To bridge the gap between the academic and professional spheres, the Student Managed Investment Fund was established through a mini-campaign, which was spearheaded by investment executive and 1970 finance graduate Fred Tattersall, who serves on the West Virginia University Foundation Board.
Tattersall rallied 10 friends and alumni of the College, many of whom also serve on the WVU Foundation Board and B&E Visiting Committee, to form what is known as The Founder’s Club. In addition to Tattersall, the Founder’s Club members are W. Marston “Marty” Becker, Doug Van Scoy, E.G. “Ken” Kendrick, Robert “Bob” Orders, Jr., Vince Anido, Jr., Phil Rosenthal, Penelope “Penni” Roll, Robert Reynolds and Stuart “Stu” Robbins. Each member provided a generous gift of $25,000, which allowed for the minimum threshold of $250,000 to initiate the student managed investment fund.
“B&E is a top business school, but we are only one of a few that did not have a real money, student investment managed fund,” Tattersall said. “As an employer in the investment industry, I want to hire a graduate who has hands-on experience managing real funds. By allowing students to manage real money, they have a vested interest, as there are real consequences to their strategies and actions.”
The mastermind behind the concept and implementation of the WVU Student Managed Investment Fund is Dr. Naomi Boyd, chair of the B&E Department of Finance. She, in collaboration with Milan Puskar Dean of B&E Javier Reyes, presented the idea to the WVU Foundation Board Investment Committee to garner their support and will utilize the Foundation as the platform for investing.
“As educators, we want to offer our students the ability to practically apply their finance and investment management knowledge prior to entering into the workforce,” Boyd said. “The student managed investment fund gives our students real world experience in security valuation, portfolio management and group leadership, as well the opportunity to develop networking connections within the industry, which will enhance the placement of our students in top-tier internships and permanent positions at investment management firms.”
Boyd said she is thrilled the school is finally able to bring this opportunity to students, and she is grateful to donors for making this dream a reality.
She will teach the applied investment management course, which will provide students an opportunity to develop a path forward for the endowment, beginning in spring 2017. The course will teach students technical and fundamental analysis; development of successful trading strategies; enhance their learning of industrial analysis and provide them with the analytical tools to make sound investment decisions.
To be admitted into the course, students must be a senior finance major, have at least a 3.5 GPA and have earned an A in the pre-requisite investments course.
Once accepted into the course, the senior student analysts will provide overall analysis and recommendations to members of the WVU Student Managed Investment Fund Advisory Board made up of the chair of the finance department at WVU, the Fred Tattersall Endowed Professor at B&E and at least five other board members who will play a crucial role in the approval of trades and provide guidance to the fund. All trades will be approved by a majority vote of the Advisory Board and will be executed via the trading platform utilized by the WVU Foundation.
“The rigorous qualifications to enter into this course to prove the top-notch quality and dedication to experiential learning initiatives like the Student Managed Investment Fund at B&E,” Dean Reyes said. “We are so grateful to have grounded and devoted faculty members like Dr. Boyd who go above and beyond to ensure our students have the experience they need to be competitive in the global marketplace. We recognized that we needed to provide this opportunity to our students for them to learn through experience, practice and application, so we’ve got to work to make it happen.”
While the objective of the fund is to develop, initiate and execute trading strategies aimed at maximizing the portfolio’s returns with a balance of mixed assets, the scope is even bigger. Returns from the endowment will eventually provide scholarships and development opportunities for finance students.
B&E and the supporters of the WVU Student Managed Investment Fund hope the initiative will continue to grow to meet a new $1 million goal, which will provide students more experiential learning and investment opportunities, as well as enhance their WVU experience.
“As a donor, you want your contribution to be relevant and have a meaningful impact on the students’ learning, and [the Student Managed Investment Fund] has that meaningful impact,” Tattersall said. “You can see instant results with this fund because you are able to see how the stocks the students choose are doing. You get immediate feedback on how the students are learning.”
These generous gifts to initiate the WVU Student Managed Investment Fund were made in conjunction with “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University,” which runs through December 2017.
For more information on the WVU Student Managed Investment Fund and how to be involved, please contact Dr. Boyd at Naomi.Boyd@mail.wvu.edu.
CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business and Economics
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