Game, set, match

May 2020

George Tibil talking to two UB tennis players on the bench.

Tibil coaches two UB tennis players.

George Tibil, BS ’13, MS ’18, was born and raised in Romania. At 14, he moved to Belgium with his family, where he had to adjust to a new life. 

There, Tibil became fluent in French and played tennis, with a dream to play professionally someday. His tennis aptitude earned him a full scholarship to the University at Buffalo, where he enrolled in the School of Management’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program. 

“My time at UB changed my life forever,” he says. “Having Professor Cristian Tiu as a mentor was invaluable—he helped shape my professional path and provided me with the feedback and support that ultimately allowed me to succeed.” 

On the tennis court, Tibil helped the Bulls score wins against universities UB had never before defeated, but his time as a player was cut short due to a major injury in his lower back. 

That wasn’t the end of his collegiate tennis career, though. He pivoted to become associate head coach of UB men’s tennis while focusing on his studies and career preparation.

Following graduation, he and his wife Alexandra moved to the Caribbean, where he served as an asset manager for PKB Privatbank SA. 

“At Privatbank, I got a wide exposure to investment advisory, asset management, equity and fixed income research, trading a variety of asset classes on a daily basis,” he says.

While working at Privatbank full time, he also completed an online MBA program through the University of Memphis Fogelman College of Business and Economics. 

Then, in 2017, Tibil returned to the UB School of Management as a Master of Science in Finance student to hone his skills in quantitative finance and mathematical modeling.

“My MS in Finance gave me the skills and abilities to help me land an interview for my current position,” he says. 

Tibil became assistant vice president of model risk validation at M&T Bank, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Buffalo with more than 750 branches and $120 billion in assets. His team is responsible for reviewing and validating models used by different groups throughout the bank.

“It’s critical to not only understand the theory behind the many concepts taught in school, but also learn to apply those concepts as well,” Tibil says. “Employers are always looking for candidates with a solid foundation of skills, but they want people who are curious and can learn something new and apply it in a timely manner.”

While Tibil never ended up going pro, you can still find him frequently on the court playing tennis when he’s not at work. He also enjoys traveling with his wife and going on hikes with their dog, Bamsi.

Written by Kevin Manne