KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee College of Business Administration alumnus Paul Castagna has received the college’s 2008 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Recipients are extraordinary business executives who personify leadership and who are role models for future generations.
Paul CastagnaCastagna, of San Francisco, Calif., is the founder of Golden Gate Financial Group, a securities broker dealer and registered investment adviser. Castagna has made a lasting impact on the insurance, securities, and financial planning industries.
“Through their vision, intellect, passion for excellence and boldness of spirit, these individuals have led companies to greatness, changed the face of industry and touched countless lives,” said Jan Williams, dean of the College of Business Administration. “Paul exemplifies this spirit, doing so much to promote and support his community, UT and the college.”
After graduating from UT in 1969, Castagna received an MBA from Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. He entered the corporate management training program at Equitable Life Assurance Co., working on sales force productivity and recruitment research. His team’s research developed financial models of sales force performance and recruiting that dramatically improved the company.
As district sales manager for Equitable, Castagna built one of the largest district sales organizations in the country. He led all managers in the country for two straight years and won the coveted president’s trophy.
Promoted to agency manager in 1977, Castagna continued to garner company and industry honors for his performance. He was a pioneer in the insurance industry’s entry into the field of financial planning, developing and implementing financial planning marketing and training systems with the use of computer technology.
Castagna retired from Equitable at age 47 and started Golden Gate Financial Group. Golden Gate developed statistical trading systems for managing client accounts. Using these proprietary trading systems, Golden Gate profitably guided clients through the bear market in 2000-2002. He sold his interest in the asset management business in 2003 but kept his portfolio management team together to manage his own account.
Castagna is a longstanding member of the college’s advisory council to the dean, a group that is instrumental in shaping the financial strategy and overall strategic direction of the college.
“I am very privileged to be receiving this coveted award,” Castagna said. “But, more importantly, I am honored to be a valuable partner with the college. I have enjoyed giving back to the institution that has given me the foundation for my success. UT always will be a part of what’s important in my life.”
Cindy Raines, (865) 974-4359, firstname.lastname@example.org