University of Southern California

Bret Lowry
USC Marshall Grad Puts MBA to Work in Mergers & Acquisitions
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Bret Lowry knows a thing or two about relationships, a skill that turns out to be important in his new role working on mergers and acquisitions at Bank of America. It's much more than a numbers game.

Based in New York City, Mr. Lowry usually spends his days analyzing corporate divestitures, raising equity and selling debt. But he never forgets that his client relationships are paramount. "At Bank of America, we have a tremendous lending relationship with so many clients. With over a trillion dollars under management, we have the cash to issue millions on credit, or sell debt or equity for you," he says.

Typically, Mr. Lowry works with companies with a minimum $10-billion market capitalization and that plan to spin off non-core divisions to buyers looking for strategic opportunities. His job? Maximizing profits for his clients.

Before attending USC Marshall, Mr. Lowry was a U.S. Naval Officer who also served in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In choosing an MBA program, he paid particular attention to the academic culture and strength of faculty. Among his favorite courses was Financial Strategy, taught by Oguzhan Ozbas, an assistant professor in the Department of Finance and Business Economics. "It was a case-based class, where we studied corporate financial plans and investment banking strategy. It was phenomenal!"

While the rewards of his profession are considerable, so are the sacrifices. Competition is fierce, and 14-hour days are typical. "A lot of times, I do a pitch, go home, shower, put on a new suit, meet my girlfriend for a cup of coffee and then jump into a car waiting to drive me to another pitch elsewhere. It's an interesting life."