Here you will find an up-to-date record of UConn Student Managed Fund and other finance events in the School of Business.
Annual Bradley, Foster & Sargent Spring Luncheon
May 10 2017—Thanks to the generosity of Keith LaRose (BFS Executive VP and IAB Member) and others at Bradley, Foster & Sargent, a strong contingent of School of Business SMF and MSFRM students joined the gathering of more than 200 members of the local business and finance community at the Hartford Club on May 10th. The annual event, now in its eighth year, is hosted by Bradley, Foster & Sargent (BFS). Thomas Joyce, who as President and CEO of Danaher Corporation, leads his company’s $17 billion global, multi-industry portfolio of businesses, was the featured speaker at this year’s event. This event is always one of the highlights of the spring semester!
SMF End of the Year Awards Event
April 24 2017—On Monday, April 24th, 2017 we held our annual SMF End of the Year Awards ceremony at The University of Connecticut Graduate Business Learning Center (GBLC) in downtown Hartford, Connecticut. The event began with a buffet dinner followed by our Investment Advisory Board members giving a few words of advice to the graduates. In closing, awards for Best Managers and Best Financial Analyst Reports were given to select members of the Undergraduate and Graduate teams.
The SMF Best Manager Award was given to Jeremy Hite, from the Graduate Team, and representing the Undergraduate Team was Sean Phelan ’17 & Sean Elliott ’17, who tied for the Best Manager Award.
The Best Financial Analyst Reports were given to Azmath Rahiman and Vikram Kaimal, from the Graduate Team, and Steven Gasparini ‘17 and Joe Cotton ’17 representing the Undergraduate Team.
To see the Best Financial Analyst Reports follow the links below:
Undergraduate Analyst Report: http://smf.business.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/818/2016/12/UPS-Analyst-Report-Final-Version-2.pdf
Graduate Analyst Report: http://smf.business.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/818/2016/12/Gentex-Corp.pdf
Finance Society Stock Pitch Competition
April 19 2017—On April 19th, the Finance Society hosted its first annual stock pitch competition in collaboration with the School of Business Finance Department. The goal of the competition was for finance-focused students to form teams and have the experience of researching a company, creating a stock pitch and submitting it to a panel of industry experts. After the submissions, the judges then selected three finalists to advance to the presentation round, where they were ultimately given the chance to present their thesis to the judges in presentation form.
Following the presentations, prizes were awarded to the top performing finalists.
The three teams pictured below advanced into the final round were they were evaluated and awarded based upon the judging criteria.
First Place Winner;
Second Place Winner;
Third Place Winner;
Annual SMF New York City Presentation and Alumni Networking Event
April 12 2017— The Student Managed Fund Program in collaboration with the School of Business Alumni office hosted its third Annual Presentation and Alumni Networking event at the Marmara Park Avenue Hotel in New York City on April 12, 2017. It was a beautiful and well attended event featuring portfolio presentations from both SMF teams as well as a lively Alumni networking reception! Dean John Elliott welcomed the Investment Advisory Board members, SMF Alums as well as current and future SMF members. This annual event has become one of the highlights of the year.
Quinnipiac (Q-GAME) Global Asset Management Educational Forum
March 30-April 1 2017—UConn School of Business was represented by a strong contingent of SMF undergraduate and graduate team members at the Quinnipiac (Q-GAME) Global Asset Management Educational Forum and Student Investment Fund competition in NYC on March 30th – April 1st. For the second year in the row, the SMF Graduate Team, consisting of nine members, won first place for growth portfolio in the Q-GAME (Quinnipiac-Global Asset Management Education) student managed portfolio competition. The Q-GAME forum, held at the Midtown Hilton in New York City, was open to student teams across the country that had managed an actual portfolio during the 2016 calendar year. In all, one-hundred and fifty teams from across the globe attended the conference and participated in the student managed portfolio competition.
Each participating team sent a report on their portfolio included holdings, purchase price, and net/gain loss. The Graduate Team depicted a snapshot of their investment process, portfolio performance and attribution analysis, and also explained their fund in great detail to conference attendees.
The actual evaluation criteria was not made public, though it was a combination of portfolio performance, investment process, and poster presentation.
“I believe that we achieved first place due to our investment philosophy, the qualitative and quantitative analysis skills learned at UConn, and the discussion and chemistry in the team due to members’ diversified backgrounds,” said Pei-ju Lee, a second-year MBA student on the SMF Graduate team majoring in Finance & Big Data Analysis.
The SMF Undergraduate Team, consisting of 6 team members, also had a very strong performance and was invited to the presentation round of the prestigious Q-GAME student investment fund competition.
Annual SMF Presentation to the UConn Foundation Investment Committee
March 9 2017—The UConn Foundation Investment Committee hosted the “Annual SMF Presentation to the UConn Foundation” at the Hartford Club on March 9th, 2017. Both Student Managed Fund teams did a great job presenting their portfolios to the room full of financial industry executives on the Investment Committee of the UConn Foundation. Thanks to the generosity of the UConn Foundation, the Student Managed Fund program has just completed its 16th successful academic year!
CFA Research Challenge Competition
March 8 2017—For the second year in a row the Undergraduate team, mentored by faculty member Chris Wilkos, won the CFA Institute Research Challenge regional competition in Hartford, Connecticut and advanced to the CFA Research Challenge National Case Competition in Seattle, Washington. The team was paired with industry professional, Leslie L. White, who served as the Mentor for the team. Our winning Undergraduate Team was selected based on the combined scores received for their written reports and the presentations given to the panel of judges.
The CFA Research Challenge Case Competition is a terrific learning tool. It bridges the gap between the academic side of the CFA program and the reality of stock picking. By participating in this competition, students receive an experience beyond the classroom. The participants must produce reports and presentations with a deadline and receive feedback from industry professionals.
Thank you to the Hartford CFA Society for making this experience possible.
Wharton Private Equity & Venture Capital 2017 Conference, NYC
January, 20, 2017 – Plaza Hotel, NYC
A handful of students had the opportunity to attend the Wharton Private Equity & Venture Capital Conference and be exposed to some of the best professionals in the industry. Here are some comments from the students on their experience.
"The conference demonstrated how diverse of an industry private equity is. The panels I attended were on Larger Cap PE, Distressed, and Emerging Markets. These panels all exhibited a completely different side of the industry. In addition to these more concentrated panels there were three keynote speakers that discussed the history and current state of the PE industry, experiences of two distinguished PE industry veterans, and the Venture Capital space." - Dan Glucksman
"Attending the Wharton Private Equity & Venture Capital Conference allowed me to take a deep dive into the industry and know how the players operate. [...] The industry is extremely broad with so many nuances that it requires keen expert individuals to be good performers. Usually few mainstream news stories speak of private equity or venture capital deals, but these players work with early-stage emerging companies promoting entrepreneurs and business owners." - Joaquin Sanchez
Annual Presentation to the Investment Advisory Board
On December 8th, 2016, both the Graduate and Undergraduate teams presented their investment portfolios and strategies to the Investment Advisory Board. The event was well-received and was followed by a networking reception. Dean Elliott was in attendance along with many investment advisory board members. Both teams outperformed the S&P 500 and presented their investment processes and rationale in an engaging way. We are looking forward to our Spring presentation coming up in March.
SMF Speaker Series – Ryan MacNeil, Cigna | Trevor Russo, Ironwood Capital
November 14, 2016
On Monday, November 14th, the members of the SMF undergraduate and graduate teams attended an interactive lecture with Ryan MacNeil of Cigna and Trevor Russo of Ironwood Capital. The two SMF alums gave a great presentation on the private equity industry from their alternative perspectives.
SMF & UCG M&A Presentation – Alex Sauter, MHT Midspan
November 11, 2016
On Friday, November 11th, members of the SMF team, UConn Consulting Group, and Finance Society attended a presentation from Alex Sauter of the middle-market investment bank MHT Midspan. Alex gave an informative presentation on the step by stop typical M&A deal process.
Harvard Financial Analysts Symposium and Stock Pitch Competition
October 29 2016—Finance Society members Max Janik, Mark Kugler, and Brian Schneider competed in Harvard University’s Stock Pitch Competition on October 29th. For the first round of the competition, teams submitted a two page abstract on their stock pitch which were judged by top asset managers in Boston. The top 17 pitches were selected to compete in the competition which was hosted by Harvard’s Financial Analysts Club.
UConn’s team was one of the 17 teams selected out of a record number of submissions from schools around the country. The team then had two weeks to create a professional presentation of their stock idea to present to a panel of judges who were analysts and associates at top Boston firms including Putnam, Fidelity, Matrix Capital Management, and Weiss Asset Management.
The presentation included formulating a thesis, explaining the catalysts, research on the business and industry followed by a detailed valuation.
At the competition the team presented their 10 minute pitch on PICO Holdings, a holding company that owns valuable water rights in drought stricken regions of the United States, followed by a five minutes question and answer period from the judges.
The team proved they could compete against any top school in the country. Among the schools present were UPenn, Dartmouth, Brown, NYU, Notre Dame, and Texas.
The competition also included an investing workshop and networking with the judges. The team enjoyed speaking with students from other schools to discuss their own finance programs and where the majority of the school’s graduates are recruited to work at.
SMF Speaker Series – Pat Terrion, Founders Capital Management
October 17, 2016
On Monday, October 17th, the members of the SMF undergraduate and graduate teams attended an interactive lecture with Pat Terrion, the Principal of Founders Capital Management in Hartford, CT and previous adviser to the undergraduate team. Pat discussed his philosophy on value investing, and took questions from the SMF teams on how to view an investment in today’s financial markets. Pat concluded the lecture by emphasizing the importance of financial literacy and fundamental analysis to understanding the investment discipline.
SMF Investment Breakfast Hosted by Bradley, Foster & Sargent
October 14, 2016
On Friday, October 14th, the Student Managed Fund Managers were treated to a delicious Investment Breakfast hosted by Bradley, Foster & Sargent. The presentation, held at the GBLC in Hartford, was led by Keith LaRose, an Executive Vice President at the firm and a member of the Investment Advisory Board. After the presentation, LaRose, along with several members of his team, broke into smaller groups to network with the SMF Managers as well as answer questions about the equity markets and investment strategies. This annual SMF event has become of the most popular events of the year!
A Winning Team
UConn Finance Students Victorious at Highly Competitive Cornell Stock Pitch Contest
A team of UConn undergraduate finance students took third place in the highly prestigious Cornell Stock Pitch Challenge in Boston, going toe-to-toe with teams from Harvard, Columbia, Duke, Notre Dame and Amherst.
“We are very proud of our students’ success in the face of extremely tough competition,” said finance professor and department head Chinmoy Ghosh. “Their success confirms what we already know, that our students are able to compete and win against anyone.”
The team—including senior Roma Romaniv and juniors Joaquin Sanchez and Stephen Mwangi—had a week to research a stock pitch for Popeyes restaurant and retail giant Coach before presenting to a team of judges in late September.
The team was coached by Chris Wilkos, executive vice president and chief investment officer of The Phoenix Companies, Inc.. An adjunct professor at UConn, Wilkos teaches undergraduate courses in valuation and portfolio management.
“Usually a stock pitch can take a month of research, so boiling down to one week sped up my learning,” Sanchez said. “Our fundamental analysis focused on researching national and global economic trends and indicators, company business models, historical performance, peer competition and sector outlook, and forecasting company guidance and initiatives.
“Afterward, we used that analysis, coupled with our model, to create a recommendation to buy both stocks relative to their current price,” he said. “Understanding these companies’ business models and future outlook was very exciting.”
Popeyes’ stock appealed to the students. From the company’s humble beginning in Louisiana, it has grown to become the world’s second largest quick-service restaurant concept, quickly spreading across the United States and establishing a presence in more than 20 countries. Both revenue and same-store sales have grown at impressive rates, and although growth has showed signs of moderating, positive catalysts remain in the stock, they told the judges.
Meanwhile, the Coach stock is undervalued, the students concluded. A ‘retail darling’ in the opening years of this decade, the company had fallen on hard times, as its distribution strategy, which put a considerable emphasis on its outlet stores, had begun to dilute the brand, making it less desirable. However, management has implemented a new strategy, which was evidenced by a return to revenue growth during the most recent fiscal year. Though more time is needed to fully assess the success of their new strategy, the UConn students believe that the company is on a track of renewed growth.
During the two days of the program the UConn students had the opportunity to learn from portfolio managers and equity analysts over dinner. The professionals stressed that investing also has a psychological element with how the market reacts.
“Getting to see other teams present gave us insight into diverse views which make up a marketplace,” Mwangi said. “In the end, there was also a great opportunity to connect with students from across the country and begin to form new, perhaps even lasting, relationships.
“The value in participating in this competition is not just for personal achievement, but also in promoting the UConn brand and displaying our ability to compete with top universities in the country,” he added.
Exploring All Avenues at UConn Finance Conference
October 1, 2016 by Joshua Weist, Claire Hall
Experts Encourage UConn Finance Students To Seek Jobs in Most Prestigious, Demanding Sectors
Careers in investments, asset management, banking and prestigious Wall Street opportunities were the focus of the inaugural Finance Conference at the School of Business.
“The conference continues the School of Business efforts to make a greater push to place students in more prestigious and demanding areas of the financial sector,” said Professor Larry Gramling, associate dean for undergraduate programs.
More than 100 people attended the October conference, which tapped into alumni expertise to help students consider all their career options. The conference was hosted by the Finance Society and the Graduate Finance Association.
The keynote speaker was Kevin Kulak, managing director at Growth Technology Partners, a financial adviser to technology and health care companies. He advises some of the top private firms in the country on different capital-raising objectives.
With over 25 years of experience in investment banking, brokerage and investing, Kulak spent much of his career at J.P. Morgan Securities. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UConn and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Kulak spoke about his experience raising capital with some of the world’s leading private companies and discussed future trends worth monitoring, including rapid globalization.
Gramling and Finance Department Head Chinmoy Ghosh gave opening remarks. The program was led by senior finance major Sean Phelan.
The conference hosted a variety of moderated panels, along with several industry expert speakers, and a presentation by the Hartford CFA Society. Among the topics discussed were the impact of geopolitics on global financial markets and the divergence of market prices from theoretical fundamentals. While the panels covered technical topics, students were able to hear about each speaker’s career paths and the myriad of skills required in their industries.
The panels, comprised of successful UConn alumni and local professionals, gave students the opportunity to gain perspective and engage in real world discussions on pressing issues.
At the end of the day, spirits were high for the School of Business, as alumni and former faculty noted the progress made for the school since their time there.
Speakers at the conference observed that UConn is a school on the rise, as evidenced by increasing numbers of finance majors within the school, growing popularity of the Finance Society, and strong showings at the very competitive Cornell Stock Pitch Challenge and CFA Research Challenge, among many other initiatives.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if UConn was a Top 10-ranked business school within the next 5 years,” said former professor and Student Managed Fund adviser Patrick Terrion. “The caliber of the school and the students is unprecedented.”
SMF “Meet and Greet with Tom Marshella of Moody’s”
Wednesday September 28th
On Wednesday September 28th the members of the SMF undergraduate team, as well Finance Society members attended a meet and greet with Tom Marshella of Moody’s. Tom gave an excellent presentation on Moody’s and his own professional career.
Travelers Finance Society Meeting
September 21, 2016
The Finance Society hosted Travelers on Wednesday September 21st. The meeting consisted of a presentation from the Travelers' Business and International Insurance Vice President of Finance Tony Torsiello. Travelers' Mike Grosso also talked about the Financial Management Leadership Development Program opportunities. Following the meeting was a networking reception. Thank you to everyone involved.
SMF Kick-off Event — “Meet the Investment Advisory Board Members”
Monday, September 19th
The Student Managed Fund program officially kicked off the 2016-2017 academic year with a “Meet the Investment Advisory Board” event at the Graduate Business Learning Center in Downtown Hartford on Monday, September 19th. All of the members of the SMF Undergraduate and Graduate teams had the opportunity to meet each other and compare strategies at this annual event. Several members of the Investment Advisory Board were also present to introduce themselves and also welcome the new SMF team members.
September 15, 2016
On Thursday September 15th members of the SMF undergraduate team, graduate team as well as other finance-focused students and Finance Society members attended a UConn sponsored breakfast with Shapleigh Smith of Citigroup.
Citigroup Finance Society Meeting
September 14, 2016
The Finance Society held its second meeting of the year on Wednesday September 14th. Over 100 members attended to hear Shapleigh Smith from Citi talk about his experiences and the summer internships available for Juniors at Citi in New York. With recruitment season in full swing this informative meeting was a big success. Thank you to everyone that participated.
Opening Finance Society Meeting
September 7, 2016
The Finance Society hosted its first meeting of the school year on Wednesday September 7th. UConn alum Todd Massedge had the opportunity to talk about his financial modeling course "AlphaTree Invest Like The Street". The new Executive board was introduced to the members. Finance Society members Stephen Mwangi and Michael Morabito ended the meeting with a current events discussion updating the society on what has happened in the world of finance since May. Thank you to everyone that participated.
Investment Advisory Board Strategy Dinner
July 18, 2016
Dean John Elliott hosted the Investment Advisory Board Strategy Dinner at the Capital Grille in Hartford on July 18, 2016. This was an opportunity for Dean Elliott to thank the Investment Advisory Board Members for their time and continued commitment to the Student Managed Fund program and its students, as well as share information and ask for input on some additional School of Business initiatives.
Alums Inducted Into Hall of Fame
May 18, 2016
School Honors Three Top Business Leaders Who Also Make Time to Give Back
The UConn School of Business honored three of its top alumni on May 6, inducting them into the School’s Hall of Fame during an elaborate and festive ceremony at the Hartford Marriott Downtown.
Those honored included: Robert C. Hughes, a 1992 graduate who helped build a proud family business into a software powerhouse and is now a generous supporter of the University’s veteran entrepreneurship program; Corliss Montesi, a 1986 accounting graduate, who is a top executive at Stanley Black & Decker and a champion for women in the workplace; and Drew Figdor, a 1983 graduate with a degree in finance who not only employs his expertise on Wall Street, but also guides the UConn Foundation with its investments.
A Great Education
UConn Education is Second to None, Drew Figdor ’83 Tells Hall of Fame Audience
Drew Figdor ’83 said he was a mediocre student in high school, but when he got to the University of Connecticut that all changed.
“I found my passion at UConn. I really loved learning. One of the things about my job is that it requires a great deal of diverse knowledge. I’m always learning something new,” said Figdor, who earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and graduated magna cum laude. He went on to get his master’s degree in finance from New York University.
Now a general partner at Tiedemann Investment Group in New York City, Figdor is also an active alumnus who chairs the Investment Committee for the University of Connecticut Foundation. He was inducted into the School of Business Hall of Fame on May 6.
“A University of Connecticut education is second to none,” Figdor said. “UConn prepared me well in skill set and diversity of knowledge which are the hallmark of a great education. At UConn there was something to learn every day and I’ve taken that mindset into my job.”
SMF End of the Year Awards Event
April 28, 2016
On April 28, 2016, Student Managed Fund Managers were recognized at the annual “Student Managed Fund End of the Year Awards Event” for their accomplishments within the School of Business. The reception was held at the Graduate Business Learning Center in Hartford.
The Following SMF Undergraduate Managers were recognized for Outstanding Service and Performance in the SMF Program during the 2015-2016 academic year:
- Jackie Isola
- Yijun Li
- Tom Maclean
- Anthony Mancini
- Zack Marcoux
- Brittany Martens
- Michael Morabito
- Chris Strobel
- Brian Wilczynski
The following SMF MBA Managers were recognized for Outstanding Service and Performance in the SMF Program This Year:
- Jason Harris
- Jifeng Hu
- Akhilesh Kumar
- Eddie Laclaustra
- Neel Munot
- Chris Norris
- Alex Sadowski
- Akhil Sood
- Lingfan Sun
- Yun Xie
Scholarship Awards for the Best Analyst Reports were also announced. All of the submitted Long Analyst Reports were reviewed and ranked by a panel of Investment Advisory Board Members.
For the Undergraduate SMF Team Best Long Analyst Report, the Winners were
- Tom Maclean and Michael Morabito for their Microsoft Report
For the MBA SMF Team Best Long Analyst Report, the Winners were:
- Yun Xie and Akhil Sood for their Honeywell Report
Last but not least, the Winners of the “Annual SMF Best Managers Award” were announced. This award is voted upon by the team members and has grown to be one of the most prestigious SMF Awards of the year.
The Winner of the SMF Undergraduate Team Best Manager Award is:
- Michael Morabito
This Year We have a tie for the SMF MBA Best Managers Award and believe that both of these Managers were deserving, so the “SMF MBA Best Managers Award” goes to:
- Akhilesh Kumar and Alex Sadowski
Isenberg School of Management Conference and Stock Pitch Competition in Boston
April 21, 2016
UConn was invited to participate in the inaugural Isenberg Stock Pitch Competition held at the UMass Club in downtown Boston. Schools from all over the northeast participated including Harvard, Yale, Amherst, Bentley and Babson. The event included a panel discussion of industry specialists as well as the stock pitches themselves, which were 15 minutes in length (a 10 minute pitch plus a 5 minute Q&A). A networking event was also included.
Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education Forum in NYC
March 31 – April 2, 2016
This year we were fortunate to send a large group of Undergraduate and MBA SMF Managers to the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Forum and Student Investment Fund Competition in New York City from March 31, - April 2, 2016. Bringing together over 1400 students from 147 universities and 35 countries, the Q-Game Forum provides both an excellent networking setting and invaluable educational experiences from numerous breakout sessions on a variety of finance topics to panel discussions with the most prominent and legendary veterans of Wall Street. Both SMF teams participated in the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Forum’s Student Investment Fund Competition. We have recently received an “SMF Team Certificate” from the Q-GAME Forum for a first place finish of the SMF MBA Team in the “Graduate Core Division”. Congratulations on a great job!
Student Managed Fund Presentation & Alumni Networking Reception in NYC
March 23, 2016
This annual event includes a presentation by the SMF Teams to the Investment Advisory Board, which is followed by a networking reception where students have the opportunity to network with members of the IAB, Dean Elliott, Dr. Ghosh, and other Finance alumni.
CFA Research Challenge Case Competition
March 8, 2016
A team of undergraduates from the UConn School of Business placed first in this year’s regional CFA Research Challenge case competition. Ten teams representing colleges and universities in the Connecticut/Rhode Island area participated in the event, which was sponsored and coordinated by the Hartford CFA Society.
Each team prepared extensive written reports on the assigned case (Barnes Group), which were then submitted for review by judges at the Hartford CFA Society. Four were chosen to compete in the second round – the “presentation round.”
Teams were given 15 minutes to report the findings from their written reports, with an additional 10 minute Q&A session with the judges.
The UConn team now moves forward to compete in the CFA Research Challenge National Case Competition to be held in April in Chicago, Illinois.
SMF Annual December Presentation to the Investment Advisory Board in Hartford
December 9, 2015
Both Student Managed Fund teams had the opportunity to present a snapshot of their portfolios to members of the Investment Advisory Board at the Annual SMF Presentation and Networking Event at the Graduate Business Learning Center in Hartford on December 9, 2015. Members of the Investment Advisory Board as well as alumni from the SMF program and industry specialists were on hand to ask questions and offer recommendations to the SMF Managers regarding their portfolios.
First Annual SMF NYC Presentation & Alumni Reunion
February 26, 2015
On Thursday, February 26th, the first annual SMF Presentation and Alumni Reunion event took place in New York City at the University Club, hosted by Investment Advisory Board member, Keith LaRose, who is Principal and Executive Vice President at Bradley, Foster, and Sargent, Inc. The event turned out to be a huge success as over 65 people attended, ranging from current and past SMF managers, Investment Advisory Board members, and finance industry executives, as well as faculty and staff from UConn and the UConn Foundation, including the Dean of the School of Business, John Elliot.
The event began at 4:30 PM with the presentations from both the current undergraduate and MBA SMF teams about their portfolio performances throughout the academic year. Both teams did a great job explaining the philosophy, process, and performance of their portfolios. Following the presentations, people gathered for the reception, which served as a great time to reconnect with old friends and create new relationships moving forward. During the reception, Dr. Chinmoy Ghosh, head of the School of Business Finance Department, spoke about the launch of a new and exciting initiative to establish the ‘SMF Alumni Organization,’ which would create a family and network of former SMF managers throughout the program.
Quote from Dean Elliot:
While this was the first annual event for the SMF Program at the University Club in NYC, the program is expecting to make this event an annual occurrence with the help and support of Keith LaRose.