SAN ANTONIO – The H-E-B School of Business and Administration launched the UIW Student Managed Fund in the fall of 2016.
The fund, which was started with an initial allotment of $125,000 from the university’s endowment, is designed to offer students the real-world experience of investment management while still at the university.
The student fund managers are enrolled in a 3-credit hour course that coincides with their responsibilities as fund managers. The fund and the course are under the direction of faculty advisor Dr. Jose Moreno.
“Students in this class have to create an investment philosophy, saying to the client, ‘This is what I want to do with your money,’” Moreno said. “They create a portfolio and they make the real investments. They monitor and follow up by using different tools to evaluate the portfolio performance."
Once the student fund managers decide on the investments they want to make, they present their recommendations to the Fund Advisory Board, comprised of HEBSBA Dean Dr. Forrest Aven, other faculty members and members of the local finance community. Once approved by the board, the students are free to move forward with their investments.
Four senior finance students were tasked with being the first managers of the UIW Student Managed Fund. They are Joseph Allen, Diego Flores, Khalid Khogeer and Jeffrey Conflitti (pictured left-right below).
“My experience with the Student Managed Fund has been extremely valuable. For one, it is largely independent. As the student fund managers, we make our own decisions,” Allen said. “Everything that goes into the decision making process, as far as analytics, is done all on our part. And only when it comes down to confirming the decision does it involve faculty members. So it is quintessentially a real-world type of course.”
Students have the freedom to pursue investments as they see fit, providing a unique experience.
“Whether you want to work in investments or in any finance firm or bank, to have this knowledge, to have this background, to have this real-life experience, I think is a great thing to have. I think it gives you a step above everybody else,” Khogeer said.
“Personally, I would like to go into something analytical like this after I’ve spent some time in the financial planning part. It really gives me a lot of experience as to what to expect if I were to move into that field later on,” Conflitti said.
Outside of class time, the student fund managers dedicate multiple hours each week to research and analyze potential investments.
“It’s not an easy class, but if you make the commitment to join and work with your team, you're going to be able to achieve another level of professional experience during your school time,” Flores said.
Dr. Moreno said he is pleased with the work of the team that has served as the first student fund managers.
“I think they have performed very well, more than I expected. They created a very strong team,” Moreno said. “They worked together. They know what they have to do. They agree or disagree sometimes, but they help each other all the time.”
Dr. Moreno encourages all UIW students, especially those majoring in finance and banking, to consider joining the Student Managed Fund and enrolling in the course. The only perquisite for participation is the successful completion of the Investment Planning course, as well as an application submitted to Dr. Moreno.