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SVC panel discussion with Federated Hermes emphasizes data science’s role in asset management

by Public Relations | February 26, 2024

LATROBE, PA — Thirty or 40 years ago, some folks might have made their investment decisions based on a conversation with a golfing buddy or chit-chat overheard at a dinner party. 

“Those days are long gone,” said Dr. Justin Petrovich, assistant professor of Statistics and Business Analytics at Saint Vincent College. “Now, it’s all very data-based.” Panel moderator (far left) Dr. Justin Petrovich and panelists (left to right) Zachary Bono, John Murray, Jordan Sabol and Patrick O’Reilly.

On Feb. 15, four executives from Federated Hermes, a global asset management firm headquartered in Pittsburgh, discussed the importance of data science in the investment and asset management industry. Their panel discussion was held at the Luparello Lecture Hall in the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion on the Saint Vincent College (SVC) campus.

“Data is information that leads to knowledge,” Zachary Bono, vice president and director of business services at Federated, told a full-house audience of SVC students and instructors.

This is the third straight year the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government has sponsored an event focusing on data science and analytics. This year’s panel of Federated Hermes execs consisted of three SVC alumni—Bono, C’11; Patrick O’Reilly, C’15, manager of business support; and Jordan Sabol, C’23, analyst, advanced analytics—and John Murray, associate director of market intelligence and business support.

“When you and I are investing our money, we don’t have the time to use super-complicated analytics,” Dr. Petrovich said. “That’s why you rely on people like them to invest their time and closely follow the data. That has changed a lot and it’s still following that trajectory. I don’t think we’ve peaked yet, in terms of the use of data.”Flyer from the business data science panel discussion at SVC

The panelists talked for one hour about how Federated Hermes utilizes data to inform its business support, market intelligence, and fund management strategy. They discussed the most pressing needs and skills for data scientists and data analysts in business, finance, economics, and marketing.

“The materials that [Federated Hermes] conveys to investors like you or me are backed by data—market data, global events, investor trends and things like that,” Dr. Petrovich said. “The business support team and business services provide that data to bolster the argument for why their funds will outperform their competitors.”

One student remarked she liked how the panelists “kept reiterating the idea of data being used to tell a story.” Dr. Zachary Davis, associate professor of Economics at SVC, was appreciative of the emphasis on clarity and brevity in communicating data and results, skills that he emphasizes in his classes.

“These kind of events really strengthen Saint Vincent’s relationship with alumni and with local companies,” Dr. Petrovich said. “It’s good for our students, it’s good for faculty, it’s good for creating a pipeline with businesses where our alumni work.”

Last year, Bono, O’Reilly, and Murray helped with a capstone project for two groups of Saint Vincent students who are majoring in data science or business data analytics. “It went really well,” Dr. Petrovich said. “Them coming out for this panel is a continuation of that kind of partnership we have with them.”

Saint Vincent launched its data science major, business data analytic major and data analytics minor in 2020. For information on the data science major, contact Dr. Mary Regina Boland ( For info on the business data analytics major, contact Dr. Petrovich (



PHOTO: Panel moderator (far left) Dr. Justin Petrovich and panelists (left to right) Zachary Bono, John Murray, Jordan Sabol and Patrick O’Reilly.

ATTACHMENT: Flyer from the business data science panel discussion at SVC