate for potential trade-in losses by charging higher new vehicle prices. To read the study in its entirety, please visit Zettelmeyer's web site at http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/faculty/zettelmeyer.html.

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Catherine Wolfram comes to Haas after four years as an assistant professor at Harvard. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT and has been a faculty research fellow with the National Bureau of Economic Research for three years. She is an assistant professor in the Economic Analysis and Policy group at Haas.

Wolfram's research interests include industrial organization and political economy. She is specifically interested in electricity deregulation. In the spring, she will teach one Ph.D. course and next fall she tackles the core microeconomics class.

Wolfram can be reached at 2-2588 or via e-mail at wolfram@haas.berkeley.edu. Her office is in F651. Wolfram is one of four new faculty recruited to the Haas School this fall. The others are Ganesh Iyer, assistant professor in the Marketing group; Jacob Sagi, assistant professor in the Finance group; and Mark Seasholes, assistant professor in the Finance group.

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New Administrative Assistant in the Dean's Suite

Meredith LaCorte has joined Dean Tyson's staff in the administrative assistant/receptionist position. She will be the primary contact for visitors and callers, will assist in all events sponsored by Dean Tyson, and will manage most of the administrative daily functions of the dean's suite.

Meredith graduated in 1999 with a bachelors with a double major in history and secondary education from Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. She taught High School English and history for one year at Union Catholic high school in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.

Meredith recently drove cross-country to relocate in the Bay Area and now resides in El Cerrito. She loves to ski, plays volleyball and tennis, and has taken up biking. She can be reached at 510-642-4917, or via e-mail at lacorte@haas.berkeley.edu.

New Program Manager Joins YEAH

Tanya A. Fraley became the program manager for the Young Entrepreneurs at Haas Program last month. Prior to coming to the Haas School, she worked in the College of Engineering's Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Program here at Cal. She also spent seven and a half years with MESA as a schools program coordinator. As program manager for the Business, Economic, Technology Achievement (BETA) Pilot Program, Tanya is the liaison for the Haas School's undergraduate student mentors and bay area high schools and middle schools.

Tanya is also a part-time re-entry undergraduate student at Berkeley in American Studies with an emphasis in urban education. In her spare time, she volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and the Special Olympics, and teaches Sunday school at her church. Tanya can be reached at 510-643-4622 or via e-mail at fraley@haas.berkeley.edu. Her office is in F412.

New Faculty Assistant Joins OBIR

Charles Montague is the new faculty assistant for the Organizational Behavior and Industrial Relations Group. While not at Haas, he is a professional violinist and a member of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. He attended Michigan State University to study English literature and music. Over the years he has worked in marketing, nonprofit affordable housing, and technology. Most recently he worked at UC San Francisco.

A Berkeley resident, Charles is preparing to earn his first driver's license. He can be reached at 510-642-5588 or via e-mail at montague@haas.berkeley.edu. His office is in F470.

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Dean Laura Tyson was quoted in The New York Times on October 1 in the article "A Matter of Degree? Not for Consultants." Tyson commented on the importance of the analytical skills that students acquire in a MBA program, that non-MBA's working as consultants could be lacking.

The Haas School was heavily featured in a Fortune.com article, "Who Will Be Best in the West?", on September 29. There is so much information on the school's recent successes, you should read it for yourself at http://www.fortune.com/fortune/technology/daily/.

Severin Borenstein, the E.T. Grether Professor in Public Policy and Business Administration and Director of the University of California Energy Institute, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times on September 30, saying that the high energy prices are more of an inconvenience than a crisis for most people, with the exception of the poor.

Florian Zettlemeyer's research into online car sales was reported on Yahoo Newson September 29. The full text of the article, "Study: Internet Saves US Car Buyers Money," can be found at http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000927/wr/tech_cars_dc_1.html.

Russ Winer, the J. Gary Shansby Professor of Marketing Strategy and chair of the Marketing Group; Richard Kurovsky, executive director of Marketing and Communications; and Ilse Evans, executive director of MBA admissions and career services, were quoted in the Oakland Tribune on September 28 on the market research Haas is conducting into creating an MBA program in Asia.

Borenstein was quoted in the Wall Street Journal on September 27. "Nexant Aims to Capitalize on Power Woes" quotes Borenstein on the business plan for Nexant, a company that makes software to help electricity companies find the least expensive power.

Reuters News Service released a story on September 27 on Zettlemeyer's research into savings from online car buying.

Borenstein was on KTVU Channel 2 News on Wednesday, September 27 at 10:00 p.m. talking about the OPEC leaders' meeting in Venezuela and the renewed power of Saudi Arabia to control the price of oil.

Zettlemeyer's study was also written up in the San Jose Mercury News on September 27 in the article "Surfing the Net Saves Money When Buying a Car, Study Finds."

The Leading Edge Conference was covered in Red Herring Magazine on September 26. Read the article at http://www.redherring.com/industries/2000/0926/ind-webmd092600.html.

The San Jose Mercury News ran an article on the successes of the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition on September 26. The article was about David Gerster, MBA 99, he removed his plan from the competition because he got venture funding. The success of zipRealty was also mentioned. Read the full text at http://www.mercurycenter.com/premium/business/docs/delevett26.htm.

Borenstein was also on KTVU Channel 2 News on Tuesday, September 26 at 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. talking about oil prices and the energy policies of the two presidential candidates.

The recent Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy Conference was mentioned in the Sacramento Bee on September 25. Read the full text at http://www.sacbee.com/ib/news/ib_news02_20000925.html.

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