Building Blocks to high-rise blocks


The Tennessee Capital Markets Society is committed to supplementing course curriculum and providing value added high-level financial understanding. We conduct student-led, small-group educational workshops. We will focus on the skillsets of Financial Analysis, Financial Modeling, Integrated Financial Statement, and Deal Assumptions.

Financial Analysis:  A strong understanding of financial terminology and techniques is required to make informed decisions. We believe in data-driven decision-making and collaborative discussion for these decisions.

Financial Modeling: In order to prepare information for senior colleagues & clients, analysts and associates will need to display this information in an aesthetically pleasing and correct format. We will focus on Excel modeling and PowerPoint skills.  

Integrated Financial Statements: Accounting is the building block for any financial decision making. We must be able to determine how the financial statements flow together and how to interpret non-GAAP measures for valuation.

Deal Assumptions: Transactions are the cornerstone of the marketplace. To better understand the capital markets and maximizing value for clients, we need to understand the rationale and assumptions behind market-shaping transactions.


Expectations for members

In order to achieve the most success in this organization, it is up to every member to individually work on their network and skillset in order to place in a highly competitive position. It is our promise as an executive board to make sure that we are working as hard as every individual member. We guarantee that the time we give to you will be worthwhile, but we expect the same.


Work Ethic: As this is a highly selective Scholastic Organization, we expect each member to be admitted to understand that they commit to each meeting (~8-9 a semester). These meetings are less frequent than they can be, but will maximize the time used.

Grade Point Average: To adhere to our scholastic backers, we are looking for students with a 3.70 (out of 4.0) and above Cumulative GPA. In unique and specialized cases, we make exceptions, but we mirror this expectation in line with most actual high-profile Capital Markets careers-- These careers require precision and academic merit, we do too.

Seniority: Since we only have a limited number of spots, we only accepted sophomores, juniors, and seniors. These students will have more relevant knowledge to get up to speed on our education; this will be the largest benefit to them. Freshman who are very passionate about a capital markets career should definitely make their interest known in the contacts section, but should also refer to the University of Tennessee Investment Group ( and the Financial Management Association ( to get started. (As of 2019, we also select 1-2 freshmen in the spring semester).

Topics covered in year course:

Career Preparation: Interviewing, Networking, LinkedIn, and Resume Building

Financial Topics: Valuation, Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Trading Multiples, EBIT, EBITDA, WACC, Operating Model, Leveraged Buyouts, Un-levered Free Cash Flow, Gordon Growth, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Financial Statement Analysis

Industry Introduction: Investment Banking, Private Equity, Sales & Trading, Management Consulting, Equity/Debt Capital Markets, Equity Research

Technical Skills: Financial Modeling, Sensitivity Analysis, Cell Referencing, Named Ranges and Hotkeys

Competitions: Private Business Valuation Competitions (& Transaction Team Valuation of Businesses in Knoxville Area), and Hedge Fund Competitions

Industry Speakers: Various UT Alumni and potential industry guests

Student Leadership

Founding Members

Grayson Niehaus + Sebastian Soldner


Grayson Niehaus and Sebastian Soldner founded the Tennessee Capital Markets Society (TCMS) in Fall of 2016. They generated the mission, name, and monthly weekly format- and also led breakout sessions for valuation, DCF, and interview education. Grayson and Sebastian would meet with students three Thursdays a month and lead discussions on topics such as case study preparation, DCF Models, resume and LinkedIn networking and comparable transactions. The founders would also meet with students in the MBA program, forming private company valuation groups to provide tangible experience for students. Since their first semester, which began with approximately 10 students, TCMS has been maximized at 25 students annually (to keep a professional, competitive experience), and now is an officially recognized scholastic organization in the state of Tennessee, and has placed students in Investment Banking, Commodities Trading, Management Consulting, Equities Research, and other areas.


2018-2019 Leadership

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Sebastian Soldner

Born in Forchheim, Germany, Sebastian is a senior dual-majoring in Finance & Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management with a collateral in International Business at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville. Sebastian participated in the First Year Cuba Business Trip, which brought students to Havana to learn in a constantly changing business culture and met with Warren Buffett at a Berkshire Hathaway student program in Omaha. Sebastian was selected as a member of the Haslam College of Business honors program, Global Leadership Scholars, which afforded him the opportunity to spend a semester studying and working in the financial district of London. Sebastian is also part of the Chancellor's Honors Program, and a member of the Baker Scholars program. Sebastian participates as part of the Haslam College of Business Student Leadership Council, which helps evolve the relationship between organizations and faculty. Sebastian is a Director of Research at the Masters Investment Learning Center, an MILC Scholastic Candidate, a UTK Bloomberg Master, a portfolio manager of the McClain Torch Investment Fund, a member of the Provost's Student Advisory council, a co-founder of the Tennessee Capital Markets Society, and prior team captain in the CME Trading Challenge. He hopes to pursue a career in management consulting, investments or high-frequency trading. Outside of academia, Sebastian enjoys rock climbing, audio engineering, cryptocurrency, PC Building, and reading.



VP of Strategic alliances

Brandon Wilmoth

Brandon is a senior at the University of Tennessee majoring in Finance with a collateral in Business Analytics. Since his freshman year, he has been a member of the Chancellor’s Honors Program, Beta Upsilon Chi, and Student Alumni Associates. In his Junior year, he was accepted into the Tennessee Capital Markets Society at UT and is currently VP of Strategic Alliances. With a passion for learning and growing in both education and as an individual, Brandon is driven and always looking for a new challenge. He enjoys doing some freelance video production in his spare time and loves to travel.

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VP of Finance

Michael Xiong

Michael is currently finishing his senior studying in the Haslam College of Business where he is pursuing a finance major alongside a business analytics collateral and a mathematics minor. Ever since he was little, Michael excelled at mathematics and had a love for business. Finance is where he believes he can perfectly match these two passions. Being born and raised in Knoxville, UT has seemed to be where he calls home. 

He was worked at Jewelry Television, where he was a summer financial analyst where he helped both in the budgeting process and aided in possible acquisition target valuations. Since working there, he has confirmed that finance is the career for him. Michael hopes to pursue a career in investment banking or management consulting where he can value companies or help companies become more optimized. Outside of academia and career aspirations, Michael enjoys golfing and competitive esports.    


VP of Organizational development

Alex Owens

Alex is currently a junior in the Haslam College of Business majoring in Finance. He originally intended to pursue a degree in law, but found my passion for finance before enrolling at the University of Tennessee and decided to declare the subject as his major. Outside of TCMS, he am also involved in The University of Tennessee Investment Group as well as Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity where he serves at the VP of Accounts Payable and director of trading for the investment team. He is also a Bloomberg Financial Analyst at the Masters Investment Learning Center.


2017-2018 Leadership



Greg Gilbert

Greg is a senior from Nashville, TN.  He’s a double major in Finance and Accounting with a collateral in international business. He was selected as a member of the Global Leadership Scholar’s program, which allowed him to study abroad in London and work for the consulting firm Mercer. Currently, Greg is working within the Finance department at the Master’s Investment Learning Center, where he assists students with their Bloomberg Training. In addition, he is a McClain Torch Fund manager and President of the Honor’s finance organization, Tennessee Capital Market Society. After graduation, Greg hopes to pursue a career in investment banking.

Executive vice president

Sebastian Soldner

VP of Alumni Connections

Zachary Zebels


Thomas Cocke


Henry Trotter

VP of Leadership

Madison Hamilton

2016-2017 Leadership



Grayson Niehaus is a senior with a dual major in Finance and Business Analytics along with a collateral in Accounting and dual concentration in Supply Chain Management. Besides working as a Student Ambassador for the Masters Investment Learning Center within the Finance Department, he also worked for Morgan Stanley in their Wealth Management division and Canaccord Genuity in their Investment Banking practice. In addition to his leadership position in UTIG, Grayson is the founding president of the Tennessee Capital Markets Society, captain on the CME Commodity Trading Team, founding director for the Health & Wellness group in Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, and was an Executive Treasurer on For the Kids at UTK. He also serves as a manager on the McClain fund as well as a participant on the Haslam College of Business Leadership Council. After graduating, he wants to pursue a career in capital markets. Outside of school and work he enjoys fitness, sports, and all things vols.

VP of Information Operations

Sebastian Soldner

VP of Membership

Brad Hill

VP of Executive Services

Alex Calleja

MBA Advisor

Alex Wright

Undergraduate Advisor

David Holt