Louis Gattis

Color portrait of Louis Gattis

Clinical Professor of Finance, Faculty Director

Department Finance
Office Address 304 Business Building
Phone Number 814-863-5620
Email Address lxg36@psu.edu

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Lou Gattis returned to Smeal in 2004 as an assistant clinical professor of finance. Gattis received a BS with distinction in Finance from Penn State and went on to a 15-year career in corporate finance and investment management. After graduating from Smeal in 1988, Gattis joined IBM Federal Systems in Manassas, Virginia. At IBM, he performed contract financial management, planning, and product pricing. Gattis went on to work at Freddie Mac in Mclean, Virginia from 1994 to 2002 where he served as Director of Market Risk Oversight. In this role, he was responsible for evaluating the financial risk of the corporation's investment portfolio. At Freddie Mac, Gattis also performed financial forecasting and corporate planning. From 1997 to 2002, Gattis served as adjunct professor in finance and economics at George Mason University. Prior to joining Smeal, Gattis served as a teaching professor in finance at the University of Maryland where he taught MBA courses in Investment Management, Equity Valuation, and Financial Modeling.

Expertise

Risk Management, Mortgage Finance.

Education

Ph D, Economics, George Mason University, 2001

MA, Economics, George Mason University, 1997

MBA, Finance, George Washington University, 1990

BS, Finance, The Pennsylvania State University, 1988

Courses Taught

BA 596 – Individual Studies (3)

BA 836 – Global Immersion (1)
Exploration of the opportunities and the challenges of doing business in another economic region. B A 536 Global Immersion (2)Global Immersion is designed around a visit to another economic region. In the past. MBA students have visited such countries as Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Turkey, and Singapore. In each country, students visit both local and multinational businesses to understand how a business gets established and run in another country; students also meet with industry and government officials to get their perspectives on the economic policies of the country. Each Immersion is coordinated by a faculty leader who plans the visit so as to appeal to a wide range of student interests.

FIN 415 – Adv Fin Modeling (3)
Develop financial models using spreadsheets, VBA programming, and trading room applications such as Bloomberg and @Risk. FIN 415 Advanced Financial Modeling (3) Students will develop financial models using spreadsheets, VBA programs, and trading room applications such as Bloomberg and @Risk. Students learn Excel's financial functions, shortcuts, web queries, data analysis capabilities, and optimization techniques. Students use @Risk software to define variable distributions and correlations to run Monte Carlo simulations to evaluate stochastic processes. Students access market data through the internet and proprietary providers such as Bloomberg. Students build models to construct optimal portfolios of securities and asset classes. Students estimate asset returns using CAPM, multi-factor models, and fundamental analysis. Students estimate asset volatility using exponential weighting, GARCH, and Black-Scholes implied volatility. Students model and optimize bond portfolios using portfolio duration, convexity, leverage, and income. Students value options using Monte Carlo, Black-Scholes, and binomial option pricing models. Students learn to apply Brownian motion models to asset returns and prices. Students construct and test delta-hedging strategies for option portfolios. Students use matrix algebra and Excel matrix functions to compute portfolio return and volatility. Students write VBA functions and macros using VBA code, objects, array functions, loops, matrix operations, and data types. Achievement is measured by assignments, computer-based exams, and a final assignment.

BA 595 – Internship (1)
Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction, including field experiences, practicums, or internships. Written and oral critique of activity required.

BA 831 – Foundation Finance (2)
This course will provide students an understanding of the major financial decisions faced by modern corporations. These activities include investing, financing, mitigating risks, and returning capital to shareholders. Investing activities include acquisitions, mergers, and major capital expenditure investments. Students will estimate investment cashflows and determine how the investment affects firm value. Financing activities include valuing and issuing debt and equity securities to fund investments. Students will evaluate overall capital structure to determine optimal financing composition. Risk mitigation activities include designing hedging strategies to hedge commodity price risk. Students will select risk coverage ratios and evaluate specific forward and option contracts. Finally, students will assess how corporations return capital to its shareholders. These activities include stock repurchases and paying dividends. Students will build financial models to assess the risks and returns of the firm's activities. The models will primarily use spreadsheet software. The spreadsheets will be augmented with VBA programs, macros, and simulation add-ins. Current finance theories will be evaluated and applied to real-world decision making using current tools and technology. This course is relevant to both financial and non-financial managers. Non-financial managers will use course insights to assess the financial risks and returns of investments in areas such as marketing and supply chain. This course provides a foundation of theories and tools used in subsequent elective courses in finance.

EDAB TEMPH – Temp Educ Abrd Reg (3)
This course is used to temporarily register students that are studying overseas. Permanent courses will be entered after the student returns.

IB 399 – Foreign Studies (3)
Courses offered in foreign countries by individual or group instruction.

BA 597 – Special Topics (1)
Formal courses given on a topical or special interest subject which may be offered infrequently.

FIN 597 – Special Topics (Variable)

FIN 855 – Global Finance (2)
Analyze international business finance problems, impact of evolving inter- national payment systems on business, financial management in modern multi- national enterprise.

FIN 555 – Global Finance (2)
This course provides a broad exploration of international finance in the context of how a corporate strategic manager analyzes the complexities of international financial markets. In particular, the course develops a tool-kit of techniques to a) understand global market interconnectivity, b) value international financial instruments and c) analyze risk, hedging, and asset pricing strategies to secure strategic competitive advantage. Building on these insights students will gain a deep understanding of exchange rates, risk management, forecasting, and international capital flows. More specifically students will study foreign exchange markets, hedging strategies using forward and future instruments, purchasing power parity, the eurocurrency market, international portfolio management, and the overall financial management of the international firm. Students will recognize, identify and apply the following core international finance concepts and analytical strategy tools: 1. The economics of foreign trade, the Law of One Price, and Purchasing Power Parity 2. The mechanism of Capital Flows and the effect on a countryÀs "current account" vs. its "capital account"3. The foreign exchange market and its influence on the pricing of tradeable goods 4. How exchange rates affect consumers vs. manufacturers of tradeable goods 5. How interest rates are determined, inflation forecasting, and how interest rate expectations influence strategic decision-making for both the firm and the individual market actor. 6. How financial instruments such as forwards, futures, swaps, and options mitigate risk and reduce earnings uncertainty 7. How to build and manage a diversified international portfolio which maximizes return relative to a multinational corporationÀs specific risk profile.

BA 536 – Global Immersion (3)
Global Immersion is designed around a visit to another economic region. In the past. MBA students have visited such countries as Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Turkey, and Singapore. In each country, students visit both local and multinational businesses to understand how a business gets established and run in another country; students also meet with industry and government officials to get their perspectives on the economic policies of the country. Each Immersion is coordinated by a faculty leader who plans the visit so as to appeal to a wide range of student interests.

B A 595 – Internship (1)
Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction, including field experiences, practicums, or internships. Written and oral critique of activity required.

I B 399 – Foreign Studies (3)
Courses offered in foreign countries by individual or group instruction.

I B 499 – Foreign Studies (3)
Courses offered in foreign countries by individual or group instruction.

B A 536 – Global Immersion (2)
Exploration of the opportunities and the challenges of doing business in another economic region.

B A 597I – Leadership Immersion (1)
1 credit course related to the MBA Leadership Immersion. Students are required to do a 360 degree feedback, debrief session(s), Immersion trip and debrief paper.

FIN 570 – Financial Modeling (2)
Introduces and applies equity, debt, derivative models and computational techniques using Excel and Visual Basic for Applications.

FIN 407 – Multinational Financial Management (3)
Analysis of the international aspects of managerial finance; emphasis on the impact of the international financial environment on firm operations.

FIN 496 – Independent Studies (Variable)
Creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

FIN 583 – Modern Portfolio Management: Theory and Practice (2)
Theoretical foundations and tools needed for structuring, managing, and monitoring the performance of an investment portfolio.

R M 399 – Foreign Studies (Variable)
Courses offered in foreign countries by individual or group instruction.

FIN 597B – Topics in Finance (4)
This course covers selected topics in Finance. Students will analyze topics such as risk management, usages of derivatives, investment policies, risk and return for financial assets, firm valuation, and capital structure. The topics may change from year t

B A 499 – Foreign Study--Business Administration (3)
Study in selected countries of business institutions, functions, and current business problems.

B A 597A – Global Immersion
Executive MBA Advanced Topics in Financial Management.

FIN 414 – Financial Trading and Applications (3)
This course focuses on financial modeling and analysis of trading strategies. Bloomberg, Reuters, spreadsheets and trading simulations are used extensively.

FIN 596 – Individual Studies (variable)
Creative projects, including nonthesis research, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

I B 555 – Global Finance (variable)
Analyze international business finance problems, impact of evolving inter- national payment systems on business, financial management in modern multi- national enterprise.

FIN 597A – Asset Pricing Theory (3)
This course covers selected topics in Finance. Students will analyze topics such as risk management, usages of derivatives, investment policies, risk and return for financial assets, firm valuation, and capital structure. The topics may change from year t

FIN 410 – Derivative Markets (3)
Functions, techniques, and impact of speculation conducted through forward markets; the nature of speculative transactions, pricing, and methods of trading.

FIN 597G – Financial Modeling (2)
Introduces and applies equity, debt, and derivative models and computational techniques using Excel and Visual Basic for Applications.

FIN 305W – Financial Management of the Business Enterprise (3)
Development of advanced practices of financial management and their application to decision making in a business firm.

Selected Publication

Gattis L., "How the Russia–Ukraine conflict could disrupt food and finance around the world." Penn State Today, 2022, pp. 1

Research Impact and Media Mentions

"Media Mention", The Morning Call, Newspaper
"Interview on Use of Fractals by Investment Firms", Central Penn Business Journal, Journal or Magazine