College of Business Illinois State University
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Alumni Success

More than 400 students have had the opportunity to participate in the EIF program since its founding in 1982. They have pursued successful careers, with most in finance-related roles and many in the investment industry.

Michael Taets, CFA®

Vice President of Asset & Liability Management

Investments and Capital Markets
Freddie Mac
Washington, DC
B.S. Finance, Illinois State University

Michael Taets

Michael Taets was promoted to Vice-President, Asset & Liability Management in March, 2006. In that capacity he is responsible for the management and hedging of duration and yield curve risk exposures. His role includes the accountability for all decisions related to the management of Freddie Mac's derivative portfolio. Michael joined Freddie Mac in 1992 and is a recognized expert in the risk management field. He has held progressively more responsible positions beginning as a financial analyst in capital planning.

Michael served in the Illinois Army National Guard from 1987 to 1992. He has an MBA from George Washington University in Washington, DC, a B.S. in Finance from Illinois State University, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Michael serves on the Board of Directors of Beacon House in Washington, DC. He lives in Oak Hill, Virginia with his wife and three children.


Mark W. Thorndyke, CFP®, CIMA

First Vice President- Investments
Wealth Management Advisor
Merrill Lynch - Global Private Client
Chicago, Illinois

Mrk ThorndykeMark's major responsibility is the management of a $300 million investment portfolio spanning across approximately 100 different client relationships.  While each client's needs are unique, their main concerns typically fall into these categories:  retirement planning, post-retirement income, wealth transfer, tax minimization, and education funding.  The core of Mark's investment philosophy centers on an individual equity strategy which he has developed over his 21 years at Merrill Lynch.

Since leaving Illinois State, Mark has been with Merrill Lynch for the past 21 years.  Previously, Mark managed the Barrington, Illinois office for four years and then became the sales manager at the downtown office for three years.  Mark is now a First Vice President of Investments at the 225 West Wacker, Chicago office where he oversees an eight person team.

The EIF program was a turning point in Mark's educational process.  It was during his time in the program that he realized he truly wanted to pursue a career as a financial advisor (or stockbroker back then).  The program reiterated his desire to build strong relationships with good people and help them financially.

2019-02-11T10:52:55.731-06:00 2019