When Brian Arsenault decided to attend Seton Hall, little did he realize that when he graduated, not only would he leave The Hall with the skills needed in the professional world, but he would also leave with a friend (Matthew Wright '89) for life and a new faith (Catholicism).
As the first person in his family to attend college, Arsenault took advantage of everything Seton Hall had to offer. He utilized the active internship program, participated in the active student life on campus, and played baseball for the University. While playing baseball, Arsenault met Wright. He recalls their differences, "Matt and I came from such different backgrounds. He was from Philadelphia, raised in the city. I grew up in a more rural setting, Rhinebeck, NY." Despite that, the two became good friends and ended up graduating together a second time with their master's in business administration from the University of Rochester.
Arsenault went on to hold strategist and portfolio manager roles for asset managers such as Lord Abbett, Claren Road, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan Investment. While at Morgan Stanley he was recognized as an All-American leveraged credit strategist by Institutional Investor Magazine and as a top strategist in the European High Yield market by Euro Money magazine. He also co-founded the Rosemary D. Gruner Cancer Fund and serves as a board member.
Throughout all that, Arsenault and Wright stayed connected. Most recently Wright invited Arsenault to join the Disciplina Group, an Outsourced CIO firm that manages assets for universities and nonprofits to help them grow their endowments and advance their missions. Wright founded the Disciplina Group after managing Vanderbilt University's endowment as their Chief Investment Officer. At Disciplina, Arsenault is a managing director and partner with the primary role of chief market strategist. In this role, he is responsible for developing market forecasts and investable themes that can be implemented in their clients' portfolios, which can range from 25 to 200 million dollars.
Arsenault credits Coach Mike Shepard's intense training and tough love towards the baseball team with preparing him for the tough competition on Wall Street. He adds that the time management skills he learned at Seton Hall contributed to his success, "Being on the road for games, I had to find time to do my homework and readings." Professor Gordon Dipple's finance classes and Father Sullivan (then-Chaplin of the baseball team) impacted Arsenault with their presence in his life.
Growing up Lutheran, Arsenault's family "wasn't a very active church family" he says. At Seton Hall, he started frequenting the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception with Wright, for social reasons at first, and soon found his curiosity piqued. He wanted to know more about Catholicism and enrolled in a few religion courses. Eventually, he came to the decision of converting to the Catholic faith.
Today, Arsenault lives with his wife and three kids in Connecticut and plans on giving back to his alma mater by mentoring students who are interested in a career in finance. He acknowledges that for most students the hardest thing is figuring out what they want to do. The advice he has for students is, "Once you figure out what you want to do, focus on that. Stay focused on working toward that goal. The money will come if you pursue your passion." He also strongly advises students to leverage the alumni network and take advantage of the internships that Seton Hall has to offer.
Brian Arsenault is one of more than 100,000 living Seton Hall alumni who exemplify what great minds can do at Seton Hall.