Home » UK student-managed investment funds step up

UK student-managed investment funds step up

Five separate $1 million investment portfolios being established

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2014) —Students in the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics not only receive instruction on the fundamentals and theory associated with managing investments, they are actually managing money on behalf of UK. And, thanks to recent action approved by the Investment Committee of the UK Board of Trustees, we are talking about some substantial sums now being managed by students.

200275643-001“We got started here at UK about 15 years ago, with a $100,000 initial capital injection, and we’ve been managing money ever since,” said professor Brad Jordan, the Richard and Janis Furst Endowed Chair of Finance who heads up the Department of Finance and Quantitative Methods in the Gatton College.

“What the students are getting through the student managed investment program is almost an apprenticeship,” Jordan said. “They’re getting a chance to actually manage real money and make all of the relevant decisions, but nonetheless they’re doing it in a relatively structured environment. So, it’s a bridge from the university to the real world.”

This past December, the Investment Committee, impressed by the positive results of UK’s student managed investment fund, appropriated over $5 million from the university’s $1 billion dollar endowment. Five separate $1 million-plus investment portfolios are being established and each will be managed by Gatton students at the undergraduate and graduate level:

♦ Undergraduate students

♦ One-Year MBA Program students

♦ Professional (evening) MBA students

♦ Students in the new UK-University of Louisville Joint Executive MBA Program

♦ Students in the proposed Master of Science in Finance Program

In a separate but related development, a team of five UK students recently took first place in advancing to the North American round of the Chartered Financial Analysts Investment Research Challenge, defeating teams from Indiana University, the University of Louisville, Butler, Western Kentucky University, and others. Gatton faculty member Will Gerken served as team advisor.

“They face a lot of challenges by dealing with real world problems,” Gerken said. “Getting their hands dirty they kind of go through these types of exercises and come up with a lot more appreciation of all the hard work that goes into this, the importance of the ‘nitty gritty’ details.”

Team member and UK senior Lee Pinkston of Union, Ky. is thrilled with the education and practical experience he has received at Gatton.

“The faculty in the accounting and finance program are top notch,” said Pingston. “I’ve learned a lot and have gotten some tremendous hands on, real world experience.”

Teammate and fellow senior Grant Schumacher of Versailles commented, “Don’t underestimate what you can get coming to UK. The Gatton College is on the move with the current expansion and renovation of its facilities, including a brand new finance learning center.”

Along with students eagerly anticipating the new center, which has naming opportunities available, Jordan and his fellow faculty members are equally excited.

“The day it’s built, it will be the best of its kind,” Jordan said. “It will contain exactly the same types of databases, the same types of terminals, the same types of access that a trader would have at a Wall Street firm. It’s also a classroom designed in a way that facilitates group work and interaction between faculty and students.”

Jordan said UK students are already proving that they can compete and succeed.

“Name any major Wall Street firm, we have students who have been undergraduates here within the last five years who are working at these firms now.”

For more information, go to http://gattonunited.uky.edu.