Identical twins Alexander and Maximilian Herrmann share a lot. Genes. Upbringings. Four-year stints on Georgia State University’s golf team. And seats in the M.S. in Finance program at the Robinson College of Business. One might posit they also share a brain.
Alex and Max relocated from Germany to Atlanta after receiving golf scholarships from Georgia State, where they earned B.B.A. degrees in managerial sciences. Alex doesn’t find their similar hobbies and career paths out of the ordinary at all.
“Since we grew up in the same environment with the same parents and influences, it’s only natural for us to gravitate toward the same things,” he said.
And they both focused more on their sport than studying at first.
“We didn’t put a lot of thought into our majors,” Alex said. “Our grades were fine.”
During their few finance-related courses, the twins realized how much they enjoyed working with numbers. After undergrad, they returned to Germany to play golf for a year, then headed back to Robinson to pursue matching master’s.
In Dr. Rasha Ashraf’s Financial Data Analytics course, students answered a research question of their choice. Not surprisingly, Max used R programming to predict PGA Tour performance as well as which players would maintain their status the following year. The data set included putting distance and driver volume.
“I didn’t expect to work with raw data as part of a finance degree, but there’s a huge demand for it,” he said. “Anyone with that skill will end up with a great job.”
In Dr. Omesh Kini’s Global Portfolio Management course, Alex is managing a hypothetical mutual funds portfolio. His investment strategies will be tested through a software tool that simulates market performance from 2000-2009 as well as from 2010-2019.
“This is as close as it gets to the real world,” Alex said. “We have the same restrictions and have to beat the market just like anyone else.”
Alex thinks he and Max are attracted to the finance sector because of its resemblance to golf. Strategizing as well as envisioning risks and rewards pay off.
“You have to know exactly what you’re doing,” he said. “You don’t want to incur any losses.”