By Hunter Johnson &
The University of Dallas Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) finished in the top five at the Texas Investment Portfolio Symposium (TIPS) Portfolio Managers Competition on Saturday.
Seniors Will Chavey, Garrett Gustafson, Cosette Kulda and Will Remmes represented UD at the symposium hosted by Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business in Houston, along with junior John Lieblang. College of Business faculty members Dr. Jenny Gu and Professor Shawn Grove — the fund’s faculty advisors — and Dr. Ruth May also attended the conference and provided guidance during the preparation process.
“It was incredibly helpful to travel to the competition with three finance professors,” Kulda said. “I think their guidance and presence were both calming and essential.”
Of the 41 colleges and universities in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana that submitted applications, five were chosen as finalists. Baylor University, Texas Lutheran University and Rice received first, second and third honors, respectively.
Each of the applicant schools features a student-managed investment fund, where students manage money and make investment decisions on behalf of the university. The University of Dallas received an anonymous $100,000 donation to start its fund during the spring of 2013, and officially launched the fund the following fall. Graduate and undergraduate students both participate in the management of the fund.
“I think it’s pretty impressive to see what was only an idea two years ago already receive recognition from a number of investment management professionals in the area,” said Remmes. “It certainly validates UD’s process.”
The judges at TIPS graded the student funds on whether they inspired confidence as money managers. Components of these criteria include how the fund selects and manages stocks, as well as the fund’s performance.
Now in its 12th year, TIPS brings together investment management professionals and student investors from Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. According to Rice’s School of Business website, the conference aims to give participants the chance to learn from and network with senior investment industry professionals. The conference also features a stock analysis competition, to which the University of Dallas did not apply.
To date, UD’s SMIF has reported an equity return of more than 20 percent. Once the SMIF achieves sufficient size, half of those returns will support scholarships for students with a demonstrated interest in finance.
The organization seeks to provide opportunities for students to learn about and gain experience in making investment decisions. This includes helping students prepare for various finance-oriented careers. The group also aims for members to be successful in managing the fund so that it can benefit student scholarships in the future.
Gustafson said he was pleased with the success of the fund so far and was optimistic about its future growth.
“Hopefully the fund can leverage this experience to earning further recognition in the years to come,” he said. “It can be difficult to show your value-add with only [a year and a half] of performance, but hopefully that will become increasingly clear in the years ahead.”